How To Write Successful PPC Advert Headlines

Although there are other factors that help make a successful PPC ad, what you say in your headline will determine how many people click through to your website.

When you look at the numerous ads on a search engine results page, which ads do you click on?

All of them are likely to be relevant, as you used keywords in your search, but it’s the headlines that attract your click. You usually click on ads with headlines that appeal to you, by offering a good deal, solving your problem or offering valuable information, right?

Keep this in mind when writing your own headlines and it’s also a great idea to start keeping a note of ads that you actually click on when you are searching yourself.

They’ll give you ideas for your own ads when you start testing, which as you’ll see, is also very important if you want to ramp up your ad spend.

More people, more sales, higher return on investment. Sound good?

In this article, I’m going to show you how to write headlines that get clicks, along with some other proven tips you can use to make the most of your ad spend.

Writing Headlines That Get Clicks

Until you try a headline you aren’t going to know what works best. You can, however, stick to some simple, proven rules to ensure you get results quickly.

For starters, keep in mind that not all clicks are equal.

You do not want to attract ‘curiosity clicks’, but actual potential customers. So don’t try to be too clever or cryptic with your headlines, or you’ll find your click rate up, and your sales down.

With Google Ads you are allowed 25 characters in your ad titles and 35 characters for each of the two description lines. Not a lot, but don’t worry, you’ll get better at writing snappy, to the point headlines with a little practice.

Let’s have a few examples . . .

If you are in a price based market, or you are bidding on a particular branded product, and you have the lowest price, say that in your headline:

  • “Lowest Cost Blue Widgets”
  • “BRAND Blue Widgets Only $9.99”

You get the idea. It’s ok to ‘sell’ in the headline when the price is the major selling point. And you can do the same for discounts or special offers.

You’re saying ‘Here’s what I have and it’s this price.’ Simple, but in price based markets and searches it can be very effective.

Valuable Info Sells

In many markets though, when your traffic isn’t aware of you yet, it’s best to entice the clicks by offering valuable information first and leading them to a sale later.

Try offering a free in-depth report/article on your website directly related to your product or service.

Then you aren’t selling in your headline, you’re offering valuable information, which builds trust and can lead to higher conversion rates.

  • Hairdresser: “10 Proven Tips For Shiny Hair”
  • Plumber: “3 Emergency Plumbing Tips”
  • DIY Store: “5 Pro DIY Tips To Save You Cash”

Keep in mind that although your headline is very brief, you can expand on your message below it.

  • “10 Proven Tips For Shiny Hair”
    Ooze confidence all day, every day with
    our free Professional shiny hair secrets
  • “3 Emergency Plumbing Tips”
    Don’t panic. Here are the 3 essential
    things to do until the Plumber arrives
  • “5 Pro DIY Tips To Save You Cash”
    Stop wasting money on DIY and grab
    our free cash saving pro tips

Obviously, this tactic means you’ll have to spend a little time writing the report or outsourcing it, but the effort will be well worth it.

People don’t usually buy on their first contact with a company, so this is a great way to entice them into your web where you can continue selling to them.

Make sure the report/article on your site has the same headline as your ad, to keep them focused.

You can expand your headline on your site, as you’re not restricted by the number of characters like you are with PPC.

Once they land on your report, you can start the sales process with sales-page links in your content, a special offer at the end, a discount, an appointment form, or whatever works for your goals.

Ensure you offer good value in your info. Make it genuinely useful and you’ll get a much better response.

So when it comes to headlines, the magic isn’t in grabbing a half-baked list of examples to copy, it’s about understanding what works for you.

You do this by thinking about what it is you’re offering, writing your initial headlines and ads and then testing them.

Always Test Your Headlines

The only purpose of your headline is to attract clicks.

So the best way to approach this is to test different headlines, to see what attracts the most clicks.

What could be more effective than letting your potential customers tell you which is your best headline by clicking it?

It’s really easy to do with PPC and the difference in results can be staggering.

When you first use PPC, you can’t expect to hit home runs with your first ads. Success comes from investing a little time and money into getting used to how the ads work and how to test and check results.

A good way to start is to set a number of clicks as a test point, for example, if you haven’t had a sale after 100 clicks, drop the headline and replace it with a new one.

The successful headlines will rise to the top, and you can continue testing new ones to ensure you are always running your campaigns at their maximum efficiency.

You can test headlines based on so many different angles, such as:

  • free information
  • price
  • quality
  • discount
  • special offers
  • time-saving
  • effort-saving
  • rare sizes
  • bulk quantities
  • scarcity
  • fastest results
  • most happy customers
  • the list goes on…

Keep in mind that headlines and ads which offer a benefit to the potential customers usually work best. Telling them what’s in it for them, always helps conversions.

Stay on point with this and don’t let underperforming ads run away with you.

Quick Summary

It’s impossible to know which headlines will perform best for you until you try them. But stick to the tips above and you’ll stand the best chance of running successful, high returning ads.

It’s easy to do and it’s fun seeing which headlines perform the best. It’s profitable too.

Decide on what you are offering in your ad, make sure the headline summarises the main offer and expand in the rest of the ad.

Test different ads against each other. Drop the underperforming ones and ramp up the successful ones.

It will get easier the more you practice, so take this seriously, spend some time testing headlines and you’ll be amazed at how cost-effective PPC ads can really be.

Phil Coleman
As a Copywriter with 25 years experience I have written squillions of words, writing for all sizes of business, both online and off including The Chamber of Commerce, the NHS and of course Adzooma. I'm a not so secret UFC fan, I live in the heart of Sherwood Forest and I have 2 pet cats called Copy and Spooky Dave.