Internet readers are not often sitting down to their morning news with a leisurely cup of coffee. They aren’t turning pages; they’re clicking on them at lightning-fast speeds. Internet readers linger on pages for about one minute — that’s sixty seconds — a pop.
That doesn’t give you a lot of opportunity to grab their attention and keep them focused on what you have to say…or does it? Learn the art of creating focused SEO with subtitles and headlines that demand attention from Internet readers as well as search engines.
Internet content often comes with a headline, but you’ll notice that pieces often have headlines within the piece — subtitles. These titles help break up your text to create more manageable, readable pieces of content, and this benefits the readers. Subtitles also help you add more keywords and focused SEO to your words, which can help your site draw the attention of the search engines.
Headlines and Subtitles
Headlines and subtitles are always the focus of any piece of content. The eye is drawn to large, bold words that are isolated from the rest. You should always take advantage of this visual by making your titles as arresting and attention-getting as possible.
Titles also provide a natural, easy way for you to add more keywords to your content. As every Internet writer knows, keywords are your key to achieving search engine optimization. With a strong emphasis on SEO, your pages can pull in more visitors — and that means more money for your content. Not a bad trade-off for a few subtitles.
Focus your SEO efforts through your subtitles, and you’ll be able to write tighter, more reader-friendly pages for the Web. Many pages are titled with a focused, attention-getting headline that draws the eye and immediately sums up the important aspects (and keywords) of the content which follows.
For instance, an article about deep-sea fishing for game trophies in Alaska might be titled Find Big Game Fish in Alaska or Visit Alaska to Net Trophy Fish. The important keywords are featured right in the headline, but the reader still easily grasps what the content is all about. Follow this same sort of theme with your subtitles, and you’ll find that SEO isn’t as difficult as you may think.
First, focus on the placement of your titles within the content itself. It’s easy enough to place a headline and create this attention-getting title; simply state your important keywords right at the top. Placing your subtitles in a way that’s pleasing to the eye, natural to the text and good for the search engines is another matter entirely.
When you search for pages or pieces of content online, you’ll notice that most search engines present the results in a very specific way. The title of the page — on content pages, the headline — becomes the main link. The first paragraph often becomes the description, in part or in total, which entices visitors to click on that link. You never want to stack a subtitle directly under a headline or directly under another subtitle. Always separate all your titles with text to create a pleasing arrangement.
Remember, even when you want to draw the search engines you still have to think about how to draw the eye. It’s people who really power the search engines, and people aren’t likely to enjoy your pages if they aren’t visually pleasing and easy to read. Having too many subtitles, or placing them incorrectly, is just as bad as not having these titles and natural breaks in content at all.
If you place one to two paragraphs of text between the titles on content pages, you’re achieving a good layout and pleasing design. For some sections of your content, you may include one or two added paragraphs (up to three to four total) under each subtitle — but try not to write more than this under any given title.
Remember to use these subtitles for all purposes, if you want to use them to best effect. These bold titles serve to break up your text to make it more readable and easy to digest for Internet users, who are clicking very quickly and moving between pages at high speeds. Subtitles help create chunks of content that make pages easier to read and more appealing to readers overall. This also helps you stick to a main goal of all content-writing — search engine optimization, or SEO.
If you’ve done any Internet writing and researching at all, you know that you should focus all your content around certain keywords and phrases that are meant to grab the attention of the search engines. It’s much easier to manage your keywords, and your content, when you use subtitles.
Just as titles visually break up your online text, they can help you break up and define the overall message and information within the content itself. This helps with better keyword placement as well, giving you another way to insert these important words into the piece you’re creating for online readers.
When your subtitles are focused for SEO, you can avoid swamping your text with phrases that have to be repeated over and over again. Placing important phrases once or twice between subtitles should help you achieve a good keyword balance that draws in both search engines and readers.
As long as your subtitles contain the important words and phrases you’re using to achieve SEO, you won’t need to kill your content with constant repetition that makes online pieces so difficult to read. However, there’s more to writing good subtitles than just plopping keywords here and there. Remember, every aspect of your content should be readable and reader-friendly, even when it’s focused for the search engines.
Above all else, you want your content to be easy to read and understand by casual Internet visitors. This means you don’t want to use complex words or phrasing, and you definitely want to keep your subtitles short and to the point. Remember that these titles break up and define your content, so they should serve as markers between paragraphs so the audience knows what they’re about to read.
It can be challenging to use two main keyword phrases, perhaps only a handful of keywords in all, in every subtitle and yet still keep presenting something new and fresh throughout the piece. Think of breaking your content up into definable parts, with your subtitles serving as breaks.
When you know how you’re going to present your content, it becomes a lot easier to present your SEO-focused subtitles. Always think of new ways to use your keywords to create interesting, engaging titles. The more attention you can draw to these important titles, the stronger your piece will be overall.
Focused SEO isn’t just about what the search engines want, because the search engines are really designed by their users. Think about the words those users are entering to find what they want, and take the time to find out which keyword phrases are popular on the Web when you’re creating your content.
Stick to two or three-word keyword phrases (two phrases, a total of six words, for each piece) and keep reinventing new ways to use these words within your titles. Create the content to match the titles, and suddenly you have a piece that’s highly optimized for the Web.