Headlines are one of the most important parts of your articles and blogs posts since they are the first thing a person reads. Optimizing headlines is important since a compelling headline will get a visitor to view and read the rest of the article. Testing headlines provide insight on which ones receive the highest clickthrough rate.

Our Headline Testing Optimizely App helps you to easily set up a headline test in a matter of seconds. By indicating the article’s URL, the original headline, and one or more headline variations, you can quickly create a headline test and set it live. Once the application is set up, you’ll see another tab called Headline Testing in your Optimizely dashboard.

​Where does the experiment run?

Once a test is created within Headline Testing, Optimizely will check a page each time it loads to determine whether the original headline exists on the page. If it does, the experiment will run. This check ensures that the test runs on all pages that include a link to this article, such as your homepage and other article pages.

Headline Testing automatically creates a conditional activation condition that will exclude from the experiment visitors who come to the article page directly from a link.

How will we measure a winning headline?

If a visitor navigates to the article page from any other page on the website, it is counted as a conversion. This is shown as a Pageview goal within the Optimizely experiment created from the Headline Testing App.

Use Cases

  • A quick and easy solution to start headline testing on your site with no setup or deep integration required.
  • Show the value of headline testing to key stakeholders in order to get buy in to implement our REST API with your custom CMS.

Using Headline Testing with Optimizely


You must upgrade your version of jQuery to 1.11.3 in the Settings -> Javascript tab in Optimizely

First, indicate the Article’s URL (i.e., where does the headline link?), the original headline, and any headline variations. Then, click Create or Create and Start

  • Create sets up the experiment and then saves it in a “Draft” state.
  • Create and Start sets up the experiment and immediately runs it.

After the experiment is created, you will find it under your project’s home dashboard as “Headline Testing - <Original Headline>”. With your newly created experiment, you can add any additional targeting parameters or make any other modifications to the experiment, if desired.

Similarly, you can view the results on the experiment’s Results page. By default, there will only be a page view goal for the article page URL, so if you are looking to track other goals, make sure to add them within the visual editor before starting the experiment.

Make sure to only create one Headline Testing test per article as having multiple experiments targeted to the same article will cause collisions and unreliable data. Also, be mindful that if you have two articles with the same title, the experiment will run for both articles.