What they are and how to use them in SEO

What are trigger words and how do they relate to SEO? These are words that are designed to capture the reader’s attention and encourage them to take a specific desired action.

Unlike SEO, which aims to intercept the user’s search intent through the use of focus keywords, this group of words aims to connect with their emotions and leverage their curiosity to make them click, read, and act on your page.

I will explain the great potential of trigger words in the following paragraphs. In particular, you will discover:

  • What trigger words are and why do they work?
  • Which ones are the easiest to use?
  • How to effectively apply them in SEO?

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What is a trigger word?

The term “trigger” refers to a mechanical device that initiates the firing process of gunpowder, resulting in the high-speed launch of a bullet.

On your website pages, by using certain words, you can achieve the same effect. That’s why they are essential in an SEO strategy, which focuses on organic content positioning.

In our case, what is fired isn’t a bullet but any action you want the user to take. It’s important to note, however, that just as guns can misfire and not shoot, your text won’t be 100% effective but will contribute to converting content.

Trigger words are words that prompt the reader to take action because they can capture the reader’s attention or evoke an emotional response, semi-conscious, predisposing them to act in a certain way.


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Trigger words examples

To better understand what I’m talking about, let’s analyze two headlines:

  • Persuasion: what is persuasive communication?
  • The 5 secrets of persuasive communication.

From the example provided, it’s clear which one is more effective; indeed, the second headline is the one with the greatest chance of grabbing a reader’s attention.

But what makes it so appealing? The presence of a trigger word is very powerful and can generate great curiosity in people. I’ll explain later word by word what psychological and emotional triggers it relies on.

For now, it’s crucial for you to understand that every term you use in any written text has a specific purpose that can make the difference between having hundreds of clicks and having none.

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Why do trigger words work?

As human beings, our strength lies in our ability to use reason and logic to make decisions and direct our will toward specific goals.

Some researchers estimate that we make tens of thousands of decisions every day, on average. However, we are not purely logical beings, and our choices do not always happen in full consciousness.

This is because we are subject to a kind of interference, a very strong current that pushes the boat of rationality off course: emotions.

Emotions are heavily involved in the processes that determine our choices. It’s no wonder that in marketing, impulse buying is talked about a lot.

This is the moment when we buy something irrationally, driven by an emotion. That’s why the words we will see shortly are also called emotional trigger words.

trigger words meaning

Trigger words exploit these dynamics by tapping into the reader’s emotional sphere to attract and compel them to take action.

Now, you might think that by using these techniques, we are deceiving people: manipulating them subtly so they spend their money on our products or services.

Are marketers unscrupulous fraudsters? I myself, at least initially, thought so. Then I realized that the answer was a resounding no to all the questions. There is a substantial difference between a marketer and a scammer.

The distinction lies in the fact that the latter uses the same persuasive communication techniques, trigger words included, that we also use as sellers.

But to sell non-existent products or products with such unrealistic features that it leads to false advertising and fraud. So, inserting certain words into your texts certainly doesn’t turn you into the new mastermind of your industry.

It simply allows you to tune into the emotions of your customers, or potential customers, to effectively communicate with them and make yourself heard in what you have to offer.

If applied psychology in marketing fascinates you and you want to learn more about how it’s used in sales, I recommend reading this article on Persuasive Marketing.

The 18 easiest trigger words to use

Before showing you how to integrate trigger words into SEO, I’ll list the words that are most commonly used in communication strategies today.

I’m sure you’ve heard many of them, but we’ll analyze together the principles of their effect so that you can use them with full awareness of what you’re communicating to your readers.

For each example given, I’ll follow the rule of comparing the same text with and without trigger words.

Free, complimentary, and cost less

These are the words most commonly used, especially in the field of online marketing. We are all attracted to getting something without having to pay for it.

Whether it’s information, e-books, books, or applications, when they are made available for free, we are more inclined to use them because we don’t have to invest any financial resources.

Let’s look at a specific example:

  • An e-book on SEO techniques!
  • An e-book on SEO techniques. Download it for free!

With these trigger words, you immediately eliminate the reader’s resistance caused by a potential monetary request.


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Easy, simple, and fast

Partly, they reflect the underlying principle of the previous ones. We are mentally attracted to achieving the best result with the least possible effort, be it physical or economic.

optimize web page

So, what is easy, simple, and fast exerts an emotional leverage on us. “Earn easy money,” this simple phrase is at the core of some of the biggest economic scams.

This doesn’t mean it can’t be used more ethically by showing the reader something genuinely easy and realistic that leads them to the result they are looking for and hoping to achieve.

Here’s an example:

  • The steps to optimize a web page.
  • 4 simple steps to optimize a web page.


If you want to capture the attention of a potential customer and make them stop at your content, there is no better word. Very often, the sole push to buy something is the knowledge that it is new and comes with innovative features.

Think, for example, of Apple creating queues of customers outside their stores in the United States every year, eager to get their hands on the new version of an iPhone.

And this happens simply because it’s new compared to the previous one. Having the most advanced and cutting-edge product, for many people, reflects achieving a desired social status or the assurance of having a certain advantage over others.

Let me give you an example:

  • This writing software will change your life.
  • This new writing software will change your life.


Describing and providing evidence for what you’re stating by incorporating this term into the sentence is one of the most effective weapons at your disposal.

And the extreme ease of using it is an additional advantage. This is because this word is part of our common language.

As children, it’s a habit to ask why about anything that piques our curiosity, and most of the time, our parents respond by including that same magical word, “Don’t touch that because it’s dangerous and you’ll hurt yourself.”

Robert Cialdini, an American psychologist, in his writings on persuasion, always presents a striking example of the effectiveness of this trigger word.

In the experiment reported by Cialdini, there are people in line in an office in front of a photocopier.

The accomplice of the experimenters tries to jump the line the first time by saying to her colleagues, “I need to make 5 copies.

Can I use the photocopier?” And the second time, “Can I use the photocopier because I need to make copies?”  It is evident how the second statement does not provide valid reasons to allow her to cut in line.

But here’s the reason: by harnessing the power of that word, a whopping 93% of the people let her go ahead, compared to the 60% obtained with the first excuse.

By using the word, you provide the reader, or at least their unconscious mind, with the perception of having a valid reason to trust your statements.

This helps establish credibility and confidence in your own persona, provided what you state is true and does not deceive the user.

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The secret trigger word has a dual usage within trigger marketing. The first one is to imply to the user that they are about to learn information that was previously inaccessible and known to only a few.

A secret represents something top secret and triggers the idea in our minds of acquiring something invaluable.

The second use of the concept of secrecy triggers in the reader the personal advantage of obtaining unique and previously reserved information. The effect that is achieved will be very clear to you with the following example.

For instance:

  • The 7 techniques of persuasive communication.
  • The 7 secrets of persuasive communication, or, the 7 secrets of persuasive communication that no seller ever wanted to reveal to you.

Tested, proven, demonstrated, and certified: lend credibility to your claims

They are all targeted trigger words meant to reassure the reader about what you are offering. In digital marketing, it is difficult to create a sense of trust in potential customers because there is no direct dialogue with them.

They don’t know you. Often, they have never seen your face. One of the most effective ways to establish such a trust connection is to offer the reader evidence on which to base their evaluations.

Evaluations that, in turn, will lead them to decide whether to avail of your service or not.

Let me show you an example:

  • Ensure the best therapy for stress.
  • Ensure the only proven/certified therapy against stress.

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It is used to create a causal connection between your product and the desired outcome for the potential customer.

Let’s see the example:

  • Read this book to attract new clients.
  • If you want to learn how to attract new clients, read this book.

The two titles may seem very similar to each other. Simply, in the second one, emphasis and strength are given to the cause-and-effect relationship through the “if”.

This is because in web writing, or copywriting, the clearer and more specific you are in expressing a concept, the simpler and more straightforward it will be in the user’s mind.

The simpler the user finds it, the more likely they are to continue reading.


It’s the ultimate positive trigger word. It’s the “yes” of response, not the reflexive pronoun.

People like this word because it allows them to open up to new possibilities, to overcome, alongside you, the limits they previously believed to be insurmountable.

This enables you to establish a strong empathetic bond with them. With “yes,” you can respond to a question or doubt from your readers and provide them with a positive answer that encourages them to trust you.

In our complex society, where we often struggle to navigate through various options or opportunities, a clear and determined “yes” as a response provides the reader with a secure foothold to make their decisions.

yes campaign

Example: Do you want to know if trigger words work for SEO and are persuasive? The answer is yes.

It takes a lot of practice to create texts that are a magnet for readers’ attention, but if you read this page to the end, you’ll already be one step ahead of the others.

However, remember that trigger words without a good understanding of SEO are not that effective. Your pages must rank among the top search results to have a chance of being opened and read.

Do you want to achieve great results using these techniques? I hope so. Then click below and discover the path that will help you achieve these results.

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You: address the reader directly

The easiest approach. Use the second person singular when addressing your readers. Just as I have been doing with you from the beginning.

The perception of someone speaking directly to you, not to a generic group of individuals, breaks down the annoying distance that can be created between the industry expert and the user seeking answers to their questions.

With the “trigger word you,” you make the relationship equal.

You remain the expert, but the user becomes an individual who feels recognized and understood in their questions, needs, and difficulties, creating an empathetic relationship with the customer.

  • To be persuasive, I recommend writing like this.
  • To be persuasive, I recommend writing like this.


It is a negative trigger word. A word at the extreme opposite of yes. So, can affirmations that evoke negative emotions also be used? The answer is yes, but how to do it?

“Never” is used to put the reader in front of a possible risk they might be facing, and to save themselves from it, they must read what you are about to tell them.

To do this successfully, you must have a clear understanding of the possible risks your target audience is facing. If they don’t correspond to their real situation, they will probably move on to the next article after yours.

This doesn’t mean you have to be 100% precise, but you need to identify the situation your potential customers are experiencing.

For this word, consider this example:

  • Tired of writing and not being read? Are you making these 4 mistakes?
  • Want what you write to be read? Then never make these 4 mistakes.


An advertisement from a well-known telecommunications company, a few years ago, stated through George Clooney, “Imagine, you can.”

The company’s marketers undoubtedly knew the power of imagination as a driving force in human decision-making.

By imagining a situation, you not only visualize it as you would like it to be, but you also activate the emotions associated with the image itself. As mentioned earlier, emotions play a fundamental role in purchase decision processes.

Asking the reader to use their imagination is like asking them to visualize a video or a photo.

There’s a substantial difference that you are not offering them pre-packaged content; they will create their own, completely personalized and tailored to their own persona.

Don’t get me wrong: videos and photos are useful tools at our disposal, but none of them can fully reflect the user’s desires like the images born from their own mind.

Here’s a specific example:

  • Bill thousands of dollars with your blog.
  • Imagine billing thousands of dollars with your blog.

How to use them in SEO

SEO title and meta description: the first one is one of the most important elements to optimize. It is the first thing Google reads when scanning the page, and it’s the first thing a user reads after typing their words into the search bar.

The SEO title may or may not correspond to the actual title of the page. The crucial aspect is that it captures the attention of individuals. To achieve this goal, you can use the trigger words mentioned earlier.

sample words to capture attention

The meta description is not directly analyzed by Google’s algorithm, but it is a useful space to use a trigger word to intrigue and persuade people to enter your site to learn more.

However, remember that whatever you claim through these two elements must then be present within the text.

Finally, but no less important, the more clicks you get on your page, the more time users stay, and the more Google will recognize that your site contains valuable content and may reward you in terms of ranking.

Headings and Subheadings: they are conceptually different from the previous ones, although sometimes the heading, also known as Heading 1, can be identical to the SEO title.

In any case, it is always a good practice for these two elements to reflect two fundamental criteria.

The first is that they are representative of the page’s content, and the second is that they are able to generate the curiosity necessary for the user to continue reading.

Both elements are of fundamental importance to minimize bounce rate. This occurs when a person enters your web page and leaves shortly afterward.

Certainly, this behavior does not depend solely on the quality of the page’s text because, for example, I constantly open content that interests me, save the link to read it when I have time, and close the page immediately after.

What you should try to avoid at all costs is for the reader to be impressed by your titles but be disappointed while reading the rest of the text, not being able to find the information they expected.

For example, if you write “The 5 secrets of a healthy diet” in the heading, you will be practically obliged to talk about 5 different secrets in the text. Explaining four wouldn’t be enough.

In fact, it would be better to include a sixth one as a bonus. A piece of advice I can give you in these cases is to write the text first and once finished, think about the final titles.

sample final title

Text: as repeated several times, it is what gives credibility to what is written in the titles. It must, in every respect, provide the answers that the person is looking for or expects to find.

Whether your goal is to sell, generate leads, make yourself known, or earn with banner ads, it is always vital that the user spends as much time as possible on your content.

The ultimate goal you should set in this context, as a marketer or blogger, is not the click for its own sake, but that the potential customer reads the content all the way to the end, deriving a personal benefit regardless of the actions they will take later.

This is why trigger words play a central role. They keep the attention alive by encouraging engagement with the text and providing good reasons to take the actions we want to achieve.

Buttons and Call To Action (CTA): these are invitations to take any action directed at your potential customers.

They are usually placed among different paragraphs of the text and propose offers for products or services that are relevant to the page’s theme.

For example, if you are talking about sunscreens, it is not advisable to include a call to action for the purchase of a cutting-edge electric drill.

Remember the golden rule: consistency and strategic connection between each individual element. If the reader’s mind is confused with stimuli of different natures, they will no longer understand what to do and why.

A button or CTA containing persuasive trigger words that trigger the reader’s action can literally make a difference in the number of conversions you will get at the end of the month.

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What I have shown you on this page is the result of careful selection from hundreds of words that make up the entire repertoire of trigger words.

In the field of SEO, it is necessary to understand both the technical aspects related to page optimization for their correct positioning and various writing techniques to create innovative and captivating content, texts, and offers.

I remind you, finally, that the words you have seen should not be used mechanically and for their own sake.

You must be able to understand how they work, intertwine them with a pinch of psychological knowledge of your readers, and, of course, integrate them into a good Search Engine Optimization strategy.