Russell Brand ate my goldfish (or why the headline is so important for content marketing success)

Russell Brand ate my goldfish (or why the headline is so important for content marketing success)

Content writing online …. it is not just about SEO

Why the headline is so important in search and social for content marketing success.

Despite the fact that they work in a corner of the media that is losing considerable influence online, many of the skills of traditional press are certainly something that many an online journalist and blogger can learn from.

With decades of experience in knowing how to write and knowing what their readership is looking for ?print media write some cracking headlines.

From the infamous ?Freddie Starr ate my hamster? of The Sun in the 1980s (from which we?ve pulled together the title of this post, just in case you were looking for the scoop on Brand and a goldfish. Please note that as far as we are aware Russell Brand has never eaten mine or anyone else’s goldfish, and the title is only there for illustrative purposes), to the skill with which Cosmopolitan Magazine still manages to keep women buying their latest issue with such relevant cover messages as ?What to do when he gives you the silent treatment?; or, how after decades, FHM manages to sell the fact their magazine features girls, by dressing up features with cover introductions like: ?2 hot girls, 34 hot holiday reads?.

The truth is that the print press has been far better than most online publications at creating catchy and enticing headlines over the years.

Online content is more than just SEO words

Anyone who was working in online content in the noughties will be familiar with the process of having their newspaper style headline ripped apart by the resident SEO just before publication and replaced with the ?painting by numbers? art of keyword headline writing:  shoving in as many keywords into the title as they could get away with without it becoming incomprehensible.

In those days the headline ?Russell Brand Ate My Goldfish? could well have been rephrased into something far more keyword relevant like ?London Comedy Eating Out Goldfish Suppliers?. Okay, perhaps not quite that bad, but you get the idea of the direction things were heading. Essentially, the headline was nothing more than an area to plug the target keyword.

Writing effective headlines for social media

Today, though, thanks to search algorithm changes and, perhaps more importantly, the emergence of social media as a powerful distributor of content (not to mention the fact that social is being increasingly linked to boosting overall search rankings too), the importance of the title for your content continues to be of considerable importance. But the difference nowadays is that the headline has to appeal to the fickle social media consumer, not a search engine spider.

We all know that the title, or the meta-title as it is known in html-speak, is important for search engines. We?ve known that for years. But the title is equally important for social success too. In the social sphere headlines are more like they used to be in the heyday of print: relevant and interesting. They increasingly encourage the reader to read more; in short, like the headline ?Russell Brand Ate My Goldfish? they entice you to find out more.

All brands should be online publishers these days

Content Marketing headline writing tips

For the best chance of success with your content marketing it is important then to think about your title. Think about your keywords, certainly, particularly if you are writing for a website that is listed in Google News ? this way you can capitalise on any trending topics. But always write your headlines with a reader, not the Google search spider, in mind.

That doesn?t mean you can get away with bad content if you have a good title. Content always has to be good if you want to get the most out of it. But a good title is key these days if you want to attract visitors to the good content that you have already created.

This title below, taken from Google News listed hits all the right notes for the right audience:

‘How to shed the pounds – whether you’re the NHS or a junk food addict’

Another good one from Google News is this one from Yahoo News ? ?Is there an alternative to the high street bank?? It asks the question you are keen to hear the answer to. So what do you do? Click on it to read more of course.

While this headline ?They knew their onions,? from the FT, an article about the Clark art collection on display at The Royal Academy would never have been published with this title a few years ago, but today it intrigues users to click and find out more as much as it puts people off.

From our own experience the optimisation of titles in blogs and websites, whether writing news or longer feature guides can have a major impact on website traffic, from both search engines and social media like Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin, as well as valuable back-links from blogs and other websites.

It is a well trodden mantra when it comes to SEO and content marketing these days but write great content that people want to read; create a catchy title that entices people to your content, and you?ll soon discover that more and more people will share the content that you are creating as a result.

And, just to reiterate the value of the title: if you came to this page curious about the title of the article and have read this far, you should be able to see for yourself just how important the title is for attracting readers.

We research, we create, we engage?

Working with the UK’s top brands and businesses, at Blighty SEO we provide bespoke, tailored editorial and video content to increase web presence, search engine rankings and social engagement.

Our approach can be a simple as provide us with a keyword and we?ll produce relevant content, or as strategic as working with agencies and clients to define strategy, tone, style, platform and more.  We offer full service content creation and strategy at cost-effective rates. We also offer guest posting opportunities and more to deliver exceptional results.

Contact us today for a free consultation and quote.

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