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Responsive Search Ads (RSA)

Is RSA Ad Strength a trap?

Manuel Arrufat
Updated on_
October 24, 2023

Most SEM Managers spend a lot of time optimizing the Ad Strength of their accounts, obeying Google's premises.

Are they doing the right thing or is it nonsense?

At Dolnai we never take things for granted so we wanted to delve into this question to get to the bottom. Let's try to shed some light (Spoiler: The Ad Strength is important, but read on to understand how)

The first thing is to carry out our Responsive Search Ad Report. We call it Ads Radiography. And thanks to it we will be able to see the following:

Number of Ads by Ad Strength (Dolnai AdCreator graph)
Number of Ads by Ad Strength (Dolnai AdCreator graph)

Which allows us to find out that in a real account with 165 Ads: 

  • 25 of my Ads are “Poor” (15%)
  • 48 are “Average” (29%)
  • 47 are “Good” (28%)
  • 44 are “Excellent” (27%)

Then we want to know the distribution of the main KPIs for each of those Ad Strength. And we found this:

Performance by Ad Strength  (Dolnai AdCreator graph)
Performance by Ad Strength (Dolnai AdCreator graph)

Mmm, this is interesting.



But interesting. Notice:

Each of the curves measures the percentage of that KPI for each Ad Strength. At a glance, I can see that the “Excellent” ones get almost all of the Impressions, clicks and conversions.

Despite having fewer Ads rated as “Excellent”. Look what's there:

Table of performance by Ad Strength  (Dolnai AdCreator graph)
Table of performance by Ad Strength  (Dolnai AdCreator graph)

That is to say:

  • Poor” ads account for 15% of the total and generate no Impressions, no clicks and no conversions.
  • The “Average” are 29% of the ads, they get 22% of the impressions, 25% of the clicks and 24% of the cost and 7% of the conversions.
  • The “Good”, which are 28% of the total, get 11% of the impressions, 3% of the clicks and 6% of the conversions. And 20% of the cost, by the way.
  • Excellent: Being only 27% of the ads, they account for 67% of the impressions, 72% of the clicks and 87% of the conversions.

In this case, a better Ad Strength means more prominence and a better performance for those ads.

The “Excellent” have captured:

  1. Visibility
  2. Traffic
  3. Conversions

Does this mean that my only goal in life has to be to get an “Excellent” Ad Strength?

We can’t conclude yet.

Let 's move forward.

How was the performance per campaign?

Ad Strength by Campaign (Dolnai AdCreator graph)
Ad Strength by Campaign (Dolnai AdCreator graph)

Here I can see another key thing.

What is it?

For each campaign I have a different distribution of Ad Strengths, which will condition my conversions, CPC and CPA per Ad Strength category.


Well, because if Ads on my brand campaigns are “Poor”, I might mistakenly think that it is good to have “Poor” ads (since it is normal that brand campaigns convert more and at a better CPA).

On the contrary,  if Ads in the generic campaigns are “Excellent”, it is normal that they will have lower conversion rates and higher CPAs than their Brand-counterparts, which can show a confusing first picture. Excellent ones come out worse.

So, what does my Ad Strength depend on?

Actually, on many factors, but some are more transparent than others. 

You know, Google Style.

From our experience we know for sure:

Factors affecting a RSA Ad Strength
Factors affecting a RSA Ad Strength

What if I fill out my Responsive Ad with 15 headlines and 4 descriptions but using texts extracted from a Shakira's song?

Well, you might get a good Ad Strength.

I don't deny it, although I wouldn't test it either, just in case.

What we have proven in thousands of accounts, markets, industries and targets, is that from all of the above, there is one thing that stands out.

That dominates.

That you should always keep in mind and strive to improve on a recurring basis.

Do you know what it is?


Just like that, in capital letters and bold. No beating around the bush.

You must comply as much as possible with the "Technical Requirements" that Google asks for to make good RSAs, but if you say things that do not interest your users, then you will not captivate them.

It is like studying hard for an exam, but having studied the wrong subject. 

What can Dolnai do for you?

  1. Provide you with the necessary visibility on all the important metrics of your campaigns: Your Ads.
  2. Suggest new, more suitable creatives.  Better selling creatives.

In just one click.

Contact us if you want to know how.

Best regards,

Manuel Arrufat

P.S: You can also get an X-Ray of your Ads automatically. You will see right away if yours have something to improve.

Manuel Arrufat
Updated on_
October 24, 2023
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