"The job of the headline is to get the first line of your copy read."For every article, I could write 4 titles:
- the simple straightforward one that says what it's all about - it's useful and truthful
- the catchy or clever one - the content adds context to the title once you start reading
- the teaser that hints at the content, but is meant to garner opens rather than be useful
- the version for SEO using keywords and phrases that people might search for
I tend to start with #1 because it's often the idea that I jotted down to write about. After I finish writing, I might come up with a couple of choices that are more like #2. I tend to avoid #3 except in certain circumstances. Then a friend started talking about #4.
I resisted because it kind of felt like selling out. Giving up a #2 for a #4 just didn't feel right. After all, keyword phrases are commonly used and not unique. Then I decided to experiment. Just one at first. Then another a few weeks later. And now I do it more frequently but certainly not always.
|sample of keyword searches that led readers to my blog|
- traffic arriving through Google search has increased significantly and it's now the highest referrer
- readership of those posts tends to be higher than others that aren't as SEO-ish
- I can often find myself on page 1 when searching relevant keyword phrases
I'm not really sure why I didn't start sooner. Kind of silly when I'm obviously writing in the hope that others like you will read and find value!