Responsive Search Ads: 5 Best Practices for Google Ads PPC Search Campaigns

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What are responsive search ads?


Responsive search ads are very flexible ads that automatically adapt to show the right message to the right customer. You enter multiple headlines and descriptions when creating the ad. Google’s machine learning systems will mix headlines and descriptions and test different combinations of the ads to learn which performs best over time. The most relevant message will be shown to the customer.


Responsive search ads are the default ad type in Google Ads Pay Per Click (PPC) search campaigns as of February 18, 2021. This change isn’t surprising, considering Google’s increased focus on automation in Google Ads.


Since responsive search ads adapt their content to show the most relevant message to match customer search terms, they help you reach more customers and may help to increase conversion rates and campaign performance. According to Google, advertisers who use responsive search ads in their ad groups can achieve an increase of up to 10% more clicks and conversions as compared to standard text ads.

But responsive search ads have many more benefits:

  • Mobile-friendly: They are very flexible and can adapt to fit devices of different widths. Most online searches are made on mobile devices. These ads can adapt to show fewer headlines and descriptions on mobile devices.
  • Save time in testing: By setting up responsive search ads with multiple combinations of assets, they save time both in writing and testing multiple versions of ads.
  • Reach more customers: Having multiple ad combinations and keywords helps to improve search relevance since there are more headlines to match customer search terms. This helps you reach more customers and compete in more auctions.
  • Target specific geo locations: Some of the headlines used in the ads can target specific cities and customer locations. This can help to target local customers in specific geographic locations.
  • Available in all languages: Responsive search ads are available in all languages to all advertisers.

Here is an example of a responsive search ad from Google search results:

How to set up responsive search ads in your Google Ads PPC search campaign

Sign into your Google Ads PPC account and select Responsive Search Ad from the Ad menu:

  1. Select Ads and extensions in the left menu
  2. Click on the blue plus button on the top
  3. Select Responsive Search Ad in the menu
Select responsive search ad from the Ad menu

Now you can enter the headlines and descriptions and the landing page for the responsive search ad:


  1. Select a Search Campaign
  2. Select an Ad Group
  3. Enter the Final URL ( this is the landing page URL).
  4. Enter the display paths for the Display URL (this is optional).
  5. Enter at least 5 unique headlines. The minimum is 3 and the maximum is 15. The tool will suggest keywords from the ad group to include in the headlines.
  6. Enter at least 2 unique descriptions. The minimum is 2 and the maximum is 4.
  7. As you create the ad, an ad strength indicator will indicate the ad strength.
  8. As you type the ad, you will see a preview of the Ad in different combinations in the preview panel.
  9. Save the ad

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