Here’s How We Create Amazing Amazon Headline Search Ads (+ Best Practices)

March 13, 2024

Helpful Summary

  • Overview: We guide Amazon sellers on setting up and optimizing Headline Search Ads to boost sales, covering what they are, how they work, and best practices for getting them right.
  • Why Trust Us: Merch Jar has helped thousands of sellers automate and optimize their Amazon PPC campaigns with a suite of powerful features.
  • Why This Is Important: Headline Search Ads offer increased visibility, higher click-through rates, and targeted audience engagement.
  • Action Points:  Start by choosing high-quality, relevant keywords, then create compelling ad groups and ad copy, bid on keywords, and continuously monitor and optimize your ads.
  • Further Research: Experiment with different ad elements and strategies to optimize ad performance efficiently. Check out the Merch Jar blog to learn more.

Wondering How to Create Amazing Headline Search Ads?

Amazon is full of profitable opportunities for advertisers. And if you’re looking to maximize return on ad spend (ROAS), there’s no better option on Amazon than Headline Search Ads (now called Sponsored Brands). 

But with so many advertisers vying for attention on the platform, it can be challenging to create ads that stand out and drive results. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to create amazing Headline Search Ads (HSAs).

So, stick with Merch Jar as we delve into the world of HSAs and uncover the secrets to creating high-performing ads that drive sales and boost your brand’s visibility on Amazon.

 Let’s get started.

Why Listen to Us?

At Merch Jar, we understand the daily challenges of managing Amazon advertising campaigns while juggling other important aspects of your business. Our mission is to empower sellers like you to reclaim your time and maximize your profits through intelligent ad automation.

We’ve helped thousands of Amazon sellers and brands achieve their advertising goals, driving sales, increasing visibility, and optimizing ad spend. 

Our expertise, coupled with innovative features like Smart Campaigns and Recipes, sets us apart in the Amazon PPC automation space. When you choose Merch Jar, you're not just getting a tool—you're getting access to a wealth of knowledge, support, and proven strategies to elevate your Amazon advertising game.

What Are Amazon Headline Search Ads?

Amazon Headline Search Ads (now called Sponsored Brands Ads) are a type of advertising service offered by Amazon to sellers on their marketplace platform. These ads allow sellers to promote their brands and products directly to customers through targeted placements within search results.

Similar to pay-per-click advertising, Amazon Headline Search Ads (HSAs) are keyword-targeted, meaning sellers can pick specific keywords relevant to their products to target their ads to customers actively searching for those terms. 

Here’s an example for the search “womens bag”.

The HSAs that won this bid are displayed at the top of the search results page, above the organic listings. These ads typically consist of a custom headline, logo, and three featured products from the seller’s inventory (complete with their ratings can review counts).

The purpose of HSAs is simple—to increase visibility and drive traffic to a seller’s product listings. By targeting customers who are already actively searching for specific keywords, HSAs can be an effective way to capture their attention and potentially lead to more sales.

What Are the Elements of a Headline Search Ad?

Now that we’ve defined what HSAs are in a general sense, it’s time to get more specific about the elements that make up a successful HSA. 

Let’s break this ad variety down into its main components.


The first element we’re covering is keywords. 

In many ways, this is the most important element because keywords are what connect your ad to potential customers. The process is pretty easy to understand—you create an ad that targets specific keywords, and when shoppers search for those keywords, your ad has a chance to appear.

You choose the keywords you want to target based on what shoppers search for to find your products. For example, if you’re creating an HSA for a lineup of Bluetooth headphones, some obvious candidates include “wireless headphones” and “Bluetooth earbuds”. 

The more relevant your keywords are, the more likely you are to get clicks and conversions.


Your headline is the very first thing people will see, so make it compelling.

For example, when searching for Bluetooth headphones, this HSA headline states, “Shop The World’s Toughest Earbuds”. This is an attention-grabbing headline that highlights the durability of the product.

Your ad headlines should be clear, concise, and relevant to your target audience. Use strong verbs and action words to create a sense of urgency and encourage people to click on your ad.


By featuring specific products within the ad, you can highlight your bestsellers, new releases, or products that align with the customer’s search query, enticing them to click through and explore more.

Amazon Headline Search Ads let you feature up to three products in one ad, with each product having its own image. Ratings and review counts are displayed on the product card, but shoppers need to click on the ad to see prices.


Adding your brand logo to your headline ads helps to increase brand visibility and recognition. When shoppers see your logo displayed prominently next to relevant search results, it strengthens your brand in their minds and builds familiarity and trust.

Benefits of Using Amazon Headline Search Ads

Here are some of the benefits of using Amazon Headline Search Ads:

  • Increased visibility: Amazon headline Search Ads give your products prominent placement at the top of Amazon’s search results page. This prime real estate helps grab shoppers’ attention and drives more traffic to your product listings. The bold, eye-catching ads make your products stand out from the competition.
  • Higher click-through rates: The prominent placement and bold design of Headline Search Ads lead to higher click-through rates. Shoppers are more likely to notice and engage with your ads, resulting in more clicks to your product pages, so you get more opportunities to make a sale.
  • Control over ad content: You have full control over the content in your Headline Search Ads, including images, headlines, and ad copy. You can test different messages and creativity to see what resonates most with your target audience. 
  • Targeted to your audience: Amazon’s advanced targeting options allow you to show your Headline Search Ads to the shoppers most likely to be interested in your product or service. You can target by keywords, product interests, past purchase behavior, and more. 
  • Cost-Effective: Headline Search Ads are very budget-friendly. You only pay when someone clicks your ad. You set the maximum cost-per-click you’re willing to pay, so you stay in control of your budget. Start with a low bid to reach more shoppers for less, then increase your bid to improve your ad’s rank as needed to achieve your goals.

How to Set Up Amazon Headline Search Ads

Setting up Amazon Headline Search Ads is pretty straightforward. First, you’ll need an Amazon Central account. If you don’t have one yet, just go to and sign up: it’s free to join.

Then follow these steps:

1. Choose Your Campaign Type

The first thing you need to do is configure your campaign.

Start by signing in to your Amazon Seller account. Then, follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on “Campaign Manager”
  2. Select “Sponsored Brands”
  3. Click “Create Campaign”

After that, add your campaign name and budget.

2. Choose Your Ad Format

Next, you need to decide on a format for your HSA. This is how Amazon knows what type of ad you want to run.

You can choose from three options—each has its own pros and cons:

  • Product collection: This is a collection of 3 products from your catalog. It’s great for cross-selling and showcasing your top products.
  • Store spotlight: This features your entire brand store, giving shoppers a chance to browse all of your offerings.
  • Video in search results: This option allows you to showcase a video ad above the search results, catching shoppers’ attention before they even start browsing.

You can also choose where you want shoppers to be taken when they click on your ad. By default, it will take them to the product detail page for the advertised product, but you can also choose to send them directly to your brand’s store.

3. Create Your Ad

Now it’s time for the main event—creating your ad! Let’s walk through the different components you’ll need to consider when building your ad.

Brand Name

The first element you’ll need to set is your brand name. When the ad goes live, whatever you put here will be displayed as “Sponsored by…


Next up we have a headline. 

This can be very short, but it needs to catch the shopper’s attention. Think about using keywords related to your product or brand, and don’t shy away from controversial statements—for example, “Shop the softest t-shirt of all time!”

Featured Image

The featured image is what appears under your brand name, logo, and headline (to the left of the products or video). It’s essential to choose an image that's high-quality, eye-catching, and related to your brand (preferably a product photo, but not one that appears in the ad).


The final component of the ad is the products or video you want to promote. You can pick up to three products, and they will appear in a grid format with their prices listed below. Make sure these products are relevant to your brand and have appealing visuals.

4. Find Great Keywords

The key to success with Headline Search Ads is choosing high-quality, relevant keywords. 

Think about the most popular search terms that relate to your products. You can use Amazon’s Keyword Tool to discover popular keywords, or check out the keywords your competitors are targeting.

Here are some of the specifics to look for with Amazon keywords:

  • Ideal Competition Level: It's important to strike a balance between keywords with high competition, which may be more challenging to rank for, and those with low competition, which could signify a lack of demand.
  • Monthly Search Volume: By targeting keywords with higher search volumes, you can potentially reach a larger audience and drive more traffic to your product listings.
  • Keyword Relevance: Choosing relevant keywords ensures that your products appear in search results that closely match what customers are looking for. This increases the likelihood of attracting qualified traffic and improving conversion rates.
  • Seasonal Trends: Incorporating seasonal keywords into your Amazon listings and advertising campaigns allows you to capitalize on these trends and maximize your sales opportunities, like holidays or seasonal events.

5. Come Up With a Bidding Strategy

Next, you’ll need a bidding strategy. This is how you’ll determine:

  • What you bid for certain keywords
  • How you determine what adjustments to make
  • How you allocate your budget

There are a few different strategies you can use, depending on your goals and resources. Some of the most common include:

  • Manual Bidding: This involves manually setting bids for each keyword or group of keywords. It gives you more control over your bids, but can be time-consuming and difficult to manage if you have a large number of keywords.
  • Automatic Bidding: With this strategy, Amazon’s algorithm will automatically adjust your bids based on performance data. This can save time and effort, but may not always result in optimal bidding decisions.
  • Rule-Based Bidding: Rule-based bidding allows you to set specific rules for bid adjustments based on certain criteria, like ACoS or conversion rates. This gives you more control than automatic bidding, but may still require manual adjustments and regular monitoring.

We’re big fans of that last option—and with Merch Jar Recipes, it’s easy to create complex bidding rules that work to optimize your campaigns in the background.

With Recipes, you’re able to create custom ad automations that target campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and targets. You can choose from a wide range of actions and metrics—from ACoS to sales—that will automatically trigger bid adjustments for you.

For example, you could set up an automation that looks for ACoS above 25% and automatically lowers your bids by 10%. Or, you could create an automation that increases bids by 20% when a keyword has converted at least 3 times in the past week.

Curious about Recipes? Check out some of our pre-built starter automations.

6. Promote and Demote Keywords

Keywords are the backbone of your Amazon Headline Search Ads. By bidding on keywords, you are essentially telling Amazon which search terms you want your ad to appear for. This is crucial in driving relevant traffic to your product listing and ultimately increasing sales.

There are two kinds of keywords:

  • Positive Keywords: These are the keywords that you want your ad to appear for.
  • Negative Keywords: These are the keywords that you do not want your ad to appear for.

You need to bid on positive keywords to get your ad to appear, and you need to use negative keywords to filter out irrelevant traffic. Deciding which keywords to focus on is partially a matter of trial and error—some will convert better than others.

Want to automate the process of managing your keyword strategy?

Merch Jar's Smart Campaigns feature is designed to automate the keyword bidding process for Amazon PPC, enhancing sales while reducing ACoS. It focuses on keyword isolation, which involves promoting well-performing search terms and removing poor ones to allocate the budget more efficiently.

As a result, you can sit back and let Merch Jar handle the tedious keyword management tasks, while you focus on other aspects of your business.

Best Practices When Setting Up Amazon Headline Search Ads

Creating effective Amazon Headline Search Ads requires some strategy and finesse.

 Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

Choose a Catchy Yet Relevant Headline

Your headline is the first thing customers see, so make it attention-grabbing. Mention a key benefit or the product name. For example, “Silky Soft Bamboo Bed Sheets - The Perfect Night’s Sleep!” Keep headlines short, around 5–6 words.

Select an Eye-Catching Image

Images are critical for engagement and click-through rates. Choose a high-quality, close-up product image showing its key features or benefits. For example, a crisp image of bamboo sheets with a swatch displaying their softness. Images should be at least 1,000 pixels on the longest side.

Set a Competitive Bid

You bid on the amount you’re willing to pay each time your ad is clicked. 

A higher bid means more impressions and clicks. Start with the suggested bid and adjust based on your performance over time. Monitor your ads regularly and make changes to improve click-through rates and conversion.

Create Ad Groups by Product Type

Group similar products in their own ad group, like “Bamboo Sheets” or “Bamboo Bath Towels.” This allows you to tailor ads, bids, and keywords to each product type. You'll get more relevant traffic and higher conversion rates.

Optimizing your Amazon Headline Search Ads is an ongoing process of refining and improving. Follow these best practices and closely monitor your campaign's performance. Make small tweaks and adjustments to your ads, keywords, and bids over time to boost your results.

Monitor Performance Metrics

By closely tracking key Amazon performance metrics, you can identify areas for improvement, make informed decisions, and maximize the return on your advertising investment. Here's why monitoring performance metrics is important and how to do it effectively:

  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Identify the key performance metrics that matter most to your advertising goals. These may include metrics like click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, return on ad spend (ROAS), cost per click (CPC), and total sales attributed to your ads. 
  • Regular Monitoring: Set up a regular schedule for monitoring your ad performance metrics. Depending on your campaign goals and budget, this may range from daily to weekly or monthly check-ins. Regular monitoring allows you to spot trends, identify fluctuations, and respond quickly to changes in performance.
  • A/B Testing: Conduct A/B testing to compare different ad variations and strategies and determine which ones yield the best results. Test variables like headlines, images, ad copy, targeting settings, and bidding strategies to identify the most effective combinations. 

Set Realistic Budgets

Begin by evaluating your advertising goals and determining how much you're willing to invest to achieve them. Consider factors like your product margins, advertising objectives, and expected return on investment (ROI).

Based on your performance data, adjust your budget as needed to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your campaigns. By setting realistic budgets and actively managing your ad spend, you can optimize your advertising strategy and achieve your desired outcomes while maximizing your ROI.

Monitor Competitor Activity

By keeping a close eye on what your competitors are doing, you can gain valuable insights into market trends, pricing strategies, and promotional tactics. 

Analyzing competitor ads allows you to gain insights into their messaging, creative elements, and targeting strategies. Pay attention to the headlines, images, and ad copy used by your competitors to promote their products.


From understanding the fundamentals of Headline Search Ads to implementing best practices that drive results, our comprehensive guide has equipped you with the knowledge and tools needed to succeed in the competitive landscape of Amazon advertising.

By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, you can create compelling ad campaigns that effectively showcase your products, attract qualified traffic and drive conversions. 

By automating tasks and providing insightful analytics, Merch Jar allows sellers to optimize their ad performance efficiently, freeing up more time to focus on core business activities and driving growth. With Merch Jar, you can confidently navigate the complexities of Amazon advertising, knowing they have a trusted partner to support their success every step of the way.

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