In a world where machine learning is changing the way we advertise online, Google launched a new feature to further integrate machine learning in the creative of your Google search ads. With the use of Responsive Search Ads, the Google algorithm creates the best combination of your headlines and description lines for every search. This enables you to reach a larger audience with ads that are as relevant as possible.
Introducing Responsive Search Ads
We all know it is a best practice of Google to have at least three ads in every ad group. It increases the possibility that one of your ads is relevant for users are typing search terms into Google. The higher your Ad Relevance, the better your Ad Rank will be and thus in the end the better your position in the search results.
But, the recommended three ads per ad group are actually really just a minimum number of ads you should have. When it comes to the number of ads in your ad group, you should know that more is more. Since having to set up several ads per ad group can quickly become very time consuming, Google has given us an easy way out, Responsive Search Ads.
What are Responsive Search Ads?
First things first, some context on what Responsive Search Ads are. Well, RSA are Google's answer to integrating machine learning in creatives. You provide up to 15 headlines and 4 description lines and Google mixes and matches those together to create the best possible ad for every search. How to create Responsive Search Ads? To create Responsive Search Ads (RSA) in Google Ads go to the Ads and Extensions tab and click on the “+” button. Choose the campaign and ad group where you want to create your RSA. There you get a template where you fill in the final URL, the path, the headlines and the descriptions. It is mandatory to have at least three headlines and two description lines but try to have as many as possible.
As with everything, there are some best practices when creating RSA. Keep following things in mind.
More is more
As was mentioned before, when it comes to the amount of ads, more is more. The same can be said about the amount of headlines and description lines in your RSA. The more possibilities you give Google, the more combinations will be created. That way the Ad Relevance for you ad increases, causing you to enter more auctions and in the end, appear more.
To create your RSA, use your ad copy from your already existing Expanded Text Ads in your RSA. Complement this already existing content with more headlines and description lines if possible. To help you create the RSA faster, you can go to the Recommendations tab in Google Ads were you have the possibility to let Google create a RSA for you using your existing headlines and description lines from the ETA of that ad group.
Also It's not because you have a RSA that you should stop with ETA's altogether. It is still a best practice of Google to have at least three when you have a RSA.
Variety is key
When creating all these headlines and descriptions lines you might think you can just say the same thing in 15 different ways, but don’t be lazy!
Try to make your headlines and description lines as distinct as possible. Coming up with 15 different headlines is a challenge indeed, but it will improve your ad strength and eventually your results. You can check you ad strength in the RSA template as is shown in the image below or you can add it to your columns (ad strength metric under ‘columns’ > ‘attributes’).
The ad strength is not taken into account in the calculation of your Ad Relevance. It is just a tool that helps us create the best possible RSA.
Pin it (if you have to)
Sometimes you want to be sure that a certain headline always appears in every ad. For example, you always want the name of your company to be there. You can make use of pins for headlines or description lines that you for sure want to appear in your ad at specific positions.
However, this limits the possibilities of the Google algorithm to optimise towards the best possible ad. That is why if it is not necessary for you business, it is better to not use the pins and let the algorithm optimise freely without that restriction. If you make use of the pins, it is a good idea to pin multiple headlines for that position so Google can choose between different options.
Evaluate with caution
You might be looking at the results of your recently created RSA and be disappointed at first. There is a good chance that the CTR of your RSA is lower than the ones of your other ETA’s. This is because by using RSA, Google helps you create the ad with the highest possible Ad Relevance for every single search term. That way your ad rank for a lot of search terms increases and you enter a lot of auctions you would not have entered before. You are now able to reach people you were not able to reach before. Within all these new people that you reach some might be very interested in your offering but a lot of them might not, causing your CTR to decrease.
This is not a problem because after all you just get more exposure which will lead to more clicks and more conversions even if it is at a lower CTR.
To evaluate the RSA, you look at the performance of your entire ad group. See if you get more impressions, more clicks and more conversions for the ad group as a whole. The preferred way to do this is by using A/B testing so your evaluation is not disturbed by seasonality or a change in budget.
To wrap it up
Adding Responsive Search Ads to your ad groups is the way to go. It is the future way that ads will be created, so at a certain point we won't even have a choice. On top of that you also enter more auctions leading to more people eventually seeing your ad.
But, from all these extra people that you reach, not all of them are necessarily the quality audience you are looking for. As was mentioned before, your CTR will most likely be lower and that is definitely something to keep in mind when evaluating results. But people don't click, you don't pay, so actually you have nothing to lose.