The AIDA Factor in PPC Headlines – The Power of Attention

Last week we looked at harnessing the power of AIDA (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action) to frame our AdWords ads. Today we’re going to focus on how to craft headlines that demand “Attention”.

Put yourself in the mind of your target searcher. He’s entered a phrase into Google or arrived at a site showing ads from the content network. Now he’s busy scanning the page for what interests him. Your AdWords headline has to stop him in his tracks and get him to read the whole ad.

adwords ads

How do you do all that with 25 characters at your disposal?

That’s the ultimate challenge for PPC copywriters – how to get your prospect’s attention. Your headline as to do a lot – capture the searcher’s interest, tweak his curiosity, and convince him you have what he’s looking for – and do it all in a second or two and on a crowded page full of distractions.

Here are some tips.

Understand Your Target

In order to develop a clear value proposition you need a keen understanding of the kind of user you’re targeting. Only then can your ad convey the relevancy and urgency that stimulates action.

When developing your campaign, you should strive to understand user intent and what phase of the buying cycle the searcher is on.


When you come to write your ad, you should have a main keyword and a group of related ones. Your main keyword should appear in your headline, especially for search network campaigns. You might want to use dynamic headlines.

Remember the headline must be about your visitor not about your product or service (and certainly not about clever a copywriter you are). So focus on benefits not features.

When it comes to benefits, you have surface benefits and the deeper emotion ones that really grab readers. Imagine a searcher looking for ideas on some new tiles for his home. Which of the following would catch his eye?

Perth floor tiles for a dream home.
Perth floor tiles at best prices.

I think you’ll agree the first will grab his attention. Of course, there’s place for the second as well down in the description line of the ad. But if we don’t catch his attention in the first place, he’ll never get that far.

Extended Headlines

If you want to spread your wings with an extended headline, you can run you text over two lines. To make this work, you have to end line one with a period, question mark or exclamation point. However, you ad needs to be in the top three of the main column for this to show.

Crafting PPC headlines that command attention is a challenging job for the best of copywriters. Be sure to study your competition and see what your peers are doing. Then it’s all down to creativity, a little talent, and a lot of hard work.

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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