Writing Headlines That Reach The First Page

Guest Post by Brandon Hopkins, let me know if you would also like to get a guest post published on Cornwallseo.com

There is no shortage of people telling you how to write killer headlines (my personal favorite is Brian Clark’s, How to Write Magnetic Headlines), but what these headline experts fail to mention is how a headline affects your search engine rankings.

I wasn’t born yesterday, and neither were you so we both know that a good headline should use your keywords and be compelling. After all, you do want people to click right? In addition to being compelling and using those keywords, you also need to make sure that you’re different.

Take a minute and go to Google and search for just about any 3 word phrase that a normal person might search for. I searched for “funny cat videos” and “top 100 songs” those two searches give some interesting information if you know what to look for.

Take a look at the titles for the top 10 results. Do you see any duplications? Do you see 2 sites that have the same title? That right there is a big secret many people are missing and they don’t even realize it. Are you creating a new niche blog about funny cat videos? Guess what, if your title is “Funny Cat Videos”, you’ll have a hard time ranking on the first page since Google usually only allows one site with that title. This means for you to reach the front page Google will remove the other site with that title and move them to the second page.

Go ahead and look through the first 5 pages of search results for “funny cat videos”. Do you see any identical titles on any of the pages? I didn’t think so.

What does this mean for your website?

1. Avoid the Urge To Simplify. Even though you really want to rank for “funny cat videos”, make sure and title your page “Watch Funny Cat Videos Online!” Using a title that isn’t already in the top 10 will ensure that you don’t have to force Google to choose between your site and an already established site that is ranking well. There is room for you both to coexist! Hopefully you’ll exist in the number 1 spot!

2. Write Compelling Headlines for Every Page. Don’t be lazy with your authority (or Pillar) content. For many niche sites, it’s tempting to just use your main key phrase (funny cat videos) as the title. Make every title compelling (Top 100 Funny Cat Videos).

3. Check the SERP’s Before Finalizing Your Title. If you’re great title is already being used by a site in the top 10, I would suggest changing your title.

4. Reevaluate Your Titles. Just because you had to use a different title doesn’t mean you can’t eventually change your title back to your main key phrase. Once you’re in the top spot, you can experiment with small variations to see if you can increase your click through ratio by just changing a few words.

5. Use Your Company Name. If your keywords don’t lend themselves to compelling titles then you can always use your company name or domain name. Take Ezilon for example, in the web directory market, you have to make yourself distinct. Ezilon did that by creating a regional directory.

While duplicate titles might be a very small ranking factor, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on!

Brandon Hopkins builds links for small and large companies all over the world. You can contact him at his Fresno web design website for more information on getting your site ranked #1!

Headline Writing Contest

The guys over at Distilled.co.uk are running a ppc headline writing contest.

There are some excellent prizes on offer, but because I am all over the place at the moment I forgot to tell you earlier. Hey, you have 24 hours to do it, I’m sure you can do it. Deadline is June 13th.

I know, I’m an idiot, I should have posted earlier.

My Contribution is:

Click a link
Sponsor a child
Save a life

Your choice
Click on by
or change a life

Stop your crying
ground is already wet
Your wallet matters more

How I Use Twitter for Headline Examples

I finally found a use for Twitter which combines my love for knocking headline ideas around. Check out these twitter headlines.

Basically, I get a headline idea which I think worthy of the Twitter mosh pit and I throw it in. If I get feedback great, if not, the headline needs serious work. Even is the response is, “Dude, you’re a real weirdo coming up with that”, it’s all good because for a headline to invoke response is great, even revulsion is fine as long as curiosity is piqued.

We are not here to write a great novel or give Tolstoy a run for his money. We are here to attract peoples attention and somehow get them to do stuff. In my case with the old linkbait, it’s getting them to give up a link, someone poked fun recently as one of my pieces did not make the front page of digg. Well, it got a good, solid pr6 link from an aged authority blog and that’s what this is all about. It may not be pretty, it wont win a Pulitzer but as long as it gets the link, who cares.

But Twitter is very useful as I get instant feedback and as I have nearly 700 followers, nearly all in the online marketing space it is very useful.

I am creating a ton of example headlines to give away in my linkbait coaching program, I have seen a real need for clients to get up to speed with the technique and get a jump start with killer headlines. People can now hire their very own, human headline generating system for the daily price of a mocha.

Every so often I will throw one into the Twitter mosh pit and see what comes back.

If you have any suggestions on headlines to explore, let me know in the comments.

How Ed Dale Hammered in the Final Nail of my Twitter Coffin

So I previously made fun of Twitter, but there was something about it which kept my attention. One thing which kept me connected was the fact that my peers were spending time there and a conversation existed. Not knowing what the conversation was about became painful, so I had to keep dipping in.

And, there are bits and bobs and nuggets of gold in there, sure you get the, “I’m on the bus”, type twitter, but what you also get is an insight into “the conversation”. I use it professionally, so all the people I follow have something to do with my business and being able to know what is the “thing of the moment” can be very useful. [Read more...]