Every week, Boost brings you insights straight from the writers in our Creative Network. Writers share tips on how to inject more creativity into ads, best practices for writing ad copy, and more. This week, Chris Anderson, pen name “cander38,” shares 10 tips for writing more memorable headlines.

A good headline is important.  It is often the first chance an advertiser gets at grabbing a searcher’s attention.  In an instant, a potential customer can go from clicking your ad to moving on and forgetting all about you based solely on your headline.

What’s a marketer to do?  Let’s take a look at a few tips that can help turn your headlines from forgettable to actionable.


1. Keep it Simple
Searchers are bombarded with information and choices. They want to find what they’re looking for as fast as possible and avoid distractions.  Skip the flowery language and get to the point in your headlines.

2. Be Specific
Avoid broad messaging that will either encourage the wrong clicks or will get lost among competing ads. If you’re targeting men, women, kids, families, a season, price point, etc., include it in your headline.  The click you receive should be better qualified and you’ll stand out from the crowd.

3. Use Keywords
Seems basic, right? But sometimes it can be overlooked.  Below is an example of two headlines. While TinyFeet.com is the name of the website, it is not likely to have much name recognition.  Whereas, Groovy Kids’ Shoes will be instantly relevant to someone searching for kids’ shoes.  In short, unless a website or brand is instantly related to what you are marketing, it’s a good idea to use keywords in your headline.


Groovy Kids’ Shoes

4. Go Positive
One way to standout from the sea of other ads is to include a positive statement in your headline. Try using superlatives like: Best, Most, Biggest, Huge, Top, or Perfect.

5. Go Negative
For a different approach, try negative words to play on a customer’s fears. According to data from com, using negative superlatives outperforms the use of positive superlatives by 63%. Examples include: Never, Worst, Avoid, Mistake, Stop.  Be sure to keep your audience in mind and consider the tone you want to set when using negative superlatives.

6. Use DKI
Dynamic Keyword Insertion is a tool that will automatically insert a user’s search term into your ad copy. The benefit here is instant relevance. The drawback is a loss of control over your message.  If you aren’t careful, you can end up with awkwardly worded headlines that don’t make sense.

7. Use the Available Characters
You have 25 characters at your disposal. Use them to your advantage!

8. Try to Match Intent
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Why, who, when, where, and how would they consider taking action on your website?  Be relevant to the specific needs or wants you are fulfilling.

9. Be Unique
Perform a search for your keywords and see what the competition is saying. If you notice that your competitors are saying Save, Great, Trusted, Avoid, Low Prices, or anything else, go in a different direction to standout.

10. Don’t Over-promise
If you’re not #1 or your prices are not the lowest out there, don’t claim they are. Not only can this sort of stuff get your ads disapproved, it will frustrate customers and turn them away. Focus on what you do well and what makes you different from your competitors. Are you an expert in the field? Do moms love your products? Do you offer any guarantees? Be true to your brand rather than over-promising on areas where you can’t deliver.


Use these tips as a launching point for great, actionable headlines.  Combine one or more and get the most out of your 25 characters!


About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale.

The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.