This headline might be 22% more effective than yours

Quickly, from the Buffer blog: back in late May, they ran two variants of the same headline on their blog.

Here’s Headline A: “The Simple Test That Increased Our Referrals.”

Here’s Headline B: “The Simple Test That Increased Our Referrals By 30%.”

You’d probably guess that the data-backed headline would get more clicks, but get this, digits-wise:

Research Headlines

That’s about 40 percent higher on the data-backed side; ties in pretty deeply with elements of what makes a good blog post overall.

There’s another idea here: as content marketing explodes and there’s content everywhere, could it be possible that the true and new focus should be on content editing — that is, making sure what gets to the end user, in terms of presentation and clarity and headline optimization and even SEO, is ideal? Anyone can put out content. Not everyone can put out great content. And the difference between “putting it out” and “great” is, in a word, vetting.

If you learn nothing else here, though, learn this: if you want to write a headline and get a bunch more click-throughs on it, put some research or data context behind it (but be truthful, ya slack-jawed yokel!). People will be more interested. You can test it yourself, ideally.

Ted Bauer