Writing SEO Headlines considering Keyword Competition

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Writing Across Platforms university communication writing course.

Teaches students keyword research for SEO, including what it is, what link building is, and why it matters. This lecture relates to two other lectures and with in class activities for students. See lecture "Writing for Search Engines: SEO, Google Trends, Adwords Keywords Tool" and "What is Keyword Research and SEO and why does it matter?" under my profile.

More on my blog: www.mattkushin.com

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Writing SEO Headlines considering Keyword Competition

  1. 1. Writing Across Platforms.Matthew J. Kushin, Ph.D.Dept. of Comm | Shepherd University
  2. 2. Journal Time: 5 minutes
  3. 3. Writing Headlines
  4. 4. Warming Up Exercise You are writing a headline for an article about how to get thelowest price on a new laptop. Write a sample headline: (example: Tried and true ways to get a great deal on alaptop”)Photo CC tango.mceffrie
  5. 5. Warming Up Exercise Which of the following 2 headlines is better? (hint: How do you know…? Do some research!) A) The 5 Best cheap laptops B) The 5 Best inexpensive laptopsPhoto CC tango.mceffrie
  6. 6. Answer “Cheap” Google Keyword Tool:
  7. 7. Actionable Take home: When writing, it is critical we consider the keywords peoplesearch. Creative writing = happy readers. Great keywords = happy Google.
  8. 8. Headlines Most read part of your web writing. Door to your piece. If grabs attention –> person will click. If not -> #fail.
  9. 9. Go to: The following sites: Spinsucks.com Mashable.com Readwrite.com Check out article headlines (titles) for a few posts. Note: Which ones grab your attention?
  10. 10. Discussion What makes for a good, attention-grabbing headline on theweb?
  11. 11. Challenge Must: Tell what its about. Grab attention. Spark Interest.
  12. 12. Length Google: About 63 characters Tweet: 140 characters (not including link) Rule of thumb: 60 characters or less.
  13. 13. 4U Rule Unique – what’s different about it? Urgent – Why does it matter to me RIGHT NOW? Useful – How will it help me? Unambiguous – What can I learn just by reading headline? (Ultra-specific!)From American Writers & Artist Association
  14. 14. Example: Does it meet the 4U criteria? Unique / Urgent / Useful / Unambiguous Oligopoly LLC introduces Whuzzit, a hyper-sensitive deviceto record sound of underwater starfish.
  15. 15. How about? Does it meet the 4U criteria? Unique / Urgent / Useful / Unambiguous Whuzzit lets you hear the soothing sounds of starfish.
  16. 16. Examples Why I decided to stop using Facebook – fromReadWrite.com Listen to Every Song Performed at Super Bowl HalftimeSince 1991- Mashable 9 Proven Headline Formulas that Sell Like Crazy –Copyblogger.com
  17. 17. Topic Emphasize Your Topic and Your Keywords. (we’ve already discussed!)
  18. 18. Word Choice Attention-grabbing words: What grabs attention? Words with punch Ex: Emotion-laden. Important, Worst, Dangerous, Happy, Relief, Troublesome, Love, Smart, Dumb, Anxiety, etc. Proceed With Caution! – Hyperbole & overhype will backlash.
  19. 19. Headline Formulas 2) Big Benefit Does: Puts selling point first EX: Save time with TaxTerminator 3) Exciting News Does: Presents announcement as news. Ex: Finally, A Way to Tweet in Your Sleep! Ex: Introducing Hot Coffee that Won’t BurnFrom CopyBlogger.com’s “9 Proven Headline Formulas That Sell Like
  20. 20. Headline Formulas 3) How-to Headline Does: Appeal to desires for improvement. How: Focus on need or want. Emphasize benefit / result. NOT process. Formula: How + benefit. Ex: How to Gain 50 followers on Twitter. Ex: How to Get a Job using FacebookFrom CopyBlogger.com’s “9 Proven Headline Formulas That Sell Like
  21. 21. Headline Formulas 4) Provoking Question Does: Draws to major benefit of reading article. Ex: Not sure how to use the new Vine? Here’s how. Ex: How do I choose the right social media tool for mybusiness?From CopyBlogger.com’s “9 Proven Headline Formulas That Sell Like
  22. 22. Headline Formulas 5) Command Does: Command action. How: Direct statement of benefit Ex: Lose 5 pounds this week. Ex: Convert followers into customers. Ex: Stop turning away followers with boring tweets.From CopyBlogger.com’s “9 Proven Headline Formulas That Sell Like
  23. 23. Headline Formulas 6) Useful Info Does: Offers tips/tricks/rules/etc to help people gain control /make sense of their world. How: Offer info for doing so. Ex: The best small towns in the MidAtlantic Ex: 10 Rules for Effective Facebook Posts Ex: Free ebook on healthy cooking.From CopyBlogger.com’s “9 Proven Headline Formulas That Sell Like
  24. 24. Headline Formulas *) The List A Type of Useful Info Headline Offers a simple list to solve a problem. Ex: The 10 Best Brands on Twitter Ex: 5 Reasons to Mow Your Lawn.From CopyBlogger.com’s “9 Proven Headline Formulas That Sell Like
  25. 25. Headline Formulas 7) Testimonial Does: Offers 3rd party endorsement. Ex: Why I Will Never Again Use Bleach. Ex: “Finally, social media monitoring software that works!”From CopyBlogger.com’s “9 Proven Headline Formulas That Sell Like
  26. 26. Headline Summary Topic & Keywords 4U’s Attention-Grabbing Word Choice Common Formulas Less than 60 Characters
  27. 27. Writing Challenge #3 - Headlines Vital Stats: ~10 minutes. 5 headlines. To Do: On Your Blog / A Sheet of Paper Using the 5 keywords from your keyword research (last class). Write 5 headlines – using 5 different headline formulas. Under each headline list: keywords, name of formula used. Remember: 4Us Less than 60 charactersImage creativecommons: nettsu
  28. 28. Publish!
  29. 29. Pair Critique Share headlines w/ a partner Compare & contrast. In the Comments on Their Blog / or a sheet of paper: What type of headlines did he/she come up with. What your partner did well / could improve upon. In a few minutes, you will share your notes with that person anddiscuss! Discuss areas you each struggled with.

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