blue white cave entrance as headline analogy

The anatomy of successful online content is deceptively simple.

It just takes the right topic, well-written content, and a headline that effectively tells readers why it’s worth clicking.

Each of these components is worth looking at in-depth, but without earning that click, the topic and content won’t matter. This is where online content analysis becomes essential for creating winning headlines.

5 Steps to Using BuzzSumo for Effective Online Content Analysis of Headlines in Your Industry  

It has never been more important for companies across every industry to create evergreen content. While there’s always a place for covering news and trendy topics in your sphere, evergreen content is the kind that remains relevant for years to come. That means you may start seeing an ROI right away, but you’ll also enjoy more traffic and engagement month-after-month, year-after-year, too.

Unfortunately, many marketers go to the trouble of creating evergreen content but neglect to arm it with the best possible headlines. So, while evergreen content can be great for SEO, yours will fall in rankings if people don’t click on it.

What’s the best way to get those clicks? High-quality headlines.

That’s where BuzzSumo comes in.

1. Identify the Most Popular Topics for Your Industry

When people come to your site, what kinds of topics are they searching for? If your site sees a decent amount of traffic, you probably already know. If you’re still building toward that goal, take a look at what your competitors keep returning to in their blog posts.

Remember, we’re talking about the information you provide, not the products or services you offer.

For example, if you’re an accountant, you probably have a lot of blog posts on your site about saving money, taxes, planning for retirement, and estate planning – not your unique approach to these services.

If all else fails, imagine you are at a barbecue or cocktail party. If someone asked you what your blog is about, what would you say? This should allow you to find some of the broader, industry topics quickly.

2. Begin Broad and Then Narrow Your Search

All you need is a fairly good idea of your topics in order to use BuzzSumo for an in-depth online content analysis of your best headline opportunities. As you continue to conduct these searches, it will become clearer which ones are most popular.

For example, let’s say you’re an event planner and aren’t sure where to begin. You could start by simply searching for “event planning” in BuzzSumo. Here’s what your results would look like:

Buzzsumo's Content Analyzer results for the keyword "event planning"

As you can see, that’s a pretty wide range. Therefore, you’ll want to apply some filters in order to narrow the list down to headline types that are actually useful.

In this case, let’s say you’re not looking to cover topics relevant to your industry. You want to create the kind that you know your customers want to click on.

All you have to do is go to “Content Type” and uncheck the boxes next to any type that isn’t relevant to your company:

Content Analyzer's Content Type Filters that includes checkboxes for Article, How-To Article, Infographics, List, Videos, What Post, Why Post

Now, your list looks like this:

As you can see, a lot of these topics and their headlines have to do with helping people who are in the very beginning phases of planning an event.

The 10 most-shared articles also have something else in common: all of their headlines start with a number. Make sure yours does, too.

If you want a simpler look at engagement rates, BuzzSumo’s online content analysis tool also includes the “Analysis” tab, which will give you a breakdown that looks like this:

This will give you an even better idea of what types of headlines work best if you have a specific social-media platform you prefer.

3. Identify Competing Domains

The other great thing about the Analysis tab is that you can use it specifically for researching what seems to be working best for your competitors.

For example, if BuzzSumo were one of your competitors, you might be interested to see what’s been working best for buzzsumo.com. Here’s what you’d see:

Competing domain results showing "Top Pieces of Content for buzzsumo.com"

4. Create a Profile of the Best Performing Headlines

Successful copywriters all depend on a simple tool called a swipe file. It’s really nothing more than a collection of copy they really like. Whenever they see a headline, sub-headline, CTA, or an entire body of copy they like, they keep it for inspiration down the line.

Online marketers should be doing the same thing, especially when it comes to winning headlines. Any time you do this kind of in-depth online analysis, save yourself time in the future by exporting the results from BuzzSumo in a PDF you can refer back to again.

Title your PDF with the topic you were researching, and you’ll have an even easier time going back and finding your winning headline ideas in the future.

5. Look for Patterns Among the Headlines

Remember earlier when the online content analysis found that listicles beginning with numbers seemed to work especially well? That would be helpful information to leverage for many different headlines.

However, there may be a number of other patterns that would show you what kinds of headlines work best for your market.

For example, you might find that shorter headlines play really well, so you’d want to get a range to stay between with all of yours.

First-person headlines (e.g. “How I…”, “I Made $X in Y Days: Here’s How”) may also get the most engagement.

To look for common phrases, you could export your list and then use online text-analysis tools to look for them.

You could also export all of the different content-analysis reports you did with BuzzSumo and simply hire a freelancer to go through them all and come back with any insights. That would be a cost-effective way to gain extremely profitable insights.

It’s Never Been More Important to Use High-Quality Headlines

As a content marketer, you already know how competitive it is online. Whether you’re trying to win a spot on Google’s first page or grab attention on social media, you can’t afford to spend the time and money on great content and then drop the ball when it comes to headlines.

If you’d like to eliminate the guessing game when it comes to your headlines, you now know how BuzzSumo can help. Sign up for a free seven-day trial today to get started improving the ROI on your content.  



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