Headline Optimization Increases Clickthrough Rate (Case Study)

|Kelly Reeves

We talk time and again about the simple, yet powerful effect that titles have on an article’s performance. Oftentimes, just a few tweaks to an article’s headline can have a big impact on its click through rate (CTR) and resulting traffic to the article. A recent win from our account management team reminded us of how wide the gap can be, and we wanted to share the results in order to urge you think twice — before not thinking twice — about your headlines before publish.

A client who was looking to boost traffic to their blog content launched a traffic campaign targeting 31 articles. The initial CTR and RPM (revenue per 1,000 impressions) weren’t moving the needle for the client, and the campaign wasn’t hitting its daily cap — or, the amount the client was willing to spend per day. In addition, a portion of the campaign was geotargeted, which limits the potential audience to specific articles from the get-go. So to start out, we had 2 things playing against the campaign: poor CTR and geo targeting.

Outbrain’s awesome account management team is always on the lookout for ways to tweak and optimize each campaign to maximize our clients’ spend, and turned to headline optimization to see how it would affect the results.

The team crafted an additional 2-4 headlines per article for testing (an additional 109 titles in total) and put them into circulation.  Once the titles were updated, the campaign CTR shot up 400%, enabling us to lower the client’s cost per click as we started to hit the daily budgets, and as a result, the campaign RPM also shot up 329%. Not bad for a little wordplay.

And best of all – the client was extremely excited, and even retired some of its own titles in the process.

Lift in results after headline TweaksNeed tips for optimizing your article titles for clickthrough success? Check out 5 tips to improve your headline clickthrough rate inspired by Outbrain data.

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Kelly Reeves

Kelly is Senior Marketing Manager at Outbrain. Previously, she was the founding editor of Urlesque, an AOL-owned website covering internet... Read more

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