Headline Search Ads Are Here But What Does It Mean?

Since Headline Search Ads were released in early August on Seller Central we’ve seen a slew of blog posts explaining why you should be running them but few are aimed at understanding best practices. In case you’re unaware of how powerful Headline Search Ads can be let’s quickly cover some of the benefits.

What are Headline Search Ads and Where Can I Find Them?

Unlike Sponsored Product Ads, Headline Search Ads are only displayed as a banner ad at the top of search result pages.

Headline Search Ads are powerful due of their placement. According to One Click Retail, 90% of clicks are on page 1 of search results with 63% of them occurring in the top 3 results. You can see how this prominent placement above organic search results can result in increased traffic to your Amazon listings.

Why Should I Use Headline Search Ads?

Just like with Sponsored Product Ads, if you’re not advertising someone else will be and owning as much real estate on Amazon can be the difference between 0 and 100 sales per day. By creating a special landing page to divert customers to, you can corner them into a part of Amazon where only your brand is being featured. This unique mini-storefront is specific to the advertisement so you can build it to convert for the audience you’re targeting.

Headline Search Ads can be used to gain a presence in competing for branded searches or to prevent them from gaining prime placement in your targeted searches. Taking advantage of Headline Search Ads while they’re still relatively new and underutilized will provide improved ROIs with only a slight increase in your cost-per-click compared to Sponsored Product Ads.

So How Do I Get Started?

Getting started with Headline Search Ads is dependent upon your brand registry status. If you’ve enrolled in Brand Registry in the past or under the new Brand Registry 2.0, all you need to do is ensure your ASINs are properly enrolled and head to the Campaign Manager section of your Seller Central account, looking for the Headline Search Ads section.

If you’re not enrolled in Brand Registry, you won’t be able to access this feature until you’ve completed all of the steps necessary to get your brand registered on Amazon. Amazon has created this requirement to ensure this advertising option is being used for a unique brand experience on their platform while providing the best customer experience possible.

That’s All Great But What’s The Best Way to Operate Headline Search Ads?

In a perfect world, we could create a blanket approach that would work for every product and brand. Unfortunately, every product is unique in the way it should be displayed to best convert. Following the below steps will help you build a baseline strategy that you can adapt to your specific business and product needs.

What Keywords Do I Target?

The best way to answer this is to use the data Amazon gives us. By taking what’s working in your Sponsored Product Ad campaigns and creating ads to target these terms is a great starting point. Keep in mind that Headline Search Ads will gain increased exposure and have a higher click-through rate which will lead to lower ACoS in certain situations, so make sure the keyword is relevant to your product.

How Do I Format My Call to Action?

The CTA can make or break your advertisement. If you have a weak call to action, your click-through rate will suffer resulting in an ineffective campaign. Think about who your audience is and what they’d like to see and fold that into your brand image. If your target audience is expecting a witty remark then have some fun with it but if they’re expecting a branded message keep it simple and don’t include anything subjective or time-sensitive. If you’re ever unsure, start off with A/B testing to find your ideal message.

What About Images?

Headline Search Ads are designed to highlight 3 products and feature either a 4th product or an uploaded image of your choice. Depending on the search you’re targeting and your brand following you can address this area with either a group shot of like products, a 4th hero product, or a simple brand logo.

How Do I Optimize My Campaigns?

Just like with all copy you create, A/B testing is the core process needed to verify which creative will convert best. When you create your Headline Search Ads create multiple campaigns that target the same keywords but differ on either the call to action, the uploaded image, or the products being displayed. After running these campaigns for 2-4 weeks review the results and either test new creatives or utilize the highest performing campaign.

What Reports Are Available?

Currently, Amazon has not released any in-depth reports for Headline Search Ads in Seller Central. The best approach is to review your campaigns at set intervals and take action based on your results. We at Channel Key always recommend allowing your changes to populate in the data, so if you make an adjustment to ad campaigns today, don’t expect tomorrow’s data to reflect the true performance of your efforts. Instead, we recommend checking your ads 1 to 2 times per week depending upon the amount of your ad spend.

What Next?

If you’re not using Headline Search Ads you should be.If you are, then remember the steps below.

  • Use keywords that you know you can convert or compete in
  • A/B test the image and product selection that’s displayed
  • A/B test your call to action
  • A/B test the layout of your products on your landing page

If you’re still not sure where to start or need help getting up and running then reach out to Channel Key at [email protected] today.

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