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How to use Google to craft great headlines

You know you need to grab your audience’s attention fast. Here are some tricks for using Google’s tools to discover the best wording for your content title.

Let’s face it—it’s extremely difficult to attract audiences.

You know you need to grab your audience’s attention fast. Here are some tricks for using Google’s tools to discover the best wording for your content title.

Even if you have the most ground-breaking news in the world—thanks to our digitally charged society—your content is a needle lost in a never-ending haystack.

Whether you’re attempting to capture the attention of an assignment editor in a newsroom, engaging a potential customer on Twitter, or even ranking at the top of an online search—move the needle, your success is contingent on the immediate allure of your headline.

A recent Microsoft study declared attention spans are eight seconds long, which is shorter than a goldfish. Another analysis suggested the majority of internet users spend less than 15 seconds on a webpage.

The power of a headline

Headlines are extremely powerful. They are often the first and only thing audiences read about your brand.

Should the headline or the press release come first? We’ve always found it more effective to save the headline for last. After all, before you can write your headline you must first answer:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What do you want them to do?
  • Why is it relevant?

Once you have those questions answered, your press release—and it’s headline—write themselves.

Tools that can help

There are countless resources available. In 2017, BuzzSumo analyzed over 100 million headlines to better answer the question: What makes a headline successful? The biggest takeaway is that there’s no magic headline formula. Even if your headline does not have a catchy trigger, a number or a promise – it can still be effective, especially if you include the right keywords.

Compared to their marketing counterparts, PR professionals have been slow to incorporate data into their workflow. For example, digital marketing professionals know exactly what their target audiences are searching for, while PR professionals are left in the dark.

To boost your impact and reach, there are numerous tools that you can use to optimise your headline. There are advanced search engine marketing tools, but for the majority of PR pros, this is way more than you need.

Google Trends is free and easy to use, and will help you compare keywords and phrases to help you instantly calculate the level of interest over time.

Here is how you can use the tool to test your headline:

1. After you’ve written your release take notice of the industry-specific keywords and phrases you use most often. You can also check with your digital and content marketing teams to see if they have target keywords you should include.

2. Once you have a list of your main keywords and phrases, visit trends.google.com.

3. In the search bar, enter your first keyword. Depending on your target audience you can adjust the location accordingly.

4. Compare up to five queries in a single search.

5. Once you find the phrase that receives the most attraction, write your headline and include it.

Fusion Tip: Adjust the time period based on your content. If it’s a timely news release and you’re looking for immediate search visibility, adjust the time frame to the past seven days or less. If you’re looking for long tail search visibility, meaning in 12 months from now you want people to still find your content, keep your search fixed on the past 12 months.

If you want a marketing partner that is passionate about helping you grow your business then get in touch. It’s what we’re best at.

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