Create effective Search ads

Official guide to optimizing ads and messaging on Google Search

Ensure you do these 2 things:

  1. Implement at least one responsive search ad with 'Good' or 'Excellent' Ad Strength per ad group. Advertisers who improve Ad Strength for their responsive search ads from 'Poor' to 'Excellent' see 9% more clicks and conversions on average.1
  2. Implement at least 4 extensions for each campaign/ad group. Ad extensions make your ads more engaging and allow you to show helpful information about your business. More eligible extensions give your ads more opportunity to meet users’ specific needs.

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Successful marketers need to deliver the right messaging for the right moment. Better creative messages improve ad relevance and drive more qualified clicks from your Search ads.

In this Search ads guide for Google Ads, you’ll learn how to create compelling responsive search ads as people search on

Google Ads Tutorials: Responsive search ads best practices

1. Write compelling, genuine ad copy

  • Craft messaging that focuses on user benefits.

Why: Users respond to ads that speak to their needs.

  • Tie your headline and description line’s messaging to your keywords.

Why: Users tend to engage with ads that appear most relevant to their search.

  • Avoid generic language in your ads. Use specific calls to action.

Why: Generic calls to action often show decreased engagement with ads.

  • Check Ad Strength for insights into how users may react to your ads.

Why: This metric is a valuable way to ensure you’re delivering the right messages to the right users.

  • Review cross-campaign asset reporting.

Why: This report helps you understand which of your headlines and descriptions resonate most with your customers.

Check detailed guidance about writing compelling, genuine ad copy.

2. Create messaging that reflects your brand and the products and services you offer

  • Create ad text that appeals to users across devices.

Why: A compelling call to action on one device tends to be compelling on other devices as well.

  • Focus on your headlines.

Why: Your headlines are the first thing people see and will play a big factor in how well your ads perform.

  • Be mindful of your character limits.

Why: Longer headlines increase the clickable space of your Search ads, but you might find that shorter headlines perform better for people already searching for your brand.

Check detailed guidance about creating messaging that reflects your brand.

3. Set up your ads for success

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

Why: Providing unique assets allows the system to assemble more ad combinations.

  • Implement all ad extensions that make sense for your business, trying for at least four.

Why: Ads with multiple extensions often perform better than ads with only one extension. They add useful info for potential customers and help your message get noticed.

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

Why: You can tailor your creative messages to a user’s search while reducing your management overhead.

  • Pair responsive search ads with Smart Bidding and broad match keywords.

Why: Show the right message to as many relevant people as possible while setting the right bid for each query.

Check detailed guidance about setting your ads up for success.

4. Test and optimize creative messages

  • Use ad variations to test and iterate creative messages.

Why: You can learn about your users’ preferences and improve your performance by honing ad text, especially your headlines.

  • Pick the right metrics to understand how your ads are performing.

Why: Many ad formats are about driving more impressions, clicks, and conversions. It’s not just about an ad’s clickthrough rate.

  • Use optimized ad rotation if you have more than one ad per ad group.

Why: Ads optimized to drive clicks can improve your competitiveness in auctions.

Check detailed guidance about testing and optimizing creatives.


This guide focuses on ads for Google Search. Check out our guides to Display and Video ads.

1. Google internal data, Global, 7/18/2020 - 8/1/2020

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