Know more about the end of ETAs
Google Ads (SEM)

What Realtors Need To Know About The End Of ETAs

The end of ETAs are here – so what should you do to keep your Google ad leads from decreasing? Read on and find out!

Google is getting rid of ETAs

Why? It's all about tapping on machine learning, of course.

RSAs are a step closer to having a real human-like answer to your Google search queries instead of a robot sending you an answer from a template.

According to Google, 15% of user search queries made daily are new searches we've never seen before. RSAs are an adaptation to this trend. RSAs offer a more flexible, dynamic and relevant layout of ads structured to answer users' ever-varying searches.  


1. ETAs vs RSAs – What are they?

Expanded text ads (ETAs) and responsive search ads (RSAs) are the two most widely used formats of Google Ads that appear on your browser search results. 


  • 3 headlines (up to 30 characters each), 
  • 2 descriptions (up to 90 characters each)
  • Final URL destination. 


  • 15 headlines(up to 30 characters each)
  • 4 descriptions (up to 90 characters each)
  • Final URL destination. 

Google leverages on AI to test different headlines and descriptions to find the best pairings. It looks for RSA combinations that result in the best click-through rate (CTR) and the highest conversions for the ad.

Unlike manual text ads like ETAs, crafting ads with RSAs is easier and less time-consuming due to automation and, thus, a preferred advertising format. 

2. What does this mean for realtors?

Starting 30 June 2022, you'll no longer be able to create or edit ETAs

However, your existing ETAs can still be paused, removed or reactivated. 

If you're a realtor running your own Google Ads campaigns, it's time to transition your well-performing ETAs to RSAs. Minimally, you should have at least one active RSA per ad group. If you haven't started running Google Ads entirely, here are a few brief reasons why you should:


2.1   Target the right audience

I get flyers from real estate agents at my doorstep every day. And to be honest, it annoys me – most of these flyers end straight into the trash. Google Ads will help you display your listings to individuals most interested in buying properties – at the right time. 

Google Ads is so subtle about it. Readers would think they were the ones who organically found and chose you instead of you actively hunting.

2.2   Leverage the benefits of RSAs

Here's why sunsetting ETAs is a great thing. 

Normally, it's a hassle to create ETAs. It requires time and experience to figure out which ad variants would work well together with which keywords. With RSAs, machine learning automates this process for you.

Each RSA tests 15 headlines and four descriptions based on search intent. It shows the right message for the correct query. This automated display enables user searches to be addressed accurately, like how any good customer service staff would respond. Timely, personalised ads address any concerns from potential customers interested in real estate.


2.3   Track your performance

Track your performance on a daily, weekly, monthly and all-time basis. 

For RSAs, Google breaks down the number of clicks for each headline and description. The data lets you know which ad variants work favourably and which ones need to be changed. When ads work well, that's when you can see your leads rolling in.  

3. What are the downsides of RSAs?

RSAs are not a magic wand of ad optimisation – it has their fair share of downsides. Unlike ETAs, RSAs do not appear on your search engine result page (SERP) precisely as written. Even though you don't have to write hundreds of ad variants anymore, you do not fully control what will show on your text ads, and missing pieces may change the whole meaning of your ads.

RSAs also offer fewer insights into which headline/description pairings provided the most conversions. That may be a boomer if you're trying to get proper feedback to help improve the quality of your campaign.


4. Will the performance of my ads be affected?

Unfortunately, yes. Be prepared to see a decline in impressions and clicks. Transferring your ETA ad copies over to RSAs does not guarantee that your ad will perform equally well as it did in the past. The only way to continually improve your RSA performance is to test and improve your ads continually. 

It's a frustrating process. If you'd like to seek professional help to test what ad variants work and how to improve your ad copies, feel free to reach out to us. Our experienced team has helped many clients perform ad optimisations weekly at an affordable rate, so you don't have to stress over it.

5. Is it bad if I don't stop running ETAs?

ETA impressions are on the decline as well are the clicks, and this trend will likely continue. You may continue A/B testing (compare two ad versions to identify which performs better) and your ETAs to experiment with the best headlines and descriptions until 30 June. But from what we've tested, conversions for both ETAs seem to be declining. So yeah, we would recommend running RSAs instead. 


6. How can I get the best out of RSAs?

Here are some tips for RSAs that you can leverage to outperform other competitors:

6.1   Pin

Tap on the pin functionality in RSAs to pin important headlines and descriptions to specific positions in your RSAs. Pinning ensures that your best-performing ad variants appear when your ad is displayed. However, this can hurt your results – so be sure to use it only when your ad has to contain specific text (e.g. a specific location). 


6.2   Improve ad strength

Contrary to popular belief, RSAs with excellent ad strength might not yield the most conversions. More importantly, your RSA headlines and descriptions should resonate with people actively searching for your keywords. 

The best-performing RSAs that we've done for our clients were those that rank "average" in ad strength. But keep improving your ads. Google would usually recommend a specific action that improves the ad strength of your ad. An example would be to include more keywords in your headlines or descriptions.

6.3   Keep your headlines unique

Google will not show similar ad variations. So, avoid testing the same ad copy, even with a lowercase or camel-case ad variation. (E.g. "SMC new launch condo" or "SMC new launch condos")

7. What results will I see?

If you've implemented the above changes, you should be able to see a gradual increase in your clicks, impressions and conversions.

Google's push towards automation and machine learning is a peek into what future advertising may look like years ahead. The dynamic aspect of RSAs also makes them easier to manage. It gives us more time to concentrate on crafting new campaigns that convert to leads. 

If you want to find out more or seek assistance running your RSAs to get the best ad variants to target the right people, feel free to reach out to our Google ads experts. SMC has worked with more than 80 realtors in Singapore to receive thousands of leads for their new condo launches. If you're interested in earning more comms, don't hesitate to contact our team today!

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