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Google Responsive Search Ads Now The Default Ad Type

Google Responsive Search Ads Now the Default Ad Type

In August 2021, Google announced that as of June 30, 2022, it would be dropping the use of expanded text ads (ETAs) in favor of responsive search ads (RSAs). Responsive search ads aren’t particularly new—Google first launched them in 2018. But the search giant’s latest change to Google Ads will have an impact on your business’s online marketing strategy and how you adapt to shifting marketing trends.

Smart WSI Marketing is an Edmonton-based internet marketing company that can help you prepare for the coming change and determine which of your internet marketing campaigns will need new ads written. Our agency can start incorporating RSAs into your current digital marketing strategy, ensuring you get the best performance from your online advertising efforts. Call us today to review your overall digital marketing strategy.

Expanded Text Ads vs. Responsive Search Ads

First, let’s quickly review the basics of ETAs and RSAs:

  • Expanded text ads have three headlines and two descriptions and, because they’re static, don’t change once your text is inserted in Google Ad Manager.
  • Responsive search ads also have three headlines and two descriptions, but unlike with ETAs, Google’s algorithm automatically generates RSAs by focusing on key phrases and putting them in an order that makes sense to end-users.

The change from ETAs to RSAs means there are now only two options when you want to create a new Google Ad:

  1. Responsive Search Ads
  2. Call Ads

ETAs will remain an option but choosing them is “hidden” within the option to create a new RSA.

Google’s three primary reasons for changing the default ad type are:

  1. Improved performance. Recent Google updates reflect a shift toward automation. While some internet marketing agencies say this gives them less control over their campaigns, Google believes machine learning will improve flexibility, clicks, and conversions.
  2. Adapting to consumer behavior. The more tech-savvy consumers become, the more Google changes to meet their needs and priorities. The search provider says RSAs give brands a better way to adapt to shifting market trends.
  3. Streamlined account management. When brands use RSAs, Google’s machine learning mechanisms have more to work with. This allows Google to make more recommendations related to account performance.

As big as the announcement may seem, the good news is you don’t need to start completely overhauling your 2022 marketing strategy. Still, the change will have a far-reaching impact on how digital marketing is done moving forward.

The Pros and Cons of Responsive Search Ads

Do RSAs perform better than ETAs? Google says they do, as they deliver better responses to customer searches. And, the company says, RSAs allow 90% coverage for internet users worldwide.

Other advantages RSAs have over ETAs include:

  • It’s possible to test multiple images and text with a single ad.
  • There’s no need to create different banners because Google automatically generates ads in various formats for you.
  • A higher click-through rate (CTR) that translates into a lower cost per click (CPC).
  • The ads adapt to the screen size of a user’s device.

Google estimates that brands get 10% more conversions when they use RSAs, a claim backed up by outside research performed by Search Engine Journal.

RSAs do have some limitations, including that Google automatically creates them. That can result in ads from different brands looking alike, which could lead to lower conversion rates. Plus, you have no control over the text and images, and Google doesn’t yet provide any data regarding the format and combinations, just a campaign’s overall performance.

If you want your brand to stand out from your competitors when using RSAs, you’ll still want to create personalized ads to ensure optimal performance.

Responsive Search Ads: The Final Verdict

Depending on your online marketing campaign objectives, RSAs can be a terrific way to stay current with customer expectations and provide better user experiences. Done right, you should enjoy better performance, see more conversions, and save time and money on your digital marketing efforts.

Smart WSI Marketing is an Edmonton digital marketing agency providing a broad range of digital solutions to solve your business’s online marketing challenges. Contact us today to learn more about automating your Google Ad campaigns and how we can work with you to ensure your ads are achieving the best performance possible.

Lynne team member
Lynne Motkoski, Digital Marketing Strategist
Specialty: Digital Marketing Strategies
Education: MA Communications & Technology, BComm [U Alberta]
Author: The Online Marketing Handbook for Busy Entrepreneurs (coming soon)

Lynne is known for her strategic approach to marketing communications, technologies, and lead generation. She has a passion for education, keeping up with current marketing trends and practices, and helping clients keep ahead of their competition.

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