Transcript – Responsive Search Ads vs Expanded Text Ads Best Practices
Hey guys. What I want to show you in this video is the difference between Responsive Search Ads and Expanded Text Ads in Google Ads. Now, they are two different types of Ad format for Search Ads. I want to show you the difference between the two, how to leverage and utilize both of them, and to I guess give my opinion on which one should work for you and which one should work better for you in your business. Let’s get started.
First of all, I’m going to navigate to a campaign. Then I’m going to go over to the Ads and extensions tab. That’ll bring up a list of all existing text Ads. Now, of course, if you want to add a new text Ad to a campaign, all you need to do is, first of all, is select the Ad group you want to add it to, so I am just going to select this one, and then click this little blue plus button right here. I’m going to click plus, and then you have three options. You have a Responsive Search Ad, and you have text Ad as well.
Expanded Text Ads
The four used to happen is a text Ad only used to have one headline and two description lines of very low character count sadly 35 characters for each description, and then a small 25 character headline. That’s all changed now. You now have what’s called an Expanded Text Ad, and then, of course, you also see a Responsive Search Ad, which is still in beta as you can see but is another Ad format that allows you to test multiple headlines and it will essentially decide for you which ones should work best for you.
Let’s first start off with the obvious and just create a text Ad. Now, as you can see it will pre-populate with existing Ad copy from your previous Ads and you can see here the final URL, the headline one, two, and three. Then it has the, I guess, display URL path as well. Then it has two spaces for your descriptions. Now, the idea behind this Ad is that anytime you could show one two or three headlines and also one or two descriptions depending on where the Ad shows and the site of search. Google say it doesn’t guarantee all of your content will show, so essentially you should write these Ads as if only one of the descriptions will show or only if, I guess, two of the headlines would show. Don’t put any information into the third headline or second description that you need to have in your Ad. If is a really key point, make sure you put it as early on in the Ad as possible be the headline, whether it’s headline one, or description as description one. Make sure any key information goes into, I guess, either of the earliest parts of the Ad.
Now, the way this Ad works is very simple. As you can see here, it previews the Ad for you. Essentially, it’s kind of like the existing old fashioned text Ads as we used to have in Google Ads, but it just gives you a bit more space and a bit more room to play with. I guess it’s a solid Ad format and it’s kind of the main format you will see across most Google Ads campaigns. In a nutshell, it’s a very simple format to use and you can get great results by writing the right kind of Ad content you need.
Let’s go back again. We’ll discard that Ad. We’ll go through the process again, go through the campaigns. I’ll select a campaign, go into an Ad group, and then click on the blue plus again, and this time– Went to the key. Whatever goes to the added extensions tab, and then click on the blue plus button again.
Now, the second option I’m going to show you is the Responsive Search Ad. I’m going to click the Responsive Search Ad link. What you will notice is it automatically pulls in a list of headlines from my existing Ads. It automatically pulls in a display URL from existing Ads as well from that particular Ad group I’ve selected. It also shows you multiple descriptions from Ads I’ve created as well, but what you will notice is instead of having three headlines, what you’ll see here is, you will see multiple headlines. You can have tons and tons and tons of headlines here. In fact, you can add and keep adding headlines pretty much as many as you need.
Now, the thought process behind this is it’s going to be, I guess, artificial intelligence and machine learning that gives Google a chance to find the best combination of headlines to give you the best click-through rate for your Ads. Now, of course, click-through rate leaves. A high click-through rate means a higher quality score. High-quality scores mean lower CPC and, I guess, a better cost per conversion for your campaigns. So this is a really important thing to optimize and Google’s way of doing this with the new Ad format is essentially to allow you to put multiple headlines into test which combination will work best.
The idea behind it is on a particular device or particular time of day Google might understand that a particular headline works best and then show that combination to the right user at the right time on the right device giving you a better click-through rate and better results in your campaigns or at least that’s the thought behind the process of this Ad. Whether it works or not is still yet to be seen. I’ve not seen anything compelling from any campaigns I’ve run from this so far. I’ve got results in line with my existing Expanded Text Ads, and no improvement really in reality.
What you will notice here as well is, I’ve not actually touched on this yet, is the Ad strength racing here. Now, this is a racing Google gives to your Responsive Search Ads in order to make sure you’ve optimized them fully. In this example, you can see here that so far the score is poor because I need to Add more headlines. I can view ideas for headlines. I can potentially Ad automatically new headlines into the Ad just by clicking a button. Now, I’m doing it to show you, but the problem with this is that a lot of these aren’t necessarily good headlines.
Google from a machine point of view thinks they perform well. It’s taken snippets from existing Ads across my account, but in reality, it’s just not a good feature to have. It’s kind of like the automatic adding keyword feature. There’s no forethought going into it. Even though text Ads is now that’s very much creative, and writing a good Ad is very difficult in some places in order to make your Ads perform better. This is too easy to do. I think you need to spend a bit more time thinking specifically about your offerings and your position in the market to write good text Ads as opposed to using this feature. I’d advise you stay away from this feature. It could be quite a good short cut, but overall you should put more thought into writing your Ads.
Now, if I scroll down you’ll see there’s tons of topics around what I could add and is few suggestions as to benefits and things I could have as a call to action just to give you a bit of advice on writing text Ads. Now I think this is actually feature for new advertisers. If you’re new to Google and you need to understand what you need to put into your Ads in a very succinct and clear fashion, these kind of ideas are really good to show you some potential ideas and topics you can add to your text Ads. That will improve the, I guess, the response rates on the Google search results page. If people are seeing offers on your Ads, there is going to be a benefit to you because people would click your Ad over your competitors. It’s a good thing to have as a feature. This part I actually do like and I think Google have done a good job here.
Now, going back to this abstract score, you’ll see I’ve got two ticks here but yet my Ads are still ranked as poor. Now, what I would need to do is add more descriptions to my campaign. It says no description suggestions because, of course, the descriptions much harder to determine because it’s a sentence structure, so Google’s assumptions probably aren’t going to be that good in this area. Again, this is in beta so it’s probably not going to provide you even if it did work with very good descriptions because even though the machine learning is good and it’s powerful and Google have got a lot of money to invest in this area, writing a text Ad description for your specific product is something Google simply can’t nail down yet. I don’t bet against them. I’m sure they will in the future, but not yet.
In reality, in order for me to get this score higher, I will need to add multiple descriptions. I’m going to go ahead and click this dropdown for descriptions and add multiple descriptions to this campaign. I’ll come back to you guys once I’ve added a few more. As you can see I’ve only added one more description and all of a sudden my score has gone up to excellent, so it kind of gives me a bit of a worry that it went from poor to excellent with no middle ground there. Again, it’s in beta. This adds strength score is something that should be taken with a pinch of salt. It’s not perfect. This is far from perfect, in fact, but it’s a good way to kind of make sure you’ve ticked all the boxes Google likes when creating your Responsive Search Ads.
Now, again as I mentioned, I want to touch on results I’ve seen with running this Ad format vs previous formats I’ve used. I found in actual fact there’s been no difference really in my campaigns that I’ve run using this format compared to other formats. I think all it comes down to is writing a good Ad with a good headline, good description, and good USPs, and a good appeal to the person searching. I don’t think having 15 or 10 variations of the headline necessarily makes a difference because either way me writing 15 or 10 variations of my headline, my top three headlines are still going to be the best-performing ones. They’re going to contain the information the user is going to see that will trigger them to click my Ad over my competitors’. I think this feature needs a bit more expansion and is a bit more work. It’s something that’s Google have brought in with good intent. I think if the algorithm works well in terms of serving the right combination. Maybe it works for you. I’m not too sure. I’ve not seen results that are compelling to me.
I’ve seen click-through rates in my campaigns stay static, and in some cases actually, go down by using this format. I’ve actually decided to continue just testing it on smaller campaigns that doesn’t have a massive impact on, but let me know what you’re seeing. I’m interested in what you see in this Ad format. Let me know in the comments if you’ve seen success out of this format or if you’re the same as me where you’re a bit skeptical or have seen little or no results from this potentially new Ad format.
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