Are you applying best practices in your responsive search ads?

Not sure?

Well, it's your lucky day.

I went down to the RSA rabbit hole and figured I'd share.

After all, they are where the rubber meets the road regarding kick-ass search campaigns.

Here are some takeaways and resources on adequately creating and testing responsive search ads.

Starting with what might be a surprise to some ppc'ers…

Account Structure Matters

The first thing to know is, that it's not just about the ads themselves.

Before you even create the ads, you need to take impressions into account.

According to the big G, it takes 2000 impressions to get a ”Low,” “Good,” or “Best” rating.

If possible, you need to structure your campaigns and ad groups so that they are getting enough traffic.

I say “if possible” because you may be unable to that volume with hyper-local or small niche campaigns.

Here are the ad assets / RSA guidelines to keep in mind when planning your campaign.

Determine the amount of RSA assets to use to acquire sufficient data:

  • Four headlines – 15k impressions
  • 6 – 30k imp
  • 10 – 35k imp gets you to 80% sufficient data
  • 15 – rarely get above 30% sufficiency

The data and image below are from Ellis Crosby's great article about how poor account structure impacts your Google Ads.

Then, when you do have enough data:

  • Replace low-performing assets.
  • Remove low impression assets.

It's not the A/B pick-a-winner test from the glory days of AdWords, but it'll have to do.

And if I really, REALLY want to test the low-impression assets, I'll add them to using something called…

Fake ETAs

This old PPC dog learned a new term on Twitter recently: fake ETAs.

If you haven't heard, these are “pinned” RSAs dressed up like expanded text ads.

  • 2-3 headlines
  • 1-2 description

Just like this image…

Next, let's measure ad performance.

Measuring Responsive Search Ads Performance

Ed Leake has an excellent technique for measuring ad performance in his God Tier Ads course.

He uses custom metrics called CPI (for lead gen) & RPI (for ecom) to measure results.

  • CPI = Conversion Per Impression
  • RPI = Revenue Per Impression

Per Ed, “Blends two metrics you should care about, CTV & CTR.”

The higher number is better.

Here's a screenshot of the custom column I created:

Additional Resources

Brad Geddes

Here are a few really good articles on responsive search ads.

Google Ads OG Brad Geddes has a post on RSA testing strategies you'll want to read and bookmark.

It's a few years old, but the information is still very relevant.

He outlines how he uses different ad themes, pinned vs unpinned assets, and more.

Read How to Test Responsive Search Ads

Search Engine Land

Be sure to check out this post on Search Engine Land.

It has excellent graphics to help you visualize more of my outline.

Read 4 Ways To Optimize Your Responsive Search Ads

Be sure to bookmark this post because I'll be adding more as I come across them.

And if you know of any, just let me know.

Barely Scratched The Surface

Again, these were just a few takeaways.

RSAs are a HUGE topic, so I'm sure I missed something.

If you have any questions, you can contact me here. I've been running Google Ads campaigns for about 17 years (ten of them full-time). If I don't have an answer, it's likely I know someone who does.

If you want to master Google Ads independently, I can recommend a few courses, or we can set up some training for you.

Just schedule a free strategy session, and we'll come up with a personalized plan for you.

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