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Headline Testing: How to Create Engaging Headlines with A/B Testing to Get More Leads

Esat Artug
Esat Artug
October 2, 2022 · 10 min read
Headline Testing: How to Create Engaging Headlines with A/B Testing to Get More Leads

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” - David Ogilvy

This quote by David Ogilvy, the Father of Advertising, is as true today as it was when he said it over 50 years ago. In the age of content overload, we are constantly bombarded with headlines vying for our attention.

With so many options and so little time, we have become adept at skimming articles to find the ones that are most relevant to us. This is why having a well-crafted headline is more important than ever if you want people actually to read your content.

Think about it – when was the last time you clicked on an article because of an intriguing headline? Chances are, it wasn’t that long ago. But how often do you click on an article with a boring, generic headline? Probably not as often.

The right headline can be the difference between someone taking the time to read your article and moving on to the next one. That’s why it’s so important to spend time crafting headlines that capture attention and persuade people to keep reading.

One way to do this is through A/B testing, which allows you to test different versions of your headline to see which one performs better. This is a valuable tool that can help you fine-tune your headlines and make sure they are as effective as possible.

A/B testing is relatively simple – you create two versions of your headline (version A and version B) and then track how each performs. You can do this by looking at metrics such as click-through rate and time on page.

If you see that version B has a higher click-through rate and/or people are spending more time on the page, you know that it is more effective than version A. You can then use version B as your final headline.

A/B testing is a valuable tool for any business, but it is especially important for those in the content marketing space. Headlines are essential for driving traffic to your articles, so it’s important to make sure they are as effective as possible.

If you’re not already using A/B testing for your headlines, now is the time to start. It’s a simple and effective way to fine-tune your headlines and make sure they are engaging and persuasive.

Headline Testing

What Is Headline Testing

Headline testing is the process of testing different versions of your headline (it can be for an article, landing page, or product description) to see which one performs better. This is usually done by creating two versions of your headline (version A and version B) and then tracking how each performs.

Headline testing is important because it allows you to fine-tune your headlines and make sure they are as effective as possible. The right headline can be the difference between someone taking the time to read your article and moving on to the next one.

How to Test Headlines

1. Brainstorm Headlines

The first step of 'How to Test Headlines' is brainstorming headline ideas. The goal is to come up with as many ideas as possible, so don't worry about whether they're good or not. Just write them down.

If you don't have any idea about how to come up with headline ideas, here are some headline writing tips:

Include Numbers

Numbers can be an effective way to grab attention when brainstorming different headlines. This is because numbers are often associated with certainty and precision, which can make them more persuasive than other types of words.

In addition, numbers can help to add a sense of urgency to a headline, making it more likely to prompt readers to take action.

Of course, not all headlines need to include numbers, but including them can be a helpful way to stand out from the competition.

Brainstorming different headlines with numbers can help you create more persuasive and effective headlines for your business.

Here are some headline templates you can use:

  • <# Number> Ways to Get More <Desired Outcome>

  • How to Increase <Something> by <# Impressive Number of Desired Outcome>

Talk About the Pain Points and Benefits

Another tip when it comes to brainstorming headlines is to think about the customer's pain points and the potential benefits of the solution. You can persuade the reader to keep reading and learn more about your product or service by talking about these things in the headline.

For example, let's say you're selling a new type of toothbrush that is designed to reduce plaque buildup. A headline such as "The Toothbrush That Can Help Reduce Plaque Buildup" is likely to be more effective than a headline that simply states the name of the product. By talking about the customer's pain point (in this case, plaque buildup) and the potential benefit of the solution (a reduction in plaque buildup), you can increase the likelihood that people will want to learn more about your product.

In short, when brainstorming headlines, remember to focus on the customer's needs and what your product or service can do for them. By doing so, you'll be more likely to create effective and persuasive headlines.

Here are some headline templates you can use:

  • Want to <Do Something>? Follow These <Number> Steps

  • Why Every <Your Target Audience> Needs a <Something> And How to Get/Build/Grow One

Arouse Curiosity

Arousing curiosity is an important tactic when brainstorming headlines because it can help draw readers in and encourage them to click on an article.

After all, if a headline is boring or uninteresting, there's a good chance that people will simply scroll past it. However, if a headline is intriguing and makes people curious about what the article will say, they're much more likely to click through and read it.

There are a few different ways to arouse curiosity in a headline.

  • One is to pose a question that the reader will want to know the answer to.

  • Another is to use surprising or unexpected words.

  • And finally, you can also try to create a sense of urgency by implying that the article contains time-sensitive information.

By using one or more of these strategies, you can craft headlines that are more likely to catch people's attention and encourage them to read your articles.

Here are some headline templates you can use:

  • How to <Do Something> without <Common Way People May Think You Have to Do Something>

  • Revealed: Why <Doing Something> Is So Important Today!

Be Simple and Clear. Don’t Use Clickbait

A headline is the first and often only opportunity to make a strong impression on your readers.

In order to maximize its impact, it is important to keep your headline simple and direct. A complicated or convoluted headline will confuse your readers and cause them to move on to something else. Instead, focus on creating a headline that clearly conveys the main point of your article.

If you can capture the essence of your article in a handful of words, you are more likely to entice readers to click through and learn more.

So when you sit down to brainstorm headlines, remember: simplicity is key.

Here are some headline templates you can use:

  • <Number> Experts on Why <Doing Something> Is So Important

  • Want to <Do Something>? Follow These <Number> Steps

2. Decide Headline Variations

The second step of headline testing is deciding on different headline variations to test.

For example, if you wanted to test whether a shorter or longer headline is more effective, you would create two versions of the same article with headlines of different lengths.

Once you have created your headlines, it's time to decide which variations to test. This is where you come up with a variety of headlines that you think will be effective and then narrow them down to the most promising candidates. To do this, you'll need to take into account factors such as your audience, your goals, and your resources.

For instance, if you're trying to reach a wide audience, you'll want to test headlines that are likely to appeal to different segments of that audience. On the other hand, if you're trying to increase click-through rates, you may want to focus on testing headlines that are more likely to pique curiosity.

Whichever factors you prioritize, the important thing is to select headlines that give you the best chance of achieving your desired outcome.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your headline testing is both effective and efficient.

3. Test the Headlines

Once you've selected the headlines you want to test, it's time to create the tests.

There are a few different ways to test headlines, but the most common method is A/B testing. With A/B testing, you create two versions of your headline and then send each version to a different group of people. Another way to test headlines is to post both versions on social media and see which one gets more engagement.

Whichever method you choose, headline testing is a great way to ensure that your headlines are as effective as possible.

Run A/B Tests to Find the Best Performing Headlines

The most effective way of testing headlines is using A/B testing.

With A/B testing, you create two versions of your headline and then send each version to a different group of people. Afterward, you can analyze the results to see which headlines performed better.

To set up an A/B test, all you need is a tool like Ninetailed. Once you have such a tool in place, you can create two versions of your headline and then use the tool to show each version to different visitors randomly:

After enough people have seen both versions of your headline, you can compare the results to see which one performed better.

Once you've collected enough data, it's time to analyze the results and see which headlines performed better.

There are a few different metrics you can use to measure the effectiveness of headlines, but the most important one is conversion rate. Conversion rate measures how many people who saw your headline went on to read your article or take your desired action.

Other metrics you can use to evaluate headlines include click-through rate, time on page, and social shares. However, the conversion rate is the most important metric to focus on because it tells you how effectively your headline achieves your desired goal.

Once you've analyzed the results of your headline test and found a winner, it's time to implement that headline on your website or blog.

To do this, simply replace the old headline with the new one and save your changes.

Once you've successfully implemented the new headline, all that's left to do is sit back and watch as your conversions increase. Thanks to headline testing, you can be confident that your headlines are as effective as possible.

Next Steps: Take Your Conversion Rates to the Next Level with A/B Testing

Headline testing is a great way to improve your conversion rates. But it's not the only way.

If you really want to take your conversion rates to the next level, you need to start A/B testing other content models as well. This includes things like calls-to-action, images, and even video.

By testing different content models, you can further optimize your website or blog to convert even more visitors into leads and customers. So if you're serious about increasing your conversion rates, be sure to A/B test other elements of your site in addition to headlines.

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