Be a Google Ad Superhero - Web Kaizen™

Be a Google Ad Superhero

Superhero advertiser

Want to be an advertising superhero? You’ll need an advertising superpower, and Google gives you exactly that with Responsive Search Ads.

Responsive Search Ads enable you to generate thousands upon thousands of ad variations, test each for performance in response to a vast array of search queries, and provide the most effective ads to your audience, automatically.

With regular search ads, you write headlines and descriptions to create a single static ad. Want to test ads? You’ll have to create many ads, target them in the same manner, and collect and analyze the results to choose which ad to run with. Ideally, you’d do this for every audience and search query you could conceive of. You’d have to be a superhero to do this task regularly and effectively, especially if SEM is one of many capes you wear.

RSAs are like X-Kryptonite, the rare element that gives mere mortals superhuman powers. With RSAs, you craft as many as 15 headlines and four descriptions, resulting in more than 40,000 possible arrangements automatically tested against a sea of search queries. Eventually, Google’s AI learns which ads perform best in response to particular searches and serves the best matching ad, even considering factors like the device used, a user’s browsing behavior, and more.

Google introduced RSAs in July 2018. Since then, they’ve gained traction and today, 24% of search marketers are using them.

They even look good in tights

RSAs display as many as three 30-character headlines, a URL with two 15-character path fields, and as many as two 90-character description fields, and are mobile-optimized – just like Google’s Expanded Text Ads. They also work nicely with Google Ad Extensions.

If you’re unfamiliar with these superhero sidekicks, Ad Extensions are free advertising enhancements that are easy to set up to help boost your regular and yes, even your responsive Google Ads. Google automatically adds some extensions like Seller Ratings and Social Annotations where it deems doing so appropriate.

Other Ad Extensions are up to you: they include Sitelink Extensions that promote additional landing pages below the ad’s primary text, Call Extensions that add your phone number, Location Extensions that display your business address and telephone number, Callout Extensions that let you present offers within your ad text, and App Extensions that highlight apps for searchers using tablets or phones.

Create a Super Ad

To create RSAs, go to the Ads tab and create a new ad using the “+” icon. Select “Responsive Search Ad.” Google walks you through the step-by-step process of creating your ad components such as the final URL, display URL paths, the various headlines (up to 15) and as many as 4 descriptions. Click “Save New Ad” to have your ad reviewed and approved. Don’t forget to check back to ensure ads are approved since there are a number of valid reasons they may be declined.

Your RSAs won’t always show three headlines and two descriptions since they’re displayed differently on different devices. They’ll always show at least two headlines and a description.

To get the most out of RSAs, ensure you adhere to Google’s best practices. Create all 15 headlines and four descriptions, and ensure that each element highlights something different (don’t run two similar headlines or descriptions – that’s RSA kryptonite).

Make headlines and descriptions of various lengths, and include keywords in some headlines while leaving them out of at least three. By doing so, headlines won’t be too similar. Use Google’s keyword insertion to add keywords to your RSAs.

Because Google tests each of the various permutations of your RSA against one another, it’s not helpful to include more than one RSA in an ad group. Focus your super-energy on creativity to save the planet from boring, ineffective advertising content, and let Google’s AI test, learn and adapt your advertising strategy to your advantage.

Greg Norton

Be a Google Ad Superhero

was written by me, Greg Norton – also known as webzenkai. I’ve got more than two decades’ experience building effective websites and powerful email campaigns that yield results. Feel free to contact me regarding this article or anything else you find on this website.

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