Responsive Search Ads: The #1 Reason You Should Use Them!

Published by Algorithmic Global on

Responsive search ads

Using responsive search ads in your Google ads campaign will give you a better quality score, leading to lower cost per click rates.

Responsive search ads and expanded text ads are the most common types of ads used on Google search campaigns. To the searcher, they appear the same: headlines, descriptions, and applicable extensions are all shown on the search engine results page.

The difference? Responsive search ads choose from a list of headlines and description possibilities, creating thousands of possible combinations.

This article will outline what responsive search ads are and why including them is a good idea!

What are responsive search ads?

Responsive search ads are Google’s attempt at using their algorithm for the benefit of searchers. The digital marketer enters options for the headlines and descriptions, and Google decides which permutation has the best chance at answering the query.

Google wins twice with responsive search ads:

  1. They can answer the search using language that considers the way the question was phrased in the first place.
  2. Users are more likely to click the more precise ad copy displayed on the search results page has a higher chance, leading to greater ad revenue.

Additionally, Google can identify and adapt ads for display on different devices. There’s less room on a mobile screen than a desktop, and if Google can optimize the ad copy for ads shown on other devices, they can present the ad with the best possible chance of success.

In the end, Google can determine which headline and description—and permutation of their combination—receive the most clicks and conversions.

Responsive ad creation on google ads editor
Create responsive ads with Google ads editor

Creating responsive search ads

Digital marketers can create responsive search ads in Google Ads Editor or on the Google Ads website interface.

There are options for fifteen different headlines and four different descriptions. While only three headlines and two descriptions are required for running responsive search ads, the more options available mean there’s a greater chance of Google discovering a winning combination for your ad copy.

Before responsive search ads, digital marketers went through rounds of testing before coming up with winning combinations. Testing fifteen different headlines and four descriptions would have taken hours of work and eaten up a large amount of any ad budget.

The only caveat with the entered headline and description data: they have to make sense in any possible combination. Don’t include language in the headline that relies on a previous headline because there’s no guarantee they’ll show up in the same order as written.

person walking against crowd
Decide who you want to target

Successful responsive search ads

The best responsive search ads take advantage of all fifteen headlines and all four descriptions. There should be a mix of both information and calls to action.

The words used in each section take advantage of the digital marketer’s knowledge of the audience, using language they use during searches for the product or service.

At Algorithmic Global, we handle Google ads campaigns for several restoration businesses. Using that industry as an example, someone looking for water damage services might have a flooded basement. So, one of the headlines would be “Flooded basement?”

The ad uses the same language as the searcher!

You can create a similar hyper-targeted ad by looking at your keywords and including them in your headlines. That way, someone searching for the keywords you bid for will see your headline and think your company is the perfect fit for them!

Why responsive search ads?

The short answer to why it’s essential to include responsive search ads in your campaign? Because Google wants you to.

They believe their algorithm can provide a better user experience than anything a digital marketer could create, leading to more clicks. More clicks mean more ad revenue for Google.

Accounts with campaigns that include responsive search ads have higher overall quality scores. A greater quality score lowers the cost per click because, in each auction, Google determines the winner based on a combination of quality score AND click.

If one’s higher, the other one can be lower and still win the auction. 

person pointing with finger choosing between paint options

How does Google choose responsive search ads?

With fifteen different headlines and four different descriptions, there are over 43k various permutations of just one of your responsive search ads.

Google chooses displays the permutation-based on which keyword triggered the ads, past customer behavior, customer’s recent search history, device, and the performance of prior permutations.

The algorithm also has more room to play with when compared with expanded text ads. Responsive search ads can show three headlines and two descriptions instead of the two headlines and one description of expanded text ads. This difference amounts to 300 characters instead of 150 characters.

More on-screen real estate means a higher chance of earning a click.

Algorithmic Global: Google ads experts

Trusting Google with crafting ad copy sounds like a considerable risk, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. From generating more clicks to lowering cost per click rates, responsive search ads can differentiate between success and failure.

Responsive search ads are just one of the tools in the pay-per-click advertising toolkit. Along with expanded text ads and a sound bidding strategy, Google ads can drive traffic and generate leads for any industry, from restoration to cannabis.

If you are looking for help with your Google ads strategy, the Algorithmic Global team can help! Reach out to us via our contact page, and our experienced team will follow up with you and find out how we can work together on your digital marketing.


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