What attracts news readers in headlines? Many news websites test alternative headlines in order to assess which headline generates more clicks (A/B testing). In order to raise clickworthiness, headlines may emphasize news values including Negativity, Novelty and Eliteness. Headlines may also employ forward referencing (‘This is what you need to know’), or language intensity (‘Worst storm in decades’). Systematic analysis of A/B test data helps to identify characteristics of successful headlines. Using a data set provided by a Dutch national newspaper, headline characteristics are compared as to which incite more clicks, or, more specifically, click-through rates (CTR). The results indicate that besides language intensity and forward referencing, only the news value Negativity has a positive influence on CTR.
|Title of host publication||News Values from an Audience Perspective|
|Editors||Martina Temmerman, Jelle Mast|
|Place of Publication||Cham|
|Number of pages||25|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|