Responsive Search Ads

Google’s new Responsive Search Ads can show 3 headlines, longer 90 character descriptions. The new ad format, now in beta, offers more real estate and dynamically combines an advertiser’s headlines and descriptions.


RSA (Responsive Search ads) are a new type of Search ads that allow up to 15 headlines and 4 description lines. Google will dynamically combine up to 3 headlines and 2 descriptions, which results in occupying potentially twice as much real estate on the SERP landscape than for Expanded text ads

RSAs let you create an ad that adapts to show more text – and more relevant messages. These flexible ads allow Google to show the most relevant headlines to your customers, therefore improving your CTR and overall Campaign performance. Google will automatically test different combinations of headlines and descriptions and learn which combinations perform best. According to Google, Responsive Search Ads have a 5 – 15% higher CTR compared to standard search ads – so worth testing out in your ad groups.


When writing your new RSA’s, try using existing headlines and descriptions from expanded text ads that are relevant to the ad group and keyword theme. Google suggests that ‘advertisers who have implemented this best practice could see up to 10% more clicks for their responsive search ads’. We try use the top performing Headlines from Expanded text ads within that ad group, along with adding Brand messaging into a headline and some unique variations.

You can upload these ads in the same way you would as usual Expanded Text ads, just with the additional headlines and description lines. However, one difference when uploading RSA’s is the function of ‘pinning’. You can pin one headline that you would always like to appear. This could be something like the Brand name/messaging or a disclaimer. We use this feature for some of our clients that must always show the monetary disclaimer within their ad copies.


Try to add headlines with different meaning to avoid repetition in your ads, as you don’t know which headlines Google will serve the users

Don’t forget to add a CTA (Call to Action) into headlines

Be sure to include a top keyword in at least 2 of your headlines

Having headlines & descriptions of varying lengths can increase the likelihood of you serving a 3rd headline or 2nd description line

You’ll only need to test one RSA per ad group, as Google is constantly testing the variations within the RSA, so you don’t have to


When testing in our account, within top volume ad groups, we found that the RSA ad outperformed the other ads quite considerably with CTR being 35% higher than the other top performing ad within that ad group. We also found average position to be better on the RSA ad by around 12%

Google recommend ends that you do not test RSA’s in Brand ad groups. From our experience we found that the RSA ad converted at a similar rate to the Expanded Text ads in the Brand ad groups, however CTR was considerably less than Expanded text ads. The test did however, allow us to create a new Expanded text ad, based off the top performing headlines from the RSA.


In summary, Google’s RSA’s have enabled advertisers save time by reducing the time needed to test and manage ad variations, due to Google’s constant testing of headline and description line variations.

It’s worth trying out RSA within top volume ad groups to see how they will work. You’ll need to give the new ad some time to gather data, and for Google to learn which headlines and description lines work best.

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