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Google's New Responsive Search Ads

Written by Joey Morgan

Businesses looking to increase the click-through rate of their websites should be thrilled to hear about Googles latest feature (currently in beta) - Responsive Search Ads. Unlike static text ads, that allow you to write just one headline and description all at once, with Responsive Search Ads, you can create up to 15 different headlines and up to 4 different descriptions - that comes out to around 43,000 ad permutations!

Google will then test different combinations of headlines and descriptions and filter out the best ones. The ad will display up to 3 headlines (instead of 2), a display URL, and up to two descriptions with at least 90 characters (instead of 80) giving your ad more “character real-estate” than with previous ads. From that, searchers will get more direct exposure to relevant ads based on keywords, previous browsing habits, and other factors. That emphasis on ad filtration means more people with a related interest in your product/service will be directed to your website.

Now that you have an understanding of what responsive search ads are and how they work, let’s get into some of the ways you can optimize this latest Google feature:

Utilizing Headline and Description Permutations

Plain and simple, more is better. There needs to be at least 3 headlines and 2 descriptions for your ads to even be posted but minimizing the bulk of your ads reduces the number of variants and the amount of testing done for your ad making the strongest feature of Responsive Search Ads (ad permutation) obsolete. Remember, the more headlines and descriptions, the better the results for your ad.

Don’t be Repetitive

Variation is also key when creating headlines and descriptions. Emphasize different aspects of your business that you want to market to people with each ad you create. Such as promotional offers, calls to action, and other incentives you wish to promote. Google will disregard headlines and descriptions that are too similar. Having at least 3 headlines that do not contain your keywords will prevent over repetition and highlight more of your businesses value.

Pinning Headlines

If there is a specific message you wish to promote with your ad, you can ensure it will come up every time your ad is displayed by “pinning” it to your headlines or in your description. However, doing this will restrict the automatic testing variants that Responsive Search Ads can perform, potentially having a negative impact on your ads overall performance. Pin carefully, my friends!

Review Your Current Ads

To prepare your current ads for this new feature, try using the Google Ad Grader to find out which of your ads performs best. By using elements of those ads, you can begin to think of various headlines and descriptions you wish to use for your Responsive Search Ads. Discover which messages, call to actions and offers draw the most attention to your business and put them to good use!

Responsive Search Ads is a prime example to how Google is taking the right steps towards integrating machine learning and AdWords. According to Google, Responsive Search Ads have a 5 – 15% higher CTR compared to standard search ads. That increase in CTRs and decrease in CPCs is ideal for those looking to prevent wasted ad expense. The features ability to test multiple ads at a time means greater efficiency in your ability to get the most out of digital advertising and focus your valued time and energy into managing other aspects of your business.