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Google Adds New Features to Responsive Search Ads

Google is adding new features to RSA ad copy options with dynamic features, and increasing its helpfulness with cross-campaign results and asset suggestions.

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Google has announced it’s increasing the features of their responsive ads today by adding two features: location insertion and countdown customizers.

There are also now improved copy suggestions and recommendations, and the launch of cross-campaign asset reporting.

What are Responsive Search Ads?

Commonly called “RSAs,” this ad type automatically assembles the ad copy a user sees by bringing together copy elements the advertiser specifies.

In normal ads, full ad copy must be written out for each version to be tested. RSAs takes the heavy lifting out of that process by breaking the components of a text ad into “assets.”

It essentially treats headlines and body copy as two different elements or “asset,” where versions of each are listed out. The Ads system then pulls an asset from each list (headline and body copy), and combines them to make a full text ad.

It provides for testing at scale, and gives fast insights into which copy and combinations are resonating for searchers.

RSAs can feel limiting to some advertisers, since the copy has to be mix and match. Overly themed text ad types may struggle if there’s a strict relationship between headlines and body copy that have to be adhered to.

However, they are a great way to test for things like different value propositions, sale messaging, and other items to learn the phrasing users prefer.

Location Extension Insertion

This feature allows the advertiser to insert a placeholder telling Google to display the City, State or Country based on where the potential customer is searching from, or where they’re interested in. (This is based on your campaign’s location targeting type.)

It’s  inserted with the command {LOCATION(City)} reference, where “city” can be changed out for State or Country via a radio button selection:

Countdown Customizers

Frequently used for things like creating urgency around sales, Countdowns let the advertiser enter an end date for something. The ad then calculates the amount of time left between that specific time and when the searcher sees the ad, updating it dynamically.

The Countdown time specification can be adjusted to the timezone of the searcher, or set at a global level to end without making any timezone adjustments. (For example, if something ends at 1am on the east coast, it would still end at 10pm for the west coast searcher.)

Countdown options are brought up by typing in the {COUNTDOWN command. A menu will pop up walks the user through the details, and populates the rest of the command based on those choices.

New Copy Asset Suggestions

When creating RSAs, the system populates a dropdown of suggested copy to test. This feature has been updated for the Covid-19 era, with new suggestions for things like Contactless delivery and curbside orders.

Adding your final URL to your ad copy unlocks additional options based on what Google discerns your offerings are.

Cross-Campaign Asset Reporting

To aggregate results per asset faster, Google Ads now also offers cross-campaign reporting for these copy assets. This aggregates the data for each asset, regardless of campaign, and gives the user one snapshot of total performance.

This can be helpful to understand best performers much faster, versus going into each ad group or campaign separately to see results. For small advertisers that have tinier amounts of data per asset, this combines all the data for seeing larger trends.

The full announcement of these features are on Google’s blog.

Images courtesy of Google

Category News PPC
Susan Wenograd Consultant

Susan is the Paid Media Reporter for Search Engine Journal. A marketing veteran of almost 20 years, she has managed ...

Google Adds New Features to Responsive Search Ads

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