Google Ads allows you to create a wide variety of advertising campaigns. Shopping Ads, Display Ads, YouTube Ads as well as Search Ads are all types of campaigns that you can create using this platform.
This article aims to focus on Search Ads, and more specifically on the different ad formats that exist for these campaigns.
If the acronyms RSA or DSA mean nothing to you, if you want to improve your knowledge about text ads, or if you want to know the best practices recommended by Google for writing your ads, this article is for you! Also, if you need assistance with their implementation, our SEM service page can provide you with more information
The different types of Google Search Ads
There are 3 types of Google Search Ad: Text Ads, Responsive Search Ads, and Dynamic Search Ads.
Before describing the differences between them, let’s start by discussing what they have in common. As the name suggests, Search Ads show up in Google search results just like organic results. Like these, Search Ads come in the form of text ads with a title, description, and link.
Here is an example of Google Search Ads:
Google Search text Ads
The Classic Search Text Ads, or text ad, is the most basic form of Search Ads. To put it simply, it’s the foundation for the other ad formats (RSA and DSA).
As we have seen previously, the text ads consists of:
- A title. This title contains 3 separate headlines that must have a maximum of 30 characters, including spaces.
- A description. This description also contains 2 separate texts of 90 characters each.
- A URL. Only the elements after your domain name are customizable. This URL may differ from the original one. It has only a “superficial” role in the sense that it does not necessarily indicate a real page of your site, but helps you to place additional keywords in your ad in order to attract even more attention from Google users. These two elements must have a maximum of 15 characters each (in the following example, these are the words ‘marketing’ and ‘web’).
The ideal is to write at least 3 different text ad variations in order to test which is the best performing combination.
Responsive Search Ads (or RSA)
Responsive Search Ads are an evolved version of Google Search text Ads. From the user perspective, RSA are exactly the same as traditional text ads.
The difference lies in their writing. Indeed, while Google Search text Ads consist of 3 titles and 2 descriptions, Responsive Search Ads can have up to 15 titles and up to 4 descriptions. Regarding URLs, there is no difference with the classic text ads.
In terms of the final rendering, Google will make sure to match the most relevant titles and descriptions according to the user’s request.
Only downside, Google can display these elements in any order. It is therefore necessary to ensure that the texts are not redundant and that they fit together regardless of the order in which they are displayed.
One way to get around this “problem” is to pin one or more titles and descriptions. In other words, assign them a fixed position in the ad. They can therefore never change position with other elements.
Dynamic Search Ads (or DSA)
Dynamic Search Ads allow you to target numerous queries related to your website, but also to save time in terms of writing.
While classic text ads and RSA require manual writing and targeting work, DSA can save you valuable time, especially if you have a very extensive website.
Indeed, Dynamic Search Ads only require you to write two descriptions. The rest is handled automatically by Google, so the titles displayed are adapted directly from the user’s query and the content of your website.
Likewise, while you need to specify the destination URL for RSA or text ads, DSA automatically generates a URL to the most relevant landing page on your website according to Google.
In addition, DSA can be generated based on the content of your website or certain categories of your site that you choose. To do this, you just have to tell Google which section of your site you want it to analyze, or not.
Last advantage, a manual keyword research can be a big task, and it is impossible for it to be 100% exhaustive (for example, you have decided not to include in your search very niche queries, even if they are very relevant). Thanks to the analysis of your site, the DSA will allow you to highlight the queries related to your content, including the niche ones, without having to add these keywords manually.
The main flaw of Dynamic Search Ads is that it does not work for websites with content that is regularly updated. In addition, relevance and optimization of content is essential to maximize the performance of DSA. This therefore excludes Flash sites (not read by Google robots) and sites requiring to connect to access the main content and involves a lot of additional work on your website.
You will understand, the use of DSA is a powerful tactic which is particularly well suited for website with very rich and deep content.
Text Search Ads are the most basic ads, but still very effective with unlimited customization. Their main constraint lies in having to create them one by one manually.
Responsive Search Ads (RSA) are a good way to test multiple titles and descriptions and optimize performance by automatically rotating these elements based on their relevance to the user query.
Dynamic Search Ads or DSA are almost fully automated ads. You only write the descriptions of the ads. Ad titles are generated based on user query and your website. Likewise, the landing page is determined based on the same settings.
They are perfect for covering a broad spectrum of keywords, including less sophisticated queries.
As you can see, each ad meets specific needs. There is no magic formula that works for all scenarios. Testing is therefore the best way to find out which type of ad offers the best performance for your business.
So, are you ready to take it to the next level?