How do Responsive Search Ads work? A guide

For a few weeks, Google has made available to a limited number of advertisers the beta version of a new ad format for search campaigns: Responsive Search Ads.

This new format will allow advertisers to insert multiple headline combinations and descriptions that will then be tested and optimised automatically thanks to Google’s Machine Learning.

What are the benefits of Responsive Search Ads?

As is well known, Google is focusing a lot on Machine Learning to automate most of the processes necessary for the launch, management and optimisation of advertising campaigns in the AdWords ecosystem.

Normally, to test the performance of a text ad, it is necessary to carry out continuous A / B tests in order to favour the combinations that best respond to user searches and brand objectives.

With the Responsive Search Ads, the optimisations between all the different “headline + description” combinations will be made automatically by Google’s machine learning, showing users the most relevant combinations to their search and consequently increasing the overall performance of the search advertising campaigns.

In addition, advertisers will be able to reduce the time spent on repetitive A / B testing tasks, focusing more on overall strategy and performance (CTR increase and CPC reduction).

It’s not over here, because with the Responsive Search Ads it will be possible to use 3 headlines and 2 descriptions (of 90 characters) at the same time for each combination, thus increasing the visibility of ads in the search engine, especially from mobile.

If managed well, the Responsive Search Ads will bring benefits to the brands also from the point of view of the visibility of the ads: in fact, increasing the combinations available and the correspondences between “keywords and ads”, the adgroups will have the opportunity to compete within of a greater number of “auctions”.

What are Responsive Search Ads and what changes compared to traditional formats?

When the ads are created, with the Responsive Search Ads you can enter: a) a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 15 headlines; b) from a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 4 descriptions. It will then be AdWords to show the various combinations automatically, optimizing performance in real time. An advantage not a little compared to Expanded Search Ads, consisting of 2 headlines and a description of 80 characters in a fixed position.

Having more content available and in “scattered” order means that advertisers will have to pay more attention to the output that will be created in the search engine because the legibility and the meaning must be maintained with any combination.

For this reason, there will be the possibility of “pinnate” headlines and descriptions in specific positions, in order to fix a text in a specific position. This will be particularly useful for all advertisers working in particularly sensitive markets that require special disclaimers and guidelines.

What are Google’s best practices and suggestions for Responsive Search Ads?

  • Google suggests writing the first 3 headline lines as if they could all appear together (and in random order) in the ads, to ensure a complete sense regardless of the combination with which they will be shown.
  • Try to treat them as separate copy, inserting “product features”, “benefits”, “offers”, “call to action” etc.
  • Doing “pin” is not recommended for all advertisers (in fact it reduces the possible combinations), but if you decide to do it, Google suggests to “pinnate” at least 2 or 3 different headlines or descriptions for each position, giving the possibility to Machine Learning to vary.

In conclusion, Search Responsive Ads are a very interesting opportunity to improve the performance of your digital investments within the Google world. If you want to know more, contact us for personalized advice.

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