Create effective Search ads

Set up your ads for success

There are several steps you can take to give your ads the best possible chance at success. This Search ads setup guide walks through those steps.


Increase the Ad Strength of your responsive search ads to “Good” or “Excellent” by reviewing the “Improve your responsive search ads” recommendation.

Add as many unique, relevant headlines and descriptions as you can

Providing too many redundant headlines and descriptions restricts the system’s ability to assemble ad combinations.

To increase the likelihood that your ad shows, focus on these key guidelines for each responsive search ad:

  • Provide at least 8-10 headlines. The more headlines you provide, the more options there are to assemble your messages into relevant ads, which may increase performance.
    • Provide at least 5 unique headlines that don't repeat the same or similar phrases.
    • Be sure to include a keyword in 2 headlines.
    • Be sure to have at least 3 other headlines that do NOT include your keywords. Try highlighting additional benefits and features, a problem you're solving, or shipping and return information.
  • Provide at least 2 unique descriptions.
    • Try highlighting additional information about your product or service that isn’t mentioned in your headlines.

Pinning reduces the overall number of headlines or descriptions that can be shown. If you pin multiple headlines or descriptions to a position, you could have more headlines or descriptions than are able to be shown.

Example responsive search ads

Good example

This example follows the best practices for creating a responsive search ad.

Headlines and descriptions Possible ad combinations


  1. Store Name
  2. Fashionable and Comfortable
  3. Trendsetting Women's Shoes
  4. Buy Women's Shoes Online Today
  5. Free Shipping on All Orders
  6. Top Brands at Great Prices
  7. Official Store Name Website
  8. {KeyWord:Awesome Women’s Shoes}
  9. A Style for Every Occasion
  10. Buy Cool Shoes With Confidence
  11. Starting from as Low as $39
  12. Save 15% on your First Order


  1. Find all your favorite brands and the latest styles in one place. Don't wait, order today!
  2. Free shipping on orders over $50. Wide selection of stylish and comfortable shoes.
  3. Shop Store Name's wide variety of high quality women's shoes at prices you'll love. Buy now!

 Green checkmark, allowedAd combinations assembled

Example combinations:

Bad example

This is an example of how not to create a responsive search ad and issues to avoid.


  • “Women’s Shoes” is in every headline - Avoid repeating the same text in every headline
  • Redundant text in headlines
  • Fewer than 5 headlines

How to fix:

  • Add more unique headlines
  • Break up your headlines into smaller units (for example: Latest Women's Shoes at Store Name -> 1) Latest Women’s Shoes 2) Store Name
Headlines and descriptions Possible ad combinations


  1. Fashionable Women's Shoes
  2. Trendsetting Women's Shoes
  3. Latest Women's Shoes at Store Name
  4. Purchase Women's Shoes Online


  1. Find all your favorite brands and the latest styles in one place. Don't wait, order today!
  2. Shop Store Name's wide variety of high quality women's shoes at prices you'll love. Buy now!

 No ad combinations assembled

Example combinations considered and rejected:

Use keyword insertion and ad customizers if you have a lot of ads to maintain

As you create new ads, you can also create a system that makes future maintenance of those ads as streamlined as possible.

Keyword insertion is a Google Ads feature that dynamically updates your headlines, descriptions, or URL paths to include one of your keywords when it matches a user’s search. Keyword insertion is best used with tightly-themed ad groups, where all keywords are perfectly relevant to the ad. Take care that your dynamic insertions don’t cause grammatical errors, like mixing plural phrasing with a singular keyword.


The ad will include your matched keyword and not the original query that triggered the ad.

Ad customizers let you tailor your ads to a user’s search, making things more compelling. The countdown feature lets your ads dynamically create a genuine sense of urgency. Location insertion lets a user know that you offer what they want nearby. In those and many other ways you can make tailored ads that scale across your entire account.

Pair responsive search ads with Smart Bidding and broad match keywords

Smart Bidding uses machine learning to optimize your ads for conversions or conversion value in each and every auction. Broad match allows your ads to show on queries related to your keywords, including relevant queries you may not have thought of.

Use Smart Bidding and broad match with your responsive search ads to help show the right message to as many relevant people as possible while automatically setting the right bid for each query. Advertisers that adopt responsive search ads in campaigns that also use broad match and Smart Bidding see an average of 20% more conversions at a similar cost per action.1

Case Study logo

Based in the UK, provides individually tailored dog food for customers across Europe. As the company expands into new countries, reaching the right people with the right message is essential to its success. To adapt to the nuances of each market, embraced an automation-first approach with its Search ads. Using the combination of broad match, Smart Bidding, and responsive search ads, the brand increased sign-ups in Germany from its generic Search campaigns by 182%, while increasing clicks by 258%.


Watch their story:



1. Google internal data, 4/1/2021 - 4/7/2021

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