Google has announced their newest ad format for search. In the biggest shake up since expanded text ads were rolled out in 2016. Here come Responsive Search Ads, currently in beta in whitelisted accounts.

Within our PPC agency, we’ve always been huge fans of ad testing, it’s a vital part of our Google Ads campaigns. Fostering and improving our clickthrough rate is essential to maintain and increase quality score.


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The advent of Responsive Search Ads will allow advertisers to move away from simple A/B testing or A/B/C testing. Instead, we’ll be able to run what are essentially automated ad copy matrices. Testing different headlines with different description lines and harnessing Google AdWords’ rapidly developing machine learning algorithms.

What Are Responsive Search Ads?

In Google’s words, “Responsive search ads let you create an ad that adapts to show more text and more relevant messages to your customers”

Responsive Search Ads look very similar to expanded text ads, apart from the fact that they can show up to three headlines. They’re eligible to appear in the same places that ETA’s do, in search and across search partners.

Responsive Search Ads Example

The new ads allow advertisers to add up to 15 unique headlines and four unique descriptions per responsive ad. Google then dynamically serves different combinations of these elements, before optimising towards the best performing pairing.

Why Use Responsive Search Ads?

The main incentive to use responsive search ads seems to be around time saving and efficiency. By taking the time to entering your various headlines and descriptions upfront, you will be able to run thorough and robust ad testing with only one ad in each ad group!

Despite the automatic combinations and testing, advertisers can still retain control of headlines and descriptions that should show in particular positions. This is done by ‘pinning’ these within the interface. It’s a particularly useful feature when you consider that ad assets can show in any order. If you have a certain headline that only makes sense in position 1, pinning it there can help prevent showing bad looking ads!

Another reason to run these ads is thanks to the additional characters up for grabs. Just when you thought Google had given you all the characters you needed with the introduction of Expanded Text Ads. Responsive search ads will automatically adapt to different device widths. In doing so, showing up to three headlines and two descriptions.

To learn more and to see how Algebra can help you run your PPC activity more efficiently and effectively Contact Us today!

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