What if I told you that adding one extra word to your title could increase quiz views by 100%? You’d probably call me crazy and move on, or dismiss that fact as another stupid click-bait title and doc my credibility.
I’m here to make that assertion, as well as make a few other claims about how to write titles that get noticed. The difference is, I will be starting with analytics and work backwards, instead of making ungrounded claims.
Without further ado, here are the three types of quiz titles Buzzfeed uses to consistently produce hit quizzes.
1. The celebrity title
We all get exposed to celebrities. Just look at the top articles on this site and you’ll see that many reference famous people in some way. That’s not a mistake or anomaly, using celebrities in your quiz title can drastically increase the overall views.
To test this claim, we took 1400 quizzes created using Interact and arranged them into two groups, one group had titles containing the word “celebrity” and another had titles that didn’t contain the same word.
The results are pretty drastic, quizzes referencing celebrities got nearly ten times as much traffic as those without. I have a theory for why this is the case, and it’s that entertainment sites typically run celebrity quizzes, and entertainment sites tend to get a lot of traffic. However, your business can learn from those entertainment sites.
What I mean is that celebrity quizzes don’t have to be limited to celebrities. For example, if you run an office space leasing website and want to run a quiz “What’s your office personality?” you can turn it into a celebrity title by saying “What celebrity is your office personality most like?”
2. The “Which (blank) are you?” title
What’s one subject you never get tired of learning about? If you answered with yourself, you’d be right. A full 60% of what we talk about in a normal day is ourselves, and we need fuel to put on that fire of conversation.
Perhaps that’s why the “Which (blank) are you?” title works so well. To be clear, quizzes like “Which famous social activist are you?” is an example of a quiz of this type. Basically anything that categorizes people into one of several groups based on a quiz.
So how effective is this title? To test, we took 454 quizzes and split them into two groups. The first group had quiz titles that included the words “which” “are” and “you” the second group didn’t have any of those words in the title. The average views for quizzes with all three words was massively higher than the average for quizzes without.
Now let’s look at a practical example of using this kind of quiz title. The example comes from HostelWorld, a site for booking hostels around the world. They created “What type of traveler are you actually?” and it was an instant hit on social media. With over 36,000 views to date and thousands of social shares, it was a massive success.
3. The “actually” title
This is where we get to that claim about one word increasing views by over 100%. The word is “actually” and it does in fact more than double quiz views on average in our experiment.
To run that experiment, we divided 1373 quizzes into two groups (see a pattern here?) – one of the groups had the word “actually” in all the titles, and the other group didn’t have the word actually.
The results are dramatic, and one word really can have power.
Let’s take a look at how this word can change a quiz, pictured below is a quiz titled “Which American City Should You Actually Live in?” that has become popular. Take out the word “actually” and you get “Which American City Should You Live in?” now th main difference between those two options is in the way the quiz is presented. The first one with “actually” is a challenge, whereas the second one is simply a quiz.
Creating quiz titles is not rocket science, but it should be a science instead of a guessing game. I’ve covered a few titles that work well, now it’s your turn to go and make a quiz and try it out for yourself, you might be surprised by the results.