The Future of Responsive Search Ads in 2022
By: Poli Slattery
Effective June 30, 2022, responsive search ads will be the default ad type for search campaigns within Google.
Update all your ads to follow best practices and lead to results that matter.
If there is one thing we know for certain, it’s that Google loves keeping us on our toes. Throughout the years, their default ad type has evolved, grown, and become more automated. In the summer of 2021, Google officially announced their latest update: responsive search ads (RSA) will be the only search ad type created or edited in standard search campaigns, effective June 30, 2022.
With the deadline fast approaching, you may be wondering:
- What is happening to expanded text ads (ETA)?
- What are responsive search ads?
- When should I have them implemented?
The good news is that although Google has given us a deadline, your existing expanded text ads are not just going away, at least not right away. ETAs will continue to be served, and you will still see data on their performance going forward. You will also still be able to pause, resume, or even remove them as needed. But you won’t be able to create new ones, which is unfortunate because it will limit your ability to optimize and test your ad copy.
That is where responsive search ads come into play. Here at CommCreative, our digital team has been using this not-so-loved ad format for quite some time now. And although we do not love the lack of control or the lack of data provided by Google, we do love that we are able to test multiple headlines and descriptions within a single ad.
As a quick refresher, responsive text ads are our beloved expanded text ads but on steroids. They consist of up to 15 headlines, four descriptions, two paths, and a final URL. However, Google automatically picks the best combination of three headlines and two descriptions to show based on the user search query. The ad assets can also be shown in any particular order, so it is best that they all work independently and together.
If you have not yet started testing responsive search ads, like Google ads, we also recommend implementing them right away. See tips below on how you can get started with your responsive search ads today:
- Repurpose your best-performing ad content from your expanded text ads.
- Focus on your ad strength. As you are creating headlines and descriptions, you will find a meter that will tell you the ad strength for your ad, from poor all the way to excellent. And just like everything else in life, you want to strive for excellence.
- Pin your headlines and descriptions to have more control over your ad combinations. This is useful if there are messages that you always want to show. If you decide that pinning is needed, we recommend pinning multiple options to the same position for the best results.
- Always use multiple ad variations to help test different versions of your assets. One ad per ad group is not enough, and there is a limit of three enabled responsive search ads per ad group.
Once you have your ads in place, the same rules still apply. You should always evaluate the success of your ads based on improvements in impressions, clicks, and conversions. You can use this data to continue to optimize and test other ad variations and assets.