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Writing Effective Responsive Search Ads for Google Search

It’s important that Google Ads marketers deliver the right messaging to searchers, at the right moment and create the best messages to improve ad relevance and drive more qualified clicks from Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) for Search. Here are some tips on the best ways to achieve that objective.

Firstly, it’s important that two things are done:

  • Implement at least one RSA with ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ Ad Strength per ad group. According to Google, on average advertisers who improve Ad Strength for their RSAs from ‘Poor’ to ‘Excellent’ see 9% more clicks and conversions.
  • Implement ad extensions such as sitelinks and image extensions. Ad extensions make ads more engaging and show helpful information about the business. More eligible extensions give ads more opportunity to meet users’ specific needs.

Here are some best practices that are recommended to create compelling RSAs for people searching on Google, and to achieve the requirements above:

1. Write compelling, genuine ad copy
– Users respond to ads that speak to their needs so it helps to craft messaging that focuses on user benefits.

– Users tend to engage with ads that appear most relevant to their search, so tie the headline and description line’s messaging to the used keywords, and it can often be best to ‘pin’ these headlines into first position to ensure they are being shown in the displayed ads.

– Generic calls to action often show decreased engagement with ads, so avoid generic language in the ads. Use specific calls to action that relate to what you expect visitors to your website to do.

– The Ad Strength metric is a valuable way to ensure the right messages are being delivered to the right users so check for insights into how users may react to your ads and make changes to improve the score.

– Review the cross-campaign asset report to help understand which of the headlines and descriptions resonate most with your customers.

Learn more about writing compelling, genuine ad copy.

2. Create messaging that reflects your brand and its products and services
– A compelling call to action on one device tends to be compelling on other devices as well, so create ad text that appeals to users across devices.

– Focus on the headlines as they’re the first thing people see and will play a big factor in how well the ads perform.

– Longer headlines increase the clickable space of your Search ads, but you might find that shorter headlines perform better for people already searching for your brand, so test headlines of varying lengths.

– Based on content from your site, Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) automatically generate headlines and show the ads to people searching for your products, so consider using DSAs to save even more time.

Learn more about creating messaging that reflects your brand.

3. Set up your ads for success
– Providing unique assets allows the system to assemble more ad combinations so add as many unique, relevant headlines and descriptions as possible.

– Creative messages can be tailored to a user’s search while reducing your management overhead, so use keyword insertion and ad customisers if there are a lot of ads to maintain.

– Show the right message to as many relevant people as possible while automatically setting the right bid for each query, so pair RSAs with Smart Bidding and broad match keywords.

Learn more about setting your ads up for success.

4. Enhance RSAs with extensions
– Ad extensions make ads more useful and engaging to users, and they help to meet marketing objectives so enable all extensions that make sense for your business. For example, advertisers can see a 20% increase in clickthrough rate on average when 4 sitelinks show with their Search ads.

– Extensions are automatically chosen based on several factors, including previous performance, user context, and available space so make ad extensions as relevant and high quality as possible.

Learn more about enhancing your ads with extensions.

5. Test and optimise creative messages
– Learn about your users’ preferences and improve your performance by refining ad text, especially your headlines, so use ad variations to test and iterate creative messages.

– RSAs help you qualify for more auctions and as ad-level performance and metrics like clickthrough rate and conversion rate may not paint a full picture of your performance, evaluate the success of the ads based on incremental impressions, clicks, and conversions that ad groups and campaigns receive.

Learn more about testing and optimising creatives.


You can learn more about the best practices for optimising RSAs by watching Google’s tutorial video, or also read tips on how to do that for Display and Video ads.

If you want to know more about how these tips for optimising Search Ads can help your business please get in touch.