Four Statistics About Headlines That Will Surprise You

The Five Types of Headlines

There are five different types of headlines that can be found in abundance through various online publications and most social media networks. More specifically, you can choose from a normal, question, how to, number, or reader-addressing headline. The normal headline may be found in the form of "ways to" complete a certain activity. Similarly, the "how to" articles will describe or provide the steps needed to complete a specific activity. In contrast, the question headline will address the reader using a question and include the what, who, when, where, or why. Moreover, the number headline will indicate to readers how many items will be described in the article. For instance, you may find a headline that discusses five ways to write an article. Finally, the reader-addressing headline will use specific language to indicate to the reader that he/she should or needs to perform a certain task or read the article for details on a specific topic.

Three Interesting Facts About Headlines

  • According to studies done by "A Day in the Internet," which is a web-based study that focuses on tracking content and Internet usage, there is an immense amount of content being posted online everyday. In terms of numbers, there are over two million blog posts published daily. At the same time, 294 billion emails are sent, and 864 thousand hours of video are produced and released on the Web.
  • Approximately 80 percent of readers online will only read the headline of an article and skip the rest of the content. This means only approximately 20 percent of readers will continue reading, and only 10 percent will read the article till the end.
  • Online traffic can vary by up to 500 percent, and it is typically dependant on the headlines of the article. This is because online traffic will include individuals who scout the Web for interesting articles in the day, but who also do not have the intention to read about a specific subject or topic.

Popularity Ratings for the Five Types of Headlines

According to results of the web-based study, the majority of users prefered the number type of headlines over all of the others. When discussing preferences, it is important to note that users would be more likely to click on the number type of headline than any of its counterparts. Interestingly, the number headlines also appealed more to female users than male users. Second to number headlines, it was found that the reader-addressing headlines were the next type of headline to be preferred (and clicked) by users online. In terms of the three other types of headlines (how to, normal, and question), these ranked similarly for all users. According to the study, approximately 15 to 20 percent of online users prefer the how-to headlines, normal headlines, and question headlines, respectively. Similarly, preferences across gender groups do not differ significantly from the preferences of all users on the Web.

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