Responsive Search Ads: Simplify Campaigns

by Julia Sellers  |   |  Google Ad Grants  |  0 comments

-1 min to read ✭ What are responsive search ads and why should your nonprofit use them? They are meant to drive performance and simplify creating search ads. Find out why.

Responsive Google Search Ads give your potential donors and volunteers the right messaging at the right time. Google switched to exclusively offering responsive ads this summer and the capabilities take the guesswork out of optimizing your ad content. 

  • Set three or more headlines and two or more descriptions that will automatically rotate into the ad to determine which work best.
  • Pin any headlines and descriptions you want so that they always appear in the ad.
  • Collect performance statistics on different combinations of headlines and descriptions so you can determine their effectiveness. The system automatically favors headline and description combinations which work well together.
  • Display customized URLs by specifying path1 and path2, which are then appended to the end of your landing page domain to determine the displayed URL.


Benefits of Responsive Search Ads

The benefits of Google Responsive Ads come down to opening capacity for your creative and marketing team to do more mission-focused work. Here are some of our favorite benefits. 

Alternate multiple headline and description options

Responsive ads allow users to provide 15 headlines and four descriptions for any given ad. 

Compete in more auctions and match more queries

Responsive ads give your team multiple opportunities for the algorithm to use A/B testing so your nonprofit knows what keywords drive the most traffic. It’s a win-win for everyone. 

Increase ad performance

The additional headline and description options give your nonprofit the opportunity to get in front of more users with optimized content, which means ads are in front of the right audience at the right time. 


How Responsive Search Ads Work

The multiple headlines and description options mean Google Responsive Ads will put together as many combinations of the options as possible and optimize it based on the location, demographics or keywords.

This constant optimization means natural A/B testing happens with every search query.

Over time Google Ads will learn the best optimizations for different queries.


Create A Responsive Search Ad

On the page menu on the left, click “Ads & extensions.”

responsiv search ads



Click the “plus” button and select “Responsive search ad.”



Enter headline options with a minimum of three and a max of 15.



Enter description options with a minimum of two and a maximum of four.


Click “Save.” and then look at results!

Optimize Your Responsive Search Ads

Google Responsive Ads offers optimization in their regular function, but here are some additional tips to make the most of your nonprofit’s creative choices.

  1. Have clear Calls to Action (CTA)
  2. Use content from previous high-performing ads
  3. Use keywords where possible
  4. Experiment with lengths of descriptions
  5. Find new users by giving various offers or CTAs
  6. Write unique headlines and descriptions

Key Takeaways

  1. Responsive ads are the Google Ads default starting in 2022
  2. Responsive ads offer more headline and description options than ever.
  3. Responsive ads are constantly testing the best combinations of of headlines and descriptions based on device and other factors like geography.

The nonprofit Rivers of Steel out of southwestern Pennsylvania partnered with Community Boost to make the most of their Google Ad Grant by focusing on responsive ads. There were:

  • 124% increase in conversions after the first 30 days
  • 47% increase in clicks after 30 days
  • 3,100 clicks within first 30 days of launching. 


Julia Sellers

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