How To Optimize Google Responsive Search Advertisements (RSAs)


Now that RSAs (responsive search advertisements) have changed ETAs (expanded textual content advertisements) in Google Advertisements, it might be time to rethink your methods for optimizing advertisements.

Optimizing RSAs takes a complete completely different strategy than what most advertisers have been doing for years.

When you’ll nonetheless wish to use an identical methodology to resolve what textual content variations to check, the best way you go about doing a take a look at that results in statistically vital outcomes has modified.

RSA Testing Is Completely different From ETA Testing

Advert testing used to encompass A/B experiments the place a number of advert variations competed towards one another.

After accruing sufficient information for every of the contending advertisements, a winner could possibly be picked by analyzing the best metrics.

A well-liked metric to find out the profitable advert used a mixture of conversion price and clickthrough price to calculate “conversions per impression” (conv/imp).

The advert with the most effective price could possibly be declared the winner after sufficient information had accrued to permit for statistical significance.

This method for locating profitable advertisements not works for 3 causes.

Let’s check out what these are.

Cause 1: You Can Solely Check 3 RSAs Per Advert Group

Within the days of ETA advert testing, advertisers might develop their A/B take a look at into an A/B/C/D/… take a look at and preserve including extra challengers to their experiment till they reached the restrict of fifty advertisements per advert group.

Whereas I by no means met an advertiser who ran 50 concurrent advertisements in an experiment, I’ve seen many who examined 5 – 6 at a time.

However Google now caps advert teams at a most of three RSAs in order that already modifications the best way issues need to work in advert testing.

Cause 2: You Don’t Get Full Metrics For Advert Mixtures

Keep in mind that every RSA can have as much as 15 headlines and as much as 4 descriptions, so even a single RSA can now be chargeable for producing 43,680 variations.

That’s way over the 50 variations of ETAs we have been allowed to check previously.

So when a person sees an RSA, solely a subset of the headlines and descriptions submitted by the advertiser are literally proven within the advert.

What’s extra, which particular headlines and descriptions are proven modifications from public sale to public sale.

When evaluating the efficiency of two RSAs to at least one one other, you’re actually evaluating the efficiency of 43,680 prospects of advert A to 43,680 prospects of advert B.

That signifies that even should you discover advert A to be the winner, there are a number of uncontrolled variables in your experiment that invalidate any outcomes it’s possible you’ll discover.

Ad combinations reports in Google AdsAdvert mixtures stories in Google Advertisements present which mixtures of RSA property are proven as advertisements. Screenshot by creator, 2022.

To get extra helpful information, you’d have to have a look at the mixtures report which exhibits precisely which headlines and descriptions have been mixed for every advert.

However the issue with this information is that Google solely shares the variety of impressions.

And to calculate the profitable advert, we have to learn about CTR and conversion price, each metrics that we not get from Google at this degree of granularity.

Cause 3: Advert Group Impressions Now Rely As A lot On The Advert As The Key phrases

However perhaps probably the most shocking component of why advert testing methodology must evolve is that the outdated strategies have been inbuilt a world that assumed impressions solely relied on the key phrases of an advert group.

RSAs have challenged this assumption and now the impressions of an advert group can rely as a lot on the advertisements because the key phrases.

In Optmyzr’s Could 2022 RSA examine, we discovered that advert teams with RSAs received 2.1 occasions as many impressions as these with solely ETAs.

Optmyzr RSA study about impressions per ad groupPicture from Optmyzr, June 2022

And no matter whether or not this dramatic improve in impressions for advert teams with RSAs is because of improved advert rank and high quality rating, or whether or not it’s as a result of Google has inbuilt a desire for this advert kind, the tip end result is identical.

The sandbox wherein we play prefers RSAs, particularly people who comprise the utmost variety of property and that use pinning as sparingly as doable.

So after we do fashionable advert optimization, we should take into account not solely conversions per impression but additionally the variety of impressions every advert can ship.

Modern ad testing vs old school ad testingTrendy advert testing must account for variations in impressions.

A/B Asset Testing With Advert Variations

Thankfully, Google has thought-about the issues RSAs launched for advert testing and has made updates to Advert Variations, a subset of their Experiment instruments, to optimize advertisements.

Quite than requiring the creation of a number of RSAs, the experiments function on property and permit advertisers to check three sorts of issues: pinning property, swapping property, and including property.

You’ll discover all of the choices within the left-side menu for Experiments.

Menu of Google AdsSearch for Advert Variations within the Experiments menu of Google Advertisements.

Check Pinning

Pinning is a technique to inform Google which items of textual content ought to at all times be proven in sure elements of the advert.

The only type of pinning tells Google to point out one particular piece of content material in a selected location. A standard use is to at all times present the model in headline 1.

Different ad pinning optionsPicture from Google Advertisements, June 2022

A extra superior implementation is to pin a number of items of textual content to a selected location.

In fact, the advert can solely present one of many pinned texts at any time so it’s a technique to steadiness advertiser management with the advantages of dynamically generated advertisements.

A standard use could be to check three variations of a model message by pinning all three variations to headline place 1.

Probably the most excessive type of pinning is to create what some have referred to as a “faux ETA” by pinning textual content to each place of the RSA. Google recommends towards this as a result of it defeats the aim of RSAs.

In Optmyzr’s RSA examine, we additionally discovered that such a pinning can dramatically scale back the variety of impressions the advert group can get.

However considerably to our shock we additionally discovered that faux ETAs have larger CTR and better conversion charges than pure RSAs.

One idea is that advertisers who’ve spent years perfecting their advertisements utilizing ETA optimization strategies have already got such nice advertisements that machine studying could have little to supply by way of upside.

Impact of pinning on performance of RSAsPicture from Optmyzr, June 2022

To begin an advert take a look at with pinning, search for the Advert Variation choice to replace textual content after which select the motion to pin.

Google Ads UI for pinning ads in an experimentPicture from Google Advertisements, June 2022

You may then construct guidelines for which headlines and descriptions to pin to quite a lot of places.

For instance, you could possibly say that any headline that accommodates your model identify needs to be pinned to headline place 1.

One limitation is that you simply can not create an advert variation experiment that exams pinning for a number of places on the similar time.

Check Including Property

One other experiment accessible with Advert Variations is to check what would occur if sure property have been added or eliminated.

This kind of take a look at is nicely suited to testing greater modifications, for instance, to see what would occur should you included a particular provide, a distinct distinctive worth proposition, or a distinct name to motion.

Google UI for doing an experiment in RSAs where text is addedPicture from Google Advertisements, June 2022

You can even use this to check the influence of Advert Customizers in your efficiency.

Some advert customizers accessible in RSAs are location insertion, countdowns, and enterprise information.

Check Changing Property

The third and last kind of advert take a look at supported in Advert Variations is to check what would occur if an asset was modified.

This kind of experiment lends itself to testing extra refined modifications.

For instance, what could be the influence of claiming “10% low cost” quite than “save 10% at present.”

Each are the identical provide however expressed otherwise.

Google UI for ad variations for replacing asset textPicture from Google Advertisements, June 2022


Advert Variation experiments routinely include correct measurement.

For instance, right here you see the outcomes of a take a look at we ran with pinning.

Statistically vital outcomes are marked with an asterisk.

Google Ads UI showing the results of an ad variation testPicture from Google Advertisements, June 2022

While you hover over the stats, extra particulars are revealed that designate the boldness ranges of the experiments.

Google Ads UI showing details of an ad variations experiment resultPicture from Google Advertisements, June 2022

From there, it’s a easy matter of a single click on to advertise profitable exams to grow to be a part of your RSAs.

One thing to notice is that these Advert Variation exams are supposed to be accomplished on the marketing campaign degree or larger (cross marketing campaign).

At present, it’s not doable to run an advert take a look at for a single RSA or in a single advert group. Google has stated they’re conscious of this limitation and are working in the direction of an answer.


As advert codecs in Google have modified, it’s time to additionally change how we do advert testing.

Advert Variations are a simple means constructed proper into Google Advertisements to create experiments that work with property quite than complete advertisements and you’ll even take a look at pinning.

Optmyzr’s most up-to-date RSA examine confirmed impressions now rely as a lot on having good advertisements as they rely on having good key phrases, so working in the direction of advertisements which have the best mixture of not solely CTR and conversion price but additionally numerous high-quality impressions is the fashionable technique to optimize PPC advertisements.

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Featured Picture: Imagentle/Shutterstock


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