How to automate your copy of ads without sacrificing control

“The more platforms are automated, the more we, as search marketing experts, lose control.” This has been mostly rhetoric over the years, and while there is certainly some truth in it, there are techniques that can help you take advantage of automation without sacrificing control.

Google has already announced plans to suspend expanded text ads (ETAs), leaving advertisers with no choice but to accept responsive search ads (RSAs). However, traders can still use what they have learned from ETA to improve their RSA, increasing their chances of a successful transition. At SMX Next, Joe Martinez, co-founder of Paid Media Pros, shared how to measure up to ETAs to get the most out of the automated capabilities of RSA.

Create an ETA for later use

“RSA can really be hit or missed,” Martinez said, noting that “reporting for this ad format is pretty poor.” “They [Google] they give you the ‘good’, ‘better’, ‘best’ aspects of your ad performance and we still see overall metrics within the main columns, but we don’t get the right information about which combinations of responsive search ads work best because we can add a series of different titles, different descriptions, but we don’t know which combinations work. ”

This lack of performance transparency worries advertisers who are currently relying on expanded text ads because Google cancels the format in June 2022.

“So to prepare for this, you need to focus on adding as many expanded text ads as possible to your account,” Martinez said.

Slide showing ETA.
Picture: Joe Martinez and Michelle Morgan.

In doing so, “we say, ‘Okay, if I end up having to enter a variety of titles and descriptions into my RSA, I want to make sure I enter the right ones – the ones that will work best when I’m forced to use the RSA format,” he explained. is he.

In addition to establishing a performance benchmark, the performance of these ETAs should inform you of the creation of your RSAs when you eventually need to move your ads to that format. “Let’s make sure we do a lot of variations [of ETAs] so we know exactly which combinations work because we control it with ETAs, ”Martinez said.

To get the best benchmarks using this method, advertisers should ensure that their ads are set to rotate evenly so that the impression share is divided between ETA and RSA.

RELATED: RSA and ETA, how, when and why PPC experts use them

Attach titles and descriptions accordingly

The RSA format allows advertisers to add up to 15 titles and 4 descriptions, which can be pinned to specific positions. By comparing with ETAs (as described above), advertisers can take these findings and use them to place titles and descriptions in RSAs to get more ETA-like functionality from them: “We’re pretty much creating our own expanded text ad within RSA format, ”Martinez said.

Slide showing pinned ad components.Slide showing pinned ad components.
Picture: Joe Martinez and Michelle Morgan.

“Now Google will say that it can potentially harm your ad rank if you don’t provide it [Google Ads’ machine learning systems] the full amount of options and combinations that Google would like, ”he said, noting that for some advertisers this is a worthwhile compromise:“ Okay, you can hurt your ad rank, that’s okay. But we understand that in certain industries, control and ordering of messages is very necessary. “

Despite the potential reduction in ad rank, advertisers in highly regulated industries may have to rely on attachment because in some legal organizations, they may need to approve every part of a written copy of an ad.

“So sometimes you may have to sacrifice ad rank just to make sure your ad is branded, correct, and you won’t get into trouble within your specific industry,” Martinez said.

For advertisers who are not bound by such strict rules, hooking can still help create the experience you want to provide users, which can also justify any potential hit to your ad rank, he added.

Use ad customization tools

Ad customization tools can provide additional control without sacrificing the flexibility that RSAs can offer. You can use them to automatically insert keywords, countdown timers, locations, prices, stock numbers, discounts, or product names, for example.

Slide showing tools for customizing ads within RSA.Slide showing tools for customizing ads within RSA.
Picture: Joe Martinez and Michelle Morgan.

“As you group and test different types of titles within your expanded text ads, keep in mind: if ad customization tool ads perform better, you may want to add them to your new responsive search ads and possibly pin them to specific locations, ”Martinez said.

However, advertisers using this technique should be aware that they do not exist IF functions for RSA.

A slide describing the lack of IF functions in RSA.A slide describing the lack of IF functions in RSA.
Picture: Joe Martinez and Michelle Morgan.

“We’re losing that feature and it makes sense because there are already so many different combinations that we really couldn’t see if the IF function customization tool works with RSAs,” he said, “So if you’re using one and you love it, give it a try. , figure out which audience sees that one ad or that one variable, and then you can start focusing on restructuring your campaign to a specific audience just to make sure they see the right title that works better for that audience. ”

Unlock the potential of your RSAs before the ETAs disappear

RSA are default ad type for search campaigns, but on its way out, the ETA format still offers advertisers one of the most important tools for successful campaigns – data. Start adding more ETAs to your campaigns before Obsolescence June 2022 a date to prepare your brand (or your client’s brand) for a smooth transition.

See the full SMX Next presentation here (free registration required).

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About the author

George Nguyen is the editor for Search Engine Land, which covers organic search, podcasting and e-commerce. His experience is in journalism and content marketing. Prior to entering the industry, he worked as a radio personality, writer, podcast host and public school teacher.

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