Responsive Search Ads: What You Need to Know
By Guest Contributor: Ilan Nass| 2020
Optimizing Your Google Responsive Search Ads
Google is constantly introducing new tools and features for marketers, and Responsive Search Ads are a unique opportunity for digital marketers. Responsive Search Ads offer an entirely new format for search engine ads, and more and more businesses are taking advantage.
According to Google, Responsive Search Ads let you create an ad that adapts to show more text—and more relevant messages—to your customers. You can enter multiple headlines and descriptions when creating a responsive search ad, and over time, Google Ads will automatically test different combinations and learn which combinations perform best.
Search ads are created through Google’s Machine Learning technology. A visualization of Responsive Search Ad looks like this:
How Do Responsive Search Ads Work?
Responsive Search Ads are designed for improved flexibility, compared to traditional search engine ads. Rather than displaying a single headline and description, these ads consistently test different variations to identify your most successful options.
Over time, Google will use this data to automatically optimize your campaigns and show the most relevant content for each individual user. While you may notice slightly worse performance at the beginning of each campaign, Google will gradually become more effective at identifying the right ad in every situation.
Creating a Responsive Search Ad
You can create your first Responsive Search Ad by clicking the “+” button in Google Ads. After selecting Responsive Search Ad, Google will walk you through the process of configuring the campaign.
Responsive Search Ads allow you to enter as many as three headlines of 30 characters, plus two display URLs and two descriptions (max 90 characters). Users will always see at least two of your headlines along with one description, making Responsive Search Ads at least as long as Expanded Search Ads.
Google allows you to pin headlines to specific ad positions, but this action should only be done for the most essential copy. Each pin removes a significant number of combinations from testing and can prevent Google from finding the best options.
Expanded Search Ads
Responsive Search Ads are an innovative alternative to Expanded Search Ads, but you don’t need to commit to one or the other. Google advises marketers to have both kinds of ads running in each of your ad groups, in order to maximize traffic and sales.
In fact, running more than one Responsive Search Ad in an ad group isn’t usually the best strategy. Google automatically compares results using different combinations. Splitting tests into multiple Responsive Search Ads will only slow the process down.
Marketers are just beginning to explore the potential of Responsive Search Ads and find new ways to develop more relevant content.
Do you have any experience running Responsive Search Ads?
Share your thoughts, comments, and experience in the section below.
About the Author
Ilan Nass is an experienced performance marketer with 7 years experience helping B2B and B2C companies grow. He’s spent the past 5 years running Taktical Digital, a paid social performance marketing agency. Skills include SEO, SEM, Content Marketing, Paid Social Ads and more.