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Update: 2022 has already been a year of major technological developments and Google’s plan to sunset Expanded Text Ads is no different. In fact, it’s in full swing – by 30 June 2022, you’ll no longer be able to make or edit ETAs, but you won’t be left in the dark as reporting will continue.

And now Google’s recommending that you include one responsive search ad in every ad group by summer 2022, with RSAs resulting in 7% higher conversions than ETAs.

Want to know more? Keep reading to find out.

As we venture boldly into 2022, we can barely keep still; the infinite potential of marketing and technological advances are right at our doorstep. However, let’s not give New Year all the credit. The 2021 curtain call brought along a bundle of industry news that’s making an appearance in 2022. 

And who better than the gigantic Google to kick it all off! As the sun sets on the year, so does Google’s decision to keep ETAs. 

Sunrise, Sunset 

By July 2022, Google will no longer allow marketers to create, upload or edit existing ETAs (Expanded Text Ads) in Google Ads

ETAs are a type of Google Ad that appears after a search. They consist of up to 3 headlines and 2 descriptions. Additionally, brands can run multiple ETAs simultaneously and compare which ad performs better. Well, that used to be the case anyway… 

Sylvanus Bent, Product Manager of Google Ads, made a statement on the issue. “From 30 June 2022, responsive search ads will be the only search ad type that can be created or edited on standard search campaigns.” 

Now, before we all start claiming 2022 is officially the worst year yet for those who advertise on Google, don’t panic! Though you won’t be able to edit or create new ETAs, advertisers will still have access to their existing ETAs as they work alongside the shiny new RSAs (don’t worry, we’ll talk about them in a mo). You’ll also still have the ability to monitor and report on an ETAs performance.

Change to Engage!

The systems and media that the audience interacts with are constantly evolving. With that comes a marketplace where engagement can fluctuate at the drop of a meme. To increase the likelihood of conversion, you need your audience to connect with your brand as smoothly as possible. Enter RSAs. 

Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) blend both machine learning and creative tactics to improve an ad’s relevancy depending on the market. It’s basically a digital marketing smoothie with all the juicy bits. 

Before, ETA’s had 3 headline fields, with the last being where you can add additional text to your ad. On the contrary, RSA’s allow for a whopping 15 headlines and 4 descriptions for just one ad! 

Once your copy is ready for the world, your ad adapts to show more or less description and, over time, will test which combination of headlines and text are most effective regarding audience engagement.  

With 15% of queries on search engines being new every day, RSAs and their automated systems seem to be the best way forward. In fact, according to Google, advertisers who have already moved from ETAs to RSAs see an average of 7% more conversions at a similar CPC (Cost Per Click).

And this is only the tip of the iceberg. At Arke, we’re seeing RSAs generating conversion rates 19.58% higher than ETAs across the board! If you’d like further insight into how RSAs work, such as how to edit or pin specific headlines, click here.

The Pros and Cons 

RSAs seem like the perfect replacement for advertisers now ETAs are done and dusted. However, we want to make sure you know all the ins and outs so you can ask yourself, RSAs, yay or nay?  

The Positives

  • RSAs allow advertisers to create flexible ads that adapt to the width of a device – of course, we’re talking about that all-important mobile optimisation!
  • You can tailor your headlines and descriptions with strategies like geo-targeting so that a customer sees personalised, unique interests. 
  • RSAs combine copy to produce the best result for your ad, saving you time and allowing you to focus on other stages of the customer journey.

The Negatives

  • Many advertisers prefer ETAs as they allow you to decide what copy goes where. Though it takes longer, there’s the argument that the copy should stick with the writer. 
  • Currently, reporting on RSAs is not great due to the extremely high number of ad combinations an RSA produces, resulting in a lack of detail on the report. But we’re hopeful that reporting refines in the future.

So, by leaving the ad displays to Google, we have more time to spend on the campaign as a whole, which can lead to a stronger focus on creative themes, paid media research or audience building.

However, we don’t want copywriters churning out 15 headlines/descriptions for the sake of it. We want creative freedom in our copy, and though the words are yours, the splicing of the two feels mechanical and clunky. Sometimes, it feels sweeter coming from an actual person. 

An intriguing start to the year indeed; if this is how we’re kicking it off, who knows where we’ll end up! Nonetheless, Arke will make sure to keep you posted on all the latest! 

Until then, if you want to shake up your ad strategy and improve your conversion rate by 19.58%, get in touch with us and we’ll have our paid media team create a stellar strategy for you.


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