How to Create Responsive Search Ads: Best Practices for 2022


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For years, advertisers have had the freedom to provide headlines and descriptions for search ads in two main ways: creating expanded text ads (ETAs) or using Google's responsive search ads (RSAs). For those of you asking how to create Responsive Search Ads, we have some best practices that will guide you in the right direction. 

When using responsive search ads, advertisers choose multiple headlines and descriptions for their ads. Google then combines them to create the best matches based on client queries.

However, Google plans to use RSAs as the default ads from June 2022, sunsetting the use of ETAs. You won't be able to create new ETAs or edit the old ones, and this means you should start familiarizing yourself with responsive search ads.  

While this is a significant change for every marketer, there is enough time to arm yourself for the future, and that's why we prepared this guide for you.

What Are Responsive Ads, and Why Are They Important?

Responsive search ads allow advertisers to create multiple headlines and descriptions for their ads. They also allow you to show different variations to your customers based on their search terms. 

You can add up to 4 descriptions and 15 headlines on each responsive ad. Collectively, Google can arrange those descriptions and headings to create 43,680 permutations. 

Google will create the optimal combination of 3 headlines and 2 descriptions based on a user’s search query. When a user makes a query that triggers your ad, Google bolds the keywords they searched that appear in your ad, increasing the likelihood of getting the click. So, the more headlines and descriptions you enter, the more opportunities you get to match the search queries of your potential clients. 

Here are some of the benefits of using responsive search ads:

Team of advertising experts using a laptop while brainstorming in an office about how to create responsive search ads.

4 Best Practices on How to Create Responsive Search Ads

1. Increase Use of Headline Variants

Headline variants allow marketers to use multiple keywords to reach many people. As such, you should be diverse when using the variants to avoid using the exact repetitive and boring words in your headlines.

Additionally, Google might not show your headlines if they all have the same variants. Here are helpful tips to improve the performance of your headlines:

When you provide many variants, you give Google many options to combine and provide the best matches. This, in turn, gives the user the most relevant ad based on their search, improving the user experience, and increasing your click-through rates.

2. Analyze Your Asset Labels

One good thing about RSAs is that you can measure the asset performance of the campaign. Google provides an asset report which compares different assets labels in your RSA campaign. By viewing the reports, you can see the assets that are performing well and those that need a replacement.

Here is the general step process to analyzing your asset results:

You will also get an asset report for the specific responsive ad you need. The report should contain multiple columns showing the following details:

Assets can deliver varying performances. Here is how to analyze the performance:

If possible, you should also analyze your asset labels every two weeks to drop what's not working.

3. Review Your Combination Reports

Combination reports show the most headline and description combinations used by Google. By reviewing those combinations, you can easily understand how Google's algorithms work to make improvements for the future. You can also see if any combinations are used that you don't like and don't want to be triggered in the search queries.

Sometimes, you can even find combination mistakes that you can report. 

When viewing your RSA, click on the view details of any ads of your choice to get the combination stats. If some combinations didn't work out, we recommend you drop them and add them to your standard ad texts.

4. Use Smart Bidding Automation

Smart bidding relies on campaign data across your account to make better predictions about how a bid in the auction could affect conversions. That's why it's vital to use bidding automation.

Smart bidding ensures your search ads are delivered to the people that are most likely to convert, which should lead to more conversions and a higher conversion rate. 

Smart bidding utilizes conversion-based strategies only. It uses machine learning to get as many conversions as possible on a set budget by tracking and analyzing past data.

By relying on past data, Google can increase or decrease a bid. For instance, it can reduce the bid to an online user who has a lower likelihood of clicking the ad.

Smart bidding also uses a unique feature known as auction time bidding to set a bid for every search query based on your goals. The main advantage of using automated smart bidding is saving time because Google does the bidding on your behalf.

Start Creating Responsive Search Ads Today

Responsive ads are now Google's default ads. Hence, it's essential to start familiarizing yourself with them. Thankfully, there are many strategies to improve your success in using them, and you can start with the four practices discussed above. Don't hesitate to seek assistance when need be. Are you ready to improve your responsive search ads for marketing? Contact us for free consultation and advice. Our team has the technical know-how on digital marketing, from programmatic ad buying to display ads. You can count on us anytime for reliable professional service and advice.


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Filed Under: Analytics

About Jon Maday

Jon recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a degree in marketing and economics. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and loves his Chicago sports teams. Jon found his passion for marketing while in college and decided to pursue a career in the digital side of marketing. He is an eager learner and started with Viral Solutions as an intern before accepting a position upon graduation. Outside of work, Jon enjoys hanging out with friends and watching sporting events.