(MarketingVOX) At a time when website traffic – readers, that is, and therefore advertisers – can make or break publishers, and search engines drive up to one-third of traffic to news sites, writes the New York Times, the journalistic art of writing headlines that please readers as well as editors is undergoing the trials and tribulations of having to serve a third master, too: search engines.
Often, the result of search engine optimization is boring headlines, because “there are no algorithms for wit, irony, humor or stylish writing. The software is a logical, sequential, left-brain reader, while humans are often right brain,” writes the Times.
As a result, some news sites now write two headlines: one, on the first web page, that’s catchy for humans; a second, on a jump page, that’s straightforward enough for the engines. And some suggest that journalists should do keyword research to determine the most-searched words on a subject, and include those in the headline and first few sentences.