More and more businesses are writing for themselves rather than outsourcing it to writing companies. If you’re a business owner who is writing a blog, then you probably don’t have the same experience and skills as a professional writer.
Some insightful entrepreneurs noticed this and have created a huge range of writing tools which are designed to allow anyone and everyone to have a robot editor. Tools like Grammarly will correct your grammar, suggest alternative words and show you how to write better. Similarly, headline analyzers will prompt you to make an improvement to your headlines.
What are Headline Analyzers?
Headline analyzers are simple tools which review the title or headline to your article. All you need to do is copy and paste your title into the tool, and it will run it through the program to make suggestions to how you could improve the headline.
How Do They Work?
There are two popular tools to consider, and they work in similar but different ways; Co-Schedules Headline Analyzer and the Advanced Marketing Institutes Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer, perhaps they should have used their tool on their tool name.
The AM EMV tool was the first headline analyzer that was popularized and is the basis for the vast majority of other tools in the industry.
It’s based upon studies from the 60’s and 70’s that suggested certain words had an emotional response, not because of the definition of the word but because of the way it sounded. The caused marketing agencies across the world to rush to throw emotional words into all of their campaigns.
The AM EMV tool works by cross referencing your headline against a huge list of EMV words to score the headline as a percentage, i.e. the percentage of words in your title that have emotional marketing value.
Of course, this is a relatively basic tool and doesn’t take into consideration any other factors that might influence the CTR. Not only that, but there is also an argument over whether these words even have a real influence on people.
Similarly, they were never tested on people reading on a screen, particularly not on a search engine results page. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to believe that this might have a significant impact on the benefit of these EMV phrases and words.
The most popular headline analyzing tool is Co-Schedules Headline Analyzer, and it’s based on the AM EMW tool. However, they’ve also factored in tens of other factors that make a great headline.
For example; they crunched tens of thousands of lines of data and realized that having numbers in your headline has a significant impact on the CTR.
With all these extra factors the Co-Schedule Headline Analyzer can give you a lot more information and recommendations that the AM EMV tool. Essentially, it’s made the AM EMV tool completely useless.
Do They Add Value?
So, if the Co-Schedule tool is the most useful, how much value does it add and should you use it?
A study by Portent looked at the score that Co-Schedule gave for their headlines and compared it to the number of visits that each post had.
What they found was that there was almost no statistically significant correlation between the Co-Schedule score of a headline and the number of visitors that the post received.
That seems like damning evidence, but it’s not the best test. The only test which would put this argument to rest would be to split-test headlines in the Google SERP’s. Unfortunately, that’s near enough impossible to do because you can’t keep the other results constant.
Other reviews and research have come to a similar conclusion; there seems to be little to no difference in traffic to a page when testing two headlines, one with a low score and another with a high score.
It’s likely the case that the split second decisions we make on which links to click are based upon a huge range of factors and the headline text is just one of those.
This isn’t to say that the headline doesn’t make any difference, just that it’s difficult for a tool to predict what headline will perform better.
Of course, Co-Schedule has used thousands of data points to conclude that certain factors in a headline make it more clickable and shareable, but this will change from industry to industry.
The only conclusion we can come to is that using a headline tool isn’t going to have a negative impact and it might have a small positive impact.
If you’re struggling to come up with an imaginative headline then using these types of tools can give you inspiration and help you to refine your existing title.
However, if your gut tells you that your current headline is perfect, don’t be afraid to ignore the low score that you get from Co-Schedules tool.