Analytics firm Chartbeat has published a new study which finds that most of the conventions for writing catchy digital headlines don’t work very well.
Author Chris Breaux, a Chartbeat data scientist, summarized results of testing a dozen styles for optimal click-through rates as follows:
“Use terse, punchy headlines”; “Ask questions”; “Name drop.” None of these properties show much predictive power.
That’s right, writers: We’ve proven that “5 Ways To Write The Best Headline Ever” isn’t actually that effective.
Breaux did find one exception. Headlines using demonstrative adjective like ‘this,’ ‘that’ and ‘these’ had a substantially higher click-through rate than the norm. Long headlines also did modestly better.
Breaux writes that demonstrative words can create a bit of clickbait intrigue as in “These simple tricks will leave you speechless.” Even a much simpler specifier like “GOP debate this evening” can be effective. Read more