About responsive search ads

Responsive search ads let you create an ad that adapts to show more text – and more relevant messages – to your customers. Enter multiple headlines and descriptions when creating a responsive search ad, and over time, Google Ads will automatically test different combinations and learn which combinations perform best. By adapting your ad’s content to more closely match potential customers’ search terms, responsive search ads may improve your campaign’s performance.

Important
  • Assets can be shown in any order, so make sure they make sense individually or in combinations, and don’t violate our policies or local law.
  • It’s recommended to have at least two expanded text ads and one responsive search ad per ad group. There’s a limit of three enabled responsive search ads per ad group.
  • If you have text that should appear in every ad, you must add the text to either Headline position 1, Headline position 2 or Description position 1.
  • To increase the likelihood that your ad shows, provide at least five unique headlines that don't repeat the same or similar phrases, and leverage the feedback from Ad strength to improve the effectiveness of the ad. Using redundant headlines will restrict the system's ability to generate ad combinations. See examples.

Benefits

Responsive search ads can help you:

  • Create flexible ads that adapt to device widths, giving you more room to share your message with potential customers.
  • Save time by providing multiple headlines and description options, then let Google Ads show the most relevant combinations to your customers.
  • Reach more potential customers with multiple headlines and descriptions options that give your ads the opportunity to compete in more auctions and match more queries.
  • Increase ad group performance by attracting more clicks and conversions that your existing text ads aren’t capturing because responsive search ads help you compete in more auctions.

How it works

The more headlines and descriptions that you enter, the more opportunities Google Ads has to serve ads that more closely match your potential customers’ search queries, which can improve your ad performance.

After you enter headlines and descriptions, Google Ads assembles the text into multiple ad combinations in a way that avoids redundancy, different from expanded text ads, you can provide up to 15 headlines and four descriptions for a single responsive search ad. Next, in any given ad, a maximum of three headlines and two descriptions will be selected to show in different combinations and orders. Over time, Google Ads will test the most promising ad combinations, and learn which combinations are the most relevant for different queries.

Instructions

Create a responsive search ad

  1. From the page menu on the left, click Ads & extensions.
  2. Click the plus button  and select Responsive search ad.
  3. Enter the final URL and display path text. As you type, a preview of your ad will appear to the right. 
    • Note: The preview shows potential ads built using your assets. Not all combinations are shown, and some shortening may occur in some formats.
  4. Enter your headlines. You’ll need to enter a minimum of three headlines, but you can enter up to 15.
  5. Enter your descriptions. You’ll need to enter a minimum of 2 descriptions, but you can enter up to 4. 
  6. Click Save
Tips for entering your headlines
 
  • Bear in mind that headlines and descriptions may appear in any order.
  • Try writing the first three headlines as if they’ll appear together in your ad.
  • Make sure that you include at least one of your keywords in your headlines, and create headlines that are relevant to the keywords that you’re targeting.
  • Focus on providing as many unique headlines as you can. More headlines gives Google Ads more options for assembling your messages into relevant ads, which may increase performance.
  • Try highlighting additional product or service benefits, a problem you’re solving or highlight delivery and returns information. Learn more about creating responsive search ads
  • If you can provide even more headlines, try creating variations of the headlines that you’ve already entered. For example, try a different call to action.

Edit a responsive search ad

  1. From the page menu on the left, click Ads & extensions.
  2. Click in the bar above the table of results to add a filter. 
  3. In the drop-down menu that appears, click Attributes, then Ad type. 
  4. Tick the box next to “Responsive search ad”.
  5. In the table of results, hover over the ad you wish to edit, then click the edit icon Edit.
  6. Select Edit.
  7. Make your desired changes to the ad’s URL, final URL, headlines, descriptions or URL options.
  8. Click Save.
  9. Note: Removing or editing any headlines or descriptions can change the ads that are serving and may impact your performance.

Pin headlines and descriptions to specific positions

By default, when you create a responsive search ad, headlines and descriptions can appear in any order. You can control where individual headlines and descriptions appear in your ad by pinning headlines and descriptions to specific positions. 

For example, if you need to show a disclaimer in every ad, you can write the disclaimer as a responsive search ad description, and pin it to Description position 1. That way, all ads that are shown to customers will include the disclaimer in the first part of the description.

  1. Create or edit a responsive search ad (see steps above). 
  2. To the right of any headline or description you wish to pin, click the pin icon, then choose the position you’d like to pin that headline or description to. 
  3. To unpin any headlines or descriptions, click the pin icon, then select None.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Note: Removing or editing any headlines or descriptions can change the ads that are serving and may impact your performance.

Tips

  • Pinning one headline or description causes it to show only in that specific position, preventing other headlines or descriptions from showing in its place. Since pinning reduces the overall number of headlines or descriptions that can be matched to a potential customer’s search, pinning isn’t recommended for most advertisers.
  • Try pinning two or three headlines or descriptions to each position so that any of them can show in that position. This gives you more flexibility to find out which headlines or descriptions perform better.
  • Example: If you pin the headline "Official Website" to Headline position 1, then all ads that customers see will have "Official Website" as the first headline. However, if you pin a second headline – let’s say "The Official Site" – to Headline position 1, then all ads that customers see will show either "Official Website" or "The Official Site" as the first headline.
  • If you have headlines and/or descriptions pinned to all available positions, unpinned headlines and/or descriptions won’t show.
  • Headlines or descriptions pinned to Headline position 1, Headline position 2 or Description position 1 will always show. Content pinned to Headline position 3 and Description position 2 are not guaranteed to show in every ad. If you have text that should appear in every ad, then you must pin it to either Headline position 1, Headline position 2, or Description position 1.
  • Report on the performance of your responsive search ads

    On the Ads & extensions page, you can see the same performance metrics for each responsive search ad that you see for your other text ads. Statistics show totals for all of the ad combinations that were shown using the headlines and descriptions that you entered for each responsive search ad.

    1. From the page menu on the left, click Ads & extensions.
    2. Click in the bar above the table of results to add a filter. 
    3. In the drop-down menu that appears, click Attributes, then Ad type. 
    4. Check the box next to “Responsive search ad”.
    5. Click Apply.
    6. Click the download icon download icon.
    7. Select the format of the report (examples: .csv, .pdf).
    8. Optional: You can choose to open your report in the Report Editor, schedule the report or have it emailed to you. Learn more about saving and scheduling reports

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