'Responsive Search Ads' Launched To All Microsoft Advertisers: Following Google's Lead

Creating the perfect ad copy can be difficult and challenging, given that the ads need to reach the right customers with the right message at the right time.

Advertisers may need to test tens, hundreds, to even thousands of ad copies. And this process can take a lot of time and resources. Microsoft Advertising, which is one of the biggest on the web after Google, is trying to ease that process.

And that is by announcing Responsive Search Ads (RSA) beta to all of its advertisers.

RSA is basically an ad system that automatically serves up a combination of headlines and descriptions provided by advertisers.

Using RSA, Microsoft advertisers can input up to 15 headlines and 4 description lines for each ad, via its web interface, Editor, the bulk API, or even from existing RSAs from their Google Ads campaigns.

The ads are then served dynamically in combinations of up to three titles and two descriptions.

After setting RSA, Microsoft automatically identifies which ad combinations are performing best, and create a report for the advertisers to see.

"Adapting your ad’s content to match what potential customers are searching for can help improve your campaign’s performance," wrote Juan Sepulveda and Eugene Goldenshteyn from Microsoft Advertising, in a blog post.

According to the post, Microsoft describes three main ways in which RSA can help with advertisers' search campaign.

  1. Reduce bulky operations and save time: One responsive search ad can generate more than 32,000 ad combinations, saving advertisers' time and space on A/B testing.
  2. Serve the right message at the right time: Responsive search ads adapt text ads to closely match what someone is searching for, when they search for it.
  3. Improve ad performance: Responsive search ads can have a higher click-through rates (CTRs) and conversion rates (CVRs) due to the improved ad space, higher volume, and effectiveness.
Microsoft Advertising - The ad strength widget
The ad strength widget on the top right, automatically updates as advertisers enter headlines and descriptions (Credit: Microsoft)

To use RSA on Microsoft Advertising, there are a few things advertisers should consider

First of all, the more headlines and description they provide, advertisers' ads can have a higher probability of being more relevant in any given auction. Microsoft suggests inputting at least 8 to 10 headlines that do not contain similar phrases, and at least two descriptions that are distinct from each other with clear call-to-action message.

Then, to know how well RSA will perform, advertisers can use the 'Ad Strength widget'. This widget gets populated dynamically, and provides recommendations on how to better create ad. Advertisers should also constantly review their RSA's performance results in the combination report page.

Advertisers are suggested to create RSAs in the same campaign with their current expanded text ads. This is to avoid impression and clock loss when testing for RSAs effectiveness.

And last but not least, advertisers can also consider to order the headlines and descriptions.

While headlines and description can appear in any order, advertisers can pin them to a specific position, if they need to show specific content every time. In this case, Microsoft suggests that advertisers pin to positions 1 or 2 for headlines and position 1 for descriptions.

Using machine-learning technology, RSAs can dynamically determine creatives at the time of auction and adjusting itself based on historical performance.

This update should make Microsoft on a par with Google, as they both finally promote RSAs.