How to create responsive search ads for success in 2023 (+ Free Template)
  • February 21, 2022
  • PPC

How to create responsive search ads for success in 2023 (+ Free Template)

About Google responsive search ads

Google responsive search ads allow you to create an ad that dynamically changes to display more text—and thus more relevant content—to your customers. When creating a responsive search ad, enter multiple headlines and descriptions, and Google Ads will test various combinations in order to learn which ones are the most effective. Responsive search ads may help your campaign’s effectiveness by adapting your ad’s content to more closely match potential consumers’ search terms.

How do Google responsive search ads work?


Google Ads uses machine learning to test different combinations of headline and description text, or ad copy. You can enter up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions. Over time, Google Ads tests more versions of your ads—and selects the best-performing ad—so you can stay on top of what works (and stop using ads that don’t).

What are the benefits of using responsive search ads?


1. Adapt your ad content to search queries

2. More dynamic with increased performance

3. Allowing test multiple headlines & descriptions simultaneously

4. Enjoy up to 3x better CTR than non-responsive ads

Why should I care about Responsive Search Ads?


Starting in June 2022, you will no longer be able to create new expanded text ads. Even now, when you try to create new text ads, Google will default and try to force you to create RSAs. However, you can sell create expanded text ads using Google Ads Editor.

Since responsive search ads are automatically updated by Google Ads over time, it reduces manual labor hours required from marketers so they can focus on other campaign optimizations.

How to create effective Responsive search ads


The more details you provide, the better the chances Google will serve ads in a more accurate manner to your prospects’ search queries. After you input the headlines and descriptions, Google ads will combine text to various ads together to minimize redundancies. Unlike extended text ads, the ads can have up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions for a responsive search campaign.

This is important due to the ad testing process Google Ads follows. It will test several headlines and descriptions, and it’s likely that some of them will be similar. The end goal here is to see which combinations work best together in order to come up with a final result that has a high CTR (Click Through Rate).

How to improve Google Responsive Search Ad Strength


Google now gives responsive ads a strong score and ad-based recommendations for improved performance. These recommendations typically give an AI further ability to test and learn through a range of common suggestions for decreasing pinning and further differentiation of copy options offered. RSA advertising strength and ad copy need periodic review and optimization. You can achieve better results with fewer clicks.

Generally, you want to make sure that you have the keywords you are bidding for in both the headlines and the description. This is why account structure is so important. If your ad group contains only 4-5 keywords, it is easy to include all of them in your headlines and descriptions to achieve an excellent ad strength score.

Pinning Google Responsive Search Ads Headlines & Descriptions


Are your brand requirements very stringent? Do you require your headlines to be in a specific order? If so pinning helps you make certain that the correct headline is displayed in an advertisement first. You can use this pin function to display your ads at position 2 or 3 in the order of the headline. Pinning just one heading or description in the same spot means there won’t be any additional asset in that position.

This is very important in highly regulated industries like pharmaceuticals, where the brand name of the drug must be followed by the generic name.

Keep in mind though that Google frowns on pinning headlines and descriptions so it will be harder (not impossible) to achieve an excellent ad strength.

How to structure responsive search ads?


Responsive Search Advertising allows 15 headlines and four descriptions per ad. In addition, you can only have two responsive search ads per ad group. Although your receptive advertising needs a minimum of 5 headlines for uploads, we recommend incorporating 8-10. The more headlines you use the more variation Google is able to find. The responsive headline allows 30 character length and the descriptions are limited to 90 characters in the expanded text ads. Please bear in mind that headlines or two descriptions may vary in some cases. This means ensuring each description is unique.

How can I create responsive search ads efficiently?


Here we’ve got the most interesting hacks of all time. Use existing Expanded Text Ads for the setup of RSAs. Look for ads with higher CTR (click-through-rate) as a key indicator for determining the success and performance of an ad. This is important to include in your responsive advertising.

If you have historical data, take a look at your search terms report. Identify high-performing keywords and make sure they are in your headlines and descriptions.

Will responsive search ads always show all 3 headlines and 2 descriptions? The short answer is No.


Smaller screens (mobiles or busy SERPs) may not display as much information as your desktop search ads. Your search ads will usually contain two headlines and a single description. In fact, sometimes Google shows the second description but truncates it if it’s too long. Best practice is to make sure you include shorter headlines and descriptions to make sure Google can work with different screen sizes without cutting off your text.

Expanded Text Ads versus Responsive Search Ads


The main difference of an expanded text ad is that you have up to three headlines and 2 descriptions. All of the headlines and descriptions will appear in the order that you entered it.

With responsive search ads, you can have up to 15 headlines and four descriptions. Unless you pin the headline or description, Google will randomly display them in any order it likes based on what it thinks will drive higher performance.

What does a responsive search ad look like?

A responsive search ad will look like an expanded text ad. It will include up to three headlines (in most cases only two) and two descriptions. From the searcher’s perspective, they will not be able to tell the difference between an expanded text ad vs a responsive search ad.

Responsive search ads template

Now that you have a better understanding of how Google Responsive Search ads work, you now need to explain it to your clients!

Option #1

You can use our free Google Responsive Search ads excel template here to list all of your different headlines and descriptions. This format allows you to copy and paste directly to Google Ads Editor so you can publish it live to your account. The disadvantage of using this template is that if you do share it with your clients, they may have a hard time understanding how RSAs work and will probably have a hard time visualizing what each ad variation can look like.

Download the free Google Responsive Search Ads Template Here

Option #2

You can create a PPC Ad Editor account and create a Google Responsive Search ad using our visual ad builder. Once complete, you can share your ad (along with all your keywords) with a simple link. The advantage of using PPC Ad Editor is that anyone with access to your link can see the responsive search ad displayed exactly like they would on 

Click here to see an example of a Responsive Search Ad

In addition, there is a button that can show you up to 6 different ad variations at a time! This is great to make sure all of your headlines and descriptions make sense in different combinations.

In conclusion, with over 1 billion searches per day on the internet, Google Responsive Search ads are here to stay. They allow advertisers with limited budgets and ad space to ensure they reach potential customers when their ads don’t fit into the traditional text box that search snippets provide.

We hope you found our tips useful.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below! 🙂

PPC Ad Editor is a cloud-based tool built by marketers for marketers who want to create custom responsive search ads in minutes.

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by albert somlith
About author
Albert Somlith

Co-Founder of PPC Ad Editor. I am a leader in digital marketing, specializing in strategic planning, implementation, and optimization.