Making it easier to show the right message on Search

August 31, 2021

The ways people search are constantly changing. In fact, 15% of search queries every day are new searches we’ve never seen before.1 As consumer trends shift and evolve, it’s more important than ever to make it easier for people to connect with your business through relevant and helpful ads.

Automation is key to keeping pace with these trends. Responsive search ads are a great example of how this is done—they combine your creativity with the power of machine learning to help you show more relevant ads to more people. This is a powerful combination: advertisers that switch from expanded text ads to responsive search ads, using the same assets, see an average of 7% more conversions at a similar cost per conversion.2

Starting June 30, 2022, responsive search ads will be the only Search ad type that can be created or edited in standard Search campaigns. This change will help simplify the way you create Search ads and make it easier for you to drive performance with our automated tools.

Show the right message with responsive search ads

Responsive search ads help you compete in a wider variety of relevant auctions by delivering ads that adapt to show the right message for the right query. This means that you can drive incremental conversions and create fewer ads—all while spending more time on strategic initiatives for your business.

As Joey Wang, Digital Marketing Manager at Standard Chartered Bank shared, “Responsive search ads really help us drive incremental conversions for our credit cards and solve the challenge of creating the best-performing ads.” The brand rolled out responsive search ads to nearly 100% of its credit card ad groups by using headlines and descriptions from its expanded text ads. By pairing responsive search ads with Smart Bidding, Standard Chartered Bank saw conversions increase by 156% in its branded campaigns and by 84% in generic campaigns. 

What’s happening to expanded text ads? 

After June 30, 2022, you’ll no longer be able to create or edit expanded text ads. However, your existing expanded text ads will continue to serve alongside responsive search ads, and you'll still see reports on their performance going forward. Additionally, you'll be able to pause and resume your expanded text ads or remove them if needed. You’ll also still be able to create and edit call ads and Dynamic Search Ads.

To prepare for this change, we recommend that you have at least one responsive search ad in every ad group in your Search campaigns by June 30, 2022. Check out the Help Center to learn more about how to use responsive search ads and features like ad customizers, to improve performance. Over the coming months, we’ll be providing you with reminders before this change rolls out. 

Set up your responsive search ads for success

To help you create effective responsive search ads, use the following insights, tools, and best practices: 

  • Repurpose high-performing content from your expanded text ads and focus on Ad strength. Advertisers who improve Ad strength for their responsive search ads from 'Poor' to 'Excellent' see 9% more clicks and conversions on average.3
  • Check your account’s Recommendations page. These customized suggestions can help you quickly add or improve responsive search ads.
  • Pin headlines or descriptions to specific positions in your responsive search ads. This is useful if you have certain messages that always need to be shown. If you need to use pinning, try to pin at least 2-3 options to a position.
  • Use ad variations. This can help you test different versions of your assets at scale and review their performance across multiple campaigns.
  • Evaluate the success of your ads based on incremental impressions, clicks, and conversions your ad groups and campaigns receive. Responsive search ads help you qualify for more auctions, so ad-level performance and metrics like clickthrough rate and conversion rate may not paint a full picture of your performance. 

Most importantly, pair broad match keywords and Smart Bidding with responsive search ads. This combination can help you reach new, high-performing queries and optimize your bids in real time. Advertisers that switch from expanded text ads to responsive search ads, using the same assets, in campaigns that also use broad match and Smart Bidding see an average of 20% more conversions at a similar cost per conversion.4 

Online travel agency MyFlightSearch used several of these best practices and included popular flight-related keywords across its assets. The brand also included unique headlines to create responsive search ads with ‘Good’ and ‘Excellent’ Ad strength. Coupled with Smart Bidding, responsive search ads helped MyFlightSearch increase conversions by 14% and improve its cost per booking by 15%. 

"We understand it's important to have different variations of ads," says Abhishek Mago, Chief Marketing Officer at MyFlightSearch. "Responsive search ads and Ad strength have helped us create ads that are more relevant to potential customers, which has resulted in more bookings." 

For more best practices on creating effective responsive search ads, check out our helpful guide

Posted by Sylvanus Bent, Product Manager, Google Ads 



1. Google internal data, February 2021
2. Google internal data, Global, 6/3/2021 - 6/12/2021
3. Google internal data, Global, 7/18/2020 - 8/1/2020
4. Google internal data, Global, 6/3/2021 - 6/12/2021

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