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When to Use Dynamic Search Ads in Google Ads

Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) are a part of Google Ads that use your website’s content to target your ads to searchers and can help fill in the gaps of your keyword based campaigns. The DSA headlines and landing pages are generated automatically using the indexed content from your website, which keeps the ads relevant and saves time. This type of targeting can therefore be ideal for advertisers with a well-developed website or a large inventory, but need to be used with caution as well.

If you’re running a Google Ads account, you’ll often see DSAs included in the Recommendations for your advertising, and you can either set up an adgroup with DSAs, or a separate campaign – we would recommend the latter so that you can apply a separate budget and manage these ads differently from the standard search ads.

The DSAs essentially use your domain to connect with the indexed pages that Google has added to their organic search database. When someone searchers for a term that matches the content on your website, the ad will be generated from the content on that web page, with the landing page automatically included as well.

This can mean that DSAs are flexible and built around your website content, so they can be easy to setup and generate ads for many searches related to your content. However, they should be used as a way of reaching additional search terms that may not be targeted specifically via the keywords list.

Like most things, the use of DSAs has certain advantages for the advertiser, but there are pitfalls to watch out for as well.

Benefits of using Dynamic Search Ads

  • You can save time – No more mapping keywords, bids and ad text to each product on your website. Dynamic Search Ads may also help with the advertising to new markets faster than other alternatives.
  • You can show relevant, dynamically generated headlines with the ads – When a customer’s search is relevant to your product or service, Google Ads will dynamically generate an ad with a clear headline from the most relevant page on your site.
  • You control the ads – DSAs allow you to show ads based on your entire website, or specific categories or pages. Alternatively you can prevent your ads from showing for products that are temporarily out-of-stock.
  • You can capture additional traffic – DSAs can help you gain additional traffic and sales, identifying new serving opportunities that aren’t already being targeted with keywords.
  • Your display URLs are based on your final URL domain – It’s not necessary to enter your display URL when creating a new ad. Instead, Google Ads will use the domain from your final URL and show it as your ad’s display URL.

When not to use DSAs

  • They’re not recommended if your website changes rapidly – e.g. with daily deals.
  • They work best for websites with well written, optimised HTML page titles and clearly-written content – Page content is used to produce headlines for the creatives and decide which queries are good matches for the page. Advertisers, especially of sensitive industries, must therefore ensure that they have the right certifications and right audience set. The most important signal, among the many used to generate the ad’s headline, is the HTML title of your page.
  • They also work best with well optimised pages where DSAs can identify themes and terms on the webpage – they don’t work well with websites that are in a format that Google Ads can’t do this for (e.g. sites that contain mostly Flash content or images, or sites that require users to sign in to access the majority of the site’s content).
  • They can broaden the search coverage – DSAs can expand your search term coverage based on your website content, so you need to check the search terms report for this activity and add negatives where not relevant, or possibly where keywords are used in other adgroups or campaigns.

Even well-managed Google Ads accounts with many keywords can miss relevant searches, experience delays getting ads written for new products, or get out of sync with what’s actually available on advertisers’ websites, whereas carefully set up DSAs can quickly resolve those potential issues.

However, like all aspects of the Google Ads account, any changes or new activity such as a DSA campaign should be tested and reviewed, particularly in the early days, to make sure the targeting and relevancy is good, and that the conversion rate and cost is within the acceptable range.

If you want to know more about how Dynamic Search Ads could help your business, please get in touch.

We have been Google Ads (AdWords) experts since the system was first launched in 2002. If you would like a free review of your Google Ads account, please contact us.