The headline of your ad is arguably the most important element of your AdWords ad.
In fact, according to copywriting expert CopyBlogger, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, while only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of your copy. And while this stat refers to regular web copy, it certainly does more than hint at the important of your PPC headline.
With a limit of only 25 characters, writing a headline that accurately describes what you’re offering, but that is also unique and eye-catching can be a challenge.
So we’ve come up with 14 strategies you can implement the next time you’re writing a headline. Enjoy!
14 PPC Headline Strategies
1. Include your keyword in your headline.
Remember that your keywords will appear in bold, helping them stand apart from ads that aren’t employing this strategy.
Although this is a pretty basic strategy, you’d be amazed at how many advertisers forget its importance. Don’t be one of them!
2. See what your competitors are doing, and figure out how your headline can be better.
While your competition will be using the same keywords as you, everything else about your ad can be different to help you stand apart.
Before writing your ad, run a quick search for your keywords, and see what comes up. Ask yourself: How can I make my headline stand out? What can I do better?
3. Match your headline to searcher intent.
If you’re targeting searchers who are in the final stage of the buying cycle, match your headline to where they’re at. For instance, try ‘Best Price on Nike Airs’ rather than ‘Best price on running shoes’.
Your headline should be relatable and relevant, and this is one of the best ways to accomplish that.
4. Use dynamic keyword insertion in your headlines.
As long as you have tight ad groups and aren’t using broad match, using dynamic keyword insertion in your headlines can make your ads more personal and relevant.
By having keywords dynamically inserted into your headline, your ads will always appear relevant and timely, helping them stand out from the crowd.
5. Point out your key benefit.
Not an easy task when you only have 25 characters! But if you fancy yourself a wordsmith, give this one a try.
For instance, if you’re selling fire alarms, point out the safety benefit rather than just a feature of the alarm. For instance, try “Alarms protect your kids”, rather than “Alarms in 3 colours” (unless the key differentiator between you and your competition is colour selection of course).
6. Try using a quote.
If a well-known individual has endorsed your product, or you have a glowing testimonial, try using it as your headline. e.g. “ABC alarms saved my life”.
Using a quote or phrase from popular culture can also help garner attention, and encourage searchers to click through to your site.
7. Capitalise on trends.
If your product or service can be tied to a current event or trend, why not capitalise on it?
Take advantage of current events, news, or fads by aligning your ad with things that people are already interested in. e.g. “Bib fit for a royal baby”.
8. Ask a question.
Catch searchers’ attention by asking a question. It’s human nature to not want to leave questions unanswered, so use it to your advantage!
Elicit engagement by rewording your headline into the form of a question. For instance, instead of saying ‘We kill ants’, try “Got an ant problem?”, or “Need to get rid of ants?”
9. Don’t feel like you have to use every single character.
I know, it’s not like it’s a tedious chore to fill a line with 25 characters. But there can be this almost irresistible urge to use up each and every spot, just because you can.
Sometimes, brevity can actually work in your favour. For instance if all your competitors are using 25 characters, having a shorter headline may set you apart.
10. Don’t be afraid to get specific.
One of the goals of your ad should be to qualify your clicks. This means letting your ideal customer know that you’re speaking directly to them.
For instance, if your product is just for men, don’t be afraid to target men in your ad copy and headline (e.g. “Cheapest hats for men”). This will reduce your CTR, but that’s not a bad thing as it means you’re only paying for highly-targeted traffic.
11. Try a problem-solving headline.
Present a problem and then offer a solution. For instance, the problem could be a “toilet leak”, and the solution is your 24 hour plumbing service. e.g. “Toilet leak? We fix 24/7”.
12. Use a call to action.
This can be tricky in just 25 characters, but adding a strong call to action in your headline can really grab attention and encourage clicks. e.g. “We offer 30% Savings”.
Sometimes using the call to action within your ad copy, rather than in your headline, is a better bet. Be sure to test it in both locations to see which one works better for you.
13. Use your unique value proposition (UVP).
Tell searchers what sets you apart from the competition. Do you offer the lowest price? Best service? Greatest selection? Include this in your headline. e.g. “Cheapest shoes guaranteed”.
Writing a great headline is all about being different, being noticed, and capturing the attention (if not the imagination) of your ideal customer.
As with all aspects of your ad, don’t be afraid to try new strategies to see which ones work the best for your company. What works for one business, industry, or even product may not work for another, so testing is key.
What types of headlines have worked best for you? What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to writing your headlines? Let me know below!
Image courtesy of suphakit73
By Philip Shaw
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