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How to Optimize Your Responsive Search Ads

author image Written by: Rabije Gashi Corluka           Categories - Paid Ads, SEO

Getting Ready for RSA Era

It has become clear that the RSAs will become the only ad format that you will be able to use. Like we mentioned in one of our previous blog posts, from July 2022, you won’t be able to add new ETAs or edit and change the current ones. That is why you have to do everything you can to prepare for the RSA era. In addition to “giving Google everything it needs“, here are some tips and tricks on optimizing your RSAs.

Optimizing Your RSAs

Use all Headlines

The more headline variants you use, the better can Google offer your ad to the right person. For the same reason, adding more headlines also increases the number of impressions.

Analyze the Asset Labels

Google shows you which assets are performing well and which you should replace. These labels are based on actual performance, so it’s a good thing to keep an eye on them and make changes according to the results.

Review Combination Reports

A combination report is a magical place in Google Ads where you can check what combinations of ads are served up most often and if Google is showing any ad combinations you don’t want it to show. Here’s where to find it:

  • From the page menu on the left, click Ads & extensions.
  • Click in the bar above the table of results to add a filter.
  • In the drop-down menu that appears, click Attributes, then Ad type.
  • Select the box next to ‘Responsive search ad
  • Click Apply

Smart Bidding Automation

According to Google, Marketers who switched from ETAs to RSAs and used a combination of broad match and smart bidding see about 20 per cent more conversions. So using more RSAs is a great way to take advantage of automation in order to show your ads to more potential customers.

Some might take some time to get over the fact that the way they’re used to doing things is gone. Some might take advantage of the situation and prepare themselves in the best way possible. This transition time could be a perfect time to test your RSAs and learn how to use them in a way that best suits you and your campaigns.

Rabije Gashi Corluka

Expanded text ads drive off in the sunset

11/11/2021

What can you do to stay relevant?

You may have already heard about how Google is keeping up with trends and introducing automation. You have around eight months to doll up your Google Ads accounts. Google is phasing out ETAs and introducing Responsive search ads as a default for your ad strategy. What does it mean? Don’t panic, we got you.

From July 2022, you won’t be able to add new ETAs. However, you can keep the current ones – meaning you will be able to run them or test them, but you won’t be able to edit them anymore. This means that more of your attention should be brought to creating a bunch of headlines and texts for your RSA which Google will be automatically running and testing for you. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but the discrepancy in the control you have now and will have in the future is more than obvious. However, Google’s algorithm should take care of you and offer ads that perform the best. Also, you have the option of pinning the titles you want Google to use more for the RSAs.

How to prepare?

Give Google everything it needs

Use all fifteen headlines and the four descriptions. It will give you the most effective combinations. Use a variation of copies to prevent Google from using repetitive combinations – and you don’t want that, do you?

Know your audience

When writing a copy, customize it for your audience. You can also use Dynamic Location Insertion and Dynamic Keyword Insertion in your headlines which help you by using the location and the keywords that triggered an ad.

In conclusion, there is not much you can do except prepare. Keep your ad accounts organized and updated, check your ETAs before July 2022, do your research –  and hope for the best.

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Google Ads Makes Keyword Matching More Predictable

09/24/2021

Some big news came from Google ads yesterday. To summarize, the search engine announced changes to how it uses BERT to better understand keywords and search intent. However, there’s a bit more to unpack.

The biggest changes relate to how Google handles phrase and broad match keywords when they match, what happens when they are not identical, and how BERT is used to match keywords to queries.

See Google’s full statement below:

“What consumers want and how they search for it is constantly changing. In fact, we see billions of searches every day, and 15% of those queries are ones we haven’t seen before1. To help you reach these new, relevant searches while still meeting your performance goals, we recommend using broad match paired with Smart Bidding. On average, advertisers that switch their exact match keywords to broad match can see more conversions and a higher conversion value.”

Over the past year, we’ve made it easier to find success with this strategy by improving broad match relevance, recommending new opportunities to switch to broad match, and making keyword matching more predictable. However, we’ve also heard that you want higher quality and more control over which keywords match a search. That’s why we’re rolling out new improvements based on this feedback, including improved understanding of search intent and more predictability in how keywords match.”

Now, let’s dive a bit deeper.

Improved Understanding Of Language And Intent

Because keywords can match to multiple different queries, Google is using technology like BERT to interpret language, queries, and search intent, which helps with broad match.

Google provided the following example:

“A highly specific query like “1995 5 speed transmission seal input shaft” is now able to match with the broad match keyword auto parts because we can tell they’re related, even though none of the words in the query and in the keyword actually match. This means that broad match can now help you find more relevant, high-performing traffic using fewer keywords.”

For those who are unfamiliar, BERT is a neural network-based technique for natural language processing pre-training. Google uses this tool to better understand the context of words in search queries.

READ MORE: An In Depth Look At Google’s Most Recent Colossal Update BERT

Better Predictability in Matching Keywords

It’s a common occurrence for multiple keywords to match with a particular search, search, which often leads to searches being matched with less relevant keywords.

Google has made the following improvements to help ensure the most relevant keywords are being selected:

When A Search Is Identical To One Of Your Keywords

Google previously announced that exact match keywords that are the same as a search query will now always be preferred. Now, Google says that both phrase and broad match keywords will follow the same rule.

See Google’s example below: 

“Let’s say someone searches for “sushi delivery near me”, and you have the broad match keywords sushi delivery and sushi delivery near me. Before this update, both of these keywords would be eligible to serve. Now, the keyword sushi delivery near me is preferred because it is identical to the search term. Note that if you have an eligible exact match keyword that is identical to the query, it will still be preferred over the phrase and broad match keyword.”

When A Search Is Not Identical To Any Of Your Keywords

In the good old days, you would have multiple keywords eligible to match, none of which were identical to a search. In these instances, your Ad Rank would decide which keyword matched best. Now, Google is looking at relevance signals along with Ad Rank to help determine which keyword will be chosen.

Learn more about the keywords that are eligible along with how they are selected by checking out the official Google Ads announcement.

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