What Are Responsive Search Ads?

If you run a business with an internet presence, chances are you or your marketing team have run a Google ad campaign at some point. Search ads, sometimes called paid search advertising or pay per click marketing, allow a company to pay for internet search engine adverts based on the queries the customer types in the search box.

This is a proven and effective form of advertising, because it specifically targets the relevant audience, rather than casting a wide and general net.

It is important to note that other search engines besides Google offer search ads, including Bing, Yahoo, and Baidu, but this article will focus on Google ads, because around 85% of searches in the UK are made via Google. From 30 June this year, Google is transitioning its existing ad service to Responsive Search ads, or RSAs.



Why should you use RSAs?

RSAs allow you to create more precisely targeted ads which will show more relevant messages to the user. The advertiser is able to upload a combination of different headlines and descriptions, and Google’s algorithms will optimise the ad to show the most relevant content to the user’s search.

These more highly targeted ads can select from up to 15 different headlines and four different descriptions. This allows for the ad to be tailored to the customer’s location, device, and previous areas of interest. The size of the ads will be automatically adjusted to display on whichever device the customer is browsing on.

RSAs will also appear across all of the Google network, rather than just the main search engine. For example, if the customer is searching via Google Shopping, Maps, News, etc, the ads will automatically adapt to their search in a way that most accurately reflects their query.


RSAs benefit small businesses

RSAs are particularly beneficial to small businesses, because a lot of the hard work is done for you. Previously, search ads took a lot of work to monitor and update to keep them working effectively. Now, Google’s highly sophisticated search engines can do a lot of that analysing and tweaking for you.

It might take a little more effort to set the ad up in the first place, because they will only be truly effective if all the headlines and descriptions are completed with well-researched keywords, which are used by your target customers and relevant to your products or services.

To build ads that are effective at driving the right traffic to your site, you still need to put in the right ingredients. Make sure that your headlines contain relevant keywords, but that they also read naturally, and don’t sound as though you are deliberately stuffing keywords at the expense of clear communication.

The ad copy takes some time to get right as well. Bear in mind that it may appear with any of the 15 available headlines, and it should make sense when paired with any of them. On the other hand, the copy should be unique and not repeating the same thing over again, otherwise you will be undermining the effectiveness of the system.


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