Two Simple Ways to Find & Fix Terrible Headlines

By Brad



I still see absolutely terrible ad results all the time.

There are usually two main culprits to this problem:

  • Dynamic Keyword Insertion
  • Mass creating ads without checking the length

Take a look at these 4 ad headlines:


The word ‘Stereo’ is 6 characters. A headline can be up to 25. Just by adding a few extra words to the headlines; these ads would perform much better.

There’s two simple tricks and they involve the same steps:

  • Don’t use keyword insertion in ad groups with short keywords
  • Ensure your headlines are longer than 15+ characters

Both of these can be easily checked in Excel. If you’re using DKI – then check your keyword lengths. If you are mass creating your ads, then check your ad lengths.

Finding and checking these lengths if very simple.

Step 1: Length Count

Excel has a great formula call =Len(X).

This formula lets you check the character count of another cell, such as your keywords, headlines, description line 1s, etc.



Write this simple formula next to the cells you want to check.

If you have thousands of ads or keywords; then you want an easy way to find all the areas that need improvement. This can be done for short headlines (or description line 1s, etc) or headlines that exceed character limits and will be disapproved.

Step 2: Conditional Formatting

Conditional formatting is a great feature in Excel. It allows you to highlight cells that meet certain conditions.


For instance, we can write rules such as:

  • If value is under 10 (or 15, some short headline number); then highlight the cell orange
  • If value is over 25 (meaning it will be disapproved due to length); then highlight the cell red



Once this is completed; then you’ll have cells of various colors.



The next step is to find the offending headlines and fix them.

Step 3: Filter by Color

In Excel, it is easy to filter by color. Simply filter your rows by color and then you’ll have a list of Headlines (or description line 1, keywords, etc) that need to be fixed so that you are showcasing the benefits of your company and not wasting precious ad space with simply blank characters.




Ad Testing

If you’re continuously ad testing, then these problems usually work themselves out as these very short headlines have a tendency to quickly lose versus headlines that are longer. So don’t just write longer ads in those ad groups; write two or three ads so you can see which ones will give you the best return for your marketing dollars.

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