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A recent study by Polar shares several factors that improve the article CTR, including longer headlines, numbers and special characters, topic-related and positive words in the title.
More characters or more words in the headline lead to a higher CTR performance.
Using a dollar sign ($) or an exclamation mark (!) has a positive effect on CTR. However, the “and” symbol (&) or a question mark (?) doesn’t show a similar positive trend according to the Polar’s study.
The study also recommends using 4, 9, or 3 as these numbers had the strongest median CTRs. And, numbers perform better when shown as a numeral, rather than spelled out. Odd numbers perform better than even
The report also shows the 5 best performing two-word phrases (“Things You”, “Top Tips”, “Your Home”, “A Good”, “What You”) and three-word phrases (“Of The Best”, “To Make Your”, “To Know About”, “You Need To”, “How To Make”).
Remembering these tricks definitely help, but you should develop your own standard operating procedure to constantly test and identify the best practices.