When Google released Responsive Search Ads, my first reaction was, “great! I finally have enough characters to write decent copy!”. That reaction was short-lived once I found myself staring at 15 blank headline columns in Excel. How many ways can I say “Buy These Jeans”? I began to begrudge RSAs, thinking them excessive and annoying. I knew this was the way of the future but Google did not have me sold yet.

Slowly I began to introduce them to my accounts, one campaign at a time. And I never aimed for 15 headlines. I told myself to get to 9 and call it “good enough”. Then I spoke to someone at Google who explained that the point is not to say “Buy These Jeans” 15 different ways, but instead to add depth and more information. I began to see headlines as similar to Callout Extensions; a chance to highlight features, benefits, and branding. So with that in mind, I rolled up my sleeves and went to work.

Oh hey, quick trick: when you are in Google Ads Editor, do the following and make your ad copy-writing life easier:

  1. Open Editor
  2. Go to Ads and then Expanded Text Ads
  3. Highlight all of your Ads in the Ad Groups you need to create ETAs for
  4. Go to the top right corner and select “Export As”
  5. Select Export As Responsive Search Ads

This action downloads your current ETAs in a spreadsheet that has all the columns needed for loading ads as Responsive Search Ads. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Now back to my story of RSA redemption.

I dropped 1 responsive ad in each ad group and let it run, optimizing bids and budgets over the course of 45 days. I went to check in on ad performance, not expecting much.

Boy oh boy was I surprised! RSAs were crushing it!

Now, this is just one account. But it gives me good hope. And it means I should probably stop rolling my eyes when Google pushes RSA coverage.

So, here are my best tips for writing exceptional RSAs:

  • Write the first 3 headlines and first 2 description lines as if you are writing a stand-alone ad. Better yet, see the download trick above and the work is done for you.
  • Take up all the real estate. This applies to all ad formats (for the most part). Short headlines are choppy and don’t look appealing in the results page.
  • Pin the headlines and description lines that are the most important

When you are stuck at “what else can I say in this headline?” try one of the following:

  1. Treat them like longer Callout Extensions
  2. Test out “fluffier” language–language you would use in print ads, language found on your About Us section on the website.

You may think you have the most robust, well-rounded RSAs out there. But what you think is irrelevant. It is what Google thinks. And Google will let you know how you are doing. Did you know this? You can see how Google is rating your ad strength.

After you have your ads running a bit, go into the UI and filter your view to look at RSAs. Modify your columns and select Attributes and select the two boxes I have highlighted below.

Now you can see how you did your first go round and make adjustments necessary! Brilliant!

So if you like to grumble a bit when Google changes the rules of the game ever so slightly, I can relate. But I am here to tell urge you not to fight it for too long and lean into the changes. You will get better and better at writing 15 headlines and hopefully, you too can reap the rewards of implementing these across your campaigns.