Recent news from Google is that they’re removing the standard “expanded text ads” and moving forward with just “responsive search ads.”
From July 2022, advertisers will no longer be able to create new ETAs or edit existing ETAs in Google Ads according to an announcement by Sylvanus Bent, Product Manager, Google Ads.
What are responsive search ads (RSAs)?
Responsive search ads use machine learning to mix-and-match messaging to find the most effective combination. This presents a really great opportunity to switch up the approach in ad messaging, and think more about what can be tested with RSAs. For instance, RSAs allow 15 different headlines to be combined together, instead of being limited to just Headline 1, 2 and 3.
Rather than testing 15 headlines along the same theme, the opportunity is there to test emotive messaging, or even just test different phrases within those. Want to know if your audience responds more to a shipping cost included in the ad, or if it’s best reserved for the landing page/checkout? Add it to the 15 test headlines and let Google’s data testing tell you the answer.
The power of machine learning
In Google’s announcement, they described RTAs as a way to “combine creativity with the power of machine learning to help you show more relevant ads to more people.” They also claim that advertisers that switch from expanded text ads to responsive search ads, using the same assets, see an average of 7% more conversions at a similar cost per conversion – so they obviously have faith in this move.
And Kris, Paid Media Manager at Forever, agrees:
“My opinion on this is that it’s a continuing trend towards advertisers’ jobs changing from making micro decisions, to making macro decisions and aiding Google’s machine learning; something that is already one of the more powerful tools when it comes to bidding. RSAs aren’t new, but Google is now feeling confident enough to move forward with RSA as the priority ad type, indicating that machine learning with them has proven successful enough internally to eliminate ETAs.”
How should marketers prepare for the change?
Bent suggests “that to prepare for the change, we recommend that you have at least one responsive search ad in every ad group in your Search campaigns by June 30, 2022.”
Google’s announcement also includes ways advertisers can repurpose their ETA content for RSAs:
- Repurpose high-performing content from your expanded text ads and focus on ad strength.
- Check your account’s Recommendations page.
- Pin headlines or descriptions to specific positions in your responsive search ads.
- Use ad variations. This can help you test different versions of your assets at scale and review their performance across multiple campaigns.
- Evaluate the success of your ads based on incremental impressions, clicks, and conversions that your ad groups and campaigns receive