Using Negative Language Converts Better!

This is an odd one but I have seen it throughout my entire life and I know that you have to.

I am referring to “bad news”. It seems that we humans are more prone to take action if we hear bad news. FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt and three core drivers that elicit us to take action.

It’s not that we humans “prefer” bad news or better said, to “experience bad things”; it’s just that when we see negative, or “sad,” and “alarming” signals, we tend to react more passionately and with a greater sense of urgency.

It’s referred to as the negative bias by psychologists.

The negativity bias refers to our propensity to register negative stimuli more easily than good stimuli. We are more prone to notice and recall unpleasant things in any context.

Here are some summarized points about “negative bias”:

  • As humans, we tend to remember unpleasant events more vividly than happy ones.
  • Consider taking action over negative remarks more than good or neutral ones.
  • Negative stimuli cause you to react more forcefully.
  • Negative news gets more clicks than happy news.
  • Negative occurrences elicit a stronger reaction than equally good ones.
  • Remember insults more than compliments.

When Negative Headlines Are Most Effective

Negative headlines are most effective when they alarm and inform. Headlines frequently inform individuals that they can now stop worrying and rest easy because of a certain solution.

Terrible headlines, on the other hand, should not be used to indicate a link between the negative item and the person reading the story.

To increase clicks and traffic, media outlets employ the same negative bias theory. Because of people’s tendency to pay attention to bad information, the bulk of news we encounter every day is negative.

So, for a generalized SEO hack with regards to writing and planning your content, I’d consider always having a slightly more risky headline and content!

Henry "HMFIC"

I'm Henry, the guy behind this site. I've been Growth Hacking since 2002, yep, that long...

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