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 assets such as sitelinks and images. These types of assets make your ads more engaging and allow you to show helpful information about your business. More eligible assets 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.

Case Study

Swoop logo

By including its best performing keywords in its responsive search ads, Canadian airline Swoop increased revenue by 71% and conversions by 61%.

  • 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.

Case Study

MyFlightSearch logo

Online travel agency MyFlightSearch focused on creating responsive search ads with ‘Good’ and ‘Excellent’ Ad Strength, helping the brand increase conversions by 14%, and improving its cost per booking by 15%. 

  • Review campaign level asset reporting.

Why: This report helps you understand which of your assets 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.

  • Try headlines of varying lengths.

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.

  • Consider using Dynamic Search Ads to save even more time

Why: Based on content from your site, Dynamic Search Ads automatically generate headlines for you and show your ads to people searching for your products.

Check detailed guidance about creating messaging that reflects your brand.

3. Set up your ads for success

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

Why: Providing unique headlines and descriptions allows the system to assemble more ad combinations.

  • 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 automatically setting the right bid for each query.

Case Study logo

Using the combination of broad match, Smart Bidding, and responsive search ads, UK-based increased sign-ups in Germany from its generic Search campaigns by 182%, while increasing clicks by 258%.

Watch their story:

Check detailed guidance about setting your ads up for success.

4. Use as many asset types as possible

  • Enable all asset types that make sense for your business. 

Why: There are a variety of asset types that can make ads more useful and engaging to users, while helping you meet your marketing objectives. For example, advertisers can see a 20% increase in clickthrough rate on average when 4 sitelinks show with their Search ads.2

Case Study


By adding image assets to responsive search ads and using audience data and Target ROAS Smart Bidding as part of its strategy, HUGO BOSS achieved a 2.5x return on ad spend and 5% improvement in clickthrough rate when compared to overall mobile traffic.

  • Make your assets as high quality as possible.

Why: Assets are automatically chosen based on several factors, including previous performance, user context, and available space.

Check detailed guidance about using as many asset types as possible.

5. 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.

  • Evaluate the success of your ads based on incremental impressions, clicks, and conversions your ad groups and campaigns receive.

Why: 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.

Check detailed guidance about testing and optimizing creatives.


Optimize your campaign as you create it

As you create your campaign, you may receive notifications based on your setting selections. These notifications may alert you of issues that can result in decreased performance or that may be significant enough to prevent you from publishing your campaign.

The campaign construction navigation menu that appears as you construct your campaign provides a holistic view of your construction progress and will call attention to notifications that you may want to address. Move between steps in the navigation menu to easily review and resolve potential issues with your targeting, bidding, budget, or other campaign settings. Learn how to Set up your campaign for success.

Related links



1. Google internal data, Global, 7/18/2020 - 8/1/2020
2. Google internal data, Global, 10/24/2021 - 11/24/2021


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