Responsive search ads are replacing expanded texts ads – What you need to know

Paid media

The world of marketing and advertising is constantly changing, updating and evolving. Google ads are in the process of introducing a big change to its paid advertising system at the end of June 2022, by retiring Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) and replacing them with Responsive Search Ads (RSAs). After this date, you won’t be able to edit any existing ETAs, and RTAs will be the sole ad type that you can create within Google ads. 

ETAs are being retired – What does this mean?

Your existing ETAs will continue to run, and you’ll be able to get reports on their performance – however, management of these ETAs will now be minimal. After June 30th you won’t able to: 

  • Create new ETAs
  • Edit your existing ETA’s that are already visible
  • Change their language and other characteristics 

You will be able to: 

  • See your ETAs. They won’t disappear. They will still be displayed and eligible to run, and you will still get impressions.
  • Pause and unpause your ETAs
  • Track reports on their performance. 

What is a responsive search ad?

A RSA allows you to create a single search ad, with up to 15 different 30-character  headlines and 4 description lines that can be anywhere up to 90 characters each.  RSAs allow for twice as many characters as an ETA and over seven times the amount of original text ads. The headlines and descriptions make up 43,680 combinations, meaning that the ad testing possibilities are vast. 

Responsive Search Ads automatically identify the best combinations of headlines and subscriptions with the goal of delivering the right ad, to the right person. Over time your RSA will deliver the best message, to the right person, depending on the keywords they search for, the divide they use, their previous browsing behaviour, and other factors. 

Benefits of RSAs 

Better performance: 

According to Google “We’ve seen advertisers that add Responsible Search Ads in their ad groups achieve up to 10% more clicks and conversions”. Transitioning to RSAs will require changing your PPC strategy and ad content, but improving your overall ad performance. A recent study into the two ad types shows that RSAs beat ETAs on Google Ads Metrics in every category including click-through rate, conversation rate, return on ad spend, cost per click and cost per conversion. It’s no wonder Google is abandoning ETAs altogether and transitioning to the more superior ad model. 

Makes for easier adaptation to changing consumer behaviour:

Consumer wants and needs are constantly changing. The use of RSAs allows marketers a more efficient way to adapt to these changes, as it eliminates the long process of testing and optimising several individual ads.  

RSAs give Google a lot more data to work with than ETAs, meaning more informed recommendations about the ad performance can be made, making a more streamlined account management experience. 

More efficient than other ad options 

RSAs also help to create a more efficient process of ad writing. Rather than having to create multiple ad variations for each of your ad groups, RSAs allow you to write your ad copy in one place and simply let Google mix and match the combinations. This can be a massive time saver for those of you working on complex accounts. 

Responsive Search Ads are here to stay and ETAs will have fewer functionalities as of June 30th. Now is the time to embrace them, get used to them and incorporate them into your ad strategy. If you need help switching to Responsive Search Ads, or any other aspect of PPC, then give our friendly team a call.