Driving Performance with Responsive Search Ads: 5 Key Takeaways from Our Latest Webinar

Category: Digital Marketing
by Dan Chorlton Published on
Frame 2

In the rapidly evolving world of digital marketing, Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) have become a cornerstone for advertisers looking to drive results from their paid search campaigns. However, navigating the complexities of RSAs can be daunting.

In the first webinar of our series “Opening the Black Box of Paid Search”, we looked at various techniques and challenges associated with RSA testing to enhance performance and drive greater return on investment. In this session, Dan Chorlton, CEO of GOA Marketing spoke to Jane Cronin, Performance Media Lead for Money & Home Services at MoneySuperMarket and Jocelyn Le Conte, Head of Performance at MG OMD, about techniques to get the most from RSAs.

During the session, the group reviewed data generated by GOA’s platform, which analysed £153,000,000 of Google Ads spent on RSAs. The findings indicated that headline 2 and 3 are practically dying out and that ads showing only 1 headline have risen to 39% in the last four months alone.

The group then looked at the impression distribution across 3,154 assets, which showed that most headlines receive a very low number of impressions. The research showed that 9% of copy shows for 73% of impressions - leaving the remaining majority (91%) of copy having a 29% chance of visibility. These ads will have been written, gone through sign off and being discussed by multiple stakeholders, at an expense to produce, only to go unnoticed by the online audience.

By focusing on high-impact headlines, reallocating resources based on performance data, and leveraging insights for strategic adjustments, digital marketers can enhance the visibility and effectiveness of their ads, ultimately improving ROI and gaining a competitive edge. Here are the five biggest takeaways from our session to help turn underperforming RSAs into top-notch performers:

1. Challenges with RSAs

Navigating the world of RSAs can be tricky. Here’s what we found to be the main challenges:

  • Using the right KPIs for success: Responsive Search Ads typically have a better click-through rate but a lower conversion rate. You need to select the right performance metrics and consistently measure to accurately compare RSAs with other campaigns you're running on Google.

  • Google Algorithm Bias: New ad creative can often get fewer impressions because Google favours tried-and-tested assets.

  • Effort vs. Reward: It can seem like making small, iterative tweaks to ad creative is more trouble than it’s worth, but it’s essential for ongoing success.

  • Rolling Experiments: Think of your ad copy as a work in progress. YOu need to keep testing and trying new copy and creative variations to find what works best.

  • Balance in Ad Testing: Finding the sweet spot between testing new ads and avoiding penalties for underperformance is crucial.

2. Turning Data into Actionable Insights

  • Data is the silver bullet, but it’s only useful if you know how to use it. Here’s how to make your data work for you:

  • Keep it Simple: Focus on metrics that matter to your stakeholders. Less is more!

  • Align with Objectives: Make sure your metrics are tied to business goals.

  • Customer Engagement: Use your data to tell a story about how customers are interacting with your ads or your products.

  • Long-Term View: Don’t get bogged down by short-term results. Look at the bigger picture.

  • Report Efficiently: Too much data can overwhelm. Streamline your reports for clarity and impact.

3. Tackling Business Challenges with RSAs

Turning RSA data into insights that drive business growth can be tough. Here’s how to tackle it:

  • Personalise Ad Copy: Tailor your creative to different audiences to boost engagement.

  • Experiment Creatively: Don’t be afraid to try new things with your ad copy.

  • Consumer Behaviour: Use your data to understand and predict consumer actions.

4. Tackling Agency Challenges with RSAs

Agencies face unique hurdles when it comes to RSAs. Here’s how to stay ahead:

  • Adapt to Changes: Stay nimble and adapt to the constantly evolving digital marketing landscape.

  • Testing Balance: Find a balance between testing new ad variations and sticking with what works.

  • Quick Insights: Use PPC as a quick testing ground for larger creative ideas.

  • Creative Freedom vs. Penalties: Navigate the fine line between creative freedom and potential penalties from underperformance.

  • Continuous Learning: Keep learning and adapting to improve your RSA strategies.

5. Opportunities for Digital Marketers

There are plenty of opportunities to make the most of your RSA campaigns. Here’s how:

  • Control Your Testing: Take charge of your testing processes and use insights wisely.

  • Embrace AI, but exercise caution: Harnessing the potential of AI to handle data-heavy tasks, can free up your time to focus on creative work.

  • Creative Experimentation: Keep pushing the envelope with creative ad copy.

  • Long-Term Focus: Keep an eye on long-term trends and results, not just immediate performance.

In conclusion….

Responsive Search Ads are a powerful tool in the digital marketer’s wheelhouse, but they come with their own set of challenges. By staying informed and continuously testing and tweaking your campaigns and your overall strategy, you can turn these challenges into opportunities for success. Keep experimenting, keep learning, and watch your RSA performance soar!

If you would like to sign up for our next webinar click here!