Google Responsive Search Ads

Google Responsive Search Ads

As part of Google’s overall ad modernization program, Google is retiring expanded text ads (ETAs) on June 30, 2022. Responsive search ads (RSAs) are now the new default in Google Ads (

If you haven’t set up a responsive search ad yet, now’s the time! 

As part of Google’s overall ad modernization program, Google is retiring expanded text ads (ETAs) on June 30, 2022. Responsive search ads (RSAs) are now the new default in Google Ads (

Google’s new responsive search ads give advertisers more room to play with and match up better to queries. Whereas ETAs had 3 headline fields and 2 descriptions, RSAs allow you to add up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions when creating a single ad.

Google ads responsive search ads are exciting. No longer are they just catered towards general Google searches. Users will also be able to interact with them in a more personal fashion. Such innovation is a breath of fresh air as it shows that Google is willing to listen to its users and provide them with relevant results.

Understanding how RSAs work will be important when you’re ready to get started. This article goes into more detail on what Google response search ads is, how it works, specific benefits, and more.

What Does the Change Mean?

Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) have been all but replaced by Responsive Search Ads (RSAs), the evolution of text ads introduced in 2018. So when creating new ads, you only have two options: Responsive Search ads (RSAs) and Calls ads.

But the change doesn’t mean that ETAs are entirely gone – at least not yet. What it means is that you’ll no longer be able to edit or create expanded text ads.

So yes, ETAs will still be performing. Also, you can pause, resume, or remove your expanded text ads if need be. However, Google strongly encourages that you to switch to responsive search ads. (

What is a Google Responsive Search Ad?

Google responsive search ads are a new type of ad format available in Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords). They allow you to create more text ads in one campaign and let Google test different combinations of headlines and descriptions to find the best performing one.

Google’s responsive search ads build on the strengths of expanded text ads. For instance, you can provide up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions for each ad, giving you a total of 60 possible headline and description combinations.

Essentially, responsive search ads let you create multiple versions of your ad copy to save time. So you don’t have to manually create numerous text ads for each keyword. In addition, this type of ad can expand to fit multiple sizes and formats.

Responsive search ads are an exciting new option for SEM advertisers who want their ads to be shown more often in Google searches.

How Do Google Responsive Search Ads Work?

A responsive search ad combines multiple headlines and descriptions into one ad. These ads are then tested against one another to see which combinations deliver the best results.

Each responsive search ad that you create will have a maximum of 15 headlines and 4 descriptions. When setting up your ad, you can select whether you would like Google to automatically test different combinations for you in order for you to get the most out of your campaign.

Once your ads are up and running, Google will continue to test different combinations that have performed well and bid on the highest-performing ad variations. Google then adds these variations to your existing portfolio, so that your ads are continually served in the best possible way.

Google’s machine learning technology works by showing your ads more often when they’re predicted to perform better. It also stops showing ads when they’re predicted to perform worse than other available variations.

The benefits of Google responsive search ads

Google responsive search ads bring benefits that regular text ads don’t by being more flexible and working on all kinds of devices.

  • Helps reach more potential customers: Because Google automatically shows the most relevant ad based on each customer, responsive search ads can help you reach more potential customers in more contexts.
  • Work across all devices: Also, they work on search results pages across all devices — mobile, tablet, and desktop.
  • Automated optimization: Without you having to do anything, Google’s machine learning automatically finds the best combination of headlines and descriptions based on historical performance.
  • Eliminates the need to create multiple ads (saves time): Plus, it offers more combinations. You can include up to 15 headlines and four descriptions in a single ad and combine them in almost limitless ways. Also, testing different combinations helps you create better ads over time.
  • Bid less and get more out of your budget: Responsive search ads help you compete in more auctions, getting you more clicks and conversions per dollar, on average. It decreases the average cost-per-click (CPC). In fact, using the same assets, advertisers who switch from ETAs to RSAs witness an average of 7% more conversions.

How To Create Google Responsive Search Ads

This guide will walk you through the steps to creating a responsive search ad.

Step 1: Log into your AdWords account 

Step 2: Click “Ads and Extensions” from the drop-down menu on the left

Step 3: Click the plus button  and select Responsive search ad

Step 4: Type in the URL and display path text- a preview will pop up to the right. The preview may not necessarily show all combinations. Also, some ads may be shortened depending on the format.

Step 5: Enter your headlines (3 to 15 headlines).

Step 6: Enter your descriptions (2 to 4 descriptions).

Step 7: Click Save.

How To Edit Google Responsive Search Ad

This guide will show you how to edit your responsive search ads.

Step 1: To get started, log in to the AdWords account you use for your responsive search ads. 

Step 2: Click on “Ads & Extensions”

Step 3: Locate the table of results and click on the bar above to add a filter

Step 4: A drop-down menu will appear – select Attributes, and then Ad Type

Step 5: Check the “Responsive Search Ads” box

Step 6: You’ll see a table of results – hover over the specific ad you wish to edit. Click on the pencil icon and select Edit

Step 7: Make any desired changes. You can make changes to the URL, headlines, or descriptions – it just depends on what part of your ad you want to edit

Step 8: Click “Save”

Google Responsive Search Ad Best Practices

Adopt a mobile-first mindset

The best way to make sure your ads perform well is to adopt a mobile-first mindset. Mobile is the future of search, and it’s already here. If you aren’t already prioritizing mobile, now is the time to start!

Choose unique headlines

Make sure your top headline is strong enough to stand alone. Write headlines that are persuasive and distinctive. 

If you’re having trouble thinking of distinct headlines, try getting some ideas from competitors’ ads. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and determine what might persuade you to click, then work those ideas into your own ads.

Use more headlines & descriptions

Google recommends using 3 headlines minimum and 2 descriptions. However, the bare minimum is rarely the best. So don’t be limited – use as many as you can within the given range (15 headlines maximum and 4 descriptions maximum).

Essentially, the end goal is to get more variants and testing than in the traditional search ads. You want to aim for at least 10 headlines and 3 descriptions. Also, try using all the characters allotted for each headline and description to enter as much information as possible.

Include at least one of your keywords in the headlines

Include the keyword you are bidding on in one of your headlines. This will help the user find your ad more easily and may increase click-through rates.

Highlight unique selling points

Show scannable benefits in headlines or descriptions. You want to highlight what makes you different from the competition—what makes your product or service stand out from the crowd?

Acknowledge pain points and common questions – Examples: Free shipping, Fast service, Satisfaction guaranteed. Include the best possible offer you can make and consider using ad extensions to highlight the offer – Examples: Free shipping on orders over $50, Up to 25% off for new customers, Buy 2 get 1 free.

Use call-to-action words

These are the words or phrases that tell people what they should do next.  Examples: Shop, Buy, Download, Become a member, Contact Us, or Learn More. These kinds of words tell readers that there’s more information available and encourage them to click on the ad. Whatever it is that you want people to do next, make sure that it’s clear and concise.

Pin key elements to optimize visibility

Pinning key elements allows you to optimize which elements are visible. Pin the most important information in the first few headline and description slots so that your ad is more likely to be shown.

If an element doesn’t perform well, consider unpinning it and replacing it with a new element. Also, Review every pinned element in each ad group every few weeks to ensure that you are maximizing performance.

Note: To pin an element, hover to the right of the headline or description you want to pin and click on the pin icon. Then choose the position you’d like to pin it to. Then click “Save.”

Does Responsive Search Ads have any limitations?

Responsive search ads can be frustrating for advertisers with highly specific agendas on their ads as it may take a long time to get the ‘right’ combination.

You can’t see exactly which headlines and descriptions Google is going to show in the ad preview tool, so it is less clear how your ads will appear. This makes it harder to control what you message and brand you’re showing to searchers.

While there are some drawbacks to responsive search ads, they’re still highly effective for most marketers and worth the effort.


Are responsive search ads worth it?

Responsive Search Ads are the future of Adwords. So it’s worth getting used to them now! RSAs can increase clicks, impressions, and Google Ads spend. In addition, they are automatically eligible on Google Search and Shopping.

Though not all advertisers will see the same benefit, RSAs can have a 5-15% higher Click Through Rate (CTR) than ETAs. So, they are a welcome update to the old all-text format and a powerful tool that can help drive growth in your business.

Will ETAs still be an option?

Yes, ETAs will still be an option. However, you will no longer be able to create new ETAs. If you still want to use ETAs after they are officially retired, you won’t have to re-write your existing ads. You’ll just have to pause them and create new ones in the Ad Editor. But if you already have Responsive Search Ads that are working well and driving results for your business, there’s no need to rewrite your ads as ETAs.


Google’s new responsive search ads are the future of digital advertising. The search engine giant is working hard to increase the quality of its advertising platform, and it is doing that by making changes that benefit both advertisers and users.

Responsive search ads are a great example of this. By allowing the format to change based on the device used by visitors, Google is able to deliver better-performing ads for both parties involved: businesses get more clicks from their ads, while users see relevant products immediately upon landing on their website or app.

The best part about this new feature? It’s already live! So if you haven’t checked out your account in a while, now would be a good time to do so—you might be surprised by what you find!

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