4 Reasons You Should Set Up Responsive Search Ads

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What are responsive search ads?

Responsive search ads (RSA’s) currently in beta testing, are a new feature to be rolled out across Google Ads that allow you to create ads that have up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions. Google will then use the power of machine learning to test different headline and description combinations to see which combinations perform the best. As it begins to collect data, it will show the best performing ad combinations to different searchers depending on the search term, device, and past browsing behaviour.

Each headline should be distinct focusing on a benefit, offer, or call to action. They also need to make sense on their own and in combination with other headlines.

Top Tip

Include your best performing keyword in at least 2 of your headlines, but you will also need at least 3 that do not contain the keyword to avoid repetitiveness.

4 reasons to set up your RSA’s today:

1. Flexibility

They can adapt to device width, showing up to 3 headlines and 2 descriptions.

Top Tip

Don’t max out your character limit on every single headline or description as this will limit the opportunity for a 3rd headline or 2nd description on certain devices.

Google Ads responsive ad

2. Efficiency

We all know that creating various extended search ads for testing takes up valuable time. Provide Google with the headlines and descriptions, and let them do the hard work for you! With up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions that is up to 43,680 variations for Google to test and optimise on your behalf.

3. Control

Google provides you with varying levels of control with your RSA’s by using pinning. If you pin a headline it means it will always appear in the ad. You can choose to show ad headlines in either position 1, 2 or 3 or to allow Google the option to show the headline in any of the top 3 positions as it sees fit. It is a similar case with the ad descriptions, you can choose to pin in position 1 or 2, or again, let Google decide. This is essential if you have a message that must appear in the ad i.e. a disclaimer.

Top Tip

Don’t pin headlines unless it is absolutely necessary as this significantly impedes Google’s ability to find the best text combinations.

Google Ads responsive ads

4. Performance

More text combinations will allow you more auction opportunities and keyword matches, ultimately leading to increased reach. RSAs have a 5 -15% uplift in clicks (stat provided by Google).


As your RSA starts to collect data, keep an eye on the performance of each element as it’s advisable to swap your poor performing elements for new ones to further optimise your ad.

Please note: Amending one headline will not cause you to lose all of your data for that ad.

Don’t give up on extended text ads! Google recommends running at least one ETA alongside your RSA.

You should only have one RSA per ad group as having more than one can slow down optimization.


RSA’s are a great way to take advantage of Google’s AI power. However, it is always important to test and analyse the results on your campaigns as there could be circumstances where sticking to extended text ads may be better for your campaigns. Test, analyse, action, repeat!

If you need help implementing RSA’s using best practices within your Google Ads account, click below to get in touch with us today.

Want to get more leads/customers without increasing your ad spend?

By targeting campaigns better, by testing ads, by testing landing pages and by continually optimising every aspect of the campaigns we run, you can get a better return on your ad spend.

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