17 Cats Sent by Obama to
Learn from Steve Jobs and
Revolutionize How Your
Favorite Media Sites Spin
Stories into Headlines...
Good News,
Everyone!
Okay, okay...
that’s not
a real headline.
________
Okay, okay...
that’s not
a real headline.
________

(Sorry, folks.)
But imagine this story
actually breaks.
And something
reaallllyyy
interesting
would happen
online
And something
reaallllyyy
interesting
would happen
online

Aw yeah.
Sites everywhere would
newsjack & spin their own

Totally “Unique” Headline
Sites everywhere would
newsjack & spin their own

Totally “Unique” Headline
by ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE
Published: At the Exact...
Just look what happened
this summer when

acebook
announced
verified pages
Disclosure: This one
was ours at HubSpot
THE RUSH FOR YOUR
ATTENTION WAS ON
THE RUSH FOR YOUR
ATTENTION WAS ON
Read it
here!
THE RUSH FOR YOUR
ATTENTION WAS ON
Read it
here!

No,
here!
GUT CHECK!
GUT CHECK!
Which would you really
click?
THIS?
How Companies
Learn Your Secrets
OR THIS?
How Target
How Companies
Figured Out a
Learn Your Secrets Teen Girl Was
Pregnant Before
Her Father Did
(LOTS OF US PICKED THIS)
How Target
Figured Out a
Teen Girl Was
Pregnant Before
Her Father Did
(LOTS OF US PICKED THIS)
How Target
Figured Out a
Teen Girl Was
Pregnant Before
Her Father Did
BUT GUESS WHAT?
IT’S THE SAME STORY!
The headlines were
the main difference.
The headlines were
the main difference.
For real! Forbes just block quoted a ton of the Times piece.
The headlines were
the main difference.
For real! Forbes just block quoted a ton of the Times piece.
And got more traffic.
The headlines were
the main difference.
For real! Forbes just block quoted a ton of the Times piece.
And got more traffic....
The headlines were
the main difference.
For real! Forbes just block quoted a ton of the Times piece.
And got more traffic....
But...
Are headlines
worth all this
stress?
YES!
Def.

YES!

No diggity, no doubt
HEADLINES
DRIVE SITE TRAFFIC
HEADLINES
HELP SEARCH RANK
HEADLINES
ARE EASY TO SHARE
HEADLINES
CONVEY MEANING
HEADLINES
SET EXPECTATIONS
HEADLINES
MAKE YOU UNIQUE
HEADLINES
MAKE YOU UNIQUE
(And lots more.)
JUST CHECK OUT
THE GREAT LENGTHS
MAJOR MEDIA SITES
GO TO FOR THEIR

HEADLINES
• A/B tests headlines
• A/B tests headlines
• Built its own testing tech
• A/B tests headlines
• Built its own testing tech
• Solicits headlines from
Twitter followers
• A/B tests headlines
• Built its own testing tech
• Solicits headlines from
Twitter followers
• Uses provocative, bold,
s...
• A/B tests headlines
• Built its own testing tech
• Solicits headlines from
Twitter followers
• Uses provocative, bold,
s...
• Staffs SEO and
analytics experts for
each section
• Staffs SEO and
analytics experts for
each section
• Posts based on trending
keywords for headlines
• Staffs SEO and
analytics experts for
each section
• Posts based on trending
keywords for headlines
• Uses hyperbolic,
ov...
• Staffs SEO and
analytics experts for
each section
• Posts based on trending
keywords for headlines
• Uses hyperbolic,
ov...
• 25 headlines per post
• 25 headlines per post
• A/B tests top 4 ideas
• 25 headlines per post
• A/B tests top 4 ideas
• Uses sensationalized,
emotional language
(backs it up with quality
conte...
• 25 headlines per post
• A/B tests top 4 ideas
• Uses sensationalized,
emotional language
(backs it up with quality
conte...
These guys clearly know
the value of headlines:
These guys clearly know
the value of headlines:
d i s t r i b u t e content.
These guys clearly know
the value of headlines:
d i s t r i b u t e content.

GROW audience.
Headlines are...
“naked little creatures that
have to go out into the world to
stand and fight on their own.”
Gabriel Snyd...
Back to Our Story
Can you guess which of
these famous publishers
would spit out
each headline?
Let’s start with an easy one.
Who’s headline is next?
Remember, we
started with this:
Glass Crown for the King?
LeBron Tries Google’s New Gadget
Glass Crown for the King?
LeBron Tries Google’s New Gadget
Glass Crown for the King?
LeBron Tries Google’s New Gadget
Okay – you’re
ready to fly!
Okay – you’re
ready to fly!

(They grow up so fast...)
17 Cats Who Couldn’t Be More
Excited about Google Glass
17 Cats Who Couldn’t Be More
Excited about Google Glass
17 Cats Who Couldn’t Be More
Excited about Google Glass

Was there any doubt? BuzzFeed has so mastered headline
writing an...
These 5 Stats Will Make You
Think Twice about Buying Google
Glass (and about Your Privacy)
These 5 Stats Will Make You
Think Twice about Buying Google
Glass (and about Your Privacy)
These 5 Stats Will Make You
Think Twice about Buying Google
Glass (and about Your Privacy)

BI has a flair for writing dra...
Kim Kardashian Backs that Glass
Up (and Probably Divorces
Someone in the Process)
Kim Kardashian Backs that Glass
Up (and Probably Divorces
Someone in the Process)
Kim Kardashian Backs that Glass
Up (and Probably Divorces
Someone in the Process)

Perez Hilton receives plenty of negativ...
7 Ways Google Glass Makes
Marketing More Inbound
7 Ways Google Glass Makes
Marketing More Inbound
7 Ways Google Glass Makes
Marketing More Inbound

Yep – even we’re guilty and have our own, fairly common
headline style. ...
7 Ways Google Glass Makes
Marketing More Inbound

Yep – even we’re guilty and have our own, fairly common
headline style. ...
Headlines are just
one piece of the
puzzle that is
creating content.
____________________
SO REMEMBER:
Great headlines win their
SO REMEMBER:
Great headlines win their

Great content wins their
Thank You.
Jay Acunzo
Twitter.com/Jay_Zo
JayAcunzo.com
How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines
How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines
How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines
How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines
How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines
How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines
How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines
How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines
How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines
How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines
How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines
How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines
How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines
How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines
How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines
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How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines

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From HuffPost to Business Insider to Bleacher Report, media outlets everywhere optimize their headlines for sharing, for search engines, and for traffic. Find out why they're so important and take a quiz to test your headline acumen. (Created by Jay Acunzo, head of content at HubSpot. Twitter.com/jay_zo)

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  • Content Level – Lists: Ordered
  • How Your Favorite Sites Spin Stories into Headlines

    1. 1. 17 Cats Sent by Obama to Learn from Steve Jobs and Revolutionize How Your Favorite Media Sites Spin Stories into Headlines A look at the headline-happy web and how one story gets used and abused to drive more site traffic Jay Acunzo | @jay_zo | jayacunzo.com
    2. 2. Good News, Everyone!
    3. 3. Okay, okay... that’s not a real headline. ________
    4. 4. Okay, okay... that’s not a real headline. ________ (Sorry, folks.)
    5. 5. But imagine this story actually breaks.
    6. 6. And something reaallllyyy interesting would happen online
    7. 7. And something reaallllyyy interesting would happen online Aw yeah.
    8. 8. Sites everywhere would newsjack & spin their own Totally “Unique” Headline
    9. 9. Sites everywhere would newsjack & spin their own Totally “Unique” Headline by ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE Published: At the Exact Same Time
    10. 10. Just look what happened this summer when acebook announced verified pages
    11. 11. Disclosure: This one was ours at HubSpot
    12. 12. THE RUSH FOR YOUR ATTENTION WAS ON
    13. 13. THE RUSH FOR YOUR ATTENTION WAS ON Read it here!
    14. 14. THE RUSH FOR YOUR ATTENTION WAS ON Read it here! No, here!
    15. 15. GUT CHECK!
    16. 16. GUT CHECK! Which would you really click?
    17. 17. THIS? How Companies Learn Your Secrets
    18. 18. OR THIS? How Target How Companies Figured Out a Learn Your Secrets Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did
    19. 19. (LOTS OF US PICKED THIS) How Target Figured Out a Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did
    20. 20. (LOTS OF US PICKED THIS) How Target Figured Out a Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did BUT GUESS WHAT?
    21. 21. IT’S THE SAME STORY!
    22. 22. The headlines were the main difference.
    23. 23. The headlines were the main difference. For real! Forbes just block quoted a ton of the Times piece.
    24. 24. The headlines were the main difference. For real! Forbes just block quoted a ton of the Times piece. And got more traffic.
    25. 25. The headlines were the main difference. For real! Forbes just block quoted a ton of the Times piece. And got more traffic. And sparked some debate. (JimRomenesko.com)
    26. 26. The headlines were the main difference. For real! Forbes just block quoted a ton of the Times piece. And got more traffic. And sparked some debate. (JimRomenesko.com) (It was rad.)
    27. 27. But... Are headlines worth all this stress?
    28. 28. YES!
    29. 29. Def. YES! No diggity, no doubt
    30. 30. HEADLINES DRIVE SITE TRAFFIC
    31. 31. HEADLINES HELP SEARCH RANK
    32. 32. HEADLINES ARE EASY TO SHARE
    33. 33. HEADLINES CONVEY MEANING
    34. 34. HEADLINES SET EXPECTATIONS
    35. 35. HEADLINES MAKE YOU UNIQUE
    36. 36. HEADLINES MAKE YOU UNIQUE (And lots more.)
    37. 37. JUST CHECK OUT THE GREAT LENGTHS MAJOR MEDIA SITES GO TO FOR THEIR HEADLINES
    38. 38. • A/B tests headlines
    39. 39. • A/B tests headlines • Built its own testing tech
    40. 40. • A/B tests headlines • Built its own testing tech • Solicits headlines from Twitter followers
    41. 41. • A/B tests headlines • Built its own testing tech • Solicits headlines from Twitter followers • Uses provocative, bold, succinct language
    42. 42. • A/B tests headlines • Built its own testing tech • Solicits headlines from Twitter followers • Uses provocative, bold, succinct language • 79M Unique Visitors* *Source: Quantcast
    43. 43. • Staffs SEO and analytics experts for each section
    44. 44. • Staffs SEO and analytics experts for each section • Posts based on trending keywords for headlines
    45. 45. • Staffs SEO and analytics experts for each section • Posts based on trending keywords for headlines • Uses hyperbolic, overstated language* *e.g. Tom Brady Is the Most Overrated QB in NFL History
    46. 46. • Staffs SEO and analytics experts for each section • Posts based on trending keywords for headlines • Uses hyperbolic, overstated language* • 23M Uniques** (& sold to Turner for $175M) *e.g. Tom Brady Is the Most Overrated QB in NFL History **Source: Quantcast
    47. 47. • 25 headlines per post
    48. 48. • 25 headlines per post • A/B tests top 4 ideas
    49. 49. • 25 headlines per post • A/B tests top 4 ideas • Uses sensationalized, emotional language (backs it up with quality content, not just cats)
    50. 50. • 25 headlines per post • A/B tests top 4 ideas • Uses sensationalized, emotional language (backs it up with quality content, not just cats) • 12M Uniques* *Source: Quantcast
    51. 51. These guys clearly know the value of headlines:
    52. 52. These guys clearly know the value of headlines: d i s t r i b u t e content.
    53. 53. These guys clearly know the value of headlines: d i s t r i b u t e content. GROW audience.
    54. 54. Headlines are... “naked little creatures that have to go out into the world to stand and fight on their own.” Gabriel Snyder Editor, The Atlantic Wire
    55. 55. Back to Our Story
    56. 56. Can you guess which of these famous publishers would spit out each headline?
    57. 57. Let’s start with an easy one. Who’s headline is next? Remember, we started with this:
    58. 58. Glass Crown for the King? LeBron Tries Google’s New Gadget
    59. 59. Glass Crown for the King? LeBron Tries Google’s New Gadget
    60. 60. Glass Crown for the King? LeBron Tries Google’s New Gadget
    61. 61. Okay – you’re ready to fly!
    62. 62. Okay – you’re ready to fly! (They grow up so fast...)
    63. 63. 17 Cats Who Couldn’t Be More Excited about Google Glass
    64. 64. 17 Cats Who Couldn’t Be More Excited about Google Glass
    65. 65. 17 Cats Who Couldn’t Be More Excited about Google Glass Was there any doubt? BuzzFeed has so mastered headline writing and viral content that their valuation hit $200M in 2013, with some saying a billion is in their future. (“BuzzFeed Valued at a Billion” would be founder Jonah Peretti’s favorite headline ever, no?)
    66. 66. These 5 Stats Will Make You Think Twice about Buying Google Glass (and about Your Privacy)
    67. 67. These 5 Stats Will Make You Think Twice about Buying Google Glass (and about Your Privacy)
    68. 68. These 5 Stats Will Make You Think Twice about Buying Google Glass (and about Your Privacy) BI has a flair for writing dramatic, maybe even sensationalized headlines. Editor and CEO Henry Blodget can now boast 23M monthly uniques six years after launching with a simple but bold mission: “Different medium, different journalism.”
    69. 69. Kim Kardashian Backs that Glass Up (and Probably Divorces Someone in the Process)
    70. 70. Kim Kardashian Backs that Glass Up (and Probably Divorces Someone in the Process)
    71. 71. Kim Kardashian Backs that Glass Up (and Probably Divorces Someone in the Process) Perez Hilton receives plenty of negative attention for its attitude but probably deserves equal credit for its SEO. In a highly competitive market, the site claims first page real estate on Google for hugely trafficked keywords like “Kim Kardashian,” “Jennifer Lawrence,” and “Justin Bieber.”
    72. 72. 7 Ways Google Glass Makes Marketing More Inbound
    73. 73. 7 Ways Google Glass Makes Marketing More Inbound
    74. 74. 7 Ways Google Glass Makes Marketing More Inbound Yep – even we’re guilty and have our own, fairly common headline style. Most of our audience looks for tangible, tactical ways to execute on their jobs and make sense of the digital world. And hey, we’re not doing too bad (1.4M readers).
    75. 75. 7 Ways Google Glass Makes Marketing More Inbound Yep – even we’re guilty and have our own, fairly common headline style. Most of our audience looks for tangible, tactical ways to execute on their jobs and make sense of the digital world. And hey, we’re not doing too bad (1.4M readers). Still, it’s important to remember...
    76. 76. Headlines are just one piece of the puzzle that is creating content.
    77. 77. ____________________
    78. 78. SO REMEMBER: Great headlines win their
    79. 79. SO REMEMBER: Great headlines win their Great content wins their
    80. 80. Thank You. Jay Acunzo Twitter.com/Jay_Zo JayAcunzo.com
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