SEO Writing: Why Your Headline Demands 15% Of Your Writing Effort

Why should your headline for any written content you create require that you devote at least 15% of the total effort put into the complete package of writing anything so it is finished and ready to be published?

There is more to SEO writing than keyword density. The fact is you really need to have a headline that catches your readers’ eye!

You need a headline that really grabs their attention or creates a question in their mind; a headline that somehow really jumps out at them.


Consider this:

Anytime someone searches for anything anywhere on the Internet the search results will normally give at least 10 choices on the first page returned. This does not include the fact that most of the time there will be paid ads as well so let’s make that 15 choices they have to choose from on a single page.

A basic principle of SEO writing that you need to understand is that people scan, they don’t read! This is especially true when they are reviewing the results of a search they have just made.

Your headline is the first chance you have to grab their attention. Once they skim past your headline it is extremely doubtful they will come back and look again; therefore, you have just lost a potential customer!

So what good is all the effort you put into composing a great piece of SEO writing if you skimp on the headline so no one is interested enough to click and visit your web page?

If you can’t get anyone interested in visiting that web page to read what you wrote, then all of your effort spent on that great piece of writing is wasted!

For SEO writing purposes, your headline not only has to be awesome as you can make it, but you need your keyword phrase in there as well.

But wait! It gets even better. Despite a few exceptions over the last few years, Google and the Yahoo! / Bing search results limit the headline to a character count of 65.

That’s right; you have only 65 characters, including spaces, to squeeze in your keyword phrase and write an irresistible headline because the first 65 characters are all that will be displayed.

Yes, this is another aspect of good SEO writing that will obviously take some time and some creative effort.

But again, writing great content that no ever visits so no one ever reads it is a waste of your time.

Let me present a little mathematical equation to explain why writing a great headline is necessary for good, complete SEO writing:

You have written a great blog post on a less searched, less competitive keyword phrase. Not a lot of searches per month, but remember the Internet will give you ‘time’ as you’ll see below (and these numbers are low in this example).

If that blog post (or any piece of content) appears just 100 times on the first page of a search results returned each year for 5 years. That is 500 people you could possibly get to visit your site!

Now we’ll say the time you put into your headline is 15 minutes, so:

15 minutes = 900 seconds; 900 seconds divided among 500 people = 1.8 Seconds of Your Time and Effort per Person!

That is why I say that it might seem a little slow and frustrating at times when creating a good headline, but that effort is actually very small for each person who will see it!

I would consider 1.8 seconds per person to be a great investment!

Look, if you really want to be accomplished at SEO writing, then you need to understand the whole package (and I haven’t mentioned anything regarding how SEO writing works with a summary or description).

So keep in mind to realize the value of that awesome blog post or article you wrote, you need to get people to that web page to read it!