Why Are Headlines Important to Search Engines?

A great way to draw more visitors to your online writing is to offer up really strong headlines. Search engines place an emphasis on headlines, because they use them to decide what your writing is about. In addition to keywords in your writing, headlines are what tells a search engine to pull your listing up when someone searches for a topic that relates to your article (or story, or whatever it is that you write).

On the level of simply appealing to a real person, headlines serve another important function in online writing: they break up the text in a way that lets the reader skim, which will draw them deeper into your writing instead of turning away and looking for something else.

Why Are Headlines Important to Search Engines?

The way that search engines find web pages is by “sending out” small programs called “spiders”. A search engine spider automatically picks up bits of text in your writing, especially headlines and keywords, and then follows links in your content to do the same thing on another page.

When you use headlines, you give the search engine spiders something to focus on. You are essentially repeating yourself, saying, “This is what my article is about …. my article is about this …”. Then, when the spider turns all the “stuff” they’ve picked up to the main search engine, or database, the search engine will use your headlines as a reference. This helps the search engine look good because they’re able to provide relevant content to a searcher, and it helps you look good.

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4 thoughts on “Why Are Headlines Important to Search Engines?

  1. Too true, Kenneth. Your article headlines or blog post titles are critical to search engine optimization and the work of those busy little spiders.

    And that’s why I oftentimes find myself agonizing over the task of crafting headlines. I’m more inclined to write a headline that has “emotional marketing value” versus “search engine value”. :)

  2. Great explanation! I definitely focus on writing headlines with my keywords (and use the keywords in my post, etc.), but using subheadlines is something I’m just starting to do (even though I learned about that a long time ago). Subheads aren’t as easy because they aren’t as natural. But they’re so important to make reading easier on our visitors and, like you said, they’re great for the search engines.

  3. Appreciate you explaining this Kenneth. Titles, sub titles, keywords and great content is a combindation for success.

    I start all my writing with my keywords and then creating the title. From there, it helps to keep me focused on the topic I am writing about.

    SEO used to be something I didn’t even want to understand. The more I learn about how these ‘spiders’ and search engines operate, it makes sense why you want to follow their rules to a point.

  4. Nicely explained. I knew headlines were important but didn’t know how it worked. Even after I finish writing a post it takes me hours to come up with an “interesting” title!

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