How to Create Effective Google Responsive Search Ads

Responsive search ad (RSA) is a new ad format by Google that advertisers can use to show customized ads to users based on their browsing history, device, and other behavior.

With this ad format, Google uses machine learning to come up with a combination of ad copy for each specific user you are targeting. Since every user behavior is different, there is no ‘winning’ combination of copy that is displayed.

Follow the five tips below to create effective Google responsive search ads.

    1. Write at Least Five Unique Headlines

      With RSAs, you can come with up to 15 unique headlines to reach your target audience. Google recommends creating a minimum of five unique headlines.

      The headlines should not be more than 30 characters. Don’t strive to hit the 30-character limit; there is no additional benefit for doing so. Instead, mix up the headline lengths to be as unique as possible.

      TIP: Be descriptive in your headlines and communicate a benefit that your target users will resonate with.

    2. Include a Keyword in at Least Two Headlines

      Keywords are still important in responsive search ads. At least two of your headlines should have your target keywords.

      However, don’t go aggressive by using the target keywords in all the headlines. The best practice is to use your keyword in just two of the headlines. If every headline has your target keyword, the resulting ad headline combinations will look repetitive, which will contribute to poor user experience. You do not want this with your ads.

    3. Have at Least Two Unique Descriptions

      You can create a maximum of four descriptions for RSAs. The descriptions should be unique to allow Google’s machine learning to determine the best combination to use with the headlines. Use all the four descriptions to make it easier for Google’s AI to come up with multiple combinations that will resonate with your target audience.

      Descriptions have a 90 character limit. Don’t focus on getting your keywords in the description. Rather, communicate the benefit that users will get when they click on the ad.

      TIP: If you have been running expanded text search ads and have insight on winning headline-description combinations, test them for your responsive search ads. The combinations are also likely to perform well in RSAs.

    4. Indicate Your Benefits in the Headlines

      Stuffing target keywords in the headlines will not work. In fact, Google recommends using your target keyword in only two of the minimum recommended five headlines. However, you can still be creative and make the headlines more impactful to your target audience.

      For example, you can promise a benefit in the headlines, indicate discount pricing, highlight location where the offers are valid, and so on.

    5. Use Ad Strength to Optimize Your Copy

      Use Google’s Ad strength tool to measure the quality of your RSAs copy. This tool can help you spot mistakes such as missing URLs, poor headlines (for example, not unique enough), and so on.

Does RSA Herald the Death of A/B Testing?

With responsive search ads, Google uses AI to determine the best combination of headlines and descriptions to show to target users. Does this, therefore, mean that A/B split testing is dead?

Well, RSAs make it easy for marketers to discover ad copy combinations that appeal to various users. Google says it uses machine learning to determine the combination. However, no information is given on how the tests are done nor is the data shared with marketers. Therefore, you may want to keep split testing your ads.

Moreover, Google recommends using both expanded text ads and responsive search ads together. This way, you can get more impact from your ad spend. You can also use the insights you gather from responsive search ads to inform your expanded text ads strategy.

Google Responsive Search Ads – FAQs

What is a Google responsive search ad?

Responsive search ads (RSAs) is a new ad format shown on the Google Display Network that gives marketers greater flexibility in crafting customized ads for target audiences.

Are Google responsive search ads good?

Yes, Google search ads are effective as they enable advertisers to reach users with custom ads tailored for them based on their browsing history, the device they use, and other behaviors.

How does Google Ads generate responsive search ads answers?

Google uses machine learning to determine the combination of search ads that will appeal to a particular user. There is no ‘winning’ ad set as each user will see the best ad for them based on various factors.

How can you optimize for responsive search ads?

To optimize responsive search ads, use your keyword in two of five headlines. Alternatively, indicate your product benefits or other information in the headline, which will be helpful for your target audience.

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