How Marketing Automation Works Part 2 – Automated Google Ad Types

Automated Google Ad TYpes - Image of the android bot outside a Google office.

Last week we talked about what marketing automation is and how it works. Marketing automation helps marketers by automating some of the more repetitive tasks they have to perform. Thus freeing them up to focus on bigger or more complex tasks.

This week we are going to focus on one area of marketing automation that is pretty massive, automated Google Ad types. What are they? How do they work? And are there limitations?

But first, a brief explanation…

Person with pen and paper on desk.
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

What are Automated Google Ads and what is an automated extension?

For someone who might be new to Google Ads there are a few things we should define before we dig into automated Google ad types. 

This is mainly to do with something called automated extensions. Which are different to the types of ads that Google automates.

Google Ads automated extensions are ad extensions that are created by Google. An ad extension is a feature in Google Ads that shows extra business information on your ad in Google Search. This could be an address, store rating or a phone number.

An automated ad extension is exactly the same thing but, well, automated. Extensions add extra information to your ad and clicks on extensions are not charged separately. They just count as a click on your ad but something to note is your ads account is opted into automated extensions by default. So if you like to keep tight control of your messaging this is something to be aware of.

An automated Google Ad type is a type of ad that Google Ads can create for you, like a responsive ad or a dynamic ad.

Automated Google Ad Types -Image of a robot.
Photo by Aideal Hwa on Unsplash

Automated Google Ad Types – Auto-applied Assets

Auto applied assets are ads that Google creates for you.

Your account is opted-into this, just like automated ad extensions. So you may not even be aware that these ads are running. You do not even have to manually approve their use. This can be a problem if you operate in a heavily regulated industry like financial services or healthcare.

If you have strict branding guidelines, this can also cause problems for your campaign. So be sure to check the automated assets that have been applied.

But there are upsides to using these automatically generated ads. They save time, they can add fresh ideas to your campaign and, according to Google, they may increase conversions and click through rate.

Automated Google Ad Types - A laptop with an information dashboard on it.
Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

Automated Google Ad Types – Auto-applied Ad Suggestions

Your Google Ads account is automatically opted-in to auto-applied ad suggestions. You find these ad suggestions on the “recommendations” section of your Google Ads account. You can opt out at the account and manager account level by logging into Google Ads. Just follow these steps.

Google’s Ad suggestions can add up to 50 different ad suggestions for you to use every week. New ad variants are created automatically for you to decide whether you want to approve them, edit them or dismiss them.

But if you do nothing, then the ads will automatically launch after 14 days. 

Google creates these ad suggestions using machine learning, some human review, your existing Google Ads and the landing page you are sending traffic to. 

Very recently Google stopped serving suggestions for expanded text ads. So if you use suggestions, check your ads account to see if you are affected.

Automated Google Ad Types - Responsive designs on various devices shown on a Mac.
Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash

Automated Google Ad Types – Responsive Ads

If you have uploaded enough assets like images, headlines and ad text, then responsive ads can be a great way to get your ads seen all over the Google network.

Provided you have given Google Ads enough to work with, responsive ads  allow Google to respond to different audience intent and other user requirements, like the type of device they are using. Responsive ads also use the ad formatting requirements of the site the user is visiting.

While there are positives to using responsive ads, they have some pretty big limitations. Some of Google’s boasting about how the ads serve personalized messages to different users is not exactly true at this point in time. Plus you are limited to one final URL, so there is not much scope to serve personalized landing pages for different segments. But they are a good way to get ads across the Google network at scale, quickly.

Image of a Google search bar.
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Automated Google Ad Types – Responsive Search Ads

Responsive search ads run on the Google Search Network and work in a similar way to responsive ads. But they do not use images. Instead you enter up to 15 headlines and 4 description lines for an ad. 

To ensure your message always appears in the right place, you can “pin” text to a specific position. Also if you have to have certain lines of text in an ad for legal purposes you can also pin those in different positions.

The plus side of responsive search ads is that they can save a lot of time. The downside is that you do not really see a lot of the data from the multivariate tests that Google is running using your combinations. You will know what the best combination of headlines and copy is the best in terms of click through rate, but you will not see results for other combinations.

Images of big billboards on broadway in New York.
Photo by Deon Fosu on Unsplash

Automated Google Ad Types – Responsive Display Ads

Responsive display ads run on the Google Display Network (GDN). Unlike most of the automated ad types described above, responsive display ads have a defined look. You will have almost certainly seen them!

Responsive Display Ads let you add images, videos, logos to your usual headlines and descriptions. But unlike typical banner ads you do not have to upload image assets of different sizes, as it’s “responsive.

One thing to remember is to check the call to action text on your responsive display ads. This is automated by default and it might not fit your needs.

Come back next week for part 3 of our marketing automation series. We will be talking more about automated ad types, with specific reference to Google Shopping. Which is an eCommerce marketing “must have”!

Contact us via

Talk to MAQE

If you need advice on marketing automation, so you can save time and promote your business at scale, talk to MAQE via [email protected]. We can help you with customer acquisition and integrate your data so you can offer personalized digital experiences.