Headline Score

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The first 10 seconds on your blog are critical. This measure shows why so many headlines fail.

The Headline Score (you are here) is a headline-analysis algorithm that assigns a numerical weighting to each headline  to obtain the score ranging from 0 (worst) through 100 (best).

The Headline Score  is part of what makes up the ComMetrics FootprintThe latter is calculated by using FIVE indices: Headline Score (you are here), Engagement Score Text Complexity ScoreRipple Score (Google+, Twitter AND Facebook) and the First Impressions Score.

Each of the four components below – A through D –  accounts for .25 of the overall ComMetrics Headline Score.

A – 100 points for length of title

Because Google does tend to cut off titles that use more than 60 characters including spaces such titles should not be used. Accordingly, your titles are scored as follows:

– 100 points = length up to 30 characters and spaces,
– 90 points = 31 – 35 characters and spaces
– 80 points = 36 – 40 characters and spaces
– 70 points = 41 – 45 characters and spaces
– 60 points = 46 – 50 characters and spaces
– 50 points = 51 – 55 characters and spaces
– 40 points = 56 – 60 characters and spaces
– 0 points = 61 or more characters and spaces

B – 100 points for less complexity in your titles

This is calculated based on words with more than six letters.

100 points = 1 word or less with more than six letters
80 points = 2 complex words
40 points = 3 complex words
0 points = 4 or more complex words

C – 100 points for using brand names

This is calculated based on you having brand names in your blog post title, such as, Nespresso or Red Bull.  However, it also checks for some organizations such as Red Cross, Unicef or Médecins Sans Frontières. For the latter we also check if synonyms are used in other languages such as Ärzte ohne Grenzen or Doctors without Borders.  In case the brand or organization has an ‘official’ abbreviation, in this case  MSF, we check for it as well and adjust your socre accordingly.

100 = 2 or more brand names
80 = 1 brand name used
40 = 1 or more brand names mentioned more than once in text of blog entry under this headline
0 = no brand name used

D – 100 points for using a stop sign

The power of headlines is such that a question-based headline tends to get people’s attention. An example would be using the word why and a question mark such as :

– Is social media marketing driving you crazy?
– Who else wants to fire your boss?

Second factor is following advertising’s mantra that says it works if it is solution based – it solves a problem or provides you with tools or a solution to solve the issue. A solution-based title repackaged into a problem-based power pack tends get easier noticed.  An example could be: Struggling to make effective use of social media marketing?  The headline is phrased as a problem and question (e.g., words such as struggle, effective, use, problem, tip, trick, etc. are included):

a) 10 tips (Tipps) on how to use social media marketing better?
b) Checklist for improving your cooking skills
c) 3 greatest mistakes
d) 7 ways to save taxes
e) 7 insider tips to generate traffic
f) 100 Twitter tools that…

Third factor is the curiosity one that sucks an audience in.  Headlines with ‘how to’ are typical curisity-based headlines.  They imply a problem that needs to be solved. An example could be:

How to win over your customer
Why 99% of diets fail
– 3 greatest mistakes
Who else wants to …
– Do you
What everybody ought to….
Why the Apple operating system blows Android away
How companies drive their Facebook fans awayts To…

How to get more followers on Twitter…. fix your boss…. get more blog traffic

Hence, headlines that include words (singular or plural form) such as: tip, checklist, how to and so forth  are, of course, interesting and suggest that readers get hands-on help.

100 points =  both  triggers are part of headline = question,  problem &/or curiosity
80 points = 2 criteria are applied to the headline
60 points = 1 of these 3 criteria were met
0 points = none of these 3 criteria are met

Try to make sure that you ask a question, address the how to or tip/checklist factor and raise the reader’s curiosity.

How can we score your headline?

So how will we score a title like this one: “Starbucks’ new strategy: Why it fails?”

A –  80 points – 38 characters with spaces
B –  80 points – 2 words with more than six characters – Starbucks and strategy
C –  80 points – 1 brand name – Starbucks
D – 80 points – is a question, suggests/implies that one can learn from Starbucks mistakes

The above adds up to 320 is divided by 4  = 80 out of a perfect 100.

Another example is the title “What you should know about the  ComMetrics headline score”

A –  50 points – 53 characters with spaces
B –  40 points – 3 words with more than six characters – ComMetrics, headline & practice
C –  40 points – 1 brand name – ComMetrics is a brand name but not a global one so we sore this with 0, however if your post/story mentions a well-known brand name:  you get 4 points
D – 100 points – raises curiosity, implies that the problem can be solved

The above score of 280 is divided by 4 to obtain 70 out of a possible perfect 100.

“Why do some headlines fail to score high?”  This can be scored as follows

A –  70 points – 53 characters with spaces
B –  100 points – 1 word with more than six characters – headlines
C –  0 points – no brand name used (neither in title nor in the text of the blog post)
D – 100 points – it is a question and  suggests/implies that the problem can be solved/curiosity factor

The above score of 270 is divided by 4  =  67.5 out of a possible 100.

“How a German housewife lost 15.5 kg in 65 days!”

A –  70 points – 53 characters with spaces
B –  100 points – 1 word with more than six characters – headlines
C –  0 points – no brand name used (neither in title nor in the text of the blog post)
D – 100 points – it is a question and  suggests/implies that the problem can be solved/curiosity factor

The above score of 270 is divided by 4  =  67.5 out of a possible 100.

How do we calculate the final score

In short, the numbers we get above are then used in the following way: Sum[(A x .25) +  ( B x .25) + (C x .25) + (D x .25)]/4 = Headline  Score that ranges from 0 to 100. This score can then be used to rank your blog compared to the others.

The z-scores for the above indicators are added up to get an overall z-score.  This information is calculated into an overall score. Click here to find out how we process the raw data.

The actual ComMetrics Mnemonic  Score number is used in the ComMetrics algorithm to help determine the ComMetrics Footprint of the blog, website or other social media effort being benchmarked.

At this point, the overall scores are compared and rescaled using 100 as the top score.