8 Tips to Improve Your Google Responsive Search Ads

Tim Davidson
Jan 25, 2019

Responsive search is a new format that lets advertisers create an ad with multiple headlines and descriptions that respond to a user’s search in Google. Google uses machine learning to test different combinations of the ads and learn which combination performs best. The new format is part of Google’s push toward leveraging artificial intelligence to serve relevant ads to consumers.

Whether you are thinking about using responsive search ads, or are already testing them out, here are 8 tips to help you get the most out of your spend:

  1. Add as many headlines as you can. Google recommends including at least 8-10 headlines. This gives its algorithm enough variation to work with. If possible, use the maximum of 15—the more headlines you can add, the better the reach and the more diverse the data will be for making decisions.
  2. Use keywords in your headlines and descriptions. This will help Google match them up to the user’s searches, broadening your reach and increasing relevance.
  3. Create headlines of different lengths. Google can take up to 15 headlines and its algorithm will adjust based on search queries. This provides a great opportunity to test different headline lengths to see which performs better.
  4. Don’t limit Google’s ability to integrate ad combinations. Make sure each headline is as unique as possible. Redundant headlines limit potential reach, defeating the purpose of your responsive ads.
  5. Add at least two distinct descriptions (but use four if you can). Use as much of the space Google allows to maximize your results.
  6. Conduct A/B/C testing on your ad copy. Test how location-specific keywords perform. For example, test out the words “Buffalo,” “Southtowns,” and “Hamburg” in your headlines to see if you come across search queries you were not catching before.
  7. Use distinct and different headlines. Test headlines and descriptions that are out-of-the-box. If one headline does not work well, Google will automatically show it less than others. Try using different calls to action, and highlight different specific benefits (e.g., free shipping, consultations, etc.). Being unique will help catch the searcher’s eye.
  8. Use pinning to your advantage. Although pinning (controlling where individual headlines or descriptions appear in your ad) does limit your A/B/C testing abilities, make sure your headlines are pinned correctly if they only make sense in certain spots.

Using these eight responsive search ad tips can help you get more results with Google. Want to learn more? Click here to learn more about what they are, and how they can benefit your brand.

Are there any best practices you are using in your responsive search ads? Let us know in the comments!

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