What you need to know about Responsive Search Ads

At the end of this month (June 2022), Google is phasing out Expanded Text Ads (ETAs). These are being sunset in favour of Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) as the only search ad type you can create, and their gradual phasing out is predicted to be quite a big shake-up in the marketing industry. Any ETAs you currently run will remain, but you will lose the ability to create new ones or edit existing ones. But not to worry, as RSAs are expected to keep boosting ad performance and simplify the process with that – Google reports an average increase in conversions by 7% with RSAs, at a similar cost per conversion.

RSAs have actually been in use for a few years now, and we’ve been running them alongside our ETAs for a while. But, if you haven’t made the switch like us, it would be wise to make the change to RSAs now and get ahead of the game while you still can. 

What are Expanded Text Ads?

ETAs are the standard format of Google search ad, and they are essentially what they say on the tin; spanning ads that are larger in width than the previous text ads Google ran, thus allowing the ads to include more text that could make the difference in attaining that conversion or not. They allow you complete control as to how the ad displays, and in what order. These are said to greatly increase click-through rate (CTR), which is an important part of raising brand awareness. However, most businesses want to see, more importantly, an increase in conversions, which is where RSAs come in (usually). ETAs do drive conversions, but they are not as optimised as RSAs, meaning in most cases, ETAs will not see a higher conversion rate than RSAs.

What are Responsive Search Ads?

Since ads need to draw in specific audiences at specific times, it’s vital they are adaptable and highly personalised. This is what RSAs do – they employ machine learning in order to create ads designed to perfectly target the users they are appearing for. By inputting a range of headlines and descriptions of your choice, each combination of these will be tested to find the most optimal ad for any relevant search term. RSAs will then display three of these headlines, and two of these descriptions that have been deemed the best fit. You can also set a custom URL depending on which page of your website you want the users who see these ads to land on.

The Benefits of RSAs:

  • They adapt to the dimensions of each device they are being displayed on, without needing resizing or being cut off awkwardly on less common devices.
  • They can tailor headlines depending on the personal habits of users e.g., their location, places they regularly visit, or locations they may find of interest. Highly personalised ads like these are a great way to target customers who are ready to spend when they find what they’re looking for. If your website appears to these people and offers what they need when they have the intent to spend right then and there, there’s a high chance you’ll see a conversion from them.
  • Since you’ll have a wide combination of possible ads, they’ll compete in more auctions (the process that Google uses to decide which ads will appear for specific searches), and match more queries due to the range of headlines you’ll have inputted, thus reaching more potential customers. This is the main benefit of using RSAs.
  • As Google uses each and every variation of your ad, it will be automatically testing them too. This means that there is no need to waste time scrutinising over the analytics in order to decide which ads are best for you to use. Google simply knows this already and chooses for you, meaning you can spend time focusing on other aspects of your business while Google runs in the background.

Essentially, RSAs are revolutionising the way that ads can work for you. You needn’t worry about the data – Google handles it all for you. And in conjunction with Google’s Ad Strength, you’ll be informed of areas for improvement within the headlines and descriptions you’ve entered, streamlining the process even more.

We’re already on top of the changeover from ETAs to RSAs, but if you’re looking for help setting up or switching over, don’t hesitate to get in touch today. We’re keen to help you start growing your business, big or small.

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