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Responsive Search Ads: The New Default Ad Type For Search Campaigns

Google Ads is ever-changing and any new updates to the service do not surprise anyone anymore. On the 18th of February 2021 (just 14 days after the last update), Google announced the new default ad type when creating ads for a Search campaign will be Responsive Search Ads. 

What Is Changing? 

While the change sounds like a big deal, it really isn’t. It just means that when you go into Google Ads and click ‘Create New Ad’ now there are only two options: Responsive Search Ads and Call Ads. This does not mean Expanded Text Ads are gone, you can still find them with two extra clicks. 

How To Find Responsive Search Ads

You have to click to create a Responsive Search Ad, click the blue text at the top to “Switch back to text ads” to create Expanded Text Ads. 

However, having two Expanded Text Ads and one Responsive Search Ad is still the best practice recommended by Google. 

Why Has This Changed?

  1. Machine learning allows for improved performance 

Google has suggested with recent updates they are in favour of automation. Many advertisers feel this gives them less control over their campaigns and ads, but Google stands by their trust in machine learning for improving campaign performance, including click, conversions, and flexibility. 

  1. Adapting To The Changing Consumer Behaviour

Quicker than ever, consumer behaviours and intentions are shifting. The change to Responsive Search Ads as the default comes from a need to adapt to the dynamic market trends of today without having to overhaul the entire account, campaigns, and ad copy. 

  1. Streamlined Account Management And Optimisation 

Essentially, Google wants to push Responsive Search Ads to be used by more advertisers, especially people newer in the field of Pay-Per-Click. This is because it delivers more data for machine learning to work with, thus better optimising the delivery with less manual intervention. 

Best Practices For Responsive Search Ads

As this comes into effect, follow the existing best practices for successful Responsive Search Ads and optimal performance: 

  • Include at least one Responsive Search Ad per ad group and between three and five Extended Search Ads
  • Use the appropriate ad extensions as much as possible
  • Capitalise each keyword in the ad copy and use the dynamic keyword insertion function for great tailoring to your target audience
  • Include top performing keywords in the ad copy
  • Add copy to all of the fifteen headlines and four descriptions if possible

Responding To The Change

One way in which you can take advantage of the ease of access of Responsive Search Ads is by testing different ad copy and versions for your ad. Ad copy testing also helps Google to learn and collect data in order for the ads to perform better in the future. Google encourages advertisers to use the tools provided in Google Ads to maximise the performance of Responsive Search Ads, especially the “Ad Strength” indicator. 

In conclusion, the change seems significant at first but it is not really affecting advertisers too much. However, it offers a look into what Google plans for the future, showing a great focus on automation and machine learning for optimal ad delivery. 

written by:
Edina Iacob