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Running a successful Google Ads campaign is like studying for a test. If you’ve attended class, done your homework, and completed your study guide, you’re likely to score well, but you may still miss a question or two.

Using responsive search ads is like having the ultimate study partner, meaning you have a much higher chance of acing the test. Google does most of the “homework” and “study guide” for you, making optimization for your business faster and easier than ever before. Rather than create individual ads and have a team of people analyze the data, you can instead provide multiple headlines and description options with Google Ads Responsive Search Ads (RSA). Then, Google will analyze the search queries and other proprietary data to determine your most effective ads for specific users.

Important Note

If you or your marketing team has already been utilizing Google Ads search campaigns, you are likely used to creating and using expanded text ads. If this fits your situation, you’ll need to make the leap to Google Ads Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) as soon as possible. In August 2021, Google announced the elimination of expanded text ads set for July 2022, meaning you won’t be able to create new ones or edit existing ones after June 30, 2022. That being said, you and your team should hop on the RSA bandwagon now to get the best head start possible (and if you need a little help, we’re here for you). 

What are Responsive Search Ads & How to Get Started with RSAs

Once again, RSAs allow your marketing team to create an ad that adapts to show more text—and more relevant messages—to your customers. The basic premise is that your business can create multiple headlines and descriptions, and ultimately Google Ads tests different combinations and analyzes which combination works best. Because the keywords and phrases people use to search online are ever-changing, it’s imperative that your team can stay connected with current trends. In fact, Google shared that 15% of all daily searches contain new keywords that marketers have never seen before since the pandemic. Rather than exhaust your marketing team in logistics, RSAs do the hard work for you. 

Below is a video produced by Google that explains how they work and how to get started: 

To create this type of ad, follow the steps below from Google:

  1. From the page menu on the left, click Ads & extensions.
  2. Click the plus (+) button and select Responsive search ad.
  3. Enter the final URL and display path text. As you type, a preview of your ad will appear. 
  4. Enter your headlines – a minimum of 3 headlines, but you can enter up to 15
  5. Enter your descriptions – a minimum of 2 descriptions, but you can enter up to 4
  6. Click Save

Of course, knowing how to get started and set up ads doesn’t necessarily mean that your ads will be successful. To put it simply, your content matters. Below are a few tips to ensure you’re making the most of your RSAs:

5 Tips to Follow to Build the Most Effective RSAs

1. The more headline variants, the better.

RSAs allow for up to fifteen headline fields–each with 30 characters. While Google recommends utilizing at least eight of the fifteen allowed, we suggest beginning with all fifteen so that your ongoing recommendations from Google increase sooner than later. At the bare minimum, every RSA must include three headlines and two descriptions to show up.

2. Concise and distinctive headlines work best.

Begin by creating two to three headlines with unique messaging related to your ad group keywords. Be sure that you utilize the most-used keywords in your headlines. After coming up with two to three headlines with keywords, use the remaining slots to create headlines that focus on your business’s unique selling proposition (USP)–for example, “new and improved” or “free shipping”. Highlighting your business’s or, more specifically, your product’s features and benefits will help ensure customers feel they are making an informed decision with their purchase.

3. Use call-to-action words and highlight unique selling points.

RSA descriptions include a maximum of four (4) lines of ad text and only show two descriptions at a time. Each line has a maximum length of 90 characters, so be sure to use these fields to highlight information that you didn’t already cover in your headlines. Include your call-to-action (CTA) in this space to avoid such repetition. What should the customer do next? For example, “call now!” “visit our website for more details”. You should also consider phrases that showcase your unique selling points, just as you’ve done in your headlines.

4. Pin key elements to optimize visibility

RSAs allow you to pin both headlines and descriptions, and we recommend doing both. Although the job of the RSA is to randomize combinations to optimize results, your team can pin key elements to specific positions within the search ads. That way, you can keep your product name, price, or unique selling point (as mentioned above) completely visible. Be careful not to pin too many headlines or descriptions, though. In doing so, your RSA may be negatively impacted. 

5. Utilize pre-existing ads

Whether you’re working with ETAs, print ads, or some other form, review how your current ads perform. Use the high-performing elements to assist you in creating your headlines and descriptions. In creating an RSA, you should not be reinventing the wheel. 

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, while there may be a lot that goes into creating and utilizing Google Ads Responsive Search Ads, it is most definitely worth your time. In short:

  • Use the maximum allowable amount of headlines and descriptions
  • Use keywords in a concise, distinctive headline
  • Focus on call-to-action phrases while showcasing your business’s unique selling points
  • Re-use what already works well for your products

Shameless plug, but Google Ads (with their ever-changing formats and rules) are our thing. If you need help before the June 30 deadline, let us know!