Responsive Search Ads are Google’s largest and most flexible search ad format. Unlike traditional search ads, the trick to hacking Google Responsive Ads lies in their headline and description options.
In addition to Expanded Text Ads, RSAs allows users to write up to 15 different headlines and up to 4 different descriptions. Collectively, those headlines and descriptions can be arranged in 43,680 different permutations, which means the ad testing possibilities are nearly endless!

Google will then automatically and dynamically test and determine which headline/description combination works best. Over time, your Responsive Search Ads will serve the best message to different searchers depending on the keyword they search for, their device, their past browsing behavior, and other signals.

Here are a few tips to get you started down the road to creating the most effective responsive search ads.


1. Include your keywords in headlines and descriptions

The most important tip regarding Responsive Search Ads is to do a little preparation before you jump in. You want to find and study your top-performing ads in order to find elements you can use for your first campaigns. This includes messaging, headlines, values, offers or any other top-performing elements you can use to create a great set of high-performing headlines and descriptions.
Make sure to include your keywords in both the headline and description of your ad copy. You can also use Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) if you want to personalize your ad copy and match the keyword that caused the ad to show.


2. Highlight Something Different in Each Headline & Description

Avoid repetitive and boring variants of the same headline. Google actually won’t even show your Responsive Search Ad if your headlines or descriptions are too similar!

  •  Use your creativity and highlight different value props, offers, and call to actions with each element of your responsive search ad.
  •  Be sure to include a top keyword in at least 2 of your headlines.
  • Be sure to have at least 3 headlines that do NOT include your keywords. This will prevent your ads from becoming overly repetitive and allow you to highlight more value to searchers.
  •  Have headlines & descriptions of different lengths. This will increase the likelihood of you serving a 3rd headline or 2nd description. Don’t try to maximize the character count in each element every time.
  •  A good Responsive Search Ad has a lot of unique messages that can be combined. Avoid repetitive language or the same call to action!


3. Pin Your Most Important Text

When placing your responsive ad, you’ll have the option to “pin” headlines or text to your ad. Pinned content will always show up in every version of your ad.
How to use it: Pin your most important text to either the first or 2nd headline position, or to the first 80 characters of the 1st description.


4. Include a Call-to-Action

Always be sure to include a call-to-action in your search ads. Know what you want your users to do after reading your ad, and tell them to do it.
A call-to-action can be as simple as “Save 15% today” or “Make your dinner reservation here.”
The best CTA’s are built around your main ad objective. Be sure that your ad is serving one goal, and that you let searchers know what to do in your CTA.


5. Improve Quality Scores

This should go without explanation, but it’s important to continue to monitor and improve quality scores over time. Often, ads run across a variety of keywords and direct users to pages that have relatively thin content that doesn’t contain the keywords.
Google takes three primary factors into account when determining the quality score of each keyword.

  •  Landing page experience
  •  Click-through rate
  •  Ad relevance

Take time to plot out which keywords to target, how the ad groups are structured to display for those keywords and how closely the ad copy aligns with each of the keywords inside the ad group.


6. Optimize your landing pages

Review the content on the landing page to ensure the landing page loads quickly, contains content that addresses the searcher’s intent and provides the next steps for the user. It could be an action to watch a video, download a white paper, view another page or complete a contact form that’s routed to the sales team.
Working to improve each of these factors not only lowers the cost of what you need to pay but, more importantly, it can also dramatically improve the user experience for your audience.

Running a PPC campaign shouldn’t be challenging. However, Google continues to make changes to their paid programs, sunsetting certain settings and offering new features for advertisers. It’s important for marketers to stay on top of updates to take advantage of upcoming changes, especially before the competition does.
There are plenty of ways to optimize your campaign in 2020. The question is: Are you going to? If you need help to improve your PPC campaign performance, contact us!