Originally at https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/03/21/10-tips-for-writing-effective-headlines-for-the-web/

The importance of headlines should never be overlooked, a little time spent finding the right headline can make a lot of difference. 

A good headline means more people will click on your article wherever they see it, it ensures that the effort you spent in writing an article doesn’t go to waste, and it can also help your content to be picked up by search engines in the weeks and months after publishing.

Here are a few areas to think about when writing headlines. It should be noted though, that its not about writing sensation headlines for short-term traffic gains, it’s about ensuring that, if you write a quality article, the headline works to sell it.

1. Headlines should be descriptive

As I mentioned in a recent post on journalism and SEO, some lamented the passing of the pun headline with the coming of the web.

They were fun, and there’s nothing to stop them being used in print, but web headlines do need to be descriptive. Who knows, maybe you can manage both in one headline.

Trump toupee

The problem is that non-descriptive headlines don’t work so well out of context. The headline has a big effect on rankings too, so they don’t work for SEO.

It short, it needs to tell people what they can expect from the article.

2. Avoid crappy clickbait headlines

Definitions of clickbait will vary, but I think many people will agree on what crappy clickbait is.

There’s this kind of garbage which appears on many news sites these days. There’s worse out there, but this is from a Washington Post article on Syria, very relevant…

<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-58026" src="https://searchenginewatch.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2016/03/clickbait.png" alt="clickbait" wi…

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