Can changing headlines post-publish impact readership of an article?
According to Visual Revenue, an analytic tool provider, during the 2012 Olympics, USA Today underwent a testing campaign of their headlines. As you can see from the results below, the newspaper was able to almost double click-throughs in some cases. Upworthy.com famously considers headline tweaking to be its secret sauce when creating viral content.
However, you don’t need to use a A/B testing company to get started in this area. Google Analytics content experiments can do a similar job and works particularly well on evergreen content, where you can tweak the text, wait for swings in your metrics and tweak again.