Responsive Search Ads to Replace Expanded Text Ads in Google Ads PPC Search Campaigns

Google is increasing their focus on automation in Google Ads to keep up with the changes in search trends. Responsive search ads will soon replace expanded text ads in Google Ads PPC search campaigns.

Responsive search ads to be the only search ad type in Google Ads starting June 2022

In several recent announcements, Google has indicated the growing importance of responsive search ads in Google Ads.

In February 2021, Google announced that Responsive Search Ads will be the default ad format for all Google Ads search campaigns. Google also removed the ability to add new expanded text ads from the ads and extensions menu. This was the first indication that Expanded Text Ads may be phased out soon.

This became clear in August 2021, when Google announced that Responsive Search Ads will be the only search ad format that can be created in Google Ads PPC search campaigns as of June 2022.

On 8/31/21, Google announced that:

Effective June 30, 2022, Responsive Search Ads will be the only Search Ad type that can be created or edited in Google Ads search campaigns. [Google]

Google states that the reason for this change is that search trends are constantly changing. 15% of search queries are new queries that they have never seen before. The use of automation will help to keep up with the changing search trends.

Responsive search ads use automation and machine learning to show the right message for the right search query. Expanded text ads, which are being phased out, are static ads and do not use automation.

According to Google, “advertisers that switch from expanded text ads to responsive search ads with the same assets, see an average of 7% more conversions at a similar cost per conversion.”

Google is strongly encouraging advertisers to transition to responsive search ads before June 2022.

What Are responsive search ads?

Responsive search ads are flexible ads that use automation and Google’s machine learning systems to deliver the right ads to the right customer. You enter multiple headlines and descriptions when you create the ad and Google’s machine learning systems will test different ad combinations to learn which performs best. By automatically adapting your ad to show the most relevant message to match customer search queries, responsive search ads may help to increase conversions.

What are the Benefits of Responsive Search Ads?

Responsive search ads have many benefits:

  • Flexible Ads: They are flexible ads that use Google’s machine learning systems to automatically adapt the ad to show the right message for the right search query.
  • Save Time: You can save time by entering up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions when you create the ad. Google’s machine learning systems will show these assets in multiple ad combinations. You can save time and create fewer ads.
  • Mobile friendly: Responsive search ads adapt to fit different device sizes from mobile devices to desktops. On mobile devices, they will show fewer headlines and descriptions.
  • Qualify for more auctions: Responsive search ads help you qualify for more ad auctions because there are more relevant keywords to match customer search terms.
  • Improve performance: Increase campaign performance with more clicks and conversions since the most relevant ad combination is shown for a search query.

Examples of responsive search ads

Some examples of responsive search ads are shown here.

The responsive search ad was set up with multiple headlines and descriptions. The ad is shown transitioning between different headlines and descriptions every time its shown on Google Ads.

responsive search ad example

responsive search ad example

Are expanded text ads being removed?

According to Google, after June 30, 2022, expanded text ads can no longer be created or edited in Google Ads search campaigns.

You will not be able to create new expanded text ads or edit existing expanded text ads after June 2022. You will be able to pause, resume or remove expanded text ads.

Any existing expanded text ads will continue to run in your search campaigns along with the responsive search ads. Google Ads will still report performance metrics on expanded text ads.

However, since expanded text ads are clearly being phased out by Google, it may be best to begin transitioning your ad groups to responsive search ads.

How to prepare for the transition to responsive search ads

To prepare for the transition to responsive search ads,

  1. Create at least one responsive search ad in each ad group in your Google Ads search campaign before June 30, 2022.
  2. Add many unique headlines and descriptions to the responsive search ad. You can add up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions.
  3. Use headlines and descriptions that have been previously successful in your expanded text ads, in your responsive search ads.
  4. When building the ads, pay attention to improving the ad strength of your responsive search ads.
    • Google says that improving the ad strength from “Poor” to “Excellent” can improve clicks and conversions by an average of 9%.
  5. You can control assets that should show on every ad by pinning headlines and descriptions to certain positions in the responsive search ad. Try to pin 2 or 3 assets to a position to ensure that there are multiple options available. Do not overuse pinning as this defeats the purpose of using this flexible ad format.
  6. Use broad match keywords and smart bidding with responsive search ads. This helps your ads to show for more search queries.
    • According to Google, advertisers that switch from Expanded Text Ads to Responsive Search Ads in campaigns that use the same assets but combine them with broad match and smart bidding can achieve 20% more conversions at the same cost per conversion.

Example of the Set up Screen for a Responsive Search Ad

responsive search ad setup screen

Setup screen for responsive search ads

When you setup a responsive search ad,
• You can enter upto 15 headlines. Make sure your headlines are unique.
• You can enter upto 4 descriptions.
• Use the ad strength indicator to measure the strength of your ad.
• The preview screen will show an example of your ad

Google’s machine learning systems will show different ad combinations for a relevant search. Since these headlines and descriptions can be shown in any combination, you should make sure the assets make sense in multiple combinations.

How to set up responsive search ads

For more information on how to set up a responsive search ad and recommended best practices, please read our blog post on:
How to Use Google Responsive Search Ads: 10 Best Practices

Conclusion

As search trends continue to change, Google is increasing their focus on automation and AI in Google Ads. Responsive search ads use automation and Google’s machine learning systems to automatically serve the right ad combination to the right customer. They have many benefits and can help to improve campaign performance.

You should begin the transition to responsive search ads in your ad groups before June 2022. Expanded text ads should be replaced with responsive search ads. Expanded text ads are clearly being phased out by Google.

At our digital marketing agency, we have used responsive search ads in PPC search campaigns. We saw an increase in clicks and CTR as compared to expanded text ads.

To read more best practices for using responsive search ads in your PPC campaigns, please refer to our related articles below.

Need Help With Google Ads?

If you need help with Google Ads, please feel free to contact us. We help businesses with digital marketing services including Google Ads PPC Marketing, SEO, Web Design & Development, and Digital Marketing Consulting services. We are located in Plano, TX outside Dallas and serve businesses in the USA. Contact us at https://goldmangodesign.com

References

Google, Making it Easier to Show the Right Message on Search
Google, Grow Clicks and Conversions using Responsive Search Ads: the new default ad type for Search Campaigns
Google, Responsive Search Ads are now available to all advertisers

Related Articles

1. Gold Mango Design, How to Use Responsive Search Ads: 10 Best Practices
2. Tanuja Mahdavi, Moz, Responsive Search Ads: 5 Best Practices for Google Ads PPC Search Campaigns
3. Gold Mango design, What is Google Ads PPC Marketing and How it Helps Your Business
4. Gold Mango Design, 8 Benefits of Google Ads Advertising
5. Gold Mango Design, 11 Tips to Optimize Your Google Ads Landing Page For Conversions & Mobile