PPC | Uncategorized

What Are Responsive Search Ads? (And How They Work)

By | June 8, 2020

Did you know that you can have Google automatically split test your ad copy for you?

By using Google’s Responsive Search Ads (RSA), you can load up multiple variations of headlines & descriptions and let Google’s AI do all the testing.

This means better results, higher CTRs, and more effective ads – all automatically tested for you!

Want to know how this works and how you can take advantage of it?

I’ll break down everything you need to know in this article. Let’s get started!

What Are Responsive Ads?

Responsive Search Ads allow you to set up & test multiple headlines and descriptions when advertising on both Google Search & Google Display Network (GDN).

The responsive ads actually use Google’s algorithm to show the most relatable ad to the user’s search.

How Are Responsive Search Ads Different From Normal Expanded Text Ads?

These ad types are naturally different from traditional text ads since they’re “non-static”.

Instead of manually creating variations of your ads, you can load up variations into 1 responsive ad and let Google do all the testing for you!

When creating these ads, Google is always rotating multiple headlines and descriptions.

Typical Expanded Text Ad Assets



Pros: Allows you to use up to 3 headlines, 2 descriptions, and works really well once you have done extensive testing.

Cons: To get proper data you need to build out multiple ads. This takes a lot of time and ad spend to see which ad performs best.

Responsive Text Ad Assets

You can have up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions in total when building your ad.



Pros: This ad builder allows you to utilize 15 headlines and 4 descriptions if wanted. Plus, you will also get metrics on how each asset performed over time.

Cons: It is very easy to load the builder up and have your ads not flow well. You can see examples of what the ads may look like but you’re never 100% certain they will display that way because of all the possible unique variations.

How Can Your Business Benefit From Responsive Ads?

Responsive ads can be very powerful for your campaigns since you have the ability to test multiple headlines and descriptions at once.

Typically you may have to write multiple ads to accommodate this but Google allows you to “split test” with one convenient feature.

You can now get rid of the constant brain scramble of split testing twenty ads and identifying each component that worked best.

You’re now able to save time and money when it comes to properly split testing ads.

With Responsive Ads you will be able to get a performance report to see which headline or description is performing best.

This will be generated once the ad has received 5,000 impressions within 30 days.

4 Best Practices For Responsive Ads

1. Split Test Against Normal Search Text Ads

When using a responsive ad you will still want to build at least 2 other search text ads to split test against.

When writing these ads you want to write multiple headlines but stay focused on the same CTA/Offer that is presented on your landing page.

Responsive ads are not silver bullets by any means to save a campaign, but this is a great tool to test new creatives.

Here we’re testing 2 search text ads versus a responsive search ad in one ad group.



2. Pin Assets

Inside the builder you can pin specific headlines or descriptions.

This is ideal if you want to make sure every ad has “Free Quote” or “Free Consultation” in it.

You can find the pin feature next to the headline or description when hovering next to it.

Note: It will not appear unless you hover.



3. Plan To Test Until 5,000 Impressions

To get the most out of your ads you will want to hold off of pausing until you get 5,000 impressions within 30 days.

Once you this is complete, Google will build a performance report to show you which headlines and descriptions perform best.

Once you have enough data then you will be able to rewrite the lower performing ad.

4. Use Unique & Keyword Centered Headlines

Inside of your headlines you will want to use your seed keyword inside of the ad.

If your ad group includes HVAC Company, HVAC Company Near Me, and HVAC Services.

Then you will want to be sure to use HVAC Company inside one of the headlines.

Inside the second or third headline you could build out headlines that also match up with HVAC Services, HVAC (Your Location) and many more.

This will make your ad creative unique and rank your score inside the Responsive Builder from Average to Excellent!

Results We Have Seen From Responsive Ads

Increase In CTR

When testing responsive search ads, even in their beta stage, we found that Google takes a liking to these ad types and we overall saw a 4% increase in our Click Through Rate (CTR) compared to static search text ads.



Conversion Rate (+/-)

We normally run our ads on the setting “rotate indefinitely”, so we have seen a mix of conversion rates specifically from Responsive Search Ads.

In some cases, the Responsive Search Text Ads have brought in a higher conversion rate. Then in other cases, our traditional text ads have brought in a higher conversion rate.

We have only seen a few percent difference in the overall total, but it is worth noting that the Responsive Search Ads were not the clear winners every time.

For this specific campaign we saw a large increase in our Conversion Rate. A 7.58% increase from our top performing Expanded Text Ad.

With driving up the conversion rate, that significantly helps decrease the Cost Per Conversion.



Overall, they’re worth testing to see how they perform for your specific business and industry!

How To Setup A Responsive Search Ad

Sign into your Google Ad account.

Go inside of the campaign you would like to add a Responsive Search Ad to and go to the ads section.

Click on the blue “+” sign



Click “Responsive search ad”



Finally, add in your headlines, descriptions, and click Save.

The builder should look like this.



Conclusion

Responsive Search Ads are a great tool to have in the toolbox but they’re not a “cure-all” for a low performing campaign.

They’re great to use when you have existing data and want to continue optimizing your campaign, or even test out multiple copy selections from the beginning.

If you have any questions on how you can incorporate Responsive Search Ads in your next campaign, schedule a call with one of our PPC consultants or check out HOTH PPC here.


Karl Bartling is the PPC Manager @ The HOTH and holds over 7+ years of experience running paid traffic campaigns. Before joining The HOTH, Karl ran his own successful agency, attracting well-known clients such as Kevin Harrington (Shark Tank).  Karl holds multiple certifications including Google Ads, Google Analytics, SEMRush Advertising, and more. Learn more about HOTH PPC here.

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