Responsive Ads: A Rundown of Google’s Latest Ad Format

July 31, 2018

This is a guest post from Charlotte Haab, Account Manager at
3Q Digital.

It’s no secret that Google AdWords has been undergoing some big changes lately—most of them pushing users toward automation. Over the past few years, advertisers have noticed many other Google ad types that encourage automation, especially ones on YouTube and the GDN.

Google’s most recent addition aims to accomplish the same thing, but on the search network. Announced at this year’s Google Marketing Live, responsive ads are here for search, and they show promise as the best thing since Expanded Text Ads launched back in 2016. So what are they? How do they work?

Optimizing Your Search Ads

Responsive ads allow you to serve more targeted ads by allowing Google to mix and match from a variety of pre-written ad assets. In other words, you can write up to 15 headline variations and four description variations, and Google will determine which combinations are most relevant to each individual auction. It’s also worth noting that each ad can show up to three headlines in the SERP, and they’ve extended descriptions to 90 characters!

responsive search ads

If the extra real estate isn’t enough to convince you to try them, Google claims advertisers who implement responsive ads in non-branded ad groups on average have seen a 5-15% uptick in clicks.

The Plan for Responsive Ads

It’s definitely scary for some advertisers to surrender control to Google’s algorithms like this, but in the future Google has plans to introduce some new features specifically for responsive ads to increase their customization and flexibility, such as specific asset reporting and “pinning.”

Through asset reporting, users will be able to view which exact headlines or descriptions performed compared to others. From there, users will be able to “pin” their top-performing assets to customize their ads even further. These features haven’t been released yet and there’s no word on when they’ll be available. So keep an eye out in your accounts!

More to Come

This ad type is still pretty new, but most advertisers should now have access to them through the new AdWords UI. Marin also has beta support for responsive search ads, so be sure to check with your account rep for further info.

So far, Marin has seen increased performance among its customers who’ve tried responsive ads. And, with Google’s major pushes towards automation, it wouldn’t be surprising if these ads catch on!

Charlotte Haab

3Q Digital
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