Dynamic search ads

Dynamic Search Ads

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Digital marketing has transformed many businesses and, in particular dynamic search ads. Google specifically designs them to take online users to sites that have relevant content. They are similar to other types of online advertisements, but there is one significant difference. Dynamic ads leverage existing website content to create targeted content that yields more clicks and conversions.

Ideally, the lion’s share of ad content creation is taken from your plate with dynamic ads. If you want to discover more, this article is for you. It includes the definition of dynamic ads and how they work, where they work best, a comparison of dynamic ads and traditional ads, setting up and optimizing the ads when to avoid using them, and the pros and cons of the ads.

What are dynamic ads?

Dynamic ads are typical banners that automatically alter the content or promotional method to make the ads suitable for every user, ascertaining that every user gets exposed to the most useful creative.

Dynamic ads appear like typical banner ads, Instagram and Facebook collection ads, or image ads. However, you need not create an image for each ad. You need to create a template that is leveraged by the network, and it spontaneously uses these images and catalog details, providing users with personalized ads.

Instead of distributing the same banner ads across ad networks, you can exploit behavioral data such as browsing history, geolocation, purchasing habits, and more to create and display personalized ads for each individual. 

Ideally, Google dynamically created the ads from your website pages or product feeds featured on your website. When a user Googles a relevant query or matches your products or services, Google crawls your website and links the query to your web copy or content. An ad is then dynamically created with a headline founded on the search query and ad text based on your most significant landing page. 

How different are dynamic ads differ from traditional ads?

Traditional ads use keywords and ad content for all probable matches between search queries and your site content. In contrast, dynamic ads are created without keywords by linking a search query to your website content. 

If you are worried that the ads might compete with your current search campaign, fear not. When a user types a query, and you already have a suitable, keyword-targeted ad, your dynamic ad is withheld. Hence, dynamic search ads (DSA) campaigns will not interfere with any other search campaigns currently working for you.

Like traditional ad campaigns, DSA campaign pricing is based on CPC (Cost Per Click). Here, the costs are determined by the number of times users click your ad multiplied by the highest CPS that you are ready to pay.

Contrary to traditional ad campaigns, it is unnecessary to bid for individual keywords because dynamic ads do not use keywords. As an alternative, you require to apply bids that automatically target the various pages on your website.

Dynamic Search Ads Traditional Ads 
Are created without keywords by linking a search query to your website content Use keywords and ad content for all probable matches between search queries and your website content
Dynamic Search Ads are created by Google Traditional PPC Google Ads are created by the advertiser 
Apply bids that automatically target the various pages on your websiteRequired to bid for individual keywords 
Google uses your existing content to create ads for you that match what people are searching forHave to plan keywords and create ads 
Target people based on search intent Target people based on general interests

Where do dynamic search ads work best?

Dynamic search ads work well for well-developed websites with huge inventory. The reason is that you must have good content on your site for Google to create the right ad for you. Examples of the niches that are favor dynamic ads include food and beverages, construction, beauty and cosmetics, fashion, and many more.

When to avoid using dynamic search ads

There are instances where using dynamic ads is not advisable. If your web pages are not optimized well for dynamic ad creation, for example, if your website pages need a sign-in for users or your site contains flash content and images, DSAs might not work in your favor.

Similarly, these ads are not the best if your website content frequently changes as in the case with daily deals or if your business belongs to specific fields such as gambling and pharmaceuticals.

How to set up dynamic search ads

Now that you understand how dynamic ads work, you are probably excited to launch your campaign, but perhaps, you have no idea what to do. Fortunately, if you have ever worked on text campaigns, you will discover that the initial steps are similar. It is advisable to do the following.

Log into your Google Ads account and click on the ‘Campaigns’ tab.

Click on the add (+) button placed on the left side of the page and choose ‘New Campaign.’

An image showing  how to choose a campaign

At this point, you are required to choose the type of ad you want and define your goals. There are different options available.

How to define your goals when creating search ads

Once you choose your ad goals, click on ‘Search’ for the campaign type and press continue. That will take you to the campaign settings page.

Here, you will see a link named ‘Show More Settings.’ Click on it to have access to the drop-down menu. The third option on the menu will be Dynamic Search Ads. Click on it to expand the menu and click on the box that reads ‘Enable Dynamic Search Ads’.

How to adjust  dynamic ads settings ads

Enter your website domain, select your preferred language and choose your targeting source out of the three options provided.

You can then expand the location options to focus on particular geographical zones and choose a bid strategy.

How to maximize conversion of ads by choosing the geographical locations

When you finish with that, you can now define your default bid and click on ‘Save and Continue.’

Now you are ready to start generating ad groups.

If you aim to target through categories, choose ‘Target categories recommended for your site’ and pick relevant categories only. Please include all of them in the Dynamic Ad Targets tab.

How to select categories  when creating dynamic search ads

Finally, you will now be able to generate the actual dynamic ad by writing a maximum of 90 characters in the creative description field. 

Once that is done, your campaign is generated.

How to optimize dynamic search ads campaigns

While there are certain cons to using dynamic search ads, you can implement a few best practices to make sure that you find creative solutions to these deficiencies. Here are a few of my top recommendations:

While dynamic search ads have several limitations, there are several best practices that you can apply to ensure that you find creative and practical solutions to the problems. Here are the top five recommendations.

Create a solid campaign structure

Without a solid campaign structure, you are bound to fail. It is essential to plan your campaign and identify the tasks to undertake and their deadlines. Planning also involves identifying the relevant teams, making a budget and an execution timeline.

Mapping keywords appropriately

Correct mapping of keywords is essential as it helps to optimize the display of your ads. That means that your ads will quickly display on relevant searches that convert to sales.

Mine for negatives

It is crucial to look at the potential negative aspects of your campaign. Once you list the negatives, you are better placed to avoid them or get solutions.

To avoid displaying your ads on searches that don’t convert to sales, enter negative keywords, just like traditional ads. That will help you optimize the display of your dynamic search ads.

Highlight your promos and offers in your Dynamic ads campaign

You should also highlight your offers and promotions in your DSAs. That helps to catch the viewer’s attention fast, and the recommendations persuade them to buy your product or service.

Utilize smart bidding

Typically, bids are set to auto-target, but manual bidding is also possible. Manual bidding enables you to be more hands-on with the process. You can access the service from the advanced options tab that is under the additional settings menu. However, manual bidding is a time-consuming and tedious process.

That is the reason that you should utilize smart bidding. It is an alternative to automated bidding that leverages machine learning for conversion optimization in every auction. In return, there is an improvement in back-end performance. According to Google, you also get to save time and enjoy four main benefits that will help improve your campaign’s overall performance.

The four primary benefits are the following.

  • Advanced Machine Learning
  • Contextual Signals
  • Flexible Performance Controls
  • Transparent Performance Reporting

With the machine learning algorithms, you can better predict how various bid amounts could increase conversion chances. That is way more effective than manual bidding that is done by an individual or team.

It is essential to come up with various bidding philosophies that match your goals. For instance, the Target Cost Per Acquisition strategy is meant to automatically enhance the general cost per acquisition by optimizing bids automatically and tailoring them for every auction. 

Another example is the Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) strategy. It permits you to place bids that are optimized for hitting a targeted ROI. It is available as a standard approach that can work for one or multiple campaigns.

Pros and cons of using Dynamic search ads

DSAs come with both advantages and disadvantages, and it is crucial to understand them if you want to have a successful dynamic ad campaign. 

The pros of dynamic search ads

Ad creation is made easier

Ideally, the headlines and ad-context are dynamically created from the services of products on your webpage. The ads are also generated based on the search query. Hence, you need not create fresh ad content. You only need to include an appropriate description line. The ads save you time and money.

DSAs supplement your current keyword-based ads and narrow the gap regarding keyword coverage

At the time of the pilot testing of dynamic search ads, most advertisers witnessed a 5%-10% rise in clicks and conversions with a satisfactory investment return than conventional ad campaigns.

Note that Google crawls your site or on-site feed with a catalog of all your products and services. That helps close the gap in keyword coverage and display keywords that would be signaled on Google Adwords as holding a low search volume. 

Choosing a display URL is no longer mandatory

The good thing about dynamic search is that Google will leverage your primary domain as the last destination URL. Hence, you end up saving time that you would have to use on creating conventional ads.

You can catch more traffic while saving time. 

DSAs can help you gain that much-needed extra traffic and sales via the recognition of new serving opportunities that you are not already pursuing with keywords. Likewise, the ads might also assist you with advertising to new markets faster, unlike other alternatives that require you to map specific keywords.

You have control over the parts of your site that you intend to target with DSAs.

Dynamic search ads also give you total control of your website. That means that you can choose to display ads based on your whole site or even particular pages or categories. 

Likewise, you can stop the generation of ads for products or services that are momentarily out of stock by opting out of dynamic search ad creation. That makes your users access product or services that you can deliver eliminating the chances of disappointing them.

The cons of dynamic search ads

Partial control when it comes to ad generation

Typically, you do not have total control over which kinds of queries are linked and served. Instances could occur when dynamically generated headlines or ads might not agree with the query.

Although dynamic headlines are excellent, if you aim to have full control over the kind of message displayed along with your business, DSAs might not be the most acceptable option. 

DSAs work best with particular sites

Dynamic search ads work well for specific sites that are well designed and with many products or services. The content or catalog needs to have lots of information. 

Ad creation is made easier as the headlines and ad context are dynamically created from your web content Have no control over which queries are linked. Dynamically generated headlines may not agree with the query
Catch more traffic via the recognition of new serving opportunities that you’re not pursuing with keywords Work well for specific sites that are well designed with many products or services
Choose to display ads based on your whole site or particular pages or categories Poor performing search queries can waste your budget before better-performing products are searched for 


This article educates you on different aspects of dynamic ads. If you have been thinking about using them, you can now confidently make the right moves.

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