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Headlines Do Not Come First

September 2, 2015


At Click Through, Lisa Coghlan recently raised the interesting topic of “the power of the SEO headline.” She recommends using “some psychological techniques” to generate clicks and conversions. Fortunately, the article avoids being a guide to clickbait, although it does mention that technique and briefly explains how it works.

And of course it does work. But that doesn’t mean that it is always the best strategy for your local SEO company. If a clickbait headline misleads readers and causes them to question your authority on the main subject of your site, you may actually drive people away from the site’s overall content even as you’re tricking them into clicking on a specific link.

Clickbait works for sites like Upworthy and Buzzfeed not just because it’s attention grabbing but because it’s appearing under established, high-traffic brands like Upworthy and Buzzfeed. The goal of your SEO strategy shouldn’t be to emulate their practices on specific pieces of content but to emulate their early successes at generating traffic.

For most businesses and website owners this means establishing yourself as an authority on the topic you specialize in or the goods and services you sell. It also means using a comprehensive SEO and social media strategy to promote your best content through social media and other sites in order to keep up a steady stream of traffic.

This, once again, speaks to why your local SEO company ought to be a local social media company as well. SEO tips and tricks like clickbait headlines may have a role to play, but only as part of an integrated strategy that promotes your overall brand before trying to manipulate readers into clicking through to certain articles and images.

Headlines are fun and effective tools to play with. But no one reads a headline, let alone the content itself, that is posted to the darkest corners of the web.

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