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3 tips for writing a headline that’s SEO and social media-friendly

SEO HeadlineIn today’s digital landscape where content, SEO and social media collide, your headline is more important than ever.   Whether it’s at the top of your blog post, press release or online article, the key to grabbing attention and getting your message across is to start with a captivating headline.  You not only want your news to be read, you want it to be optimized for search and easy to share.  When you write your headline, you need to consider writing to accommodate search engines, social networks and human readers alike.  Lofty goals for a dozen words, indeed.  Here are a few quick tips to help you with your headlines:

Include the company name in the headline of your press release.  With any piece of content, best practice dictates that your headline tells your readers what that content is about.  Equally important is to tell them who the news is about.   Believe it or not, many writers are so concerned with writing an attention-grabbing, Google-friendly, Twitter-abiding headline that they forget to include the company name. 

Research keywords or phrases that you want to rank for and include it/them into your headline.  But remember, don’t write just for Google; stay relevant with your content and focus on the reader.  It’s a tough job to write for news consumers, and to create content that is share-worthy among the social media community, while also making it SEO friendly, but it can be done.  Browse through the Marketwire news room [1] for some great headlines that do all three of these things — here are three examples: 

           – Oracle Launches Next Generation SPARC T4 Servers [2]

          –  Purina Kicks Off Nationwide Pink 50TM Campaign to Support Breast Cancer Research [3]

          –  The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui Beach Hotel Offers Nature’s Most Breathtaking Backdrops [4]

Encourage action in your headline.  Create a sense of interest and urgency for your readers, and to get them to click through the headline into the body of the release.  If you can’t come up with a succinct, informative and compelling summary of your release (or blog post, or online article) in a dozen words or less, why expect to expect someone to want to read it?  And if you’re trying to encourage sharability of your content across social networks, you’d better give them content that is share-worthy. 

BONUS TIP!  Remember Twitter.   It’s not always easy to follow that pesky 140-characters-or-fewer rule when writing your headline, but the more succinct you can be, the better – and not only for Twitter, but for readers, too.  When you keep your headline short, it’s easy for others to tweet in full, without truncation. 

Do you have more tips on how to create SEO and social media friendly press release headlines?  Let us know; we love feedback.

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