Headline Search Ads for Amazon Sellers

By April 27, 2018 No Comments

In the previous article we talked about Amazon Sponsored Product Ads. In this article, we are going to take a look at another advertising option in Amazon Headline Search Ads.

Headline Search Ads are essentially banner ads on Amazon that operate on a Cost per click basis. When users search on Amazon, Headline Search Ads are the first thing they see. Like Sponsored Product ads, they are targeted with keywords. Paying for these ads means displaying your product/s to potential customers who are already searching for products and are in a buying mode. Originally, this ad placement was only available to Vendors through VendorCentral, but recently they opened its doors to SellerCentral users as well. This means that many sellers haven’t yet spent the time learning how to run them and thus can be very profitable since there isn’t a lot of competition. Now is the perfect time to start educating yourself so you can use them to benefit your FBA brand.


The main difference between Sponsored Products and Headline Search ads is the placement.Sponsored Product ads appear in the search results, with a mark to show that they are ads. Headline Search ads display above, below and on the side of the page as banner ads.

Amazon Headline Search Ads placement example

You can see the Ad placement, headline copy, ASINs, hero image and a CTA

Size and Ad Creative

Stretching horizontally across the top of the search results, their size is prominent, definitely grabbing the attention of the user. The content of the ad includes a brand logo, images of three ASIN’s, ad copy of up to 50 characters and a CTA (Shop Now). An interesting feature of these ads is that clicking on one of the ASIN’s within the ad will take you to the product page of the ASIN you clicked and clicking on the Brand logo, copy or the CTA will take you to either the custom landing page or to your Amazon Store, depending on what you choose in the campaign setup.

Should you create Headline Search Ad Campaigns?

If you have three ASIN’s or more listed on Amazon then the answer in most cases is yes. The competition isn’t fierce yet, so usually the CPC is not expensive. Headline Search Ads, if done properly can elevate your FBA business significantly. As with Sponsored Product Ads, extra sales with HSA will bring you organic benefits too.

Benefits of Headline Search Ads:

  • Advertise several products at the same time
  • Customize and experiment with different ad copies, images and landing pages
  • Appear above Sponsored Product ads
  • Drive traffic to your own Amazon landing page and showcase your whole brand
  • Persuade the customer who are looking for a product like yours but haven’t decided which brand they want to bu

Requirements for Headline Search Ads

In order to qualify for running HSA, you need to be a professional seller who is also a brand owner. You need to have an active account, the ability to ship to all U.S addresses and a valid credit card on file.

Your products also need to be in a category that’s open for HSA. That includes the following categories:

Headline Search Ads open categories

In order to find out more about the requirements, check out this official Amazon page. You have to logged into the seller central to access it.

Landing pages

As we’ve said before, if a customer clicks on a product displayed within the ad, he will be directed to the product page of the product he clicked on. But if the customer clicks on the brand logo, headline copy or anywhere else besides the ASINs, he will be directed to one of the landing page options we will introduce below.

Amazon Store

This feature allows brands to create a unique, multiple page and mobile friendly shopping experience to showcase your brand and drive traffic to a custom landing page.

An Amazon Store (or Storefront) is a great chance to showcase all the best things about your brand to a customer in multiple ways. Show your array of products, add high quality product lifestyle or in-action images and write copy that points out the products key benefits and features.

Amazon has made creating the Storefront simple and intuitive with the Store Builder. It guides you through creating your page and lets you choose a template that suits your brands style. You can choose between:

  • Marquee
  • Highlight
  • Product Grid


For more informations on how to create your own Amazon Store, click this link.

Custom Product Showcase

This is a simple landing page that showcases three or more of your ASINs. It is created in the Headline Search Campaign setup by simply choosing the products that you want to showcase.

In our experience, best practice for choosing the landing pages is following; For generic, short tail keywords, the brand page is better because it helps persuade the customer to pick our brand but if he already has a specific product in mind his path to finding it will be longer. For that reason, a product showcase page is better for longer tail keywords because the landing page will show the exact product he is looking for and it will be only a click away.

Setting up Headline Search Ads

To begin creating the HSA campaign, login to your SellerCentral account, click the campaign manager option from the advertising drop down menu. Then click the Headline Search Ads button as seen below. On this page you can see all of your running campaigns and the Create campaign button.

On the next page select which landing page you want to direct your customers. If you don’t have an Amazon Store created, the Product Showcase Page will be the default setting. Here you can choose which products you want the landing page to feature. When you select enough products, the Continue button will pop up.

Now you will design the ad creative. There are three steps for doing this, the Brand name, Headline copy, and imagery. For your Brand name simply write what brand you want to display in the ad. For the Headline copy come up with an attractive, persuasive copy that will sell your product. Amazon are quite strict on what they approve and manually review each campaign. We recommend avoiding too pushy or sensational messages as Amazon will likely not approve your ad. Try to describe your brand and explain what makes it unique. The last step is choosing an image. Here, most brands insert either their logo or a hero image of one of their products. If you scroll down this page, you will simultaneously see the Ad preview for desktop and mobile.

The next step is adding the keywords. We’re going to start with entering the default bid, which doesn’t really matter as we’re going to set a different bid for every keyword. With keywords Amazon gives us a choice between Suggested keywords and our own. The keyword system in Headline Search Ads is similar to the Sponsored Products and we went into details in the article we wrote about Sponsored Product which you can read here. The process is similar, do keyword research and than test until you have the right keywords with a profitable ACoS. Note that Headline Search Ads don’t give you an option to add Negative keywords.

On the last page, all we need to do is choose a name, set the dates and budget and the campaign is ready!

Tips for optimizing the campaigns

Bid strategy

Amazon Headline Search ads use an auction based model which means you will pay one cent more per click than the next highest bidder. With the headline search ads, the suggested bid is not apparent, so our advice is to start with a small bid of $0.50 and increase it until you get the clicks and impressions that prove your ad is getting shown. This will also allow you to control costs.

Testing different ad creatives

This is the key to success with Headline Search ads and the greatest advantage in comparison to Sponsored Products. The practice here is to test several headline iterations, images and landing pages for different keywords. The reason for this is that a customer who types more generic queries will be attracted to a different ad than a customer who search for your competitors products or more specific search terms.

This table from Amazon’s Headline Search ads optimization guide will help you get a better understanding of the keyword types you can use in your campaigns and what kind of ads you can create for them.

Keyword Traffic Indicator

A very useful tool that Amazon gives you for free. You can see the estimated traffic for each keyword when setting up the campaign.


To analyse the performance of your campaign, use the search term report (click here on a tutorial how to open it). See which keywords are converting and which aren’t so you can optimize your campaign accordingly. One metric that’s specific to Headline Search ads is DPV (Detail Page Views). It shows you how many customers click through your landing page to get to an individual product page.

Final Thoughts

Hope we gave you a basic understanding of Headline Search Ads and how to create them, which was the goal with this article. There is no secret recipe in achieving success with these type of AMS advertising, just a lot of patience and testing. That being said, it’s time to roll up the sleeves and get to work 🙂

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