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Get Ready: Transition Your Google Ads to Responsive Search Ads

Last updated on March 2, 2022
6 minute read
Key Takeaways

  • Starting June 2022, you will no longer have the option to create Expanded text ads.
  • Responsive text ads have higher conversion rates.
  • Responsive text ads uses machine learning to optimize your ads.

Skill Level

All Skill Levels

In the past few years, Google has been putting more emphasis on machine learning for PPC ads, with tools like Smart Bidding that rely on the algorithm to optimize ad strategy.

In 2020, Google made Responsive ads the default type in search ads campaigns.

In 2022, Responsive ads will be the only search ad type available.

Learn about this ad type, how you can prepare for this change, and how to create and measure the success of Responsive ads.

What Are Responsive Search Ads? 

Currently, you can create two types of search ads: Responsive and Expanded text ads.

Expanded text ads allow you to create a complete ad, where you set the text and how it’s displayed. You can create multiple versions of expanded ads and rotate them, with the option to optimize the ad rotation based on those that perform best.

Responsive text ads allow you to create different assets, such as headlines and descriptions, and Google will combine them to serve the most appropriate ad for a user based on their search. For this ad type, you can create up to 15 headlines and four descriptions.

Google Ads will construct several ad combinations to avoid redundancy. An ad will show a maximum of three headlines and two descriptions in unique orders and combinations. The longer your ad runs, the more time Google Ads will be able to test which ad groupings work the best and for which type of search queries.

Benefits of a Responsive Search Ad

  • Create ads that will auto-change width depending on device which will give you extra room to share your message with prospective customers.
  • Once you create several choices for headlines and descriptions, Google Ads will optimize your ads by showing potential customers the most appropriate combination to each potential customer – this will save you time and effort!
  • You are able to alter descriptions and headlines depending on the customers’ locations, regular locations or locations of interest.
  • With several headline and description choices, you’ll reach more customers because your ads have the chance to compete in more auctions and match more queries.
  • Since your ads will compete in more auctions (compared to any existing text ads), your ad group performance will improve due to the increase in clicks and conversions.

How to Prepare for the Changeshape

Starting June 30, 2022, you will no longer have the option to create Expanded text ads. Your existing Expanded text ads will continue to run. Google has been slowly de-emphasizing Expanded text ads for a while now.

Responsive ads see an average of 7% more conversions at a similar cost per conversion compared to Expanded ads (Google).

With this advance notice, use this time to familiarize yourself with Responsive text ads so you can fully transition when the time comes. In the meantime, Google recommends users take these actions with their current Responsive text ads:

  • Repurpose the content from your Expanded text ads that is working well. Focus on ads with high ad strength. Ad strength is listed under the “Ads & Extensions” window of a campaign and provides an overall rating of “average”, “excellent”, etc.
  • Review the Recommendations page on your Google Ads account. Google provides customized recommendations on how you can improve your Responsive ads to help you quickly and easily make changes.
  • Use pinning to keep a headline or description in a specific position on your ad. Pinning refers to choosing where a certain headline or description appears in an ad. Without using this function, each section can appear in any order. Google suggests that you pin 2-3 options to a position if you need to use this function.
  • Evaluate your ads’ success on the incremental impressions, clicks, and conversions your ad groups and campaigns receive. This will give you better insight on what is performing well since conversion rate or click through rate metrics may be too broad.

If you’re not familiar with Responsive ads, this may seem like an overwhelming switch. Ultimately, Google knows that Responsive ads will be better for your business and once you optimize your ads, your conversions should increase as well.

To make sure you’re set up for success, Google suggests that by June 30, 2022 you have at least one Responsive ad ready in each ad group.

How to Create Responsive Search Ads

Now that you are aware of the benefits of Responsive search ads and the reasons Google is making this switch, you can think about creating your own! Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to more sales.

  1. From the page menu, click Ads & extensions on the left.shape
  2. Click the plus button and select Responsive search ad.
  3. Enter the final URL and display path text.
  4. As you type, a preview of your ad will appear to the right.
  5. Enter between 3 and 15 headlines.
  6. Enter between 2 and 4 descriptions.
  7. Click Save.

The more headlines and descriptions you enter, the better. Google will have more options to hone your ads for a specific audience.

Over time, you’ll see what works best with your new Responsive ads and have the opportunity to maximize your conversions! For more ad tips, check out our additional PPC guides.

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