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responsive search ads

Responsive Search Ads: How To Setup Effective Ads

Responsive search ads are one of the major updates to Google Ads in the past 5 years. And many marketers and business owners are seeing the benefits of these ads which include saving you time and making ads more relevant to searches.


With responsive search ads, you provide multiple headlines and descriptions and these are combined by Google into text ads.  And that’s because having 15 headlines and four description lines means you have a lot more space than the older expanded text ad format. So the system has a lot more to work with as it creates the ad combinations.


Follow the guidelines below to create your responsive search ads:


Responsive Search Ads Headlines


The headlines are where you put your most important text. This includes benefits and features that help you promote your products or services to a ready audience. So, this requires some good ad copywriting skills to attract the attention of your visitors.


Responsive Search Ads Headlines


Remember, for each search auction there will be multiple competitors also going for the same searches. So, your ads should stand out to help you achieve good click through rates (CTR) and conversion rates.


A mistake that many advertisers make is using the same headlines as competitors and so they’re not differentiated. In most cases you should look for a strong point or unique selling proposition (USP) that others may not be mentioning.


Each headline has a 30 character limit. So, you don’t have a lot of space within which to say a lot about your products or services within each headline. So, this requires good copywriting skills to create impactful headlines. So, working with an experienced PPC consultant will be helpful.


In Headline one, you should add your main keyword. This is the most visible part of your ad in the search results and what people will see first. So, if they see their keyword there, they will deem it to be relevant and will click through to your website. And consider pinning this to position 1. Google doesn’t recommend doing this, but it’s important because it gives you more control over how your ads appear.


With responsive search ads you also get up to 15 headlines. That is much more than you get from expanded text ads which provide you with only three headlines.


Also, include a good call to action. This should be the most important action that you want your visitors to take on your website when they click your ad.


As you create your headlines, you’ll get ideas based on your website and existing ads. You don’t have to add them, but review them to see if they’re relevant to what you’re promoting.



Responsive Search Ads Descriptions


Descriptions give you up to three times the text space of your headlines. So, you get 90 character spaces per description, so you can add more text there than you can in a headline.


Responsive Search Ads Descriptions


You get four description lines to promote your products or services. Like the headlines, they don’t all appear at the same time, but are rotated by the system to show the best combinations at auction time.


And so, like the headlines, try to use all four descriptions and as much text space in each of them, so your ads can be more prominent and you achieve great results.


There is also an option to see ideas that you can add. And these suggestions are based on your URL and other ads in your ad group. Check that they are relevant for this ad that you are creating.



Ad Strength


Ad strength is a feature that helps you to see the relevance and diversity of your ad combinations. Having more headlines and descriptions that are relevant to what you’re promoting increases the ad strength all the way up to “Excellent”.


Responsive Search Ads Ad Strength


This ad strength can be either Incomplete, Poor, Average, Good or Excellent. Incomplete is when you have not created any of the primary requirements like adding the URL, and adding headlines and descriptions.


And it’s important to work on the Poor and Average ratings to increase them to Good and Excellent. Adding your main keywords and adding relevant text helps to improve this and you’re likely to see much better click through rates and conversion rates.


Final URL


The Final URL serves two main purposes. It’s where you send visitors that click on your ads. So, it should match what your ad promotes and help you to achieve good conversions for your business.


It also serves to suggest headlines and descriptions for your ad. So, Google scans the page looking for relevant text to add to advertise your business.


ppc landing pages final url


Always send users to a specific page that goes into detail about the product or service that you’ve mentioned in the ad. So, avoid using general pages like your homepage.


Display Path


The Display Path fields are part of your Display URL. These come up as the green text under your headline and can have up to 15 characters each.


Responsive Search Ads Display Path


This feature in your responsive search ads is optional so you don’t have to use it. However, it’s a good way to add text or keywords that will make your ad look more relevant to searchers and they will be more likely to click through when they see this.


And the best way to use it is to add your primary keyword which is what your visitors would have searched with on Google.




Responsive search ads are now the primary ad type in Google Ads. So, knowing how to create effective ones as described above is important and will make your campaigns successful. And using the best benefits and features will be important, so you should take your time creating them and also seeing what competitors are doing.


Get in Touch


As a PPC freelancer and Google Ads specialist I help many advertisers setup and run winning responsive search ads for their Search campaigns. And I’m happy to help you setup your ads and campaigns to promote your products and services. Please use the form below to contact me.


    I'm a Certified Google Ads Expert and Marketing Author and in this blog I share my latest tips and secrets on how to promote your business successfully on the web and increase customer loyalty, retention and advocacy on Google Ads.

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