Getting the Most out of RSAs: Tips on the Coming Shift to Google Responsive Search Ads

Just as it has been in the rest of the world lately, change has been coming fast and furious within the digital realm, as it seems nothing stays the same for long. On June 30, Responsive Search Ads will become the dominant ad format to be used in Google Ads accounts. This means that advertisers are no longer going to be able to add or edit that expanded text ads. If you have an existing account ETA, it will continue to reside alongside your RSA, and advertisers will now only be able to briefly pause, resume or remove ETAs.

What the new Format Entails:

The new format has 15 headlines, or 30 characters each, and allows for four descriptions or 90 characters each. While incorporating RSAs, Google decides which perfect combination of headlines and descriptions will appear in ads, and just how frequently. Advertisers like you that are employing our savvy services here at FarFetched Studios can “pin” headlines and relative descriptions, so they appear in numerical order. There is an ongoing limitation of 3 enabled responsive search ads per ad group, with a recommendation from Google banking on two ETAs and one RSA per specific ad group. 

This particular format doesn’t represent the pull of a “single ad” but rather what is a rich environment for testing that could yield thousands of combinations to digital marketers. As Google has done frequently in the past, RSAs are graded with ad strengths poor, average, and excellent. This all-important ad strength is based on increasing RSA CTR and the serving of tangible information for Google bots to happily drink in and mull over. Unfortunately, there is no revenue data or conversion associated with the different ad combinations, which are listed in order of valid impressions presented. 

RSAs are in the habit of quickly gobbling up impressions in the race that ad impressions run against each other within an ad group. Once an RSA is added to an ad group, it almost always takes impressions from other ads in the same group, and then becomes the favored ad when in heavy rotation with ETA’s, no matter how well the latter perform. When in rotation against ETA’s, RSA’s typically get 85-90% of the much-desired clicks and impressions.  

Allowing for time to Worthy Content: 

RSAs pose many very different and noteworthy characteristics than ETAs, and it might take a couple of hours after brainstorming special sessions to generate worthy headlines and valuable descriptions. What requires the highest level of focus is what your features, benefits, and standout traits of your product are so people will ultimately want to do business with you. Is there a preferred vendor? A good form of general strategy is to brainstorm in separate clusters and get as many ideas as possible down even if they are abstract, and then filter and carefully choose headlines and descriptions that your target audience can best relate with. 

Heeding The Top-Level Importance of Headlines:

While you are completing the task of setting up ads, Google will provide many of its own recommendations on the way you write headlines. This does make sense, as headlines are what generate the urge for readers on the web to decide and click. The Google interface may be swaying you to add headlines that seem like they don’t make sense or are not very focused on your topic. Here it is important to note that the strength of your ad visibly increases when keyword terms are included in RSA headlines, and 6-7 headlines in one RSA will give you a healthy number of true ad impressions. 

Tips for Priming and Pinning:

Anyone that wants to promote their business can pin descriptions and headlines, so they always appear in a numerical spot. Advertisers can pin multiple headlines/descriptions to the exact same position, and this practice is very useful for brands that need to adhere to very strict brand guidelines. The official business name must appear in the very first headline of the ad copy, which proves to be relevant and useful, but does not adhere to regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals where pertinent info MUST be present in said copy. Our years of expertise have shown us here that Google’s system has a strong preference for unpinned ads, which provide opportunities for bots to “learn” their way to outright success. 

As the verdict is officially that this change is not going anywhere soon, mini account managers will have to use two environments for allowing Google’s design bots to decide which combinations prove to be their favorites. Part of the plan you want us to help you with here at Farfetched studios is a high Google ranking, and other integral parts of your campaign include SCO and competitor research. We are standing by this summer ready to go with fresh ideas, extensive knowledge of what makes search engines tick, and a desire for you to reap the benefits of a “bringing the thunder” third quarter!

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