I Checked My Old Articles with a Headline Analyzer. And the Results Were Awful.

old articles

Or were they?

When you choose the title of your next article you’re faced with 3 choices:

  1. Optimize it for search engines, or should I say “robots” πŸ€–
  2. Write a human-friendly headline that will make people eager to click on your article from the millions of blog posts posted each day
  3. Rack your brains to please both humans and robots βš–οΈ

Years ago, I didn’t pay much attention to the headings of my own blog posts. Mainly, because I focus too much on the content. But not thinking about writing an engaging headline was a big mistake.

So I took my previous headlines and ran a few searches to test them. And let me tell you, they needed a lot of improvement which is why I’ve changed them since then (of course, I made my choice I went with option number 1 mentioned above πŸ˜‡).

CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer is a tool that should help you write more attractive and convincing headlines and get more readers.

Let’s start with my best results from the headline analysis process:

How To Hire A Strong Ruby On Rails Developer

headline

Simple and straightforward. Although not a very special headline, it appeals to the reader’s intent by offering a concrete promise from the very title of the article.

article headline length

Great length. And a positive sentiment which is what I had aimed for:

article sentiment

10 Useful and Free Digital Marketing Courses

typical headline

A typical headline for a list post that’s also optimized for search engines.

42 Useful Digital and Social Media Marketing Quotes

headline

Same headline style put together for a list post and optimized for search engines.

My problem with such headlines remains the fact that everyone ends up writing similar ones so readers are not able to distinguish between similar articles of interest anymore.

Despite the good rating, this is where the tool falls short. You can have the perfect headline, but if everyone writes them according to the same formula, you’re not going to get any value at the end.

Another similar situation is for the following article headline:

8 Killer Copywriting Secrets You Haven’t Thought About

list headline

Content Marketing – The Anatomy of Successful Content

content results

This particular headline is missing uncommon and emotional words that are usually considered appealing. However, I saved it with a power word: successful.

And it’s length is also almost perfect:

content length

This headline analyzer also takes a look at the sentiment the heading offers:

headline sentiment

And it’s true. This was one of my most successful articles, and I can assume the headline played an important part in this.

Ways to Donate to an Animal Shelter

The title was meant to be generic. And this is exactly what the results say:

generic headline

But the score could have been improved:

no emotion

And it lacks the emotional factor it might have needed.

lack of sentiment

SEO in 79 Images – A Visual Guide to Search Engine Optimization Terms

Here’s a headline I had high hopes for. Interesting number, unique benefit, SEO keyword…

And although many successful articles follow this pattern, the truth is that it’s just: common.

common title

And the length is just a fail.

failed length

Cut, Copy, and Paste – the First Steps to Marketing Automation

Better than expected from a headline that tells you nothing. But maybe this is exactly what makes people click on the article.

better score

And another headline from the series had similar results:

Rapid Fire Technique for SEO Outreach

headline from the series

But not the same can be said about the first one from the series:

Spontaneous Content – A Concept

bad results

And its short length is even worse:

short length

Create Your Own Coloring Book With Canva – Design Tutorial

good headline

A surprisingly good headline I got from the first option try. Plus, it did well on Medium so this is one proof of the effectiveness of headlines for catching a reader’s attention.

How to Create a Free E-Book for Children With Canva.com in Just 4 Steps + β€œThe Story of Life” E-Book

analyzing blog headlines for articles

Similar to the previous one in terms of intent, but with the ever-so-common “How to” impact words at the beginning.

Creative Instagram Posts for Any Phone and Budget

generic blog title

A simple but generic headline that’s just missing a few emotional words and a number at the beginning to give an idea of how ample the article is.

The Real Importance Of Article Length

importance of headlines

You wouldn’t expect this to score so well since it appears a bit too bland and vague at first sight, but it does contain a power word (i.e. “importance“) that saves and changes the headline.

Is Instagram losing its value among non-business users?

headline writing

Intriguing and complete with one emotional (value) and one powerful word (losing).

Also, this is a perfect example of a blog post headline that recreates a negative sentiment:

negative article

***

Of course, aiming for a perfect 100 score is not realistic. In fact, on the CoSchedule blog you’ll notice that only the best headlines have their scored displayed.

headline analyzedAnd 71 is not a perfect score either.

Even some the headlines of their top articles score less than 70:

headline examples

words in headlines

ideal blog title

***

Remember that these are just numbers that are meant to give you a helping hand when you’re creating your next blog post. And the truth is that any of these headlines will get people to read your article.

The perfect headline is the one YOUR audience needs. So before you freak out because your scores are low, take a look at what your most successful articles’ headlines were.

Let me know if you have any tips on writing better headlines in the comments section below.

Also, what I truly want to ask you is:

Do you believe in using automated tools to create a perfect headline? And is there such a thing as a perfect headline? Share your thoughts and examples!

Published by Alexandra Cote

Alexandra Cote is a SaaS content writer and strategist with a passion for workplace productivity, social media marketing wonders, conversion rate optimization, artificial intelligence, and keyword research (Hooray for SEO!). Reach out to her via LinkedIn or her blog.

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