Create effective responsive search ads

If your responsive search ads are under review for more than 1 business day, they will not show. To fix this, make sure that each ad has at least 5 different headlines and 2 descriptions that do not repeat the same or similar phrase.

In this article, you'll learn best practices for writing responsive search ads and some common mistakes to avoid. Google recommends adding at least two expanded text ads and one responsive search ad per ad group. We have a video tutorial to help you create responsive search ads to serve the right messages to the right customers. Watch the tutorial here.

Best practices to create responsive search ads

Get started with creating responsive search ads, by reviewing the “Add responsive search ads” recommendation.

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

Providing too many redundant headlines and descriptions restrict 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 product or service benefits and features, a problem you're solving, or highlight 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.
Note: Responsive search ads can show up to two descriptions at a time.

2. Reuse existing content from your existing text ads

Reuse your existing headlines and descriptions from your high-performing text ads. The same content that worked in your existing text ads will work well in your responsive search ads, which can help improve performance.

3. Add popular keywords to your headlines

Try including text from your keywords that serve most often in your ad group to your headlines. This increases the relevance of your ad combinations for search users, which can improve the effectiveness of your responsive search ads.

For example, if you've included digital cameras as a keyword, your ad headline could be "Buy Digital Cameras." If there are five keywords in your ad group and three of them have the most traffic, try adding those keywords to your headlines to get your ad strength to the next level and improve the performance of your ad.

4. Improve your Ad strength → Get to ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ ad strength rating

Ad strength provides you with feedback to help you focus on providing the right messages to your customers. Try getting each responsive search ad to at least “Good” Ad strength. Use the action items to see what next steps to take to improve the effectiveness of your ad.

If you have pinned some of your headlines and descriptions, try removing the pinning to allow the system to assemble more ad combinations and potentially increase performance of your ads. You can also try pinning more than one headline to the same position.

Note: Ad customizers are currently not supported by responsive search ads.

Example responsive search ads

Example #1 - Women's Shoes

Good example

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

Headlines and descriptions Possible ad combinations

Headlines

  1. STORE
  2. Fashionable and Comfortable
  3. Trendsetting Women's Shoes
  4. Buy Womens’ Shoes Online Today
  5. Free Shipping on All Orders
  6. Top Brands at Great Prices
  7. Official STORE 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

Descriptions

  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's wide variety of high quality women's shoes at prices you'll love. Buy now!

Ad combinations assembled

Example combinations:

STORE | {KeyWord:Awesome Women’s Shoes} | Buy Womens’ Shoes Online Today

https://www.example.com/

Shop STORE's wide variety of high quality women's shoes at prices you'll love. Buy now!

Official STORE Website | Trendsetting Women's Shoes | Free Shipping on All Orders

https://www.example.com/

Free shipping on orders over $50. Wide selection of stylish and comfortable shoes. Find all your favorite brands and the latest styles in one place. Don’t wait, order today!

Bad example

This is an example of how NOT to create a responsive search ad.

Avoid repeating the same text in every headline. In the following example, “Women’s Shoes” is in every headline.

Issues

  • 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 -> 1) Latest Women’s Shoes 2) STORE
Headlines and descriptions Possible ad combinations

Headlines

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

Descriptions

  1. Find all your favorite brands and the latest styles in one place. Don't wait, order today!
  2. Shop STORE'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:

Latest Women's Shoes at STORE | Purchase Women's Shoes Online | Fashionable Women's Shoes

https://example.com/

Find all your favorite brands and latest styles in one place. Don't wait, order today!

Fashionable Women's Shoes | Latest Women's Shoes at STORE | Purchase Women's Shoes Online

https://example.com/

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

Example #2 - Widgets

Good example

Headlines and descriptions Possible ad combinations

Headlines

  1. STORE: Widgets
  2. 100s of Options to Choose From
  3. Lifetime Warranty
  4. Best Prices from STORE
  5. Over 100 Years in Business
  6. 24/7 Customer Service
  7. Free Shipping Orders Over $99
  8. Same-Day Delivery
  9. Order Today and Save
  10. All Shapes & Sizes
  11. High-Quality Widgets
  12. The Best Widgets Available

Descriptions

  1. Made from durable, high quality materials. Customize with any color you need. Trust STORE.
  2. Deliver to over 100 countries in 3 days. "Best widgets. Period." Buy Now!
  3. Your satisfaction is our priority. We offer great prices and no-hassle ordering.

Ad combinations assembled

Example combinations:

STORE Widgets | 100s of Options to Choose From| Lifetime Warranty

https://www.example.com/

Made from durable high quality materials. Customize with any color you need. Trust STORE. Deliver to over 100 countries in 3 days. "Best widgets. Period." Buy now!

High-Quality Widgets | Free Shipping Orders Over $99| Order Today and Save

https://www.example.com/

Your satisfaction is our priority. We offer great prices and no-hassle ordering.Made from durable, high quality materials. Customize with any color you need. Trust STORE.

Bad example

Avoid using keyword insertion in too many headlines.

Issues

  • Redundant text in headlines through keyword insertion
  • Redundant descriptions

How to fix

  • Add 2-3 more headlines without keywords
  • Add one description that's unique from the existing descriptions
Headlines and descriptions Possible ad combinations

Headlines

  1. {KeyWord:Durable STORE Widgets}
  2. {KeyWord:Free Shipping}
  3. {Keyword:Lowest Prices, Huge Selection}
  4. {KeyWord:Widgets on Sale}
  5. {KeyWord:Quality and Affordable}
  6. {KeyWord:STORE Widgets}
  7. {KeyWord:Buy Widgets Today}
  8. Official STORE Website

Descriptions

  1. Order the latest widgets from STORE that are durable and built with high quality.
  2. Order the newest widgets from STORE that are durable and built with great quality.

No ad combinations assembled

Example combinations considered and rejected:

Official STORE Website| {KeyWord:Widgets on Sale}| {KeyWord:STORE Widgets}

https://example.com/

Order the latest widgets from STORE that are durable and build with high quality.

{KeyWord:Durable STORE Widgets}| {KeyWord:Widgets on Sale}| {KeyWord:Buy Widgets Today}

https://example.com/

Order the newest widgets from STORE that are durable and built with great quality.

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