7 optimization tips for Headline Search Ads

May 15th, 2017 | Javier Irigoyen

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Boost campaign performance with Headline Search Ads

The top of Amazon search results pages is prime real estate. Amazon Marketing Services offers Headline Search Ads (HSA), which are banner ads that promote products right on top of search results.

AMS Headline Search Ads

As one of the advertising solutions offered through Amazon, these ads can be a useful tool in your arsenal for driving sales and increasing brand awareness. Read on for 7 tips for getting the most out of your HSA campaigns.

First, a bit on how HSA works:

  • Ads appear on top of search results using keyword targeting
  • Multiple ASINs (up to three) are shown in each banner ad
  • Advertisers can customize their headline and link their ad to a custom landing page

1. Target the right keywords

Selecting a strategic variety of keywords increases the opportunity for your ads to be shown. Here are examples using a fictional brand selling a portable speaker:

Keyword types

2. Research traffic volume

When you enter keywords for your HSA campaign, you’ll see a list of suggested keywords pop up. Next to each one is an indicator of how much traffic it gets (high, medium, or low) based on expected impression volume and the relevance of the ASINs in your campaign.

Amazon Marketing Services ad products use an auction-based pricing model, so you must bid competitively if you want to win the high-traffic keywords. If your bid is too low, then someone else’s ad will appear instead. Increase your bid to help win more impressions.

3. Select keywords that fit your budget

If your budget is limiting your bids, you might not be able to win impressions on very popular, high-traffic keywords. Low-traffic keywords won’t have as much competition for bids, making it easier to win the auction.

Remember, you don’t necessarily need the highest amount of traffic to make a sale—just the right shoppers whose searches are a good match for your products.

4. Use the right language in headlines

Do:

  • Use engaging messaging such as “Exclusive” or “New”
  • Include actionable phrases such as “Buy Now” or “Save Now”

Don’t:

  • Make unsupported or time-based claims like “#1” or “Best Seller”

5. Always be on

Run your campaigns continuously. Don’t just wait for holidays or seasonal shopping events like Valentine’s Day or Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Showcase your brand in HSA ads year-round to increase visibility and continually develop your audience. When a customer decides it’s time to buy, you want them to remember your name.

6. Take advantage of the reporting tools

AMS automatically tracks your campaign metrics, including how many clicks your ads get, how much you’ve spent, and how much you’ve generated in sales.

A few metrics to watch in particular:

  • Average Cost of Sales (ACoS): the total cost of advertising divided by the number of sales generated
  • Detail Page Views (DPV): how many shoppers clicked through your custom landing page to your individual product’s detail page

These metrics can give you valuable insights. For example, if your ad’s click-through rate is high but DPV is low, it means shoppers aren’t going past the landing page.

And that’s where tip #7 comes in…

7. Test, test, and test!

One of the benefits of Headline Search Ads is that you can customize the ad creative. Take advantage of this and invest time in testing the different components:

  • The custom ad headline and image
  • The order, number, and mix of ASINs in the ad
  • The experience on your custom landing pages

Remember to follow a few best practices when testing:

  • Set up multiple campaigns to run simultaneously
  • Change one variable at a time
  • Run the test for at least 2 weeks
  • Identify winning criteria based on your business goal and the test set-up

Given its prominent placement above search, investing time in testing your HSA ad can have a high impact on your advertising success.

Want to learn more? Visit our YouTube Channel and our Frequently Asked Questions section for more tips on how to optimize your campaigns.

Ready to get started? Amazon Marketing Services is currently available to Amazon vendors, and you can get started here immediately.

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