Why Responsive Search Ads Reign Supreme When It Comes to Digital Advertising?

Written by Sharoon Emmanuel

Google’s new responsive search ads have revolutionized the platform’s A/B testing and dramatic workload reduction capabilities for advertisers and brands alike.

Allowing marketers to create multiple variations of headlines and descriptions, Google’s responsive search ads leverage machine learning to automatically test and optimize outperforming combinations.

What are Responsive Search Ads?

Google’s responsive search ad is a new kind of text ad type that stands out owing to its unique feature of using machine learning algorithms to determine the most effective ad variations. Google does this by automatically analyzing different variations of your advertisement using the group of headlines and descriptions provided.

Based on device type, Google may choose to display the number of headlines suited best for the searcher. For example, normally Google displays three headlines but for a smaller screen i.e. mobile device, it may opt for two with a single description to best serve the search intent of a viewer.

In general, the marketers can write up to 15 headlines and 4 unique ad descriptions with variations leading up to a whopping 43,680 versions of the same ad. Also, the automatic selection of the ad is tailored as per user’s behaviors, browsing history and device type etc.  With so much automated options at hand, your experience with Google Ads will be significantly better because of nearly endless testing opportunities with least effort.

The effect of this would be marketing teams having several versions of high performing ads at their disposal based on different buyer personas.

Related:- Google AdWords Management Dubai

Key Differences Between Responsive Search & Traditional Search Ads?

Prior to the release of Google’s responsive search ads, expanded text ads were the only option for marketers for launching text-based ads as the standard text ads were discontinued in 2017.

Now, digital marketers can choose from either expanded text ads or responsive ones based on their account status. Here’s how both differ:

Ad Type

Responsive Search Ads

Expanded Text Ads

Headline fields




90 characters

80 characters

Display URL Path

Final ad’s URL

Final ad’s URL

Total Max Length

300 characters

150 characters


The most notable change, however, is that advertisement testing is done automatically with Google responsive ads along with tracking of conversion rates.

Google Responsive Ads Best Practices

  • Curate at least 5 unique headlines, the more headlines you create, the more options you’ll give to Google to display your ad to a searcher.
  • Include your target keyword in at least two headlines.
  • Create at least 3 headlines that don’t focus on your target keyword.
  • Focus on the product’s benefits or address a potential customer’s concern.
  • Develop headlines of various lengths.
  • Use at least two unique descriptions.

Also Read:- Battle of the Ads: Native Sponsored vs Standard Advertisements

The Advantages of Using Google’s New Responsive Search Ads

The bigger picture is that as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & automation is becoming part of Google’s advertising platform, it is opening more avenues for marketers to advertise efficiently.


1.      Optimization via Machine Learning

The new ad type enables the digital marketer to input up to 15 different headlines and 4 descriptions to allow Google to test and execute all possible variations to create the best performing configuration. This lessens the marketer’s efforts on A/B testing as Google’s AI will autonomously test all possible outcomes.


2.      Display More Relevant Ads to Customers

Having multiple combinations of ad copies, your responsive ads will have the opportunity to compete in multiple auctions. This will allow your advertisement to reach more audience by showing up in more searches thus ensuring higher CTR (Click-Through-Rate), lower CPCs and reduce wasted ad spend.

3.      Pinning Headlines and Descriptions

For companies who want to specifically show prospects a specific message, Google’s responsive search ads provider advertisers the option to “pin” headlines or descriptions. This feature works best for larger enterprises who want to stay consistent with their branding and communication policies.

Related:- PPC Advertising Companies Dubai

Device and Ad Extension Availability

Like others, responsive search ads are available on both mobile and desktop. Also, they’re compatible with any of your advertisement extensions.

The future of Responsive Ads in Your Digital Marketing Campaigns

Google’s responsive search ads are enabling advertisers to reduce their workload, cost and time to manage ad variations. For responsive ads, A/B testing is not required as Google automatically does all the testing and automation. Responsive ads diminish the advertiser’s efforts to create a series of different ads to test, track and choose the best performing ads. With diverse functionalities and assured results, responsive search ads are definitely something brands should consider for their digital marketing efforts.

To set up responsive search ads for business, refer to our PPC ads and paid search marketing services page today!

Originally Published April 17, 2019 12:00 AM, Updated June 26, 2019.

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