Adwords Headlines – Attention Revisited

Last week we looked at how the purpose of a PPC headline was to catch the prospect’s attention. Today we look at some headline types that work well to stop the reader’s eyes as they scan across a busy web page of list of search results and then draw him deep into our ad.

Most books on copywriting advise you to be concise when it comes to formulating headlines but with AdWords you have little choice. Your primary task is to how best make use of your precious 25 characters of space.

As with all things online, your action must start in the world of the prospect and focus on his intent. Keyword analysis should reveal the type of searcher, whether he’s an information seeker or a buyer, and if the latter, what stage of the buying cycle he’s on.

Let’s imagine you working on a new PPC campaign for a client who’s selling carpet cleaning services. You’re targeting the keyword ‘carpet cleaning services’ as this seems like a buyer keyword. One option would be to make this phrase your entire headline (it’s 24 characters).

You should include your main keyword in the headline wherever space and meaning permit. They appear bolded and tend to get you a higher click through rate. This helps with your quality score and lowers your costs.

Google’s new Adwords text ad format that allows a 60-character headline lets you spread your wings, though it’s not mainstream yet.

Alternatively, you could omit it from the headline include it later in the description lines. Split testing would determine which approach worked best.

adwords ads

Two Key PPC Headline Strategies

Ask a Question

Yes/No questions can make extremely effective headlines, as they’re often part of the mental process the user is going through to solve his problems. That way, a question often resonates with recognition and mirrors his itch.

Want clean carpets?
Carpets looking dingy?
Dirty carpet problem?
Sick of Dirty Carpets?

You can qualify the question with modifiers such as of time and quality. Free is a popular word, include it if you can. ‘Buy’ is not a good word to use. Depending on the situation you could substitute “get”, “access”, “download”, “invest” instead of ‘buy’.

Want clean carpets now?
Want clean fresh carpets?
Need clean carpets today?
Clean Carpets Free Quote

Make a Promise

Promising a specific relevant benefit is a sure way to attract the attention of a searcher.

Clean Carpets, Clean Home
Spruce Up Your Carpets

People are attracted by low price, ease of use, speed and convenience.

Clean Carpets On A Budget
Same Day Clean Carpets
Fast Carpet Cleaning
Clean Carpet In A Flash

As mentioned last week, you should start by checking what your competitors are doing. Plus, be sure to rigorously test and monitor all your campaigns. Moreover, make sure the landing page your visitor ends up on when he clicks has just what you promised. But that’s material for a future post.

About Nathanael Vanderkolk

Nathanael Vanderkolk is the Director of the Smart SEO Company, a SEO Agency in Sydney, Australia. Smart SEO Sydney has a keen awareness of the latest approaches to online marketing. Follow him on , Facebook and Twitter.
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