Title Tag or Headline – SEO for Humans?

by SMD 

If you head over to you can check out their article on Search Engine Ranking factors. You’ll notice that the title tag is the highest rated factor [by an impressive panel of SEO gurus]. Based on my own experience this is probably a fact, although # of backlinks is certainly a biggie too.

But what is often overlooked in the title tag debate is not only is it the primary search engine ranking factor, but it is also the first impression of your site that a visitor gets from reading the search engine results page.

My point is that the right title tag, think of it as a headline, has two very big jobs.

  1. Get the search engine’s attention and let it know what the primary topic of your page is.
  2. Get a visitor’s attention and convince them that your site has the best chance of satisfying their need.

When I look at search engine results, it is often obvious to me that most sites have been optimized with only the first point in mind. My thinking is that with the right title tag my number 9 site can do as well as the number 4 or 5 site.

Here’s a tool that I found that may help you out when you’re trying to get a little human SEO into your story’s title. It’s called the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer and it lets you enter in a headline and then it will give you some valuable information on how to create a connection with search engine readers using your headlines.

Here’s the results based on this story’s headline….If I wasn’t so close to calling it a day, I’d work it up a few % points, but you get the idea:

This score indicates that your headline has a total of 25.00% Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) Words. To put that in perspective, the English language contains approximately 20% EMV words. And for comparison, most professional copywriters’ headlines will score in the 30%-40% range, while the most gifted copywriters will score 50%-75% on headlines.

A perfect score would be 100%, but that is rare unless your headline is less than five words.

While the overall EMV score for your headline is 25.00%, your headline also has the following predominant emotion classification:



Happy headline / title tag writing.

Some Other Articles You May Enjoy


Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!