Are Responsive Search Ads The Future Of Digital?

Stef Simpson, 
Digital Account Manager, 

On October 5th, Microsoft released their new company updates as well as their October products.

These included expansions to the audience network, which will be moving into 18 new markets, improvements made to both the feeds and in-market audiences, as well as, most notably the announcement that Microsoft would be phasing out their extended text ads in favour of responsive search ads on the 30th of June, 2022.

This falls in line with the recent announcement made by Google earlier in yet that they would also be facing all the extended text ads in favour of RSA.

So what are RSAs? So responsive search ads appear the same way that extended text ads do on the search engines results page.

However, they differ by allowing advertisers to add in fifteen headlines and four description lines, as well as two paths, as opposed to the standard three headlines and two description lines as seen with normal ETAs. This, therefore, makes creating ads much simpler by eliminating the need to figure out which description lines and headlines work best together.

RSAs also allow advertisers to tailor their ads to a wider range of users. With search queries, we do tend to see that a lot of people who search either Microsoft or Google will start their searches off in a very similar way, but have entirely different requirements on what they’re looking for.

This is where personas and demographics come into play. These allow advertisers to make better-informed ad copies that resonate with their target audiences. We can align personas with Google and Microsoft Audiences to refine targeting and only serve ads to applicable users.

Now, machine learning analyses which asset combinations perform the best. And then based on the users past searches, Microsoft will then be able to serve the right ad to the right customer.

So what does this change mean for advertisers? So although ETAs are still going to exist within Microsoft ads, they’ll no longer be able to be created. RSAs will be the only search ad type that can be created or edited in standard search campaigns. Existing expanded text ads will still serve, but they won’t be able to be edited or added.

These changes are designed ‘to help elevate advertisers’ ROI with the power of our automation and create a simplified cross-platform experience’.

Customers often worry that automation means they have less control over their platforms but automation really is the future of digital. So the more we see developments like this, the better as machine learning in this case will always make it easier to optimise towards best-performing ads in real-time.