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Google Responsive Search Ads Strategies and Templates

Published on: December 7 2022 by Paid Media Pros

Google Responsive Search Ads Strategies and Templates

The above is a brief introduction to Google Responsive Search Ads Strategies and Templates.

Let's move on to the first section of Google Responsive Search Ads Strategies and Templates!

Google Responsive Search Ads Strategies and Templates

as of this month july of 2022 responsive
search ads are now the only ad format
that we can use for google ads search
campaigns expanded text ads were retired
on june 30th of this year we can now
only really turn them on and off but we
can't edit or create any new ones now
with this change i've seen a number of
different tactiks that people have and
to be quite honest they kind of drive me
nuts because usually people end up in
one of two camps at the end of a very
big spectrum one either they try and
control every single component of the
responsive search ad effectively trying
to create expanded text ads or they go
the opposite direction and they just
think well google's taking over it
doesn't matter anyway and they throw
some half thought out components into a
responsive search ad format and just let
it run
i personally think both of those are the
wrong approach what you should have is a
more tactikal strategy where you lean
into google's machine learning but you
make sure that you're actually
strategizing and trying to control some
aspects of the responsive search ads so
in this video i'm going to give a couple
examples of both ends of the spectrum
that way you can decide if maybe you fit
into one of those camps but then i'm
going to tok through the strategy and
show you a template that i use for the
accounts that i manage so hopefully you
can be on your way to better performing
responsive search ads
the first thing i want to do before we
get into any of the strategies for
responsive search ads is to give a
tangible example of what i mean by those
two extreme ends of the spectrum so i'm
in our google ads placeholder account
and i'm already in a search campaign and
i'm going to come over here to create a
new ad i'm going to click the blue plus
button and then click responsive search
for this example i'm going to leave the
final url the same i'm going to skip
over the display path but you can see
that there are already some headlines
and some descriptions in the interface
so the first example i want to give you
of one of the ends of the spectrum is
somebody who is being a control freak
when it comes down to it they're still
holding on tight to the strategies that
they learned from expanded text ads and
maybe even text ads before that and
they're trying to make their responsive
search ads as close to etas as they
possibly can to launch any ad on google
ads you only need to have three
headlines and two descriptions that's
because that's the minimum amount that
you would need for an expanded text ad
so the control freak will run with only
that setup and the default that google
ads has given me here as i mentioned
with the three headlines two
descriptions down here is exactly that
sometimes rather than leaving this up to
google to make different variants as you
can see off to the right this preview
every time it refreshes the headlines
are in a different order the
descriptions are in a different spot in
some instances the control freak will
actually go a little bit further and
instead of letting google decide which
rotation they want these in they'll
actually come over here and pin
everything into a specific spot so that
first headline will be pin in position
one the second headline pinned in
position two the third one pinned in
position three and then scroll down and
they can do the same thing with
descriptions they can show this in
position one and only show in position
two so now what we've done is we've
basically made it so that there is no
dynamic capabilities within this
responsive search ad because there are
only three headlines and two
descriptions and everything is pinned
into a certain location just like with
your expanded text ads it does not mean
that this headline three will always
show and it does not mean that
description two will show but it means
that every time this ad is eligible for
the auction you will have at least
headline one and headline two and then
description one in the spots that we
have and as you can see over here off to
the right the preview is no longer
changing but it is still counting
between the variants there just are no
variants for it to show so rather than
showing a number of different versions
with different headlines and different
orders it's cycling through different
options but there just aren't any
options because everything is pinned now
while this might feel like a good use of
responsive search ads to get you close
back to where expanded text ads were
with the control that you had this
really ends up being pretty
short-sighted because although we might
not like to admit it google does have a
lot of machine learning behind the
scenes that we advertisers simply don't
know enough about we can't have any
insight into it and even if i might
think from time to time that google
overstates the intelligence that it has
behind a user's intent it still has more
than we would know in any given scenario
so locking our ad copy in this
specifically with this type of ad format
isn't leveraging some of the machine
learning that we can use from the google
platform so that's one type of
advertiser the control freak on the
complete opposite end of the spectrum is
the person who is just throwing anything
they possibly can in a responsive search
ad and has no strategy toward it so let
me clear all this out i'm going to put
in a number of different headlines and
descriptions and i'll show you what it
looks like when there is just no
strategy involved and no control being
leveraged whatsoever
now i've added in nine different
headlines and i've filled out the four
separate descriptions
you can see here that none of these are
pinned and there are a number of
different types of headlines that i've
used for this example i'm only really
going to look at the headlines because
the descriptions are a little bit longer
harder to convey the point but somebody
who advertises like this that doesn't
have any strategy behind it will usually
have a larger number of headlines which
i'm not opposed to nine if anything i
usually put in 12 to 15 headlines myself
but you'll notike that none of them are
pinned and some of them can end up being
really close to each other right here
we've got paid media pros and then down
here there's paid media pros on youtube
so hypothetikally we could end up having
headlines that end up repeating that and
actually i just notiked that the preview
off to the side is actually capturing
two of the different calls to action
subscribe on youtube and subscribe to
the channel so you can see here that a
potential variant of this responsive
search ad is paid media pros subscribe
to the channel and subscribe on youtube
it could show up like that which is not
really beneficial to the user you don't
need both calls to action in headline
two and headline three this is redundant
messaging but it is useful to let google
choose between subscribe on youtube
verse subscribe to the channel and see
which one works best this is where that
machine learning can be useful in trying
to make some slight tweaks based on user
preferences that we advertisers just
won't know the difference between i
personally don't care about the
difference in the language of subscribe
on youtube verse subscribe to the
channel but google might have some
insight that a certain user does prefer
one set of language over the other and
can dynamically show that to any given
user so you've seen the highly
controlled version of responsive search
ads you've also seen what can happen
when you don't put any strategy and
thinking behind your responsive search
ads so now rather than spending the rest
of the time in google ads i want to
spend a good amount of time in a google
sheet and show you the overview of the
strategy that i employ in the accounts
that i manage
just like with the last example where
there's no control really i'm going to
focus only on the headlines for this
strategy but just know that the
descriptions are going to be effectively
the same process just slightly different
text that you end up coming up with over
the past decade plus that i've been
running ads on google ads even when it
was called adwords i always latched on
to the idea that each headline for each
ad copy or each ad variant needed to
lean in specifically to
one of a number of different categories
of messaging to convey your brand to
other people the list that i'm going to
tok about today certainly is not
extensive but this will give you an idea
of what i mean when it comes to
categories the first is brand think
about this as when you put in your brand
name into one of your headlines in the
example i showed just a little bit ago
that's where it said paid media pros
that's our brand name that's what we
would put as a headline the second one
is going to be keywords if somebody
typed in paid media videos then we can
put in our headlines ppc videos on
youtube something like that keywords are
where you're trying to reflect what the
user typed in to let them know you're in
the right spot third is call to action
it's always important to make sure you
include a call to action in your ad copy
and i've always felt that at least one
headline and at least half of your
descriptions for responsive search ads
need to have some sort of call to action
in them to make sure the user knows
what's expected of them on the landing
page and what they're walking into the
next two are going to be two different
ways of explaining the value you can
provide so the first is going to be
benefits for our videos the benefit is
that we tell you how to use the
strategies in the platform so you don't
have to learn it yourself you make less
mistakes you can probably learn quicker
and you're learning from a set of
professionals next is features features
are different than benefits because
features are effectively descriptors the
benefit of paid media pros is that you
learn more but a feature would be that
we have new videos that come out every
week and then the last one i'll use for
this is going to be social proof think
about this as star ratings as different
reviews people have given in our example
i'm going to use the subscriber count so
the first thing i do is map out all of
these different groups that i think is
appropriate for each brand that i work
with sometimes some are not appropriate
social proof might not fit for everybody
but there could probably be another
category that takes that place again
this is not an exhaustive list so think
about what works for you now i'm going
to jump ahead and fill in a bunch of
different headlines for each of these
now each of these different categories
has three different headlines to support
it some like the brand and keywords are
pretty similar to each other they're
only slight variations whereas other
groups like the features and the calls
to action are a bit different the
messages aren't just a slight tweak
within the features we tok about the
number of videos videos coming out each
week the types of channels that we put
videos together for there's a lot of
variants within that group so now that
we have the headline examples that we
can use we need to start to figure out
how to utilize these in a responsive
search ad especially considering that
some of these are slight variations on
each other so rather than just adding
all of these into a responsive search ad
and letting it run we need to take one
more step and come up with ad templates
to utilize so let me show you what those
look like here are three examples i came
up with really quickly in template one
we want to use brand messages in
headline one social proof messages in
headline two and we want to use calls to
action in headline three template two
goes keyword call to action features
template three is benefits brand call to
action there's no right or wrong version
of this and if anything the templates
are effectively what you're testing more
so than the individual headlines within
each of them that could be a different
stage later on you could get a lot more
granular but for the sake of this video
and this strategy overview what we're
really testing are the templates more so
than anything else so let's say for this
video we want to use template one in our
ad creative i'm gonna go back and forth
between this sheet and the google ads
interface and show you how i would set
up this template one for a responsive
search ad for paid media pros i've
cleared everything out and now google's
mad at me but in our template 1 headline
1 is intended to be brand messaging so
we have three different variants of
brand messaging so let me carry those
over real quick and since we want to
keep brand messaging only in headline 1
to follow this template because you can
see over here the ad preview is showing
all of our brand messages in the same
preview and that's not what we want so
to keep brand messaging in headline one
we need to pin them all in headline one
now you can see that on the preview it
only shows paid media pros in headline
one but headline two and headline three
are blank so our description one and two
but i think that's a little bit of a
glitch but the headlines are blank
because we only have messaging pinned in
headline one and nothing is associated
with headline two and three or nothing
is unpinned a common question we get is
can you pin multiple different headlines
in the same position the answer is yes
effectively what you're doing is telling
google you can rotate and use your
machine learning between these three ad
messages in headline one but nothing
else can show up in headline one and we
only want these to be in that position
we don't want these to show up in any
position other than headline one so
you're still leveraging google's machine
learning but in a much more focused way
now to continue setting up template one
i need to go grab the next set of
messaging that i want to put in a
headline two which is going to be social
proof so i'll get those set up and then
i'll also set up the call to action
which is headline three i tried to
scroll so you can see all of them on
this screen but now i have all three
brand messages pinned to headline one
all three of our social proof pinned to
headline two and all three of our calls
to action pinned in headline three so
any of the ad examples that rotate in
the ad preview are going to have the
different variants but in their assigned
locations so that our ad messaging will
read brand message in headline one
social proof and headline two and call
to action in headline three even if we
don't know which headline one two or
three based on the ones we've provided
is gonna show up in any given
circumstance as i mentioned with this
strategy the next step would be to do
something along the same lines as
descriptions maybe you operate with the
template that has brand social proof
call to action and then you also have
descriptions lines one and two down here
as part of that template you could
reiterate some of the same messages here
just expanded in the descriptions or you
could start to take some messaging from
other groups and add those in and be
able to fill out a little bit more
robust picture of your brand no matter
which strategy you go with you can then
save this ad once you're finished with
it and now we have two different ad
variants in this ad group since
responsive search ads end up using a
number of different dynamic capabilities
it can be hard to know at a glance which
one is which so when i put together my
ad testing strategy i lean into the
template guide that we have and i use
labels to name things with the template
that i used if you've watched a number
of videos that i've put together on this
channel you know that i'm a stikler for
naming convention and this is an example
of when i'm doing a very poor job
template one is not a good naming
convention but i've toked about it the
entire video is template one so i'm
going to continue that example here so
the way that i would name these
different ad variants would be as
follows i would check the box next to
the new one i would add a label create a
new one and then i'll give it the name
of add template one since labels can be
applied at all different levels within
the account i usually put some sort of
indicator whether it's an ad keyword ad
group campaign just so i know what i'm
looking at when i'm looking at all the
labels together so this new one is going
to be template 1 and then click apply to
add it then for the original ad i would
also create a label that was probably
just going to be called original ad
again this is a terrible example of
naming convention but you get the gist
of it so i'm going to create and apply
it and now i'm going to adjust my
columns so i can see my labels
under attributes
label is already selected great so i'm
just going to move it to a place that we
can see it just a little bit better and
then click apply but now with the labels
added you can see the performance of
each ad within the ad group but if you
have the same ads or similar messaging
or similar templates utilized across
multiple different ad groups or
campaigns you can use the same label and
you can use a higher report to determine
performance you can come up here into
reports put a predefined dimensions
the labels report for the ad level
and now you can see even though they
don't have any performance we can see
the add original verse add template one
and this will roll up all of the
performance across all ads whether
they're in the same or different ad
groups that have the label so this is
great for aggregate ad copy testing even
if your campaigns or ad groups are
advertising different things you could
still determine which ad template
performs best for your account and be
able to utilize that moving forward
i want to end on this screen just so you
can take another look at the type of
template work that i would put together
for any account overall the strategy is
not too terribly difficult if anything i
find it a lot easier to come up with
three or four different brand keyword
call to action headlines all this stuff
if i know the categories that i'm trying
to test and then typically depending on
what i come up with at this first stage
here that's how i decide what templates
i think will make the most sense i might
think that some of the headlines in this
brand group would go really well with
some of the benefits but maybe not as
much with some of the social proof for
some reason so i might craft a template
to kind of keep those messages apart
from each other just a bit but it all
depends on the companies you're working
with the products or services that
you're advertising and how that ad
should flow from start to finish for the
user hopefully this has given you a
little bit more of a framework to use
when putting together responsive search
ads so you're not trying to keep
everything way too tight like we used to
have with expanded text ads and you're
also not just throwing your hands up in
frustration and putting a bunch of stuff
in there that doesn't make any sense we
can absolutely still retain a lot of
strategy with responsive search ads
while also leaning into some of the
machine learning that can help us get
incremental performance out of our
google ads responsive search ads just
like with anything else if you have any
questions about this responsive search
ad template or strategy or anything else
pertaining to the responsive search ad
switchover we would love to hear about
it in the comments below thanks for
watching our video if you thought it was
useful give us a thumbs up below we
release a new video at least once a week
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