Types of Feedback

3 Ways to Get More Clicks on Your Blog or News Content

Inspiring readers to consider your titles and click through to your article is no small feat; getting feedback and polling for your article headlines is the best way to ensure your work will float to the top and ride the waves of success. 

December 22, 2020

Create Article Headlines That Get Clicks Using Helpfull Surveying

You could very well be the most talented, eloquent author on the market. Your prose, your tone of voice, the compelling content that spills forth from your fingertips with every key-press. The articles and blogs you create might very well be generation-defining. 

None of it matters if you can’t create an effective title for your work.

If nobody clicks on your article, that means nobody will read your article. There are likely troves of quality content on the internet - enough to fill a modern Library of Alexandria - that wastes away in the depths of the web. Unloved, unappreciated, unread. It’s a tragedy to think that quality writing could slip through the ether and tumble into obscurity, simply because it didn’t have a gripping title; the reality is, that is just how humans work.

Every day on the internet, consumers are exposed to thousands of marketers, authors, sellers, and content creators; people who are all grasping and vying for the same limited waking hours any one person has to offer. At any point in time, consumers are likely to only give just a few seconds of consideration to any proposal that is sent their way - whether that be an invitation to click on a video, or an email subject line espousing details about a limited-time sale. This is why it’s vitally important to create an eye-catching, intriguing title for your work; something that will have the readers clicking on your article before their brain has even fully processed the words on the page.

With Helpfull surveying, authors and content creators can test article headlines in front of an audience of Helpfull panelists. Using simple A/B testing or Split-Choice surveying is often the best way to receive considered, effective feedback on your designs; the votes given by poll recipients provides creators a way to narrow down their options, until they’re ultimately left with an effective title that draws eyes.

How To Draft An Effective Article Headline

In our post-internet world, readers are consuming digital content at an ever-increasing pace. When creating headlines and titles for your content, it’s important to avoid the pitfalls that many marketers and bloggers fall into. Consumers have grown increasingly aware of the overt marketing tactics some content creators employ - often dubbed “clickbait” - when trying to draw attention to their work. 

Toeing the line between a droll, boring headline and a title that comes across as obnoxiously try-hard is possible - if you follow these simple tips:

  • Utilize Numbers: The human brain is innately wired towards numbers & lists - use this to your advantage when drafting title ideas
  • Ex. 7 Ways To Save More Money This Holiday Season

  • Include words like Guide or How To: People love to learn new information, and if your article promises to walk them through something they will be more likely to read it.
  • Ex. How To Write A Book That Sells in 3 Easy Steps

  • Invoke Fear Of Failure: Fear of missing out or “FOMO” is a powerful psychological tool to utilize when drafting titles. By creating a sense of urgency, readers are compelled to click on your content now.
  • Ex. Why Americans Are Switching Their Internet Providers - And You Should Too

  • Use Negatives: Negative press can often be more exciting and intriguing for readers than positive news.
  • Ex. Here’s Why The Disney’s Latest Film Is A Total Garbage Fire

  • Utilize The Strange & Unusual: Throwing the consumer off balance with a strange or unexpected title can immediately draw their attention to your work.
  • Ex. The Mothman and I: A Sexual Awakening

  • Solve A Problem: Offering a solution to a problem creates curiosity in the minds of readers who are looking to avoid pain or gather new information.
  • Ex. Getting A Better Night’s Sleep with Yoga

These are just a few of the ways authors can create titles that are gripping, effective, and clickable. Often the best practice for marketers is to develop a series of different titles - each utilizing one or more of the above techniques - and testing their effectiveness with a consumer test audience.

Utilizing Helpfull’s user-friendly polling, we can develop our ideas with the help of audience panelists - ultimately working to create a title that wows our readers and urges them to click on our work.

Survey #1 - Developing Your Title Concepts 

By now, you should have a list of titles you’ve developed - ideas you like, and are ready to test in front of a new set of eyes. 

For our first survey, we’re looking to conduct a split testing text-comparison survey; all we need are our eight best titles, and we’re ready to begin. To showcase how Helpfull is the perfect app for testing blog-style article headlines, we asked 100 panelists for their consideration on our list. We wanted to title a list-style article that talks about how homeowners can save money when heating their homes during the winter. These are the eight title concepts audiences were given to evaluate:

  • “How to Heat Your Home During The Winter - and Save Money Doing It”
  • “The 4 Simple Tricks That Can Cut Your Winter Heating Bill In Half”
  • “Why I Haven’t Paid to Heat My Home in 3 Years”
  • “What the Energy Companies Don’t Want You to Know About Your Heating Bill”
  • “Why Americans Are Switching Their Heat Off and You Should Too”
  • “The Future of In-Home Heating Systems and What To Expect In 3 Years”
  • “Why Your Winter Heating Bill Could Be Hurting Your Wallet”
  • “How I Cut My Winter Heating Bill in Just 4 Easy Steps”

Since we’ve developed our mock headlines following the tips outlined earlier in the article, we know any one of them would fit - should we choose to run the headline without any testing. We’re looking to see which one of these titles is going to be the most effective at capturing our audiences’ attention.

After just 20 minutes, our polling audience made their voices heard. They were asked to vote on which title was the “most gripping and memorable”; the result - The 4 Simple Tricks That Can Cut Your Winter Heating Bill In Half edges out with 27% of the vote. It’s a strong contender, but it only barely won over the runner-up; we would like a decisive answer as to which headline is the most effective, so we’ll need to run another survey. 

This time, we run a simple A/B test with another 100 Helpfull panelists. We take the two top-performing titles from the last survey, and turn to our Helpfull audience one more time.

Another 100 votes, and 4 Simple Tricks proves yet again to be the most effective headline - this time, by a much wider margin of votes.

In less than 40 minutes, and with just two simple surveys, we’ve found a winning headline that is proven to get clicks.

Survey #2 - Testing Titles for News Media Content

As well as blogs, Helpfull surveys can be utilized to develop effective headlines for news affiliates and traditional media outlets.

Getting an audience to not only view, but share your content is imperative to the function of your business; if readers are not engaged by your headline, they surely won’t click through to your website. And they definitely will not share your content with their friends and family. Keeping with the trend of regressing attention spans, a sizable portion of readers will only read the headline of your article; getting them to take the extra step of clicking through to your work requires you to engage their curiosity. 

For our second survey, we’ve been asked to title an article about a massive toy recall affecting the 2020 holiday season. We need a title that is going to inform the readers about the content of our article in a way that urges them to get their eyes on our news. These are the titles we came up with:

  • “Major Toy Retailer Announces Recalls on 400,000 Action Figures”
  • “The Shocking Truth Behind This Latest Toy Recall”
  • “Why Americans Are Returning Their Children’s Holiday Presents In Droves”
  • “The Three Things You Need to Know About the Latest Toy Recall”
  • “The Unfortunate Truth Major Toy Manufacturers Kept Hidden From Consumers”
  • “A Very Unmerry Christmas - 400,000 Toys Recalled In 2020 Holiday Season”
  • “How The Biggest Toy Manufacturers Screwed It Up In 2020”
  • “Find Out If Your Christmas Gifts Are Affected By The Latest Holiday Toy Recall”

In contrast to our first survey, the answer we receive from our polling audience is far more decisive. A Very Unmerry Christmas - 400,000 Toys Recalled in 2020 Holiday Season was given 25% of the vote; out of the eight candidates tested, the Helpfull panelists chose this as the “title they were most likely to click on''. They found the headline to be attention-grabbing and informative. It was described as being “not click-bait, like some of the rest”, and audiences enjoyed the reference to Christmas in the title.

After reading the dozens of new insights provided to us by our Helpfull panelists, we’ve been given a much deeper understanding of what audiences look for and respond to for our headline. And to think - it only took 20 minutes! 

Survey #3 - Split Testing For Article Graphics

With Helpfull’s image-comparison testing, content creators can quickly test the effectiveness of their graphics and photos.

When it comes to grabbing your reader’s attention, the thumbnail photo is just as - if not more - important than your article headline. Humans are visual creatures that respond to images far more tangibly than they do text. The photo you choose to represent your article can color the emotional headspace the reader takes on before approaching your content. Images can promote strong positive - or negative - reactions in a reader’s mind. 

You should be giving the same considerations towards effectiveness with your graphics as you do your headlines; surveying Helpfull panelists is a sure-fire way to get quick, measured insight into how audiences will respond to your article thumbnail.

For our final survey, we’ve conducted an image-comparison survey that asks recipients to consider five different images. Drawing from the second survey, we’re looking to find a graphic to match the winning headline we had developed prior - “A Very Unmerry Christmas - 400,000 Toys Recalled In 2020 Holiday Season.”

After testing our graphics with 200 panelists, we had been given a decisive winner. The image recipients responded to the most strongly was that depicting a sad, presumably-crying child. The background surrounding the child has been made gray-scale, to evoke a much stronger emotional response in our test audience. 

The comments we received from our panelists mentioned how the image seemed to fit the tone of our article headline better than the rest; the powerful emotional response evoked by the image seemed justified, and inspired readers to want to learn more about the impact of this theoretical toy recall.

Get Eyes On Your Content with Helpfull Feedback

The ability to test headlines and graphics with an audience of thousands makes Helpfull the premier tool for content creators. 

Inspiring readers to consider your titles and click through to your article is no small feat; in this digital world, a vast ocean of competition threatens to swallow whole content that fails to make itself uniquely recognizable. Getting considered feedback and polling for your article headlines is the best way to ensure your work will float to the top and ride the waves of success. 

An intuitive user-interface, coupled with the ability to gather hundreds of consumer responses in just minutes, are just a few of the features that make Helpfull the ultimate tool for any artist, marketer, author, or content creator.

Make a statement - sign up with Helpfull today.

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