5 Reasons why Readers are Obsessed with Numbered Headlines38 COMMENTS
Have you compared two articles, one whose title includes a number and the other which doesn’t include a number? Have you noticed the difference in the amount of comments or traffic these type of article get?
Articles that have numbered titles like 75 Beautiful Free Social Bookmarking Icon Sets have something that attracts more eyeballs. From my experience, I have seen readers liking these type of articles more than the usual type of articles. Also, if i use seventy five instead of 75, the total advantage of having a numbered headline will be nullified.
As a reader, I love numbered titles. I don’t know, but there is something in numbered titles that makes it irresistible and you are forced to read the article. Even if the quality of content is not up to mark, but numbered titles are still able to do their job by bringing a lot of traffic.
The real question each blogger wants to be answered is: What is in numbers that attract huge attention? Because, if we get the right answer to it, we can utilize it in other areas and attract a even bigger audience.
I don’t think there is a sure shot answer to this question, but I would like to give some theories that supports the fact that people are attracted to numbered titles:
1. Readers love collections
Usually articles with numbered titles are collection of ideas in the form of list posts, or they are collection of articles in the form of roundups.
Roundups and list articles can be thought of a collection of many small articles in a bundled form. People love information which is precise and is available at a single place (i.e. they don’t have to search for more information).
Take an example of a person searching for a certain piece of information available in files. There are two ways to collect all the information.
First method: The person can scan through 20 different files and note down the relevant points from each file. These files may have overlapping data and therefore, the person may be wasting time in reading the same information repeatedly. Once all the points noted down, he has to remove the redundant information and note the most relevant points.
Second Method: The person can scan through a single file and get all the information in one go.
Which method will you choose? Obviously, the second one, because it saves you time and effort.
Similarly, articles with numbered headlines are treated as well rounded tutorials which can be thought as good resources. That is why readers prefer reading these type of articles rather than reading many articles as it saves them time. After all, all readers want to sit back and relax and have some free time to have more fun, right?
2. It’s a Brain Problem
I think the reason why we are attracted to the numbers may be because our brain may be sensitive to the numbers. There may be a centre of the brain that grasps numbers easily. As numbers take less space than words, they are easy to assimilate by the brain.
A particularly interesting thing to note with numbered headlines is that rounded figures usually have an upper hand. Using 1000 instead of 999 is preferable. 999 is considered as a number in the 900s in our brain whereas 1000 is considered in 1000s although the difference between them is just 1. Hence, a round figure has a higher appeal and therefore, it is used very often in headlines.
3. Structured Articles
Many bloggers forget the importance of articles that can be scanned and skimmed with ease. Bloggers ruin their blogs by making these common mistakes of improper formatting and structuring articles into logical boxes.
Articles with headlines are already divided into numbered blocks and hence, it is given that the articles will be available in structured form and they will be easier to interpret.
4. More the Merrier
The numbers in headlines are important. People always want more money and land. People are always wanting for more. An article without a numbered headline may seem as an article covering a single topic. On the other hand, articles having numbered headlines are perceived as articles covering more than one idea and hence, they have more information to offer.
The higher the value of the number, more is the appeal attached to it. An article with number 100 will be considered better than the article having a number 50 or 25.
5. Lucky Number
Some people might associate some numbers as their lucky numbers. These numbers, if found in articles are usually read by people who believe in lucky numbers. (7 is the classic example. It is considered by most.)
This is a just theory not a fact. You can have your own little theory about it.
What do you think is the actual reason behind this number obsession? Are you attracted to articles having numbered headlines?