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Guide to Responsive Search Ads in Google (RSA)

What are Responsive Search Ads?

Responsive Search Ads (aka RSA’s) are a new format of Google Search Text Ads, that leverage the power of Google’s machine learning technology to quickly test various combinations of your advertising messages and ultimately serve the best adverts to your customers.

Launched in July 2018, RSAs are still in BETA phase and available in all accounts.


Responsive Search Ads vs Expanded Text Ads

RSAs and ETAs are the same size and both utilise the largest real estate of all available search text ad formats.

Including up to 270 characters, with three 30 character headlines and two 90 character description fields. This format is much bigger than standard Search Text Ads.

The larger size format generates an additional +15% uplift in click through rate compared to standard text ads, the increased CTR will also help to increase the quality score of keywords in your ad group.

Responsive Search Ads Tips

Include DKI dynamic keyword insertion into some of your headlines, if the Ad Group has different keywords.

Use different lengths of headlines, this will increase the chances of your ad displaying the third headline.

Include several different messages in your headlines, avoid repeating variants of the same message. Google may not run your ad with repeated message variants.

Don’t use the pin option unless essential to maximise the performance of RSA, this significantly lowers the testing & variant options available by over 75%

Aim for 1 x RSA ad and 3 x ETA per ad group as best practice recommended by Google.

Currently, the only metrics available for RSA ads are to view the impressions & clicks of the different combinations used. Hopefully, Google will include conversion, CTR & revenue metrics to help you identify the ROI of different messages.

How Many RSA Ads Should I write for each Ad Group?

The best option is to use just one RSA advert in each ad group. There will be hundreds of combinations for Google to test with one RSA advert with all the headline & description fields completed. Machine learning functionality will quickly determine the best performing combinations. This will save time in the longer term, from multiple testing of  standard format search ads.

How to Optimise Your Responsive Search Ads

In October 2019, Google added a new ‘Performance’ column metric to help you identify the performance level of your headlines & description assets. Each asset requires a minimum of 5,000 impressions before Google will review the asset with either a Low, Good or Best result. To Optimise your RSA, a safe move would include replacing any ‘Bad’ rating assets.

Are Responsive Search Ads available in Microsoft Bing Ads?

Yes, RSA ads became available in Microsoft Ads accounts from September 2019, initally in beta to everyone. Using the same character limits as Google RSAs. To save time, you can import your Responsive Search Ads from Google Ads via the Import from Google feature within Microsoft Ads.

Which Languages are Responsive Search Ads available?

As of writing this article, you can create Responsive Search Ads in English, Spanish, German and French language adverts. This will be open to more languages at a later date, according to Google.

How Many RSA Headlines should I write?

Google advise from 7-10 headlines and for the main Ad Group keyword to NOT be used in at least three of these headlines, allowing for unique advert messaging by less duplication.

More information about Responsive Search Ads can be viewed in the below video or to read on the Google Ads Support website.

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