Dynamic Search Ads Training - Learn How to Improve Ad Relevancy with DSA in AdWords

Dynamic Search Ads Overview

Image of Dynamic Search Ads

An often misunderstood and underutilized AdWords tool, the Dynamic Search Ads (dynamic search ads) campaign and its features provide a quick solution to start up an account all while providing a powerful amount of relevancy. Google’s search engine seeks to sift through the millions of results in its database, curate these results into order of relevancy and quality, and offer page Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ads that are most likely, based upon its secret sauce algorithm, to meet the user’s expectations. dynamic search ads are one way to perform this automatically using Google’s own algorithm.

Creating a Dynamic Search Ad in AdWords Interface

The way Google determines organic performance by looking at the content on a page as well as that page’s title, among other variables, is how Google sets up dynamic search ads. When the campaign is created the advertiser has the option of filtering by which pages on the website they wish to allow for these ads to show.

This article will review the types of targeting options available to the advertiser and the makeup of the dynamic search ad itself.

Dynamic Search Ads Targeting

The advertiser can choose from the following ad group level targeting options:

  1. Target all webpages - all pages are available to show for a dynamic search ad

  2. Target categories recommended for your website - an option that targets specific kinds of content on the website (these could include plumbing, hvac, ac, for a plumbing company)

  3. Target specific webpages - an advanced filtering option to include pages of the website from showing a dynamic search ad or not

Let’s walk through these 3 options to see which option or options may be a best fit for your advertising goals, speed of campaign setup and level of control.

Target All Webpages

This option provides for the quickest setup but the least amount of control and is a satisfactory option for a first time dynamic search ad campaign. When the dynamic search ad campaign targets all pages on a website, any organically relevant terms based upon the content of the pages will be used as keywords to show ads to searchers. This means for a plumbing company that terms about plumbing, hvac, air conditioning services will likely show an ad (granting the bid is high enough).

Other pages will match too such as blog articles or other pages an advertiser may not typically wish to focus on (such as the about us section or territories serviced). This option requires due diligence to ensure ads showing in this campaign make sense for the advertisers goals and negative keywords should be added frequently as irrelevant searches build up.

Keep in mind this option only has one bid option so this is not the best option to select for advertisers who wish to make bid adjustments based on better performing pages or types of pages on the website.

Target Categories Recommended for your Website

A plumbing company’s website make have categories such as plumbing, hvac, clogged drain, water heater, etc. This option takes a little more time to set up but increases the level of control the user has on which pages of the website are available to show in ads as well as options to change bids based upon each category.

Potential categories on an example website to target

Each category has some statistics and information associated with it. The first is a small text box icon, the second amount of website coverage and third the recommended bid for this category.

When an advertiser hovers over this icon some samples of dynamic search ads appear. First,  potential search queries a user types that will match for this category. Second, an example landing page. Finally an example ad that will show to that user.

Simply click the the >> next to the categories you wish to add to your campaign’s targeting options. If an advertiser wishes to advertise on plumbing and hvac related content from the website, simply select those two categories. Options to select individual bids for each of these two categories allows for higher or lower bidding based upon the advertiser’s goals. All the other categories that are unselected will not be available for the dynamic search ad campaign to show ads.

Target Specific Webpages (Advanced)

This is an advanced option that should be saved for advertisers confident with their ability to set up and manage a dynamic search ad campaign. One option interestingly enough is to target categories of the website (which seems to be unnecessarily repetitive given targeting option 2 above). The other more advanced options target “contains” within the url, page title and / or the page content.

Drop down menu when choosing specific webpages to target

Some tips to ensure that a dynamic search ad campaign is set to appropriately target the landing pages on the website the advertiser wishes to show for and not others is to become intimately familiar with the url taxonomy of the website. An advertiser can make this a more pain-free process by ensuring common sense patterns occur in the url. For example, when targeting plumbing services, the url for each service has a similar pattern: drain cleaning contains “drain-cleaning” in its url, sewage treatment contains “sewage-treatment” and so on. An advertiser potentially gets tripped up when in the same example, drain cleaning contains “drain-cleaning” and sewage treatment contains “sewagetreatment” in their urls.

Due diligence and mapping out the website for this task will make it significantly easier to ensure the correct pages from the website are targeted without incidentally targeting pages the advertiser does not wish to target.

Writing the Dynamic Search Ad

The dynamic search ad contains pieces that Google automatically generates and pieces that the advertiser has the control to edit himself or herself.

Example of a company's potential dynamic search ad format

First, the pieces that Google dynamically generates for you. The headline is generated based upon the search query the user types in the search engine, and is closely matched with the page title on your website that closely matches that search. For example, if a user types in “clogged drain help”, the headline may autofill for the page on the website titled “clogged drain services”. The final url (formerly the destination url) of the ad will point the user to that page on the website automatically. This is the most time saving benefit of the dynamic search ad.

Second, the pieces of the ad that the advertiser writes and has creative control over. As with the standard text ad, the dynamic search ad has two description lines with limits of 35 characters including the blank spaces. The advertiser also writes the display url (the url in green in the above ad preview example). The display url is also limited to a total of 35 characters, and must contain the domain of the website being advertised for. This means if the advertiser is sending people to the website “myplumbingcompany.com” the advertiser must include this domain in the display url as well. The advertiser can add a subdomain such as hvac.myplumbingcompany, or additional content after the domain such as myplumbingcompany.com/hvac.

Dynamic Search Ads Review

This article is far from comprehensive on the subject of dynamic search ad campaigns and dynamic search ads. This article covers the basics of what the dynamic search ad campaign is, the targeting options available to the advertiser, and the components of the dynamic search ad, both auto-populated by Google, and free for edit by the advertiser.

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