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8 Tips for Creating Effective Responsive Search Ads

Published by Spinutech on June 13, 2022

8 Tips for Creating Effective Responsive Search Ads

Goodbye, expanded text ads.

Hello, responsive search ads.

With Google phasing out expanded text ads as of June 30, 2022, responsive search ads (RSAs) are the only search ad type that can be created in a standard search campaign in Google Ads. We’re living in the age of automation as far as paid search advertising is concerned, and RSAs are Google Ads’ attempt to keep pace with that trend. Google has touted these ads as an opportunity to “combine your creativity with the power of machine learning to help you show more relevant ads to more people.” But how does it work, exactly?

Allow us to share what we know about RSAs and how to set them up for success.

What Are Responsive Search Ads?

If you’re wondering what the difference is between expanded text ads and RSAs, you’re in luck, because explaining the difference will help give you a general understanding of RSAs. Expanded text ads are limited to three headlines and two descriptions, whereas RSAs allow for up to 15 headlines and four descriptions. To a user who is served an RSA, the ad won’t look any different from an expanded text ad. The real difference becomes clear once you pop the hood.

Google takes the headlines and descriptions you’ve provided and matches them in different combinations, relying on its machine learning algorithm to right-fit the ad messaging to the user based on a variety of data points. The idea is that the wider variety of assets means your ads are better equipped to adapt to their messaging to the specific search query.

8 Tips for Creating Effective Responsive Search Ads

As much as RSAs are an embrace of automation, the marketer who develops the assets plays a critical role in monitoring performance, drawing insights from testing data, and optimizing the ads based on key learnings. If you’re in that role, here are eight best practices to consider.

1. Max Out

If RSAs allow for up to 15 headlines and four descriptions, use them all, if you can. Maximize your testing options so you can maximize the amount of learnings. Providing a variety of assets is also more likely to earn a higher rating from Google. With all ad copy, it’s always quality over quantity, but the more quality you can add, the better.

2. Avoid Overlap

If you are creating multiple RSAs, try as best you can to minimize the amount of overlap between them so you are getting the most coverage from a content perspective.

3. Avoid Over-Segmentation

Make sure not to over-segment within the account for which you are building ads. You want to be able to build data density on the RSAs you are testing.

4. Check for Redundant Ads

Regularly check your top combinations and keep an eye out for redundant ads showing due to similar headlines testing well. To avoid this, you can even pin similar headlines to a specific position so that they are unable to show alongside each other.

5. Don’t Shy Away from Re-Testing

You’ll want to cycle out assets that aren’t gaining traction, but they don’t have to be condemned to the scrap heap. Don’t be afraid to re-test if you believe in a particular headline and description.

6. Try a 5-5-5 Test

If you are looking for a more segmented test or want more control over the combinations Google is showing, try performing a 5-5-5 test, pinning five headlines in each spot. This is especially helpful with promo or product specific ads that are more focused.

7. Keyword Insertion

Insert popular keywords into your headlines to level up your non-brand relevance. Headlines featuring popular search terms are more likely to catch a user’s attention and score well with Google’s machine learning algorithm.

8. Add Urgency

Not all of your headlines have to be product-related. Try testing CTAs that create a sense of urgency for the user. Emphasize a deadline or start a countdown, for example.

When in Doubt, Lean on the Paid Search Experts

At the end of the day, automation can’t do it all. Building effective RSAs comes down not only to knowing what best practices to apply, but also depending on the expertise of the person driving and optimizing the creative. Contact Spinutech today if you’re interested in learning more about how paid media strategists can help you get the most out of your RSAs.