“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
David Ogilvy // Legendary Copywriter
The formula to write better content is simple: better headlines = better results. Is there a formula for better headlines though? The team at Coschedule claim to have created a highly optimized one and put it into a publicly accessible tool called Coschedule Headline Studio (also called “Coschedule Headline Analyzer” previously).
I’ve been a user of the free version of the tool for many years, long before there was a paid option. However, I used it more as a tool for breaking through creative ruts versus something to follow stringently as if it were providing the gospel truth for ranking my content.
However, they recently created a premium version (yes, it is much different than the free version) and I decided to jump onboard that. I have a full plan account that features 10 premium headlines per month. It isn’t relatively cheap (emphasis on the word relatively, if you’re blogging at scale it seems quite affordable) so I wanted to really put it through some thorough testing before I gave it my stamp of approval .
This article will give you an overview of Coschedule’s Headline Studio and will show you if the “data driven” suggestions are actually helpful in creating content that gets more traffic and improves our rankings in search engines. You can then decide if the tool is worth the cost to create an account or if it’s just another flaky overhyped SEO tool.
Let’s get into it!
What Is Coschedule Headline Studio?
Like headilnes, your time is extremely valuable so if you just want to see the results of my test (I don’t blame you) you can just click right here.
Coschedule Headline Studio is a web based program that claims to use an “all new algorithm” to provide marketers and content creators with actionable suggestions that can help them finally feel confident that when they write content, it will drive maximum traffic.
It does this through a score based system that rates their headlines from a scale of 0 to 100. The different variables that they review are pretty impressive.
They provide two main score types: Headline score and SEO score.
The SEO score is aimed at helping the search engine results of the content while the headline score is focused on driving clicks when people read the terms. Essentially, one is more focused on trying to make Google happy (SEO score) while the other is trying to get real human beings to actually click on the content.
The most obvious thing that separates the Coschedule Headline Studio from other free headline rating tools is how much detail they put into the SEO review part. This tool is not made for simply writing clickbait headlines. It gives you insights that are intelligent and based on keyword search intent. Although the accuracy of the data and insights they provide can be debated, they do far more in this area than any other alternative.
We can see things like estimated monthly search volume, SERP competitors (and their headline scores) and much more.
Although this is far from a replacement to keyword research tools like AHREFs, SEMRush or KWFinder, it provides very nice insights that did actually lead me down some new rabbit trails for things to add to my content and new topics and alternative headlines to consider covering.
So, if you’re dying to get Coschedule Headline Studio, you can maybe cut one of your lesser used keyword research tools if you need to justify the expense 🙂
But how does the tool actually work?
First, you type (or in my case just copy and paste) your headline into the search bar.
Next, it will give you your scores and suggestions.
You’ll receive insights on the following …
- Word Balance
- Word Count
- Character Count
- Headline Type
- Reading Grade Level
You can dive deeper into each of these with a click. Headline studio does a great job here of “showing their work,” and leading you to be confident that it’s utilizing proven data vs. some overly simplified, one size fits all excel generated formula.
It saves all of your past headlines so you can see how your headline is changing over time. Of course, not every change will lead to an increase in score, so you want to be able to back track.
You have lifetime past headlines access so you don’t have to worry about leaving the browser and coming back.
Keep in mind, you can edit the same headline up to 25 times. After that, it will charge you for another headline.
The score is comprised of many variables and there are insights and suggestions for improving all of them. For example, if you’re using boring words, they have word banks of alternatives you can use instead.
What Is Coschedule Headline Studio Browser Extension for Google Chrome?
Although I’m not a big user of this part of the tool, I can’t not mention the Headline Studio chrome browser.
First, it’s free so whether you decide to buy a premium account or not, you should go grab it here.
The plugin allows you to quickly see the headline score of any page online. Simply click the icon when you’re on a page you’d like and you can copy and paste the headline into the analyzer. I do wish it could grab it automatically, but hey, it’s literally the most minor of inconveniences.
If you have an account, you can start crafting your own headlines right there in the browser and they’ll transfer over to the actual app for you to access later.
It’s a cool tool but it’s definitely most valuable when you have the Headline Studio pro account.
My Coschedule Headline Studio Test
My test was looking to prove that the headline scores and SEO scores provided by Headline Studio of my blog titles actually made a positive impact on my SEO rankings. The search engine result metrics I wanted to measure were:
- CTR (click through rate) – Were people clicking on my posts when they saw them?
- Impressions – Were Google and YouTube showing my content more or less often?
- Average Position in SERPs – Was Google showing my content higher or lower on the results pages?
- Total clicks – Was the combined impact of CTR and Impressions leading to more clicks or fewer clicks?
To make this test as reliable as possible, I did the following…
- Ensured the content I was testing was already getting enough impressions to show statistically significant or nearly significant results.
- Provided 21 days between when I updated the headlines and when I reviewed the results.
- Used Google Search Console to ensure that the data was reliable.
- Used TubeBuddy for split testing a popular YouTube video (I prefer this over GSC for YouTube).
- Ensured that I improved at least the score for headlines or SEO.
- Neither score would be decreased. In one instance the SEO score didn’t change but all others did.
- I made no other changes to the content besides updating the headline.
Some limitations to this test include…
- Potential negative impact on SERPs due to the update – Although updating content is a huge win in the long run, I’ve experienced on many occasions an initial drop in both impressions and rank positioning when I updated old content. I believe Google lowers the search rankings of large search volume topics immediately after content edits to ensure that we aren’t pulling a “bait and switch” where we rank for a page and then send the visitors to something completely unrelated like pornography, gambling, etc. It’s a reasonable thing to expect.
- Seasonal changes impacting visits – I tried to find content that wouldn’t be impacted by the time of the year, but there is some randomness we will never be able to fully avoid. For this reason, we need to pay attention to the larger changes and take the smaller ones with a grain of salt.
- Difficulty measuring copywriting value of headlines if the pages drop in search position. In a perfect world, my articles would all rank #1 and stay ranked #1 for almost every keyword they rank for. However, they don’t and the positions fluctuate a lot over a 3 week period. This is especially meaningful for keywords ranking in and out of the top 6 spots. For example, let’s say an article drops from position 1 (which gets about 31% of all clicks on average) to position 3 (which gets about 18% of all clicks on average) in search engines for a very important keyword. The CTR will almost assuredly drop regardless of how much better the new headline is compared to the old one and compared to the 2 above it. People just prefer the top result and we can’t “out copywrite” that part once they’re already on the SERP page.
Even with these limitations, I feel confident that we can get meaningful data from this test and we can really see if the Coschedule Headline Studio does or doesn’t do anything useful for our websites.
My Coschedule Headline Studio Test Results
Here are the 6 articles and 1 video I tested.
5 Ninja Level Tricks To View A Private Instagram Account
5 Quick and Easy Ways To View A Private Instagram Account
How To Know If You’re Shadowbanned On Tiktok | Here Is The Secret Formula To Find Out
TikTok Account Shadowban: Here’s How to Find Out If It Happened to You
15 YouTube Channel Ideas That Anyone Can Do Without Ever Showing Their Face
15 Awesome YouTube Channel Ideas That Don’t Require You to Show Your Face
How To Download Facebook Messenger Conversations The Easy Way
How To Download Facebook Messenger Conversations The Quick and Easy Way
15 Best Quotes About Haters | Share-Worthy Quotes For Dealing With Negative And Jealous People
15 Amazing Quotes About Handling Haters, Negativity And Jealous People
Is The Navy Seal 40% Rule Bull Shit? Here’s What Science Shows
The Navy Seal 40% Rule Is Bullshit? Here’s What Scientific Research Says
How to Create Professional Looking Excel Spreadsheets
How to Create Beautiful and Professional Looking Excel Spreadsheets Fast
Here are the results from the Sunday before the test started (11.7.21) compared to the most recent Sunday at the time of writing (11.28.21).
Original: 5 Ninja Level Tricks To View A Private Instagram Account
Optimized: 5 Quick and Easy Ways To View A Private Instagram Account
Original: How To Know If You’re Shadowbanned On Tiktok | Here Is The Secret Formula To Find Out
Optimized: TikTok Account Shadowban: Here’s How to Find Out If It Happened to You
Original: 15 YouTube Channel Ideas That Anyone Can Do Without Ever Showing Their Face
Optimized: 15 Awesome YouTube Channel Ideas That Don’t Require You to Show Your Face
Original: How To Download Facebook Messenger Conversations The Easy Way
Optimized: How To Download Facebook Messenger Conversations The Quick and Easy Way
Original: 15 Best Quotes About Haters | Share-Worthy Quotes For Dealing With Negative And Jealous People
Optimized: 15 Amazing Quotes About Handling Haters, Negativity And Jealous People
Original: Is The Navy Seal 40% Rule Bull Shit? Here’s What Science Shows
Optimized: The Navy Seal 40% Rule Is Bullshit? Here’s What Scientific Research Says
Test #7 (YouTube Video)
Original: How to Create Professional Looking Excel Spreadsheets
Optimized: How to Create Beautiful and Professional Looking Excel Spreadsheets Fast
Total End Result of Tests
Coschedule Headline Analyzer Studio Pricing
If you’re sold on Coschedule Headline Studio, here’s how the pricing breaks down.
First, here’s a couple of things to know…
- They make it extremely hard to not get an annual license since they offer 50% off versus the month to month plan. I highly suggest grabbing an annual plan if you do purchase.
- You get 25 revisions per headline. Technically, you’re able to enter other headlines without that 25 revisions but I am sure they frown upon that. I’ve never asked.
- Your credits to NOT roll over. Use it or lose it.
Free Plan – Includes headline score and thesaurus. It doesn’t include smart suggestions, SEO Score, Full Version History, Full Headline History or Word Banks. All premium plans include these.
5 Premium Headlines Per Month = $19/Month or $9/Month if paid yearly
20 Premium Headlines Per Month = $59/Month or $29/Month if paid annually.
60 Premium Headlines Per Month = $99/Month or $49/Month if paid annually.
Coschedule Headline Analyzer Studio Pro Alternatives
There are a number of alternatives to Headline Analyzer Studio.
When it comes to software, you can check out tools like…
These are nice since they’re free but they only scratch the surface of what you get with Coschedule Headline Studio. If you’re on a budget though, they’re a nice place to start.
You can also hire someone to work on your headlines. Fiverr offers a number of premium gigs across all sorts of price ranges from people who claim to be able to write eye catching headlines for blog posts, videos etc.
Personally, I’m sticking with Headline Studio.
Although the expense was already easily justified for me just as a tool for inspiration to break through creative barriers when writing, the tests I ran confirmed it was also something that has genuine, objective valuable to anyone who either makes money with their content or just wants more visits to the content they create and care about.
Although there is no perfect AI solution when it comes to writing headlines (yet) and not every single headline suggestion is guaranteed to perform, this tool is absolutely one that I give my stamp of approval and makes a nice additional to the tool set of any serious blogger or YouTuber.