While ad copy may not be the most exciting part of your Google Ads, it’s very important to ensure your copy is strong… as it’s usually the first time customers will interact with your business.

Google has rolled out Responsive Search Ads, which allows you to provide multiple headlines and descriptions that Google mixes and matches for you. So, based on search queries and other proprietary data, Google is making calculated efforts to serve the most effective ads to users. This type of ad gives advertisers quite a bit of flexibility, it can be tricky to navigate. Luckily, we’ve taken a bit of the guesswork out of how to write really solid RSAs for you!

What makes a good responsive search ad?

When it comes to managing Google Ads, I like to have as much control as possible over what shows up on potential customers’ screens.  When Google announced extended text ads were going the way of the dodo in June 2022, our team was a  bit apprehensive.

“Google thinks they know how to choose ads about my business better than I would?” was a common refrain when sharing the news to clients. While we may not have a lot of control over which headlines and descriptions show – and when, we do have control over what those headline and description pairings will say. Knowing these combinations can show in any order is a bit of a downside, but emphasizes the importance of keeping a watchful eye on Google’s persistent changes. Understanding Google’s goals and confines can help us craft stronger responsive search ads.

With responsive ads, Google will rotate headlines and descriptions to show as many variations as possible. Then, Google’s algorithm will serve the most effective combination of headlines and descriptions in an effort to drive the best traffic for your account’s desired goals.

Why? The goal behind these types of ads is to help teams create a simple yet strategic messaging strategy without the enduring effort required to monitor and update . Once the most effective version has been defined, you can dynamically boost the engagement and reach of that ad set.

Every user is unique, so why show mirrored ad copy to people that may be interested in different aspects of a business? Users inherently seek personalization:

71% of consumers surveyed preferred ads that are tailored to their interests and shopping habits. With this update, Google chooses which combinations to serve based on a user’s search history, past clicks, device type, and search query (keywords used). This means with responsive search ads, your users will benefit from more personalized experiences in the long run and we’ll  want to include as many different variations as possible to help Google match the right headlines & descriptions to the user.

We talked the “why,” So now let’s get into a little bit of the “how,” starting with the restrictions.

Each responsive search ad has room for up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions we can fill. That is a ton of different combinations available! We recommend using as many of these as possible as mentioned above consumers like ads tailored to their interests or habits. In utilizing the maximum amount of headlines & descriptions possible, you have a far better chance of serving the right ads to the right person at the right time.

But what makes a good headline? Or descriptions?

I can’t stress my reply enough. Keep it simple. It is very easy to overthink what is being put into your ad copy. And I get that your brand is sacred and you want to make sure messaging 100% aligns with your goals. However, using simple ad copy doesn’t mean you have to be generic. More-so, I encourage you to be specific to the services/products you offer, call out deals or specials, and pay mind to the keywords you are targeting (with priority given to headlines). See an example of a couple of ads that show for “corporate web design” below:



Screenshot of Good Example

Not As Good:

Screenshot of Not as Good Example



While both ads are solid, only the first ad speaks to the user’s intent behind their query. You can see how including “corporate website design” makes the first ad stand out as the headline directly links to the keyword being searched.

Best Practices

So what about actually writing these ads? What are some steps we can take to make sure we are putting the best ad copy possible forward? Don’t be scared to test different intent-focused headlines to grab users’ attention, add a call to action or answer questions that users may not even know they have.

Here are a couple of ideas for unique headlines depending on your goals.

Unique headlines and descriptions

  • “Check Out Our Store”
  • “Schedule Your Demo”
  • “Book Your Stay, Today”

Ask/answer questions

  • “Looking for Web Design?”
  • “Want to Book The Perfect Trip?”
  • “Need Lead Gen Help?”

Include concise calls to action in descriptions and test variations. Short and concise CTAs typically perform better within paid search ads, so it is important to be mindful as you draft copy. Examples include:

  • “Save Now,”
  • “Order Online,”
  • “Get Free Shipping.”

Create a relationship between ad copy, keywords and the verbiage within your landing pages. Google will look for unity between keywords, ad copy, and landing pages to help influence ‘quality’ scores. The more synchronous, the better Google will rank you.

Monitor & Optimize

Not every headline or description will perform well, so continually  testing variations is imperative to find the messaging that resonates with individual users. . No stale bread here!

TLDRthe changes in how Google serves our ads may lead to a bit of a knee-jerk shock, but as long as we are diligent in monitoring, optimizing, and testing new variations the engagement from these ads should far outweigh the engagement from the older extended text ad format. Now that we know the basics of “why” and “how,” it’s time to roll up our sleeves and do some testing. There is still a ton of nuance to heed when it comes to responsive search ads. And if you need help, or don’t want to do it at all? Well that’s what we’re here for!

Trust the experts. Drop us a line and we can chat.