Digital Marketing Google Ads

3 Responsive Search Ads Testing Experiments to Boost Your PPC Campaign

As a marketer, you constantly need to experiment with your advertising strategies to gauge which suits best to your marketing goals. Responsive search ads are one such type that you need to test for the effectiveness of your PPC management campaign. Testing for responsive search ads can be challenging yet beneficial. 

Many advertisers and marketers were disheartened when Google decided to phase out the Expanded Text Ads (ETA). Yet there are plenty of opportunities for individuals willing to put RSAs to the test, particularly when combined with broad match intelligence. However, it would be complicated to understand what to do if you haven’t closely monitored these changes. 

Through this blog, we’ll walk you through three experiments you may run the next time you create a responsive search ad for a PPC campaign. 

Before we start, for all the new readers of our blog, let us first be familiar with what responsive search ads are and how they work.

How Do Responsive Search Ads Work & What Are They?

Responsive Search Ads (RSA) are an ad type where an advertiser can write multiple titles/headlines and descriptions for one search engine ad. Unlike expanded text ads, you can provide up to 15 titles and 4 descriptions for a single search ad. Responsive search ads aim to provide users with different combinations of headlines and descriptions depending on their individual queries and search history. The more headlines and descriptions you add, the more chances Google Ads has to serve advertisements that more closely match the search queries of your potential customers, which can enhance the effectiveness of your ad campaign.

Google will display 32,760 different variations of the advertisement by shuffling between the titles and descriptions. A maximum of 3 headlines and 2 descriptions can be chosen from each ad to appear in various arrangements and orders. When a user’s search term properly or closely matches a portion of your ad, that portion may automatically appear in bold. The most effective title and description combination will then be chosen by the search engine and used most often. 

Responsive Search Ads Work

RSAs are a simple and strategic way to develop an efficient PPC marketing plan. You can boost customer engagement and reach more potential buyers through responsive search ads.

What Should You Know About Responsive Search Ads Testing?

Initially, with ETA testing, you’d run two (or more) ads with fixed headlines and descriptions, compare their CTRs (click-through rates), or maybe keep track of any conversions that occurred on the landing page. Testing with ETA was not too difficult. 

This strategy worked because ETA typically:

  • Presented itself consistently in the same way to every user.
  • They both answered the same questions.
  • Impressions didn’t matter as much in the testing.

When all other factors are kept constant, an RSA receives 4X more impressions than an ETA.

In other words,

  • Due to higher ad rank, RSAs serve a lot more queries.
  • A dip in conversion rate results from the increase in impressions.
  • Marketing professionals should keep an eye on conversions per impression (manual bidding) or conversions that fall within a target cost per acquisition (CPA)/return on ad spend (ROAS).

Let’s now get started with the experiments:

Experiment No. 1: Mix-And-Match v/s Pinning

Examining the impact of pinning on your campaigns should be the first test you should conduct. 

To determine which headlines and descriptions elicit the best response from readers, RSAs test numerous combinations. While by pinning, you can instruct Google where the headline and description should appear. 

How To Run This Experiment?

Create two similar responsive search ads. You can then add 15 headlines and 4 descriptions as you like to each ad. Ensure that all the headlines and descriptions are the same in both ads.

Once you’re done with this, pin a few headlines and descriptions in one ad while leaving the other unaltered.


Research has proved RSAs with all elements pinned can get excellent CTR and conversion rates, but when you don’t pin (or pin sparingly), these rates increase even more.

Experiment No. 2: Segmenting By Message

The second experiment we have is segmenting by message, and it is likely the most crucial component of RSA testing. 

The importance of messaging has recently increased due to ad platforms managing more campaigns through automation.

How To Run This Experiment?

As you know, you can design a maximum of 3 RSAs per ad group. Therefore, for this experiment, you might consider reaching a peak.

Each ad group should use a broad match and have a unique theme built around a set of keywords. You might address different personas, pain points, or even suggestions for topics.


You should learn from this experiment what topics and queries generate responses. Understanding what your clients seek and want to hear is crucial. Since everyone at Google utilizes the same underlying automation, it’s one way to level the playing field and get an advantage over your rivals.

Experiment No. 3: Pseudo-ETAs With A Control RSA

Even though it could be argued that re-creating ETAs by pinning nullifies the purpose of RSAs, some advertisers continue to yearn for that control. Chris Ridley deserves credit for coming up with this strategy of dealing with the restriction of three RSAs per ad group.

How To Run This Experiment?

For this experiment, design two pseudo-ETAs by pinning two descriptions and three headlines. The third advertisement is an actual RSA in which nothing is pinned, and you use the available space to test out fresh messaging.


You can use this experiment to benchmark the effectiveness of pseudo-ETAs (particularly in terms of CTR). This can be useful for advertisers who constantly need to display specific information, such as those working in regulated industries.

When Used Correctly, RSAs Drives Better Performance

Unfortunately, Google won’t tell you which ad appears for a specific query. Also, it doesn’t show performance based on headlines and descriptions. While determining RSA performance involves a bit of guesswork, you can still structure your campaigns using Google’s data.

RSAs Drives Better Performance

What Are The Elements You Should Keep In Mind While Structuring RSAs?

  • Despite the fact that Google provides feedback through ad strength, you still shouldn’t feel compelled to adjust your advertising per Google’s suggestions to increase your ad strength score.
  • It might be tempting to stuff your ads with several headlines and descriptions, but remember that the more elements, the more guesswork is involved.
  • The structure and messaging are accountable for half of the campaigns’ results. Therefore, structure your RSA account with all the fundamentals, including positioning and good website experience. Also, collaborate with your clients and stakeholders to establish realistic expectations.


RSAs are one of the best illustrations of Google’s automation innovations, which call for a mindset shift. However, you need to be patient while optimizing your campaign’s outer edges (including the structure, creative, and data). With RSAs, there’s a great opportunity for PPC agencies with bright and imaginative advertisers to prosper.

Google Ads

Introducing New Features for Responsive Search Ads

Responsive search ads are the type of ads which allows you to present more information about the product/service by allowing you to write in multiple headlines and descriptions. It is quite different from the traditional type of ads where the information had to be so brief in order to write within 1 ad text. 

In responsive ads you can write upto 15 headlines and upto 4 different descriptions. The process in responsive ads is quite simple, while creating responsive search ads, entering numbers of headlines and descriptions overtime, Google will automatically test different combinations and learn which one works the best.

If you make your ad content quite relevant or close to the potential customers’ search terms responsive ads tend to improve your campaign’s performance.

Responsive search ads are very beneficial because one can deliver more pieces of information to the customers and also saves time by allowing them to provide multiple headlines and descriptions, which you can make more better by customising them according to the customers location and interest. 

Responsive search ads

Recently, Google has  added new features to responsive search ads which one cannot definitely ignore! Read them as follows:

  • Location insertion:

This feature is geographically and relevancy based. The goal is to deliver more relevant responsive ads, therefore this feature will help in creating relevant responsive search ads on the grounds of its new feature ‘location insertion.’ 

Location insertion helps in adding where your product or service is offered. This it is setup your ad will include information about city, state or country names based on the location of the potential customers or it can also be the areas of their interest.

Anonymized and aggregated reports helps you to have a look on the number of times your ad is shown using the location insertion feature. 

In addition to the same, “countdown customizers” helps you to promote sales and events in your responsive search ads. For instance, you own a bakery shop and you’ve put in some offers but do not have time to promote them.

Here, based on this feature your ad will automatically show how much time is left on the deal making sure your potential customers don’t miss out on your special offer. 

  • Communication is the key:

It is said communication is the key to spread the word! It is important that when you’re creating an ad, the potential customers should get to know the ways how they can shop with you. This feature has introduced something that everyone needs, Suggestions!

In order to create the best informative ads, Google has improved the suggestions you see when writing headlines and descriptions. Under his feature, when you’ll create a responsive search ad, you’ll see new categories that recommend commonly used phrases which highlight online availability as well as shipping and return options for your business. 

The best part is when you’ve added the final URL to your ad, you can have a look at the updated headline and description suggestions that have been modified in context to your business based on your site and existing ads. 

Google search advertising
  • Manage ads at scale and unlock more insights:

Indeed it is very true what Google quoted while introducing these new features, “over 80% of the digital marketers time is spent on manual tasks like reporting, while only 20% is spent on strategy.”  As a solution especially to save more time, Google has introduced “Cross-campaign asset reporting.”

Based on this feature now a person will be able to review numbers of assets at once, which will help you to understand what is related more with your customers, without wasting much time. Also, as a part of this update Google also mentioned that asset performance reporting is now available for description lines. 

Talking about cross-campaign asset reporting, it also helps you to have insights on the campaign level. With this feature one will be able figure out which assets to replace and which assets are more effective to make your ads perform better. 

In addition to this feature, “Recommendation” feature has also been introduced. This feature is introduced in order to make the responsive search ads better, when their Ad strength is below good.

This feature will help in better optimization, therefore, when checking your accounts optimization score make sure to look for this recommendation, in order to help you identify opportunities that can improve your responsive search ads.