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Google Ads has announced that ‘Responsive Search Ads‘ are now available to all advertisers in all languages. Google also noted that the ad format would be available via the API, Google Ads Editor and the Google Ads Mobile App. To help advertisers implement responsive search ads further, Google has also introduced ‘Performance Column‘ and updates to ‘Ad Variations‘. 


What’s the update to Responsive Search Ads?

Today, Responsive Search Ads will be available to all advertisers in all languages everywhere. Responsive Search Ads let you create an ad in Google Ads that adapts to find the best combination. You give Google multiple headlines and descriptions (assets), then Google will test these assets in different combinations to find out which one works best. Google has been investing heavily into this ad format and it’s case studies have shown that they can deliver up to +44% incremental traffic and up to +43% more conversions for advertisers.

In the announcement, Google also discussed two tools; the ‘Performance Columns’ and ‘Ad Variations’.

What are Performance Columns?

Performance Columns for Responsive Search Ads allows you to compare how your assets are performing compared to other assets within your Responsive Search Ad. With this information, you can optimise the assets supplied to Google by replacing or amending any assets that score a ‘Low’ asset rating by learning from the ‘Good’ or ‘Best’ rated assets.

Here’s a list of all of the ratings that are available in the Performance Columns:

Responsive Search Ads Performance Columns

Credit: Google Ads Help, 2020

What are Ad Variations?

Ad Variations is a feature that allows you to test different variations of your ads across your account. Essentially you can create an ad variation, select the scope (Account or Campaign), choose the ad type (Text Ad or Responsive Search Ad), and then select your end date and percentage of traffic you’d like to test it on. You should only really use Ad Variations if you want to change small amounts of ad variations, whereas you should use ‘Drafts & Experiments’ for any larger tests with multiple ad variations.

From today, Ad Variations supports Responsive Search Ads.


What does this mean for you?

Easier to test Ad Copy, but we lose sight of the insight

The arguments usually fall under two areas; the format makes it easier for Ad Copy testing, however we have to compromise by the lack of reporting. The updates to Performance Columns alongside the Ad Strength Indicators and other reporting improvements have gone some way to alleviate some of the problems advertisers had with the lack of insight. However, there is still some way to go. This update now opens the ad format to more advertisers. Hopefully this means more pressure on Google to give advertisers a little bit more insight into how it’s optimising the assets.


Responsive Search Ads FAQ’s

What are responsive text ads?

Responsive Search Ads let you create an ad in Google Ads that adapts to find the best combination for your objective. If you enter multiple headlines and descriptions when creating the ad (assets), then over time Google will rotate these assets to find the best combinations.

Dan Roberts
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