UPDATE: As of September 2018, Amazon is rebranding all of their AMG, AMS, & AAP features under a new name called, “Amazon Advertising”. Headline Search Ads will now be called ‘Sponsored Brands’. Learn more here.
Amazon recently introduced Headline Search Ads for Third Party Sellers in Seller Central.
Although this is pretty exciting news for 3Ps there is some concern by opening up the ad space to both Vendors and 3Ps, it will increase competition (among keywords).
Historically, Headline Search ads (previously only available to Amazon Vendors through Amazon Marketing Services) have been an extremely valuable advertising placement to help drive traffic and raise product awareness.
By opening up the top banner placement to 3Ps, Vendors are no longer the only advertisers with access.
So does this mean Headline Search ads are no longer valuable? Not exactly, but with the increase in competition among keywords, it is pretty likely we will see an increase in bids.
What are Headline Search Ads?
If you’re not familiar, Headline Search Ads are keyword-driven and can appear across the top of the SERP.
Headline Search Ads are considered top-of-the-funnel ads because potential customers who click through these banner-like ads are typically at the beginning of their buyer’s journey, and likely open to browsing.
Where do Amazon Headline Search Ads Live?
Headline Search ads may show up above Amazon.com search results on the Amazon mobile site and app.
What are the requirements for Amazon Headline Search Ads?
To qualify for Headline Search Ads, all 3P sellers must be accepted into the Brand Registry program first. This ensures that you are the brand owner for each product advertised.
Headline Search ads can send traffic to:
- An AMS brand page
- A custom URL (made of three parent products)
- A best-selling product
Of course, there’s no right answer for which one works best because it all depends on your strategy and keywords. However, since these ads usually attract top-of-the-funnel searchers, we usually see the best results with the first option, a brand page.
If you’re targeting queries that are further down the funnel–for instance, Teeki yoga pants–you should certainly consider sending traffic to a custom url with three types of yoga pants. That will make it easier for them to find what they clearly want than a brand page would.
AMS Brand Page
Your brand page allows customizable features such as a Hero image, Hero Product, Selection of Best Sellers, and Text Box. This is the most popular landing page, and for good reason–you can showcase your entire catalog.
Here’s an example of what this might look like on mobile:
As you can see, there’s quite a good selection to see here, along with some stellar reviews. This is great for a purchaser who’s heard great things about Ester-C, or has tried it before, but is open to browsing through their best-sellers or trying something new.
Custom URLs should be made from three of your parent products. Create a custom landing page by entering 3+ ASINs in the Amazon search bar, separated by a “|” symbol. You can simply take the URL from the search results and copy and paste it in the appropriate location when creating your ad.
Here’s where you would do this:
As we said before, it’s very powerful to match your products to customer queries if you use this format.
Best-Selling Products Page
This is a landing page featuring your brand’s best-selling products. This is another more top-of-the-funnel format but gives the customer additional trust in those products when they can see others have taken the leap and bought them.
Targeting Amazon Headline Search Ads
If you couldn’t tell by now, the golden rule with Headline Search Ads is to reduce friction for your shoppers and put the most relevant products in front of them.
Just as with Sponsored Product Ads, you can choose to use the suggested keywords or use your own. Although Headline Search Ads are keyword-driven like Sponsored Products, they also use ad copy to surface an ad.
The headline and text in your ad copy should match the keywords that are the MOST important for your product. That way, you should see increased relevancy and a more productive click through.
Because Headline Search Ads require more creativity than other types of Amazon ads, It’s probably worth A/B testing them.
You can adjust all of the following:
- Number of featured ASINs
- Order of ASINs
- ASIN selection
- Custom landing page selection
Here are Amazon’s suggestions for a fair A/B test.
How Much Amazon Headline Search Ads Cost?
According to Amazon, “Campaign budget is the total amount you are willing to spend for a single campaign”, and remember, you will only pay for clicks on your ads, not impressions.
One thing to keep in mind: The ACoS for Headline Search Ads is typically a little higher than other ad formats.
If you would like to learn more about Advanced Amazon Headline Search Ads Strategy, check out our recent post (for Vendors): “Where Should Retailers Send AMS Headline Search Ads Traffic?”, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.