The people who make online stories and online journalism their thing will tell you: Don’t write a clever headline for the web version of a story.
Search engine optimization (the system that allows Google and other search programs to index a story) doesn’t do clever – it looks for basic words. And those basic words lead to hits. And hits lead to viewers and numbers that the online sales reps can tout.
All that makes sense, but there’s no poetry.
A hat tip today to the scribes who write headlines for the print edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
(And bonus time, there’s barbecue involved).
Buz Grossberg is the guy behind Buz & Ned’s, one of the primo barbecue spots in Richmond. The T-D has a feature on him this morning, with the hook that he’s appearing at A Taste of Richmond, a food showcase put on by the T-D.
The story’s not advertorial, but it’s close. Really close. OK, it’s pretty much a commercial for A Taste of Richmond. At least they disclose up front that the newspaper is the sponsor.
The web version of the story has a rather pedestrian headline:
The print headline has far more spice: