Use Headlines to Boost Your SEO

by Gary on February 18, 2007

in On Page SEO,SEO,Wordpress

The search engines love headlines — those wise nuggets of text you enclose within the <h1>, <h2> tags. No, it’s not some fetish about large texts, it’s just that the headlines are supposed to make the text on your web pages scannable, and scannable text, if written well, gives a fair indication of what your web pages contains.

In fact headlines make your copy effective on two fronts: readers as well as the search engines. Here for the time being we’ll just talk about the search engines.

Your headlines contain your key expressions

To create an effective headline, use the key expression in your heading. Suppose you are selling some weight reducing product. In your headline you’ll probably say:

This e-book tells you how to quickly lose weight!

The above heading uses key expressions such as “lose weight”, “how to lose weight”, “lose weight quickly”, etc. These are the terms a surfer is most likely to use while trying to find something related to losing weight. Since these key expressions appear, preferably within <h1></h1> the search engines can easily make out that your page contains some useful information for people wanting to lose weight.

Your headlines contain the gist of your text

Most of the time your headline represents the strongest message the text appearing below conveys. That is why the search engines use the text appearing within the heading tags to gauge what your page is trying to say. So it is very import to cover all the important things in your headings.

Your main headline mostly appears at the top

Since the search engine crawlers are in a hurry to crawl your content and evaluate/rank your page accordingly, they give preference to text appearing at the top, near the beginning. So whatever important you have to say, say it quickly, and say it within the heading tags.

Now that we are talking about the heading tags I’ll share a nice secret with you. Use the <h1> tag just once on every page. Use it to express the mainest (OK, this is my own word) point and then don’t touch it. If you want other headings, use the remaining heading tags. This is because the search engines use the <h1> tag to evaluate the main message of your page, and if you keep using this tag for all the headings (as it probably happens in your WordPress template), it confuses them and consequently, the main heading loses its luster.

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