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Responsive Search Ads (RSA)

Complete Guide: Responsive Search Ads 2024

Ángel Simancas
Updated on_
January 17, 2024

How do Responsive Search Ads Work?

How to Create Responsive Search Ads?

   - From Google Ads interface (manually)

   - Through Google Ads Editor

   - Using AdCreator

Best practice for Responsive Search Ads

How to Optimize Responsive Search Ads?

   - Analyzing asset performance at account level

   - Analyzing asset performance at ad level

   - Detect low-performing assets

   - Replacing low-performing assets for new ones

Responsive Search Ads is the ad format that Google launched a few years ago as a complement to the now deprecated Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) and that, as of June 30, 2022, is the only ad format available, along with Dynamic Ads (regarding text ads on Search).

As happened before with Text Ads, the turn came to Expanded Text Ads (ETAs), which can no longer be created or modified as from end of June 2022.

Still haven't adapted the ads in your account to this change? Here we explain how to create RSA ads from expanded text ads quickly and effectively.

How do Responsive Search Ads Work?

What is “behind the scene” in these types of ads is the application of Machine Learning (and Artificial Intelligence) through the combination of different headlines and descriptions to create ads that users will eventually see. In short, the task of testing the ads is left to Google, just as we did ourselves previously with Expanded Text Ads (ETAs).

Responsive Search Ads (RSA) allow you to enter up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions per ad with which Google Ads can make combinations (unlike Expanded Text Ads that allowed you to use only 3 headlines and 2 descriptions).

Google will continue to show the user ads with a maximum of 3 headlines and 2 descriptions. But now Google Ads has more headlines and descriptions to combine, allowing advertisers to be eligible for more queries and to show more relevant ads to users. Therefore, an improvement in the results of the ads is to be expected.

As the Google Ads algorithm tries different variants, it learns which are the most relevant combinations, the "winners".

How to Create Responsive Search Ads?

When creating our ads, we have different ways. Below you can find different options, from the most manual to the most automated, depending on your needs:

  1. Create RSA Ads from Google Ads interface (manually)

    This is the most direct and manual method of all.

    Although it is the most intuitive (by allowing us to create ads from the same interface), this method has its drawbacks; since it does not allow us the same versatility and capacity as the other methods that we will see below.

    If this is your preferred option, visit our post on How to Create Responsive Search Ads from the Google Ads Interface.


        2. Create RSA Ads through Google Ads Editor

Google Ads Editor is the tool from Google that allows us to make bulk changes to our account, as well as work without the need for an internet connection.

If you decide to use this method, you have all the steps in the post on How to Create Responsive Search Ads from Google Ads Editor.


        3. Create RSA Ads using AdCreator

This is the only method that actually CREATES ads; the other methods mentioned above are more of ad "upload" methods.

AdCreator allows us to create ads from scratch as well as optimize our existing ads; since it will suggest new ad copies to add where the 15 available headlines are not being used, or to replace those ad headlines with low performance.

This tool uses artificial intelligence to recommend relevant ad copies aligned with the Ad Group in question. And all in a couple of clicks, simply by connecting your Google Ads account.

Discover, step by step, How to Create Responsive Search Ads using Dolnai AdCreator.

10 Tips for Writing the Best Responsive Search Ads

We are going to reveal the Best Practice for Writing the Best Responsive Search Ads for your campaigns. This will help to attract a higher number of clients, and therefore obtain all the benefits of your investments within Google Ads.

Also, we will give you a preview of the most frequent mistakes when it comes to writing with this format (RSA) to avoid wasting your time and money. 👍

This type of advertising has been incorporated into Google with the purpose of lending a hand to the account managers to obtain better performance without having to continuously test and analyze the results. As we previously mentioned in the post where we talked about how responsive text ads work, Google advises you to include at least one Responsive Search Ad in every ad group. Although RSA, in the same way as expandable text ads, shows at least 3 titles and 2 descriptions on the screen, Google decides which ads are shown on the user´s screen according to their search and profile.

A)  Recommendations for your Headlines

You dispose of up to 15 titles where to add text. The recommended minimum is to write 5, even though we strongly encourage you to complete all 15 of them.

  1. Varied content:

    Of all the titles you prepare, make sure to have at least 5 of varied content. Because if they are too similar, the number of options for Google to try different combinations will be reduced.
  2. Include the keyword in the ad:

    Include the keyword that has activated the ad within at least two of the titles. In the first one, you could write it as is, and in the other resort to the insertion of the keyword.
  3. Offer interesting information:

    Make sure that 3 of your titles deal with content that is not related to the keyword to ensure that interesting information is offered. You can mention the product or service, prices, the brand, promotions, fast or free shipping and returns, additional advantages of your brand, number of customers, calls to action, etc...
  4. Mention the website´s information:

    Try to have this information appear on the landing page to ensure a higher correlation.
  5. Arouse the feeling of urgency:

    Use terminology that attracts the interest of the user, words like “Offer” or “Promotion” next to the product´s name or service with the goal of awakening that feeling of urgency.
  6. Ask a question:

    Remember that titles can not include exclamation marks, but they can have interrogation marks, as a way to draw the user´s attention. For example try writing something that draws intrigue: “Are you going to miss it?”, “You still haven´t signed up?”, or “Still don´t know where to go on holidays?”.
  7. Add value!:

    Make sure the texts add value to the overall message that you are trying to convey. Verify they aren´t both excessively short nor surpass the 30-character allowed mark…

B) Recommendations for your Descriptions

  1. Offer relevant information:

    Try your best to offer relevant and additional information about your company, product, or service. Inside this space, take advantage of a greater custom approach for your client, thanks to the 90 characters available you will be able to work on proper communication.
  2. Avoid repeating content:

    Avoid repeating the same content exactly as it is written in the titles or write them differently with the help of synonyms and similar expressions. Focus on speaking the “same language” as your target audience so they can feel identified with your brand.
  3. Include Calls to Action:

    Include two calls to action in different descriptions. One interesting option would be to use a more straightforward CTA like “Buy Now!” or “Book Now!”, and another less aggressive CTA could be “Learn More!” or “Contact us without commitment!”. Exclamation marks will help you to grab the customer´s attention and arouse in them a sense of urgency.

To save time when writing this type of ad you can reuse texts from previously used expanded text ads and adapt them to this new format. If you opt for this option, try to use the creatives of the ads that have obtained better ad relevance or more conversions. In this case, it is important to analyze the Asset Details Report in Google Ads.

It is essential to keep an eye on the ads in the review state, because if they remain in this state for more than a working day, it will stop being shown, if this happens you will risk leaving an ad group without active ads, and as a result, none of the active words will show any results. To solve this issue, we encourage you to double-check if the keywords that include these responsive ads are active.

If you are determined to make a qualitative leap in your ads on Google, Dolnai offers you AdCreator, the tool for creating and optimizing responsive search ads.

How to Optimize Responsive Search Ads?

As mentioned before, one of the most important advantages of Responsive Search Ads is automatic learning through Machine Learning algorithms that allow Google Ads to learn which combinations of headlines and descriptions resonate best with users.

But, as you may be wondering, this automation causes, once again, advertisers and account managers to lose control of their accounts to the so-called “Google black box”.

It is true that Google learns which are the winning combinations, but this implies that there are losing combinations, right?

Out of those 15 headlines and 4 descriptions that we can use in a Responsive Search Ad (RSA) there will be some that, in the end, will barely be shown, especially once the algorithm has declared its combination of “winning” assets; that is, the winning ads.

Usually there is no single winning combination, but several combinations of headlines and descriptions that capture the most impressions, while certain headlines and descriptions receive hardly any impressions because the algorithm detects poor performance and ends up discarding them from its possible combinations.

‍Therefore, we still have room for optimization in Responsive Search Ads: detecting and improving those underperforming headlines and descriptions.

Analyzing asset performance at account level

In Google Ads, headlines and descriptions are considered “assets”. Currently we can only see impression data, plus a tag based on performance (hopefully more data in the future).

This is where we can optimize our Responsive Search Ads (RSA). By detecting those low-performing assets, we can replace them with higher quality ones with which keep testing.

From Google Ads interface we can see and download reports of the results that the different headlines and descriptions (assets) have had. We will see a table with all the texts used plus their corresponding impression data and tags.

Account-level information about Responsive Search Ads Assets in Google Ads
Account-level information about Responsive Search Ads Assets in Google Ads

Although this data provides us with some information, it is not enough for ad optimization; since this report shows the results of the assets at account. That is, it gives us the data of a headline or description in relation to all the ads in which it has been used. The same headline or description may have been used in multiple Ads and, therefore, may have had different results in each case.

Analyzing asset performance at ad level

The information at the ad level is possible to see, but Google Ads does not make it easy for us once again. In this case, Google provides a link under each individual ad to be able to see the performance of headlines and descriptions at the level of that single ad.

List of Responsive Search Ads
List of Responsive Search Ads

Now, it also offers us the possibility of seeing the combinations of headlines and descriptions that were used in the different ads finally shown to users. But once again, Google Ads does it again in a way that is difficult to manage; since it is not downloadable and is only visible by entering each ad one by one (through the "View asset details" link).

Ad-level information about Responsive Search Ads Assets in Google Ads
Ad-level information about Responsive Search Ads Assets in Google Ads

Detect low-performing assets

This is a problem that we at Dolnai are responding to. Our AdCreator performs an analysis of each asset (headline or description) at the ad level, detecting those with the worst performance and automatically suggesting an alternative.

With a single click and in a few minutes, AdCreator is capable of analyzing thousands of ads, as well as generating new ones.

Also, if you're a laggard and still have Ad Groups left where you don't have any Responsive Search Ads (RSAs), AdCreator will create new Responsive Search Ads so you don't get left behind. *(Remember that, as of June 30, 2022, Google Ads stopped allowing you to modify or create new Expanded Text Ads (Expanded Search Ads).

Replacing low-performing assets for new ones

With this tool we can continuously optimize the copies of our ads.

In a first analysis, AdCreator will detect those low-performing assets, propose new texts to replace, generate headlines and descriptions in those ads that were not making use of all the slots available, and create new Responsive Search Ads (RSA) in those Ad Groups without any.

From there, we will simply have to allow Google Ads a few days or weeks (depending on the volume of our account) to test and learn the new winning combinations. 

Then we will analyze our account with AdCreator again to detect those headlines and descriptions with the worst performance that we will replace with new suggestions generated by the tool.

Try AdCreator here.

Ángel Simancas
Updated on_
January 17, 2024
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What is a Responsive Search Ad (RSA)?

A Responsive Search Ad (RSA) is the format of Search Ads introduced by Google a few years ago, serving as a complement to the Expanded Text Ads (ETAs). Since June 30, 2022, RSAs, along with Dynamic Ads (within text ads on Search), are the only available search ad formats.

How does Google Ads generate Responsive Search Ads?

In Responsive Search Ads (RSAs), advertisers can input up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions per ad. Google Ads then creates combinations, using a maximum of 3 headlines and 2 descriptions.

The functionality of these ads relies on the application of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. It involves automatic learning through the combination of various headlines and descriptions to create ads that users will see. Essentially, Google takes over the task of testing ads, similar to what advertisers did previously with Expanded Text Ads (ETAs).

Google will continue to display ads to users with a maximum of 3 headlines and 2 descriptions. However, Google Ads now has a greater number of headlines and descriptions to combine, allowing advertisers to be eligible for more searches and display more relevant ads to users. An improvement in ad results is expected as the Google Ads algorithm tests different variants and learns which combinations are the most relevant or "winners".

How does Google Ads determine which ads to show?

The algorithm tests different combinations of headlines and descriptions based on user searches and their interactions with the ad combinations. According to the collected data, there will be headlines and descriptions that the algorithm shows more frequently than others.

What are the advantages of Responsive Search Ads?

Responsive Search Ads make it easier for advertisers to test ads with a larger number of text variants. This enables the display of the most relevant ad for a specific user search. The increased possibilities for combination are not only due to the number of headlines and descriptions provided but also the greater number of formats in which the ad can appear (due to varying character lengths).

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