About responsive search ads

About responsive search ads

Learn how to set up responsive search ads to optimize ad performance

Responsive search ads make creating ads easier by eliminating the need to figure out which headlines and descriptions work well together. You provide up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions, and using these, Microsoft Advertising will mix and match the most optimal combinations to create effective ads for potential customers.

Analyzing ad performance to determine which ads perform best is also taken care of with responsive search ads. The best performing ad combinations are automatically identified and reported to you, while the ineffective ads aren’t shown again. Adapting your ad’s content to match what potential customers are searching for can help to improve your campaign’s performance.

Best practices for responsive search ads

  • Create responsive search ads in existing ad groups. For optimal performance, we recommend having 2-3 text ads and 1 responsive text ad in an ad group. Please note that there is a limit of 3 enabled responsive search ads per ad group.
  • Provide as many assets as possible. Aim to provide at least 8-10 distinct headlines that don’t contain similar phrases. Use a combination of short and long headlines to maximize space on any device. Create titles that are related to your keywords and use at least 1 brand title. Use a single dynamic keyword insertion.
  • Make content distinct. Avoid repetitive lanugage and create distinct descriptions. Include additional product or service benefits and features. Include a clear call-to-action for customers. Include shipping and return information.
  • Avoid pinning headlines or descriptions, if possible. Pinning restricts the number of header or descriptions combinations to match a customer's search.
  • Combine auto-bidding to optimize your target metrics.
Note

We're redesigning Microsoft Advertising, so the steps to complete a task may be different based on the version you're using. Learn more about the redesign and which version you're using.

Create a new responsive search ad expando image
  1. From the main menu on the left, click All campaigns.
  2. From the page menu, click Ads&extensions.
  3. Click Create ad, and then select an ad group.
  4. For Ad type, select Responsive search ad.
  5. Enter your landing page URL in the Final URL box.
  6. Enter a minimum of 5 headlines (and up to 15 headlines), with a maximum of 30 characters each. You can also select up to 3 headlines to pin to the first, second, or third position.
  7. Enter up to 4 descriptions, with a maximum of 90 characters each. You can also select up to 2 descriptions to pin to the first or second position.
  8. Click Save.
  1. Click Campaigns along the top of the page.
  2. Click the Ads tab, click Create ad, and then select an ad group.
  3. For Ad type, select Responsive search ad.
  4. Enter your landing page URL in the Final URL box.
  5. Enter a minimum of 5 headlines (and up to 15 headlines), with a maximum of 30 characters each. You can also select up to 3 headlines to pin to the first, second, or third position.
  6. Enter up to 4 descriptions, with a maximum of 90 characters each. You can also select up to 2 descriptions to pin to the first or second position.
  7. Click Save.
Update an existing responsive search adexpando image
  1. From the main menu on the left, click All campaigns.
  2. From the page menu, click Ads&extensions.
  3. Select the ad you want to edit from the table and click Edit > Change ads.
  4. Make your changes and click Save.
  1. Click Campaigns along the top of the page.
  2. Click the Ads tab.
  3. Click the pencil icon in the Ad column of the ad you want to update.
  4. Make your changes and click Save.
Update multiple responsive search ads at the same time expando image
  1. From the main menu on the left, click All campaigns.
  2. From the page menu, click Ads&extensions.
  3. Select the ad you want to edit from the table and click Edit > Change ads.
  4. To replace text in multiple ads:
    1. In the Action list, choose Find and replace text.
    2. In the Find box, enter the text you want to replace.
    3. In the Replace with box, enter the new text you want to use.
    4. Click Save.
  5. To add more headlines or descriptions:
    1. In the Action list, choose Add and select Headlines or Descriptions.
    2. Enter the new headlines or descriptions text.
    3. Click Save.
  6. To remove headlines or descriptions:
    1. In the Action list, choose Remove and select Headlines or Descriptions.
    2. Select Contains, Equals, or Starts with and enter the text to find the headlines or descriptions you want to remove.
    3. Click Save.
  7. To change current pin settings:
    1. In the Action list, choose Pin and select Headlines or Descriptions.
    2. Select Contains, Equals, or Starts with and enter the text to find the headlines or descriptions you want to re-pin.
    3. In the Pin to list, select the position you want to pin the headline or description to.
    4. Click Save.
  8. Make your changes and click Save.
  1. Click Campaigns along the top of the page.
  2. Click the Ads tab.
  3. Select the checkbox next to the ads that you want to update.
  4. Click Edit, and then click Change ads.
  5. To replace text in multiple ads:
    1. In the Action list, choose Find and replace text.
    2. In the Find box, enter the text you want to replace.
    3. In the Replace with box, enter the new text you want to use.
    4. Click Save.
  6. To add more headlines or descriptions:
    1. In the Action list, choose Add and select Headlines or Descriptions.
    2. Enter the new headlines or descriptions text.
    3. Click Save.
  7. To remove headlines or descriptions:
    1. In the Action list, choose Remove and select Headlines or Descriptions.
    2. Select Contains, Equals, or Starts with and enter the text to find the headlines or descriptions you want to remove.
    3. Click Save.
  8. To change current pin settings:
    1. In the Action list, choose Pin and select Headlines or Descriptions.
    2. Select Contains, Equals, or Starts with and enter the text to find the headlines or descriptions you want to re-pin.
    3. In the Pin to list, select the position you want to pin the headline or description to.
    4. Click Save.
Using reports to track responsive search adsexpando image

You can see the following reports to see details about your responsive search ads:

  • Asset report: Shows which headlines and descriptions are being shown the most.
  • Combination report: Shows which responsive search ad combinations are being shown the most.

To view the reports:

  1. From the main menu on the left, click All campaigns.
  2. From the page menu, click Ads&extensions.
  3. Select the ad you want to edit from the table and click View asset details.
  4. Select Assets to view the headlines and descriptions impressions.
  5. Select Combinations to view the ad combinations.
  1. On the Campaigns page, select the Ads tab.
  2. Search for the responsive search ad in the table from the Ads column and click View asset details.
  3. Select Assets to view the headlines and descriptions impressions.
  4. Select Combinations to view the ad combinations.

Common questions about responsive search ads

What's the difference between responsive search ads and expanded text ads?expando image
The format for the two ad types are the same, with up to three headlines and two descriptions. Unlike expanded text ads, you can enter up to 15 headlines and four descriptions for responsive search ads. You can also pin a header or description to a specific position.
How can I monitor my responsive search ads' performance?expando image
Now that you’ve created responsive search ads, here are some ways you can see how they’re performing.
  • Track ad group metrics. Ad groups that contain both text ads and responsive search ads generally perform better, with improvements across different variables like click-through rates, conversions, and impressions.
  • Monitor performance data before and after creating responsive search ads. We recommend that you check your ad group’s performance data a week before adding responsive search ads, let them run for at least one week or more, and then check how your ad group is performing. Keep in mind that each ad should have a minimum of 1,000 impressions to be able to properly evaluate the ad’s performance.
  • Evaluate asset performance. You can view impressions by asset and combination by clicking View asset details under each responsive search ad in the table. Pay attention to the impression data and focus on updating assets with the lowest impressions to improve performance.
With the third ad title and second description, is it guaranteed that all will serve at the same time? expando image
The first and second headline and first description will always show, like they currently do for ads. With responsive search ads, your ad may show without the third headline or second description, depending on the screen size.
Will responsive search ads work with all existing ad extensions?expando image
Yes, all existing ad extensions will continue to display on responsive search ads.
What does pinning a headline or description to a specific position do?expando image

Headlines and descriptions can appear in any order, unless you pin a header or description to a specific position. The second and third descriptions are optional, in cases where ads won't fit on a specific device. We recommend that you pin positions 1 and 2 for headlines and position 1 for descriptions.

For example, if you have text you want appearing in all your responsive search ads, pin it to Description position 1. Doing so will always show the text in the first part of your ad's description. Keep in mind, though, that pinning restricts the number of header or descriptions combinations to match a customer's search.

What is ad strength?expando image
Ad strength indicates the diversity, quality, and quantity of the assets that make up a responsive search ad, ranging from "poor" to "excellent". This gets populated dynamically as you type your asset candidates and provides corresponding recommendations on how to better create your ad.

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