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Headline Testing

One of the most crucial components of a business content strategy has always been headlines. The art of captivating your audience with an intelligent title was widely taught long before social media and the internet existed. The importance of headlines has increased due to the internet, social media, competition, and other web optimization initiatives. As a result of these reasons, the way we write headlines varies from time to time.

What is a headline?

The Oxford dictionary defines a headline as “a heading at the top of an article or page in a newspaper, magazine or website.” The primary function of a headline is to call attention to a story or pique the readers’ interest in a particular service, product, or advertisement. It is essential to test every variation to create compelling and unique headlines.

What is headline testing?

Headline testing is the practice of creating multiple versions of titles for an article or piece of online media so that they may be tested on various audience groups to see which one performs the best.

Marketing professionals may use headline testing to get the best title for their articles and blog entries. The results of this testing may be applied to create headlines that are optimized for maximizing click-through rates, social media interactions, and other engagement metrics. By eliminating the least effective alternatives, the best headline is selected for all website visitors, increasing the likelihood they will engage with the content.

Importance of headline testing

There’s nothing more important than getting that click, whether you’re crafting headlines for PPC ads or creating content for organic search traffic, links, or social media shares.

Only if your content gets read can you consider it “high quality.” Boring and predictable headlines won’t attract attention and clicks. You can achieve the following for your brand and business by having catchy, attractive, engaging headlines:

  • Expand engagement of your audience
  • Attract organic backlinks
  • Yield quality leads
  • Boost social media shares
  • Increase conversion rate and generate revenue

Creating headline variations

The original headline is put up as control while conducting headline testing. Next, at least one or more versions are tested against the original.

An A/B testing tool is used to divide the traffic that arrives at a website and display different headlines to different visitors on a page. A winner is declared once the test has received sufficient viewership to produce statistically meaningful results.

When a headline is selected as a winner, 100% of the traffic is directed to it. Optimizing headlines can boost traffic, readership, and other metrics.

Best practices for headline testing

Below are some experimentation tips to keep in mind while testing headlines:

  • Conduct tests in heavy-traffic areas
  • Improve performance of weak links
  • Devote considerable time to the high-quality content
  • Gather actionable insights from regular testing
  • Do not abruptly end tests
  • Test audience groups should be taken into consideration
  • Monitor and keep note of successful strategies
  • Remember to use important SEO keywords
  • Keep the headline flow natural
  • Make sure the length is optimum

Testing headlines: tools and strategies 

Some tools and strategies that can be used to decide the best version of a headline are below:

  1. A/B testing headlines on your web pages: With VWO, you can easily create variations of the headlines on your landing pages without relying on developers. VWO has an inbuilt easy-to-use visual editor that not only allows you to change your headlines for testing but its GPT-3.5 Turbo powered AI copy generator also gives alternatives for your existing text. Choose the headline of your choice and run tests quickly to find out which one gets you the most engagement. Take a free trial and see how easy it is to test headlines or any other content on your website with VWO. 
  2. Headline analyzer: One of the few tools available to evaluate your headlines directly is the Headline Analyzer. You only need to enter your headline into the program for analysis, and it will then give you scores for both that headline and each category in which it examined it. Then it will let you know what you need to fix to improve your headline. The tool examines a few criteria, including:
    • Word balance
    • Headline length
    • Word count
    • SEO strength 

When you believe you have the ideal headline, using this tool is a fantastic final choice. Although it won’t always be accurate, it’s a wonderful endpoint merely for a sense of security because it prompts you to explore factors you might have overlooked. Example: CoSchedule headline analyzer

  1. A/B testing via email: When sending out email marketing campaigns, set up a subject line and/or your content with two separate headlines. To find out which email receives more clicks, you may send two distinct messages by dividing a small part of your database into two. The larger group of subscribers can then receive whatever email receives the most clicks. This will allow you to determine which headline will resonate with your target audience the most, which will help you choose the best one to utilize for a blog post or article.
  1. Headline testing on Twitter: Use Twitter or other social media platforms to test the best-performing version of the headline. Simply,  tweet multiple versions keeping a time gap. You may check performance statistics to discover where you’re receiving the most clicks, retweets, and mentions in addition to clicks.

Your odds of finding the ideal headline increase as you produce and test more headlines. You can be losing out on traffic, rankings, leads, shares, and profit if you aren’t testing.

Your understanding of what appeals to the audience will increase as you gather more data. In the end, this is the reason why you should A/B test your headlines.