Good news for everyone using Google Ads, responsive search ads are now available to all advertisers. But, before we take a dive into the best practices for using this new ad format, first we’ll look at what exactly responsive search ads are.

What are responsive search ads?

Fresh out of beta, responsive search ads aim to make advertisers jobs easier by creating a flexible ad format that removes the need for marketers to carry out manual split testing of adverts. Instead of spending time writing different ad variations the new format lets you supply a selection of 15 headlines and 4 descriptions that Google can use to serve searchers the perfect advert.

Over time Google will test different combinations and use machine learning to work out which ones perform the best under different circumstances.

How are they different?

Responsive search ads can show up to three 30-character headlines compared to the standard 2 shown in extended search ads. They can also show up to 2 descriptions which are 90 characters in length compared to the standard 1 description which is 80 characters. This means that the real estate taken up by a responsive search ad is potentially double that of a standard extended ad.

What are the benefits?

According to Google, responsive search ads have a 5 – 15% higher click through rate compared to standard search ads. Remember that in order to enjoy performance improvements you need to make sure that you are adding at least 10 different headlines and 3 descriptions to help Google’s machine learning have plenty of options to choose from.

Top tips for getting the best results

Having been using the Beta version of responsive search ads since July here are our top tips for helping you create responsive search ads for your Google Ads campaign.

    • Be creative. Don’t be afraid to try new things in your different headlines and descriptions and highlight offers, benefits, unique selling points and business information.


    • Include your keyword in at least 2 of your headlines. Also, consider using dynamic keyword insertion for ad groups with different keywords.


    • Have a good mix of headlines without your target keyword to help avoid being overly repetitive, we’d recommend at least which don’t contain your keyword.


    • Don’t always try to max out the character limit. Shorter headlines and description lines can help your advert stand out just as much as longer ones. Have a mix of lengths in descriptions and headlines.


  • Avoid being repetitive with offers, calls to action or language as this will create boring adverts.