10 Simple Ideas for Headlines in Marketing Copy

A typewriter image
A typewriter (Source: Unsplash)

A headline is probably one of the most important parts in a marketing text. It serves to attract attention and to state what your copy is all about. In this article, I will share some fill-in-the-blank formulas to create both informative and interesting headlines.

  1. ____or ____? Quote a question that your potential customers might have on their mind. Research for appropriate questions in forums or blogs around your topic.
    Example: Online or printed ads? Find out the best way to promote your business locally.
  2. A success study:____.  Come up with a case study example on how your product or service helped somebody to succeed.
    Example: A success study: How we attracted 100 customers in one week using Facebook ads.
  3. (Undesired state) vs. (desired state): (number) main differences. Compare something that you customers try to avoid with something they aspire to do or to be.
    Example: Frustrated Facebook advertisers vs. successful Facebook advertisers: 3 main differences.
  4. What to do when____. Touch upon fears or difficult situations your audience might experience.
    Example: What to do when your website visitors do not convert.
  5. ___ laws. This headline is suitable if your audience are beginners in the topic you describe. It highlights the importance of what you have to say.
    Example: Five laws in online advertising.
  6. How to make ____ work.  Come up with a relative disadvantage your potential customers might have. They will be curios how they can actually profit from it.
    Example: How to make your limited marketing budget work for you: 5 simple tips.
  7. ____myth. Mention something that is talked about and that your audience might believe in. They will be surprised and curious to learn why it may be a myth.
    Example: Google ads myth: why it doesn’t always work.
  8. (Number) secrets of ____. Imply that the information you share is not available everywhere. This will spark additional interest in your content.
    Example: 5 secrets of online advertising.
  9. (Maximum benefit) at (minimum expense). Think of something that contains a contrast and is hard to believe. It will automatically attract attention of the target customers.
    Example: How to get 100 new customers in 3 days: effective use of online advertising.
  10. (Number) common mistakes in ____.  Your readers will probably ask themselves if they are also making these mistakes and will be more likely to read on.
    Example: Three common beginner mistakes when advertising on Facebook.

Remember that your headlines are a promise that your marketing copy should fulfill, so never use them as a “clickbait”. In other words, make sure that your copy answers the question or the claim stated in the headline. In addition, include the most significant information first, otherwise your visitors might leave rather quickly.

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Rapid Prototyping for Web and Mobile

In one of my previous posts, I have already touched upon paper prototyping.  This time I would like to discuss some other prototyping methods for websites and applications. I will concentrate on rapid prototyping, which does not deliver precise product copies, but rather defines the position of UI (user interface) elements and their function (this is why pixel-perfect Photoshop representations are not considered to be rapid prototypes).

But why do you need rapid prototypes?

  • You create them quickly and easily
  • You show the structure of the future website/application, leaving little room for ambiguity and misunderstanding
  • You evaluate technical and time resources needed for building an application
  • You implement and test any feedback  immediately

One important note: before you start mocking-up the design, you should have a clear idea about the content of your future website or application. Ideally, you have already written your content in a document and have thought about navigation tabs, CTAs (calls-to-action) and other important UI elements.

Industry Pages Wireframe v
A wireframe for a Web pageWireframing


This is a very simple method of demonstrating the layout of a website/application. The easiest way of doing it is paper prototyping. You just draw the elements of your future UI on paper, each in a very abstract and schematic way. If you want to make a more accurate model, there is different software developed specially for wireframing, such as Balsamiq Mockups or Mockingbird. Some of these wireframing tools allow you to build clickable prototypes by adding a few interactive elements, such as hyperlinks.

The main advantage of this method is its simplicity and universal applicability. However, a wireframe lacks design (patterns, fonts, etc.)  and responsiveness and thus does not give a full idea about the end product.

Style Tiles

The main function of style tiles is to represent the design of the future website. They consist of samples of colors, patterns, fonts, images, etc. placed on one sheet. This is a perfect tool for designers, however, it will be less helpful to a developer who actually has to construct the site and needs its exact layout.

A style tile for Miseya website redesign

HTML /CSS Prototyping

Creating a prototype by coding it has the advantage that the functionality, the usability and the responsiveness of a website can be tested to the full extent. However, though ready-made code pieces are used, creating such a prototype requires specialist knowledge and takes some time. The most common tools in this case are Bootstrap or Foundation.  After you have set up placeholder elements, you should start adding the pre-written content. This way you can control if the content actually fits the placeholders.

All in all, there are hundreds of  programs and schemes used for prototyping. This probably means that there is no one-fits-all solution.  Also, a combination of several methods throughout the product development cycle will yield better results than sticking to one method only.

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App Store Optimization (ASO) Basics

As the role of mobile is increasing and more and more developers and companies produce  mobile apps for app stores, it is getting more and more important to be able to optimize apps for search.

ASO is a discipline that has a lot of common touch-points with SEO and includes keywords research and keywords implementation as the main pillars. Furthermore, ASO encompasses the visual representation of your app in the app store (icon, screenshots, demonstration videos).

This article is dedicated mainly to finding the best keywords for your app and what is important to achieve good traffic and ranking.

Keyword research

Basically, keyword research for apps is similar to keyword research for the websites.  You should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What words describe my app?
  • What words would a user type in to find my app if he/she did not know it existed?
  • What user problems would my app solve?

Analyzing your competition is of paramount importance. A trick you may try is using parts of the names of successful apps in your category as keywords for your own app. You may, furthermore, analyze the description texts  or even reviews of the strongest competitor apps to hand-pick relevant keywords.

Another approach is using the autocomplete function in the app store itself or using the tools online to find out what relevant word combinations users are looking for. An important note hereto is that in mobile environment users tend to type in shorter queries than from desktop computers due to the size of the screen and the less convenient typing on a mobile device.

Keywords evaluation

To evaluate the gathered keywords (I would recommend collecting 150-200 keywords per app and language), use three criteria:

  • Traffic. How often the word is searched for, alone or in combinations with other keywords. You can try estimating the traffic using available SEO tools, but this would only approximately reflect the user behavior in the app store. However, there are a number of special ASO Tools that allow for more exact keyword traffic estimation (SensorTower, MobiledevHQ, AppRankCorner, etc).
  • Difficulty. One factor is a number of competing apps for a keyword in your category. You can estimate it by typing in the respected keyword in the app store and looking how many search results you will get.  Another factor is the “strength” of your competitors, meaning the number of downloads, ratings and reviews. Also here, good ASO tools will estimate the difficulty score automatically.
  • Relevance.  Does the keyword have direct relevance to your app? Does it match the visual representation of your app and its description, in users’  view?

Keywords implementation

For the Apple App Store, keywords are typed in directly in the keywords field when submitting, the space limited to 150 characters, including commas. Therefore, it is important to submit shorter words that also make good combinations (do not type in word combinations when submitting).  Another strong search signal is the app title, here you can use up to 255 characters, however the user only sees a maximum of 35 characters in the app list.  Furthermore, longer titles look spammy and are very difficult to remember).  Also the app category is considered (no need to include the category name in the list of your keywords).

For Google Play, app title, app category and app type are important signals. Furthermore, the description of the app must contain the keywords you want to rank for.

Apps Ranking

You can easily find out your current rankings using online tools such as AppAnnie or SearchMan. How you will rank will depend, firstly, on how well you chose and filtered your keywords (see above).  Secondly, newer apps may receive a boost in ranking, however with time if there are not enough user reviews and downloads, they will fall down in the search results.  So, promoting your app outside the app store (advertising, Social Media, video trailers, events, etc.) is of large importance. Also, ask your users to review the app and be attentive to the comments and suggestions for improvement.

Considering how Google app store works,  traditional SEO techniques such as link-building and in-app content are also helpful  in achieving higher ranking results with Google.

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