Dynamic Search Ads Explained & How Best to Use Them in Your Strategy
Paid search ads are arguably the most powerful way to increase brand awareness and improve your CTR. However, ads require careful keyword research and targeting to connect with the right audiences. Choosing ineffective keywords can result in lost resources that hinder your overall business goals.
That’s where dynamic search ads come into play.
Below, we’ll help you better understand how to define dynamic search ads, the pros, and cons of using them, and how you can start running your first campaign today.
What are Dynamic Search Ads?
Dynamic search ads are a type of search ad that Google automatically creates based upon the content that already exists on a landing page. After crawling your web page, it then compares your advertised content to other relevant content online. With all of this gathered information, Google can then dynamically generate new headlines in an effort to target new keywords and audiences.
If there are keywords you didn’t consider targeting, or if your current content isn’t effectively targeting certain terms, DSAs can help you cover all the bases. If your DSAs are able to attract new, high-quality traffic with new keywords or headlines, it can help guide future ad creation and campaign efforts down the line.
Dynamic Search Ads – The Pros and Cons
Before you hastily dive into your Google Ads account settings, it’s important to consider the benefits and drawbacks before making alterations. First, let’s take a look at the big positives in regard to why you’ll want to consider using DSAs moving forward.
Pro 1 – More Comprehensive Keyword Coverage
Even with the help of SEO keyword research tools like SEMRush or Moz, there are often limitations to what we can achieve. In our efforts to choose smart, highly-targeted keywords, we often overlook relevant keywords that require some “outside the box” thinking. Further still, your keyword search results likely omit lower-traffic terms in an effort to increase your CTR.
Google’s search crawler often knows better.
By turning on DSAs, you effectively have an automated smart tool constantly scanning the web for content related to yours. It’s able to rapidly process a tremendous amount of data, look at how those keywords perform and make alterations based on its discoveries instantly. It’s like having an expert double- and triple-check your work at all times.
This is valuable as it can also help you discover lesser-used keywords that happen to show stronger buyer behaviors overall. Even if a term doesn’t necessarily have a high search volume, those actually using the term might be your key to gaining higher conversions. This can make these dynamically-discovered keywords more valuable overall.
Pro 2 – Dynamic Ad Targets
Standard search ads base all of their targetings on your chosen keywords. Dynamic search ads have several alternate targeting settings that can help you find new users without entering new keywords.
A. Your Entire Site
One dynamic targeting setting is to utilize the content found throughout your entire site. Google then automatically generates new keyword ideas and headlines based upon any relevant content it finds throughout the domain.
B. Specific Pages on the Site
Using your entire domain might not be ideal for your chosen ad campaign. Instead, you can choose to highlight specific pages on your site that may have content that’s relevant to your offer. Select this targeting option to generate new content based upon specific pages.
C. Automatic Categories
Finally, Google can automatically generate a list of categories based upon the content found on your page(s). You can then select as many categories as you’d like from the list to use for further dynamic targeting.
Pro 3 – Simplified Ad Creation
Finally, ad creation and management can be greatly simplified by turning on dynamic search ads. While your team will still need to do the bulk of the work and create a great foundation, you can automatically generate sexy, new headlines without any effort.
The new keyword and headline generation can also assist with providing motivation for future ads as your campaign progresses. This makes the overall ad management process easier and far more time-efficient if you’ve got a busy schedule and limited resources.
With the positives out of the way, let’s consider some of the ways that dynamic search ads might adversely affect you and your campaign depending on the circumstances.
Con 1 – Dynamic Search Ads Require Impeccable SEO
Dynamic content generation is contingent upon the content that already exists on the site. If there’s too little content, or if that content is poorly written or optimized, then DSAs won’t be very helpful.
If you already understand the importance of SEO for your website rankings, then this should not be much of a concern. However, if you’re a smaller business that needs to prioritize its marketing resources, you may not have the bandwidth to emphasize both paid ads and SEO.
In other words, DSAs are not a guaranteed solution for every type of company. You’ll need to take a look at your overall marketing strategy before you even consider turning DSAs on.
Con 2 – Low-Quality Keywords Might Eat Up Your Budget
While dynamic search ads can potentially generate awesome new keyword ideas that generate clicks, the inverse can also happen. Some of those new search terms may not generate enough volume or conversions to truly be worthwhile when it comes to your limited budget. As a result, those DSAs can actually take away from funds that would be better used elsewhere.
This is particularly important if you’re not consistently on top of your DSAs and implementing new negative keywords. Whether you’re finding your DSAs to be an improvement or not, you need to be on top of new queries and implement the correct negatives. This will reduce the number of low-quality clicks you get on one of your ads.
Con 3 – Less Control Over the Copy
This con can be mild or fairly severe depending on your company’s industry. When you turn on DSAs, you’re rendering a lot of creative control over to Google automation. This has the potential to create several issues if you’re not highly engaged in selecting the correct ad targets.
First, there is the potential for the auto-generated headlines to not match the actual ad copy. Needless to say, this is a significant issue. However, it’s also rare for Google to actually generate any headlines that do not match the body, especially if the content is high-quality and SEO-optimized.
Second, auto-generated text can be an issue if there are specific rules and regulations to what you can and cannot include in copy for your industry. This would apply to businesses in medical, legal drugs, gambling, education, or financial services.
How to Set Up a Dynamic Search Ads Campaign?
With the pros and cons of DSAs in mind, you might decide that it’s worth trying out this feature for your new campaign. The good news is that setting up a DSA campaign is extremely simple and requires most of the same steps as a normal ad campaign.
Go through the standard process that you would when creating and establishing a PPC campaign. At the bottom of your Google Ads settings where you establish start/end dates and your ad schedule, you will see a setting for Dynamic Search Ads. You will need to click this dropdown to start setting up the parameters for your DSAs.
You will first need to select the domain you wish to use. This should auto-populate based upon your current settings, but you can edit the URL here if necessary.
Then, you’ll need to select a targeting source for the campaign. You can select to use Google’s index of your site, URLs from your page feed, or a combination of both. After you make your selection, save and continue to proceed to set up your ad groups, which should now read as dynamic.
This is where you will select the dynamic ad targets we discussed earlier in the article. Remember, you can select your entire site, select specific URLs, or select one or more categories that are auto-generated by Google. You’ll want to use the knowledge gained from this article to carefully choose the right targeting option for your DSAs. Avoid using any pages that have no relevance to the campaign content or goals.
Finally, you’ll arrive at a page showing your ads with the new, dynamically-generated headlines. Because you rendered control to Google with the DSA option, you will not be able to edit these. Afterwards, you simply need to save your ads and publish to get started.
Additional Tips for Your Dynamic Search Ads Campaign
You can further improve the quality of your DSA campaign and headlines by taking a few added measures.
First and foremost, you should ensure that each page of your website, particularly the ones being sourced for targeting, feature best SEO practices. This includes providing high-quality content with proper formatting and page layouts such as using the correct header tags and descriptions. Also, be sure to create attractive, informative meta descriptions for each page. Google states that it uses this content in headline generation.
Second, take advantage of dynamic exclusions in the ad group settings. Properly segmenting your audiences is essential for improving performance, and this continues with DSAs. You can set up dynamic exclusions on an ad-by-ad basis or for the entire ad group. Try to target specific groups with each ad group as opposed to targeting everyone all at once. The more refined your targeting is, the better quality your traffic will be for the campaign.
Finally, always take advantage of Google’s AI-driven smart bidding feature. This allows you to set a goal for the campaign and Google will automatically strive to meet it. It also helps you avoid overspending on underperforming keywords that are not worthwhile.
Dynamic search ads can be highly impactful for the right business and the right campaign. Consider your industry and campaign needs before making the decision to experiment with dynamic search ads. Then, invest the time in choosing the correct dynamic ad targets to get the best results. Correct use of this feature could elevate your PPC campaigns to the next level.