This is the third part of our series presenting a methodology of how to present content on your site in a way that makes it easier for search engine crawlers to find and index the pages of your site. You can catch up by first reading about keeping people at the forefront of your mind when working on SEO and then how to figure out which keywords will be most suitable to your landing page.
In this post you’ll discover the importance of using keywords in your headlines to help direct your site guests to the content they are looking for. It will also explain how to use headlines to help crawlers find your page and then to index it so that it shows up when people search using keywords that are related to your page content.
Always start each page with a headline. This headline must contain the primary keyword that you have chosen for this page. Your “top-of-the-page” headline is the first thing that humans will read on your Web page. So make your headline persuasive! Draw them into the rest of your page… and to your links!
The first headline, at the very top of your page, is just as important for the Search Engines as to humans, so make your headline a size H1 or H2 heading tag and put it before all other text on the page. That tells the engine exactly what it is, and that it’s important.
If your headline is longer than one line, “break it” into two (or more) lines are about equal in length. Headlines can be used for more than just “top-of-the-page” announcements. Use headlines to break a long page up, especially if you are introducing a new, important thought. Again, craft the headline to pull the reader through the page.
We’ve discussed the importance of using headlines to captivate your human visitor. What about the Search Engines?
Many engines give more weight to the keywords in your headlines, especially your “top-of-the-page” headline, than to your regular body copy. Search Engines interpret your headlines as being the most important copy on the page- only the Title tag is more important.
Some Search Engines will not use your Description in their listings on their search results Web pages. Instead, they use the first several hundred characters on your Web page to construct the description in your listing. This means that crawlers will use your Headline plus the first sentence or two from your opening paragraph to create your description. While this might be annoying, it is a blessing in disguise because it is practical for optimizing your site for scent.
You’ve got to pay just as much attention to make your Description on your web page compelling to your audience as to making it attractive to search engines. Don’t worry, it is extremely easy. Take the Description that you already created and split it in two. Use the first half -the most important part- for the Headline. It must contain your primary keyword and must be under 40 characters. Use the rest of your Description as the first line of your Body Copy in the opening paragraph. Voila! You may have to re-work the words a bit so that it all “hangs together” and serves as both… a headline and copy on your Web page, and the Search Engine’s description in its listing.
Now you know the treatment you can give to your headlines to be sure they are SEO worthy! How do you decide on what headlines to use? What strategies have you used to get your site indexed for conversions? Join the conversation, call or send us an e-mail.