2022 will be a year of big changes for pay-per-click (PPC) Google Ads, primarily because of the removal of Expanded Text Ad (ETA) creation for the replacement of Responsive Search Ads (RSAs). ETAs consist of two to three headlines and one to two description lines. RSAs are different due to two major changes:

  1. The ability to have up to 15 headlines and 4 description lines
  2. Machine learning that optimizes ad performance

With RSAs advertisers now have a larger pool of ad combinations to work with. Through machine learning, Google will automatically pick from this larger pool of options during each search auction for the most relevant combination. A fully filled-out RSA has the potential of producing 43,680 different combinations. And, over time, Google’s AI will determine which combinations are best for each situation, making it easier than ever to get the best results.

So how do apartment marketers take advantage of these new PPC ad capabilities? Let’s explore seven ways to make the most out of your new RSAs.

Don’t Pin Anything

Something you may notice when building your RSAs is the option to pin your headlines to a specific position. As you know a search ad consists of two-three headlines and one-two description lines. If you were to pin a headline to Headline 1 then you are guaranteeing that that headline will always show up as the first headline. But, in most situations, this will likely cause more harm than good.

Pinning one headline removes the chance of that headline showing up in a different position and the possibility of any other headline showing up in that position. When you pin only one headline, you eliminate over 93% of your ad testing options. To put this in perspective, that means your 43,680 unique combinations become only 3,057. As you can see, this significantly reduces your potential for finding the “perfect combo.” Remember that for every unique user, one combination will have the best chance of attracting attention. You don’t want to reduce your chances of finding that combination by 90%.

You Can Have Too Much Of A Good Thing

Google Machine Learning enables easy testing of ad components to produce the most effective and optimized combinations.

While RSAs seem like a fantastic option for optimization, avoid using too many. Google limits the number of RSAs per ad group to only three. This limitation aims to avoid spreading the data too thin across the ads. Keep in mind that for Google to determine the best combinations, the AI needs to do trial-and-error testing. For the multifamily industry, it is recommended you have at least one with an absolute max of two ads to get the best optimization results with typical renter audiences.

Headlines Are Key

Headlines are the most important part of your ad. Eighty percent of users read headlines whereas 20% read description lines. Google makes this apparent as they allow 15 headline options in RSAs but only 4 descriptions. This means you should spend more than half of your time writing compelling headlines.

In the past, the most common advice you’d probably hear is to use the full 30 characters per headline in order to maximize the character count. But with the introduction of RSAs, that is no longer a good rule-of-thumb. Since Google will test all headline combinations, you should feel encouraged to use a variety of lengths.

Additionally, a good practice is to have at least three headlines using keywords and three without. Doing this ensures you avoid similar headlines. The idea is to give the AI sufficient variety so that it can test more unique ad combinations. Considering the fact that one fully filled-out RSA can produce 43,680 combinations, the uniqueness of each headline is imperative. Some best practices to keep headlines diverse are:

  • 3 headlines using keywords
  • 3 headlines not using keywords
  • 1 headline with the property name
  • 2 headlines with a call-to-action (like call today” and “schedule a tour”)
  • 1 headline using Dynamic Keyword Insertion (we’ll cover this more in a moment)

Address Your Audience

In the multifamily industry, like so many other industries, users prefer to feel as if they are being talked to directly. Using second person pronouns (like “you” and “your”) make ads feel more personable and approachable.

Use Interesting Adjectives

The worst thing your ad can be is unengaging. Most people only look at the first and last three words in a headline, so it’s important to make the copy eye-catching and engaging. Spice things up with interesting adjectives like “unique” and “stylish.”

Use A Strategic Call-To-Action

Before writing a call-to-action you need to ask yourself what you want someone to do as a result of seeing your ad. Do you want them to schedule a tour? Do you want them to apply online? Whatever you want them to do is a potential call-to-action. Some examples include:

  • Apply Now
  • Call Today
  • Schedule A Tour

Take Advantage of Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) is an easy way to improve your ad relevance as well as click-through-rate and Quality Score. DKI allows you to automatically update ad copy with the keywords in your ad group. Every time a search term triggers your keyword, DKI will automatically insert those exact triggered keywords into that headline. This is also a great strategy if there are a large number of search terms that you want to use as targeted keywords.

To use DKI, you must insert {KeyWord: default text} into any empty headline followed by a default text within the brackets. The default headline would only populate if the triggered keywords are over the 30 character headline limit. A good practice is to set your default text to the property name or another call-to-action like ‘Rent now’.

RSAs present property marketers a great new opportunity to enhance ad performance with machine learning that makes it easy and effective to do so. While not every headline will be a winner, using RSAs and adding sufficient variety in your ad copy will increase your opportunity to learn what is most effective, find the perfect combinations for each user, and improve your renter lead-generating efforts overall.

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#Multifamily Advertising
#Google Ads
#Ad Optimization