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Responsive Search Ads Adwords

Google's new Responsive Search Ads can display 3 headlines and longer description lines

The new ad format offers more real estate and dynamically combines an advertiser’s headlines and descriptions.

What's different about Responsive Search Ads?

Set up one ad with multiple headlines and a number of descriptions, and Google will start dynamically testing combinations to serve the combination deemed most likely to achieve the advertiser’s stated goal. So this is much more than a standard text ad and uses new machine learning.

They are part of the continuum to let machine learning models do the work of creative ad optimization. Some of the initiatives taken to do this include dynamic search ads, automated ad suggestions (formerly known as Ads Added by Google), and Google’s efforts over the past year to get advertisers to stop manual A/B testing and add at least three ads per ad group. This is the same concept, just more automated. And, of course, there’s the push toward automated ad rotation optimization.

The argument for having multiple ad options is that your ad groups have the ability to compete in more auctions when there are more options for the keywords to trigger your ads. It also requires giving more control to the machines, which those who are concerned with strictly controlling their ad testing struggle to do so. But responsive search ads are just an indication that the days of manual A/B testing are coming to an end and will soon be over.

Need an incentive to try them? Google gives responsive search ads more ad space than expanded text ads.

  • Shows up to three headlines instead of two.
  • Displays up to two 90-character descriptions instead of one 80-character description.

Writing and 'pinning' ad combinations

Advertisers can place up to 15 headlines and four description lines in a responsive search ad. The other fields are the same as expanded text ads.

The extra rules and automated sequence mean you have to think through all the different combination scenarios. Google suggests writing your first three headlines as if they appear together (in any order) in the ad.

Try to differentiate the headlines by highlighting different features, benefits, offers, calls to action, etc.

Best practice for responsive search ads: Writing headlines that are relevant to the keywords in the ad group and that contain at least one of the keywords in your ad group in the headlines will remain valid.

There is an option to “pin” headlines and descriptions to specific positions. This is especially useful for advertisers in sensitive categories that require disclaimers, for example. Keep in mind that if you’re only pinning one headline or description line to a position, it’s the only one that’s allowed to appear in that spot. It is possible to pin a few headlines or descriptions to provide more flexibility in the dynamic matching.

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