How to A/B Test with Google Responsive Search Ads

It does not matter how many years you have been split testing your Google Ads copy – you can always do better. Typical questions to ask are: What call to action is more effective? What product type is more preferred? What happens if you invert your headlines? If you show an ad with two different headlines where the only difference is a single word, can you predict which of the headlines your customers will choose?

These questions arise often and can usually be answered after a deep analysis of A/B testing. Typically, the testing process itself is more complicated than analyzing the results, since it costs a lot of resources and time. Testing is not easier than analyzing the result, because the creation and implementation of the tests take time and money. Google Ads has an instrument for such testing based on machine learning: it is called the Responsive Search Ad.

In this article, you will find all the information you ever need about Responsive Search Ads:
● What are they?
● What benefits will you gain by using them?
● Tips for using Responsive Search Ads

What is a Responsive Search Ad?

Responsive Search Ads are Google’s newest, automatic, and most flexible search ad format, which allows advertisers to enter several headings and descriptions in one ad. Then, Google’s machine learning will test, study, and optimize these to find the most effective headline and description combination according to the search query.

In the image below, you can see how Google selects headings and descriptions from your list to create the final ad:

Then, Google Ads optimizes and tests each option using machine learning, showing a variant of the most promising ad combinations, and learn which of them are most relevant for specific queries. This can help advertisers to create ads that are more relevant to the needs of their ideal customers. Over time, your Responsive Search Ads will show the best message to different searchers, depending on the keyword they search for, their device, past viewed pages, and a few other signals.

Google’s Responsive Search Ads will automatically test every headline in different positions to assess how they work and what results they get. This allows Google to find the best posts for each different user, keyword, and device they use

However, if you have a specific message about your business that you always want to include in your ads, you can ensure that it will always be shown in your ad by “pinning” that headline or description in the first position.

To do this, simply hover over to the right of this heading and a pin icon will appear. Clicking the icon will supply you with several different options to show your headline. This will also work with description text.

“Show this headline in any unpinned position” means that the message always shows, but may appear in headline positions 1, 2, or 3. If you want a message to always appear in a particular headline or description spot, you can specify that as well.

Keep in mind that heading 3 and description 2 are not always displayed; therefore, the messages attached to these positions will not always be part of the Responsive Search Ad.

What benefits will you gain by using Responsive Search Ads?

Automatic testing of different ad variations is done for free via Google’s
machine learning. This is much more effective compared to any manual A/B tests
because Google considers many more factors than just the click-through rate (CTR).

2. The automatic selection of the ad is customized according to the user’s browsing history, device, and other behaviors.

3. The width of ads is automatically selected, depending on the size of the screen of your potential customers, which allows you to display more content to them.
Responsive Search Ads are flexible. Smaller screens (like those on mobile phones) may show fewer components of a full Responsive Search Ad, so don’t expect to always see your 3rd headline or 2nd description.

Creating Responsive Search Ads takes a little time: you just enter options for
titles and descriptions, and Google Ads determines their most effective

Your ads are more likely to compete in auctions and show on more requests; thus,
you can reach more potential customers.

6. You can get more clicks and conversions from an audience that won’t see your text ads.

Tips for using Responsive Search Ads

1. Avoid repetitive
and boring variants of the same headline. In fact, Google won’t even show your
Responsive Search Ads if your headlines or descriptions are too similar!

2. Provide at
least 10 headlines. The more headlines you provide, the more options there are
to assemble your messages into relevant ads. This may increase the performance
of your ads.

2. Include a top
keyword in at least two of your headlines. Using Dynamic Keyword Insertion is a
good practice for the creation of Responsive Search Ads.

3. Create
headlines and descriptions with different lengths. Do not try to use all
available numbers of characters, be creative.

4. Highlight
additional products or service benefits and features, describe a problem you are
solving for your customers, or highlight shipping and return information.

5. Include at
least three headlines that do not include your keywords. Having more unique and
diverse content can help you to send the right message to your customers and
improve the performance of your ad. This will attract more attention from

6. Add at least two
distinct descriptions. Responsive Search Ads can show up to two descriptions at
a time.

7. A good
Responsive Search Ad uses a lot of unique messages that can be combined. Avoid
repetitive language or the same call to action!

8. Ad Copy can be shown in any order, so always ensure that they make sense both individually and in combination.


summary, Google Responsive Search Ads have enabled advertisers to cut their
workload and save money by reducing the time needed for the testing and management
of ad variations.

A/B testing is not needed for these types of ads, since Google’s automation
does all the testing. Therefore, you no longer have to create a series of
different ads to test and track performance, only to then having to choose the
best performing ads manually.

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