Expert Copywriter Explains How to Write A Headline For Online Publications

New York-based web copywriter says that headlines can be optimized for greater search engine ranking, while still grabbing the attention of readers.

Online PR News – 24-February-2010 – – According to Damon Rallis, president and founder of 9TWENTY9 Media (, a Long Island media consultation and copywriting firm with clients across the country, headlines for online stories need to strike a balance between search engine optimization (SEO) and good old fashion tabloid journalism.

“I worked in the newspaper industry for more than a decade and, when it came to writing headlines, my main objective was to capture the readers interest so that they would be enticed to read the story below,” says Rallis. “Now that most of my work is published online, headline writing is a whole different ballgame.”

Rallis says that writers and SEO experts often butt heads on the subject of headlines and titles for stories published online, whether they are press releases, blog posts, or website content page titles.

“Writers are trained to create headlines that will appeal to readers and draw them into the story that follows,” Rallis explains. “There is no doubt that SEO experts want the same thing. However, they recognize that if the page on which the story is published doesn’t rank high in the search engines, there will be no readers to draw in.”

Web copywriters need to recognize that it is a universally supported SEO technique to place keywords in headlines because search engines give weight to keywords that are in prominent places, according to Rallis. Also, he explains that placing keywords as far to the left as possible gives the headline even more of an advantage.

“Of course, with my background, there is nothing that turns me off more than a headline that is chunky and unattractive because of keywords,” says Rallis. “I know that I am not the only one that feels this way. Readers who see out of place keywords in a headline are quick to pass over the story recognizing that the story was likely written for one reason only; to increase search engine ranking.”

For writers like Rallis, headlines for online stories are a double-edge sword; without keywords the story won’t rank, but with too many keywords, the story won’t be read.

“Since most of my clients hire me to write copy for online marketing, I have had to learn how to incorporate both the journalistic and the SEO schools of thought, but it isn’t as easy as one would think,” says Rallis. “The idea is, with each headline, to look at your targeted keyword list and try to work in the key term or phrase that fits most smoothly, even if it isn’t the ideal keyword. In other words, do be too choosy and search for a balance. It will make for the perfect web copy.”

Copyright 2010 9TWENTY9 Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

In 2007, Damon Peter Rallis, a former award-winning journalist and newspaper editor, founded 9TWENTY9 Media. 9TWENTY9 Media offers search engine optimization through website copywriting, copy editing, website content management, press release and blog writing services, as well as social networking management. 9TWENTY9 Media also offers copywriting and copy editing for print media, advertising and other marketing outlets. Located in the heart of Long Island Wine Country, Damon Rallis offers nearly two decades of writing and marketing experience. For more information call 516-633-4852 or visit

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