What responsive ads are – and why you should use them

Late this summer, Google announced there was a new ad format in town – responsive search ads, offering more text and greater flexibility, while showing your customers more relevant messages.

Google has form when it comes to changing its ads. First, there were search ads with 25-character headlines plus 70-character descriptions. Then, in 2016, Google introduced expanded text ads, with lengthier descriptions plus a couple of headlines.

This latest version, responsive search ads, is the biggest the search giant has released yet. And they can be used in standard and smart display campaigns.

One of the most significant differences is that there’ll be three headlines rather than two. This will mean thinking carefully about how they’ll look next to each other, and you’ll probably want to make them as different from one another as possible. They’ll also need to be relevant to your keywords – include at least one top keyword in at least a couple of your headlines. But this is also your chance to get creative!

The new format should save you time, and allow you to reach more prospective customers, while boosting ad group performance.

Here are some of the other benefits:

  • Easily done: Just upload images, headlines, logos and descriptions and Google does the rest, automatically generating ads to be displayed on the Google Display Network, adjusted to fit almost any available space.
  • Testing, testing: With the new ads, you’ll be able to write up to 15 headlines and four different descriptions, creating tens of thousands of potential different combinations. But testing actually becomes easier, as Google does the work for you once you’ve added the variables such as fresh descriptions or headlines, and helps you find the best performers by rotating them. (Manual testing seems to be coming to an end, rapidly.)
  • Pin your headlines: Headlines won’t be shown on Google AdWords if the search engine thinks they’re repetitive. However, if you want a headline to appear consistently, you can pin it in place, which could be handy if you have a special message to convey, such as a particular campaign.
  • More characters and an extra description: As well as going from two headlines to three, the new ads offer two descriptions with 90 characters each, rather than one 80-character description, meaning more space on the page, and more room for you to unleash your creativity!

Don’t worry if you’ve found your perfect headline and description combination and don’t want that to change – Google will let you hang on to your expanded text ads, at least for now.

As ever, we at Front Page Advantage can help. Just get in touch if you have any queries or questions about the new responsive ads.