To boost your impact and reach, you can use many tools to optimize your headlines and create better search engine visibility. This articles explains how you can find the best headline keywords with Google Trends.
Such tools include advanced search engine marketing tools like Moz Keyword Explorer and the Google Keyword Planner, but these are probably more sophisticated than you need.
Other free tools include:
In addition, OptinMonster helpfully lists 26 Tools That’ll Help You Create Better Headlines.
Search optimization for Google – Another thought is to look at SEO with PPC, to see how the ROI compares. SEO tends to provide longer-term results versus PPC, which starts to produce immediate results from the ads placed. And instead of “either/or,” you can consider using both in combination.
You can use the easy-to-use and free Google Trends, which will help you compare keywords and phrases for which people have searched. This enables you to instantly calculate the level of interest over time in specific countries or worldwide. (If the time span is too short, or if you limit the search to one country, you may find there is insufficient data to form results.)
Here’s how to find the best headline keywords with Google Trends
- When you have drafted your article, check that it includes industry-specific keywords and phrases you frequently use. Ask your marketing team if they have target keywords you should include. In addition, since some general words and phrases are used much more in searches than product or industry-specific words, you should investigate these popular general terms and use some of them consistently in your headlines, although you shouldn’t go overboard about this. See my discussion about the graphs below.
- When you have collected your main keywords and phrases, visit trends.google.com.
- It is logical to use in your headline the keyword or phrase that has been most searched for during the period you have entered. You can enter your first keyword in the search bar and think of any alternative words or phrases you could use or that have been suggested by your marketing team (even common misspellings of those terms, which you can mention in your text). Depending on your target audience you can adjust the country location and time period accordingly. This tool will show you the most popular variations on the search terms you enter.
- Compare up to five keywords or phrases in a single search. These are obligingly shown for you in graphical form by Google trends.
- Once you find the word or phrase that receives the most attraction, write your headline and include that text.
I wanted to find out the most useful keywords to start a general headline. So I keyed into Google Trends the words “master,” “get,” “gain,” learn,” and “how to.” As you can see from the graph below, people searched the most for “how to” worldwide in the past 12 months (by a long way), followed by “get.” Therefore, I will be using “how to” and “get” more in future headlines. (I also checked “discover,” but it hardly rated.
In the same way, I went to Google Trends to find out which terms have been most searched worldwide in the past 12 months, out of “press release,” “news release,” and “media release.” That old term “press release” is still the most searched, despite releases being distributed to many more outlets than newspapers in the past couple of decades. So the takeaway is to say “press release.”
“How to” again!
Another example is the explanatory headline. Do people search more for “How to,” “How you can,” or “Find out?” The clear favorite shown in the Google graph is “How to.” That’s what I will be using more in future.
With a little thought, you should now be able to use Google Trends to help sharpen your SEO focus.
Image at top of page: BigTunaOnline/shutterstock.com.
Strong headlines are needed for news angles
It is important to remember that strong headlines are a balance between prioritizing the news angle and rating well for SEO at the same time – you need to strike a balance. This article on writing strong headlines will help your understanding of both elements.
Kim J. Harrison has authored, edited, coordinated, produced and published the material in the articles and ebooks on this website. He brings his experience in professional communication and business management to provide helpful insights to readers around the world. As he has progressed through his wide-ranging career, his roles have included corporate affairs management; PR consulting; authoring many articles, books and ebooks; running a university PR course; and business management. Kim has received several international media relations awards and a website award. He has been quoted in The New York Times and various other news media, and has held elected positions with his State and National PR Institutes.