So you’ve looked up your SEO keywords for your latest blog post. You’ve got them listed right there in front of you. You start writing some headlines focused entirely on those keywords.

Problem: They all sound boring AF.

Why? You’ve forgotten you aren’t actually writing for robots and you’re just jamming in keywords all over the place.

But what if I were to tell you that you don’t have to choose between being creative and having that help your SEO, without dumbing down your content?

Here’s how to write headlines that are fun AND useful:

What if I were to tell you that you don't have to choose between being creative and SEO-friendly? Here's how to write headlines that are compelling AND useful.

Don’t be afraid to get creative

Focus on one or two keywords or key phrases and start writing headline based off those — try for 6-8 options. Remember you want to front-load SEO keywords as much as possible, which can make room for using a colon to accomplish getting those words in first and getting more creative later. (That’s just one tool in the box, however, and you shouldn’t feel tied to it. Plus, if you used it on all your blog posts that would be boring, too.)

So try to come up with some unique, creative headlines that incorporate your main keywords.

Want my simple formulas for writing amazing headlines to increase click-throughs? Check out my SEO Headline Madlibs!

For example, which headline would you be most likely to click on?

1) I can help you plan a beach wedding on any coast

2) Planning a beach wedding? Why you need me as your wedding planner

I’m betting you chose the second headline because it doesn’t give away everything and leads with a question. It makes readers want to know more about your business and what you have to offer.

Another example:

1) 8 things you need to know about creating a social media strategy

2) A social media strategy is super important for all businesses

I’m guessing this time you clicked on the first headline because you wanted to know those reasons.

Think about what your ideal reader is looking for

That leads to my next point: Keep your audience in mind. You are not writing for robots — your primary intention should be writing for humans … and you just happen to want the Google robots to notice you enough to rank you on search.

So pause for a moment and consider who your ideal reader is and why you have something different to offer compared to a competitor with similar content. Adding some on-brand flourish to your headline (or in my case, subtle profanity) could ultimately be the difference in that reader clicking on your content or someone else’s post.

 

Consider what would make you click on a headline

What ultimately makes a headline successful is someone finding it and clicking on it. An SEO strategy helps with the finding it part, but to make sure you’re getting clicks you need compelling, unique and fun headlines.

An SEO strategy helps with the finding it part, but to make sure you’re getting clicks you need compelling, unique and fun headlines.Click To Tweet

Think about what makes you click on one headline over another when you’re using Google search. Is it the inclusion of a word like “how” or “why”? Those attention-grabbing words are easy to insert without losing any creativity on your headline. List-style headlines such as “X reasons why… ” or “X tips for …” also help garner attention.

Just make sure you’re delivering what your headline promises. Be intriguing to encourage readers to click on that headline … but don’t resort to clickbait. Customers are smart and if you trick them, it impacts your brand’s integrity and could steer them away from your services.

Remember: You don’t always need to write for SEO

Ultimately, you’re not going to be able to have every single post on your site be 100% optimized for search and showing up on the first page of Google for your keywords — that’s simply not possible. That may sound like a downer, but knowing this is actually freeing: It means you can write headlines the way you want to write headlines. And you’ll probably end up inserting SEO keywords on your own without even thinking about it since you’re so accustomed to it already.

Want my simple formulas for writing amazing headlines to increase click-throughs? Check out my SEO Headline Madlibs!

What if I were to tell you that you don't have to choose between being creative and SEO-friendly? Here's how to write headlines that are compelling AND useful.