Navigating Google Ads: The 3 Types You Need to Know About

by | Jun 1, 2023 | Digital Marketing

When it comes to advertising on Google, there are several options available. Three terms you've probably come across are Responsive Search Ads (RSAs), Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs), and Responsive Display Ads (RDAs).

KYIV, UKRAINE - AUGUST 16, 2019: smiling businesswoman pointing with fingers at laptop with google

When it comes to advertising on Google, there are several options available. However, navigating through these options can sometimes feel overwhelming. Three terms you’ve probably come across are Responsive Search Ads (RSAs), Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs), and Responsive Display Ads (RDAs). In this blog post, we’ll break down what these terms mean and how each can benefit your business.

What are Responsive Search Ads (RSAs)?

RSAs are designed for use on Google’s Search Network. You provide several versions of headlines and descriptions for your ad. Google then uses machine learning algorithms to automatically test different combinations of your input and determine which perform best for different search queries. This automated process optimizes your ads and aligns the most relevant ad message to each user’s search query, maximizing your ad’s effectiveness. Here are some examples:

  • You could create several variations of headlines and descriptions emphasizing different selling points. For instance, headlines like “Experience the Thrill of Skydiving,” “Book Your First Skydive Today,” or “Safest Skydiving Experience in [Your City]” can be combined with descriptions discussing safety records, experienced instructors, or unique aspects like stunning views during the dive.
  • An RSA might focus on a special offer or promotion, such as discounted rates for first-time jumpers or group discounts. You could create different headlines and descriptions around the theme of your promotion.
  • Seasonal RSAs could be created to appeal to potential customers at different times of the year. For instance, summer-focused ads might emphasize the fun of a skydive in great weather, while winter ads might highlight the unique experience of a winter jump.

What are Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs)?

Like RSAs, DSAs are also for the Search Network. However, instead of providing multiple headline and description options, you give Google your website URL. Google’s algorithms then automatically generate headlines and select landing pages based on the content of your website. DSAs are designed to help capture additional search traffic that you might have missed with your keyword-based search ads, ensuring no potential customer slips through the cracks. Here are some examples:

  • If your website has a detailed page about your tandem skydiving offerings, a DSA could automatically generate a headline like “Tandem Skydiving at [Your Business Name]” when someone searches for tandem skydiving experiences.
  • If your website contains pages about the different types of jumps (like tandem, solo, accelerated freefall), DSAs could generate specific ads for these different offerings based on the content of those pages.
  • For a business that offers skydiving at different locations, DSAs could direct potential customers to the specific page for their preferred location if these pages are well-structured and optimized.

What are Responsive Display Ads (RDAs)?

RDAs, on the other hand, are used on Google’s Display Network. This network includes over two million websites, videos, and apps where your ads can appear. With RDAs, you provide multiple images, logos, headlines, and descriptions. Google then automatically generates ads to fit various ad spaces across the Display Network. RDAs are designed to increase your reach and build brand awareness, recognition, and consideration. Unlike Search Network ads, which target users who are actively searching, RDAs target users who are typically browsing content, leveraging visual ads related to their interests or previous online behavior. Here are some examples:

  • An ad showcasing an exhilarating image of a skydiver in mid-air, combined with different headlines and descriptions promoting your services. This can visually stimulate interest among those browsing the Display Network.
  • An RDA could focus on the emotional aspect of skydiving, using images of happy, thrilled customers with headlines like “Create Unforgettable Memories” or “Experience the Thrill of a Lifetime.”
  • An RDA could be used to highlight special promotions or events, such as charity skydives or team-building events. The visual nature of RDAs makes them an excellent way to grab attention and convey your message quickly.
  • An RDA could be used for remarketing to people who visited your website but didn’t make a booking. You could use images and text that remind them of the excitement of skydiving and encourage them to complete their booking.


In summary, RSAs and DSAs are designed for text-based ads on the Search Network, tailoring to users who are actively searching for specific information or products. RDAs, however, are designed for image-based ads on the Display Network, catching the eye of users browsing content.

By understanding the differences between these three types of ads, you can make more informed decisions about where to invest your advertising budget. Remember, the most effective advertising strategy often involves a mix of different ad types, so consider how each can contribute to achieving your overall marketing goals.