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Back in early 2017, Google phased out their standard text ads in place of expanded text ads, offering almost double the amount of ad space. A year and a half later, Google are testing another new search ad format, responsive search ads.


What are responsive search ads?


Responsive search ads are currently in Beta in the new AdWords interface (notice how Google are being clever in forcing users to use the new interface…) and are currently only available to certain advertisers.

The idea behind the responsive search ads is that advertisers create just one advert, with up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions, and Google will automatically decide which variant to show based on the perceived performance.

“..over time, AdWords will automatically test different combinations and learn which combinations perform best.” Google Support

While headlines and descriptions can appear in any order by default, it’s possible to ‘pin’ them to specific positions, to have control over where they should appear.

pinning descriptions responsive search ads


Why should I use responsive search ads?


One of the biggest factors of these new ad formats is the amount of real estate that can be taken up with them. It’s possible that the ads could well appear with three 30 character headlines, and two 90 character descriptions, rather than the now-standard 2 30 character headlines and a single 80 character description.

Another benefit, is that due to the amount of possible variants, it’s likely that Google can show a much more relevant ad to users based on their search query.

Responsive Search Ads

Best practices for responsive search ads  

  • Keep your headlines relevant to the keywords in your ad group, including them where you can
  • Remember, headlines can appear in any order – so make sure they make sense in any order
  • Try to make each headline or description different: use different call to actions, USPs, offers, benefits, etc

With so many possible variations and the dynamic aspect to these new responsive search ads, advertisers will need to think more cleverly about how their ads may appear. For more information on responsive search ads and how you can further grow your business through PPC, contact a member of the team today.

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