The headlines on the front page of a newspaper or magazine attract our attention. They contain a few words, chosen with the most excellent care, which make you want to read the articles. In other words, they sell, as the motto of a famous magazine in the 80s clearly underlined: “the weight of words, the shock of photos”. In SEO (or natural referencing), the principle is similar. The titles of the articles and content encourage Internet users to click. They must be relevant and optimized in order to be well-positioned in search results.
Their writing, therefore, follows the rules and must be addressed mainly since there is more than one title in an article or piece of content published on the Internet. There are also intertitles (or subtitles) that structure the text and can improve the natural referencing of content. So, how do you write these titles well? How to stand out from the crowd and stand out from the competition? Our team, experts in natural referencing, shares its secrets with you to write the best SEO titles.
Titles, Critical Elements For Content SEO
Before sharing our writing secrets with you, you must:
- Differentiate between two titles, which can be confused, the title tag and the h1 tag ;
- Recall the role of labels in natural referencing;
- Present their different levels.
Indeed, it is not enough to say that in SEO, you have to write titles. It is also essential to understand their interest in Internet users and search engines and to know how to use them.
The Title Tag And The h1 Tag
In SEO, two titles play a crucial role:
- The title tag appears in search results pages (SERP) and is added in the <head> section of the source code. It is, therefore, not displayed in the content published on a web page. But, it is essential because it summarizes this content and allows the page to be positioned in the SERPs. Its writing must also respect several criteria, including a size limit (expressed in characters/pixels).
- The h1 tag is displayed directly in the content of a page. It is the title of an article of content. It is also called an “editorial title”. In SEO, it is essential because it is one of the elements spotted by search engine robots (it is found in the <body> section of the source code), which will analyze it and then position a page in the SERPs.
Whatever the length and subject of an article or content, these two tags are essential in SEO and must be optimized. But they are not the only ones. Other titles also have consequences on the positioning of a page in the SERPs.
The h1 tag is the first title, placed at the top of a page before the introduction. Its presence is mandatory in SEO. This title can then be completed with other tags ranging from h2 to h6. Subtitles must follow a well-defined order (which we explain to you in another paragraph), the h1 tag being the most important. Their number is not limited, but common sense should be used when using them. For example, you should include more than just h2s. Between each title, there must be text.
What Are Titles Used For In SEO?
In natural referencing, hn tags (h1, h2, h3, etc.) structure a text, make it more pleasant for Internet users to read, and provide semantic information. They also allow you to work on strategic keywords for SEO, provided you avoid over optimization. Visually, they bring lightness to long content and encourage reading.
They also help Internet users navigate a text, as well as search engine robots, because they promote their understanding and contextualization of content. Therefore, you have to think before writing these different titles in order to integrate the correct expressions and the right keywords and make them attractive. So, the time has come to reveal our tips to you.
The Rules To Follow For Writing The Best Headlines
Writing a perfect title is the wish of every SEO writer. But defining this “perfect title” is difficult since it must be:
- Well optimized,
- Consistent with the content of the page…etc.
On the other hand, it is simpler to list some of the writing criteria to be respected in the letter to contribute to the good natural referencing of a page in the SERPs. Here are 6 of them with a bonus concerning the writing of the famous title tag.
Respect The Title Levels
In a previous paragraph, we discussed the levels of hn tags in content: h1, h2, h3, h4, h5 and h6. When writing titles, it is essential to respect the order of these tags, always starting with the only h1 tag. Then, you can add other titles following the order of the numbers. So, after the h1 tag comes the h2 tag, then the h3 tag…until h6. We cannot, therefore, write an h2 tag and go directly to an h4 or h5 tag.
It should also be noted that if the h1 tag is ALONE in content, it is possible to have several h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6 tags. Here is an example to clearly understand these levels:
- <h1>Tips for writing your SEO titles </h1>
- <h2>Important titles for natural referencing </h2>
- <h3>The title tag </h3>
- <h3>hn tags </h3>
- <h2>Rules to follow when writing </h2>
- <h3>Rule #1 </h3>
- <h3>Rule #2 </h3>
- <h3>Rule #3</h3>
- <h2>Mistakes to avoid </h2>
When writing content titles, in addition to the levels to be respected, you have to work on keywords and strategic expressions linked to the subject of the page, of course. The objective is always to improve the natural referencing of the content and, therefore, its positioning in the SERPs. Primary keywords should be in the h1 tag. In the others, you can work on keywords with good search volume and little competition.
Likewise, you have to make sentences short, of course, but meaningful. It’s not about listing expressions. For example, you should not write “wooden children’s toys” but “wooden toys for children” or “collection of eco-responsible wooden toys for children”.
Also, note that essential keywords must be placed at the beginning of the title.
Always Write For Internet Users
Hn tags are intended for two very distinct targets:
- Internet users ;
- Search engine crawlers.
Neither should be neglected… but always keep in mind that titles must be written for humans. They must make them want to read the article, provide them with information, and answer their question(s) and their need(s). This is essential to attract Internet users to a site, and please search engines that favor content addressed directly to humans, which they consider more authentic. This is also why you should avoid lists of keywords that are over-optimized and do not encourage reading or clicks.
Pay Attention To The Number Of Characters
In SEO, there are a number of pixels to respect when writing a title tag. As for the labels, there really aren’t any. However, it is advisable to write sentences:
- Short, between 5 and 10 words;
- Relevant to the content of the page;
- With simple terms used daily by Internet users.
Headings are summaries of paragraphs and should be catchy. Visually, it is better if they fit on one line.
Write Unique Titles For Each Page
In SEO, there is a golden rule to follow when writing content: ban copy-paste (or duplicate content). It also applies to writing titles, particularly the h1 tag. Each page on a site must have a unique h1 tag. Of course, with the multitude of sites on the Internet, sometimes h1 labels look similar. But on your site, each h1 must be personalized to avoid duplicate titles, which risk losing Internet users and harming your natural referencing.
Avoid The Use Of Special Characters
To promote good readability of titles by Internet users and search engine indexing robots, you should not add special characters to the titles of your content (h1, h2, h3, etc.). We think, for example, of “&” and the semicolon. Favour only simple characters that are essential for the proper understanding of your titles, such as a hyphen. I also prefer lowercase letters, except for the capital letters of proper nouns or that of the first word.
Bonus: Our Tips For A Well-Optimized SEO Title Tag
Our last writing tip concerns a particular title: the title tag. As a reminder, it does not appear in the content of a web page but in the search results of an engine and the source code. Essential in SEO, this tag must meet specific criteria in order to improve the positioning of a page in the SERPs. It must in fact:
- Be unique for each page (like the h1 tag);
- Be personalized to stand out from the competition;
- Summarize the content of the page in a few words and in natural language to be understood by Internet users;
- Mention the main keyword of the page, ideally at the beginning;
- Be coherent (listing keywords is not a good idea, for example);
- Respect a certain length, between 45 and 65 characters. If this number of characters is exceeded, the title will be cut off in the SERPs (small dots will replace the end).
For this last criterion, there are free tools on the Internet that allow you to know the number of characters and pixels in a title tag. At Power Trafic, we regularly use this simulator. Now, you know some of our secrets to writing good SEO titles. But we still have some in reserve, which we put into practice every day when we write content for our clients. So, if you would like to benefit from our expertise in SEO writing for your site, do not hesitate to contact us!
Also Read: Content Marketing: 5 Tips To Support SEO