By Owen Fay . Posted on August 9, 2022


“On average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” – David Ogilvy

This quote from David Ogilvy, widely known as ‘The Father of Advertising’ still holds true today. The headline of your ads is the most important part of the ad, they need to create engagement, focus on benefits, and ultimately convince users to click on the ad.

Any organization that is running ads needs to spend more time generating and optimizing ads that increase leads and conversions. Ogilvy’s quote is a little dated but a more recent study by MarketingSherpa surveyed over 2500 marketers and found that headlines and a call-to-action (CTA) are the two most important elements affecting lead generations.

A great way to run better ads is to employ tailored headlines that include keywords, concentrate on user intent, and improve conversions. Your viewers see the headline first, and it has a significant impact on whether or not they choose to click on the ad. It must be straightforward, clear, and captivating enough to hold the interest of your audience.

In this article, we will cover the reasons every business running ads should focus on targeted headlines as well as tips for creating targeted headlines that increase leads and conversions.

Tips for Creating Targeted Headlines that Increase Leads & Conversions

It’s not enough to just include a headline in your ads, you need powerful headlines that engage users and focus on their pain points. An optimized headline will focus on what the user is searching for and offer them a solution to their problem.

A headline serves as a first impression, and you only have a few seconds to get users’ attention. When a business spends time creating powerful headlines, they are more likely to capture the attention of the target audience.

Here, we’ve gathered 8 of the best tips and techniques for ad headlines that are easy to deploy and can increase leads and conversions.

1. Focus on Benefits, Not Features

The main goal of your headline is to connect with the consumer, not to sell the product. A headline needs to serve as a hook that grabs the attention of the user. The headline will determine if a potential customer wants to learn more about the organization.

Stating the benefits, not features means the central message of the headline is about how your offerings solve consumer pain points and problems. It will explain the value the users get by reading more or clicking on the ad.

Make the consumer the focus of the headline, the product or service should solve their issues and make it easy for them to accomplish their goals. If you focus on the features of the resource you are advertising users won’t understand exactly what they get out of taking the desired action.

2. Include relevant keywords

Headlines should include relevant and high-performing keywords that users are searching for.

Using the right keywords in headlines makes them more likely to come up in search results. This leads to your website getting more traffic and as a result more conversion opportunities.

Using search-friendly copy means you are using the same words your customers are using. Every effective marketer knows that to effectively communicate with users, you need to speak their language.

Creating headlines that are key-word focused means customers find the content more engaging. Tools like Google analytics have features that let you find the most popular search terms that your target audience is using when they find your content.

Focusing on these keywords as well as doing additional keyword research on keywords you want to rank for will help you optimize headlines, increase leads, and conversion opportunities.

3. Avoid lengthy headlines

A headline should be short and to the point, they need to effectively communicate the value proposition in as few words as possible. The headline needs to get to the point, as we said you only have a few seconds to engage users. If you write long headlines, users are more likely to skip your ad and find content that clearly solves their problem.

Users prefer clear and straightforward headlines over funny, cute, or overly descriptive ones. When you are creating headline copy for your digital ads consider a number of options, if you struggle with creating effective headlines you can utilize the power of AI-backed software with the Headline Optimizer by Poll the People.

With just a keyword our tool will generate value-specific headlines that will drive clicks and lead to more conversion opportunities. Once you have your powerful headlines you can also use the tool to test them with real users and gather valuable insights in under one hour.

4. Match Headlines to Your Ads

A headline should not only match the content of your website but also relate to the rest of your ad. While you want to use keywords and attention-grabbing language, the content that follows your headline needs to match.

The headline must be a brief introduction to the content to follow and the landing page that the user is sent to once they click on an ad. Headlines serve as a first impression, they should make users want to learn more, if the copy or pages attached don’t match the headline’s offerings you will immediately lose out on leads and conversions.

Headlines are one of if not the most important element of your digital ads but you need to also consider the rest of the copy. Don’t use keywords just to get more eyes on your ads, use keywords and copy that fit the business and communicate value to the user.

5. Create Headlines that Offer Solutions

Adding value through your digital ads goes hand in hand with using the right keywords. You need to write ad copy that speaks to the target users. Don’t waste their time with unrelated offers or using words that don’t match what your business does just to get clicks.

Sometimes we see ads that receive a lot of clicks and want to create copy that just maximizes them. Qualified clicks from users that are more likely to purchase or sign up are much better than clicks from a user that don’t intend to convert.

Defining your target audience before you create your digital ads is vital. Create buyer personas with user research and insights from the audience. You should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who is the target user?
  • What kind of problems are they trying to solve?
  • What are their demographics?
  • Which types of content do they consume?
  • How does my product or service make their life better?

This will help you understand who you want to capture through your ads and allow your team to speak their language when crafting your ads.

6. Include a Clear Call-to-Action

An effective CTA will go a long way in getting users to take the next step to convert through your ads. You need to clearly tell users what you want them to do and what they are getting out of clicking on your ad.

Never assume people will know what you want them to do once they have an interest in your business. Spell out exactly what they have to do to benefit from your offerings with simple, straightforward language.

Consider the end goal of your ad when writing a CTA. Do you want users to sign up? Purchase a product? Are you just driving traffic to your website? Collecting leads?

For example: if you want users to buy your product include “buy” in the CTA. If you want them to read an article include “learn more”. Make sure to use strong language and action verbs in your CTA to grab attention and tell users what the next step is.

7. Make sure headlines are unique

Headlines that are unique and actionable are much more effective than bland and commonly used headlines. This is another step where you can use the Headline Optimization tool and headline testing from Poll the People.

We’ve made it clear that all of your headlines need to persuade users and grab their attention, the best way to do this is to focus on user intent and use unique language.

The unique rationale should be used to attract the user, this means adding an underlying reason why something should be done. If you want people to interact with your ads, do they have a reason why they should?

Incorporate all of the previous tips to create headlines that are unique and effective. Additionally, unique headlines that are interesting or attention-grabbing can differentiate your business and campaigns from the competition.

8. Test and Analyze Headlines

A/B testing your ads is a great way to stay agile and understand what elements of the copy need improvement, what is the most effective, and if your ads work.

This testing method is a way of comparing two resources to understand what works better. A lot of organizations run live A/B tests, but this will only tell you the “what” behind the ad, can take days or weeks to complete, and cost hundreds.

Alternatively, usability A/B testing allows you to gather quantitative and qualitative feedback in under an hour to optimize parts or entire ads. You will get the same value from this test as a live A/B test all while spending far less.

Consider using different word combinations in separate ads to see which copy is more effective. You could focus on the benefits in one ad and the features in another. Compare both ads and determine which copy is more effective with the help of real user feedback.

Once you have the data from your live or pre-live A/B test you need to analyze the results to identify the elements that need to be changed and learn what works best. Diving into the quantitative and qualitative data you receive will help you validate decisions and create the best ad headlines.


In this article, we covered 8 of the best ways to optimize ad headlines, explained why your headlines are so important and gave a quick overview of some of the tools that Poll the People offers to help any business optimize their advertising campaigns.

If you are creating digital ads for the first time or have experience with these campaigns, keep all our tips in mind, they might just help you save time or money. By focusing on your headlines and taking steps to optimize them, you can expect more leads and conversions through ads on any platform.

If you are ready to start optimizing your digital ads to increase conversions with the help of Poll the People, sign up for free and make your next great advertising decision with the help of our end-to-end user testing platform.

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