Headlines – I ♥ writing headlines. For copywriters, the feeling that comes from writing a killer headline must be the same feeling a sommelier gets when they discover and uncork that perfect bottle of wine.
Well, that’s how I like to romanticize the art of headline writing.
I got my first headline writing high in 1998 and I’ve been a headline writing addict ever since. In fact, when I write a blog post or email, I typically write the headline first, and then craft my content around that headline – if I don’t love my headline, I won’t love my content.
When it comes to posting content on Google+, there’s no legit field to write a proper headline (Sergey Brin, fix this, пожалуйста?).
But after discovering how Google crawls and indexes Google+ content, I realized that you should write a headline, in 65 characters or less, to communicate a succinct message explaining exactly what your post and content is about.
How to Write a Headline on Google+ That Gets Crawled and Indexed
Here’s what a Google+ headline looks like in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages):
Notice the headline Google indexed on my Google+ post: ‘Klout got a little less lame after discovering they will give you…’
Give you what? A coffee date with Dave Grohl?
That’s a crappy headline I’d never knowingly write because it’s vague, uninteresting, and thoughtless. If I could go back and re-write what I originally put in the ‘share what’s new’ box in Google+, I’d write:
So here’s the simple one-step process to writing a headline on Google+:
1. Write something interesting, intriguing, and click-worthy, in 65 characters or less, in the Google+ ‘share what’s new box’.
People scan the SERPs like they scan magazines and newspapers
You should write an intriguing Google+ headline because people are skimmers and your headline is what their eyes will fixate on for a few milliseconds as they scan the SERPs. Pique their interest with a click-worthy headline and you’ve earned yourself a click through. Simple.
This Google+ headline tactic isn’t even really about SEO, it’s about the users. You know, those human beings who are looking at the SERPs for great content that captures their attention and offers the promise of something that will make their life better.
Post every piece of content to Google+ for instant crawling and indexing
Last thing here—post every single piece of content you create on Google+. Put a link on your Google+ and Google will almost instantly crawl and index your content. And please, spend a few moments crafting a headline that will earn you a click through.
Thanks to Mark Traphagen, Director of Social Media Marketing at Virante, for inspiring me to write this post (mostly because he rightfully beat me in the SERPs for a piece of my own content).
Got a great headline you’re proud of? Drop it in the comment section so we can give you heaps of praise and adulation.