Qlik vs. Tableau: Why you must write unique headlines

Tuesday teardown – In summary:

  • The more unique and specific a headline is, the better it will perform (holding everything else constant)
  • You should always aim to write headlines that could never have been written by one of your competitors, or someone in a different industry
  • The easy way to check the uniqueness of a headline is to type the headline in to Google with quote marks around it and see how many search results are returned
  • Being more specific will drive better search performance and click through rates, because browsers know exactly what they’re going to get (before clicking through)

Transcript of this teardown:

Hi I’m Steve Pell from TLP. I’m here to do another one of our TLP Tuesday Teardowns, where we use some well-known examples to give you some practical tips to improve how you market and sell online.

Today I’m comparing Qlik and Tableau – both big software vendors. They both sell business intelligence software, but the takeaways today don’t really have anything to do with business intelligence. The takeaways are about how to improve your headlines. This is a topic we’ve touched on recently. Today we’re going to add something to what we talked about last time, which was focused on writing headlines that are emotional and practical.

What we’re going to talk about today is writing headlines that are specific and unique. Holding everything else constant, the more unique a headline is, the better that headline will perform. You’re aiming to write headlines that could never have been written by one of your competitors or someone in a completely different industry.

The easy way to check uniqueness is to just type the headline in to Google with quote marks around it. You can tell if it’s been used before by how many search results come up.

Now to illustrate this, I’m going to compare the Qlik blog to Tableau’s blog.  Both of these blogs are generally quite good: they’re well-developed, they’re very well updated, they’ve got a broad range of topics, so we are comparing like-for-like.

Let’s look at Qlik to start with. I’m going to use a couple of posts from down the bottom here, so, “Distilling your data“, and “Stepping into the impossible.” Now, you can see where I’m going here that neither of these posts have names that are unique to business intelligence, unique to Qlik; there is nothing specific about this that couldn’t have been written on any one of a million other websites or a million other companies across the web. That is not generally a good thing.

I’ll show you what I mean here, in terms of uniqueness. When we search for “Distilling your data“, those exact words have been written about in 100 other search results. It comes up in a number of books. So we can quickly see that this headline is not specific or unique. It doesn’t give me a preview of what I’m going to get when I click through to read the article. An article with the title “Distilling your data” could be about any one of a thousand topics.

Stepping into the impossible” is even worse with 35,000  results. You can see here that it has been a title of a book with the subtitle “a story of healing on the streets“.  This is a good practical takeaway, if your blog post can be used in a completely different industry or for a spiritual healing book it’s not the right title for what you’re writing about in your space.

Let’s jump across to Tableau and there are some better examples here. I’m going to just look at these two: “Tableau Online Tips: A Security Checklist for Publishing Data to the Cloud,” and then “Thanks to Your Feedback, Tableau Shines on User-Review Sites.”

So, when we search for “Thanks to Your Feedback, Tableau Shines on User-Review Sites“, we see just nine search results. All of these are results Tableau sharing their content on social. So there has never been article that has been written with this headline before. This is exactly what you’re looking for if you’ve written a very specific and unique headline that can only be written by your company.

The other article here gives similar results. So when I search for “Tableau Online Tips: A Security Checklist for Publishing Data to the Cloud.”, Google is showing me only four results – all of which are Tableau sharing this specific article on social.

The takeaway for today is you should always be aiming to write unique specific headlines that have never been written before.

You need to be this specific to get busy readers to take the time out of their day to engage with your content. That level of specificity will also help with click through rates, because browsers know exactly what they’re going to get. Specificity stands out in general search results.

That’s all for me today. I’m Steve Pell, and that has been another one of our TLP Tuesday Teardowns. If you got value here, we’d love you to share or comment below. Thank you so much.