Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) made their appearance on the digital advertising scene back in 2011 but they have since gone through some serious upgrades. No matter how advanced and automated they become, DSAs still function on the same core principle as they always have which is to better target your ads to your clients.

Dynamic Search Ads

The better you can align your ads to the actual search queries users are typing into the search engine the better. This is because search queries, as opposed to keywords, represent the actual intent of the user’s search. If you are able to identify which search queries need to be targeted, you’ll have a much better chance of reaching the right audience with your ads.

What Are Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs)?

The short definition is that DSAs use Google’s advanced crawling technology to comb your website for the most relevant keywords to target and automatically use them in your ad targeting and ad copy. They are ideal for advertisers with a well-developed website or a large inventory. You can use DSAs very effectively, so long as you know what services to emphasize and what pages to direct your traffic towards. For example, if you specified your DSA campaign to only send traffic to key service pages, it could send that user directly to your pricing page. In order to be successful, it is important how strategically you can manage the traffic that your DSAs generate.

How Dynamic Search Ads Work?

As opposed to classic PPC campaigns run on the search network, DSA campaigns function on the content on your site. Google’s intention with DSAs is to consolidate any gaps they have missed between the buyer’s journey from your user’s original search to their successful landing on your relevant landing page. DSAs work by working through your website, looking for actual content and relevant keywords to serve users. DSAs auto-fill your ads with relevant ad copy and show them to relevant search queries based on what Google finds when it crawls your site. Google automatically will create and show these ads which means you are giving up some control. You will not be able to write your own headlines when running a DSA campaign, for example.

Why Use Dynamic Search Ads?

DSAs theoretically help you better target your ads to your ideal users. This will increase the relevancy of your ads and your click-through rate. Doing this is linked to an increased quality score of your ads, which improves your ad ranking as well. All of this leads to better ad placements and more qualified traffic clicking. This makes DSAs very powerful tools. DSAs are generally for beginners and would be used in the following situations:

  • When you have a high-volume account, your website is essentially perfect when it comes to SEO.
  • When you need to pull in some new keyword ideas to a managed account.
  • When you want to sweep up extra traffic
  • For an Inventory Management Feed (IMF), where you don’t have the time and money to do this manually or use bespoke technology.
  • When you are new to paid search or have no time to manage campaigns.

Outside of these situations, there is not much reason to use DSAs. The reasons to use DSAs include:

  • Capitalizing On High Intent From Search: As opposed to other channels, where users are often shown ads related to their general search history and behavior, the GSN is far more reliant on their specific intent. This means that the traffic coming through the search network is much “hotter” than any other channel. DSAs are meant to capitalize on this higher intent by taking your ads from being relevant to being hyper-targeted. You can cater your ads to exactly what users are searching for their satisfaction which means more clicks for you.
  • The Inefficiency Of Wide Nets: In the PPC world, when you’re paying for every click on your ad, you want to make sure that every click is generated by a user that intends to convert. If you are generating a massive amount of paid traffic that is all coming from irrelevant clicks, you’ll be paying for every click without generating any revenue. And that is not helpful. DSAs have the ability to adjust the actual search terms shown for as well as the copy within the ad, and are constantly trying to improve your Keyword: Search Query Ratio and keep it as close to 1:1 at all times to provide more efficient results for you.
  • Increasing Click-Through Rate: Improving your ad relevance with DSAs that have a strong Keyword: Search Query Ratio can significantly boost your CTR. This in turn, improves your Quality Score which helps your ads perform better. Instead of randomly increasing your CTR with irrelevant traffic that could devastate your ad spend and Price-Per-Click budget, DSAs do the opposite and will improve your CTR with even more relevant traffic.

A Few DSA Best Practices

Now that you know the value of adding DSA services, you may be wondering what are some DSA best practices that you can employ in your own campaigns. We have 5 of the best DSA practices to help you optimize your already hyper-relevant ads.

  • Use Supplemental/Informative Content: When creating your ad, you should always keep “ad empathy” in the back of your mind by putting yourself in the shoes of the viewer. Make sure you offer intriguing information about your company, stir some curiosity, touch base on their needs, or highlight something unique. Keep in mind that all the information should be in the description section since the headlines are auto-filled.
  • Related Services/Products: You will obviously include the product or service in the ad’s description, but you may want to clarify things and go a step further. For example, more general search queries that include words like, “services,” “products,” or “items,” could be further explained. In your description, you may want to clarify and include some key services like, “carpet cleaning,” “tile and grout cleaning,” and “drapery cleaning” instead of just saying “cleaning”.
  • Focused Call-To-Action: It’s no surprise that a high performing landing page has a clear focused call-to-action (CTA). Focusing on the value the visitor will receive can be very enticing to visitors and can lead to great conversion rates. This idea can also be translated into the DSA and the ad should also contain the very same CTA you’d find on the landing page so the visitor recognizes the consistency. Remember, that with DSAs, the only part of the ad that you can manage yourself is the description, so, if you’re looking to control your CTA testing within a DSA campaign, you’ll have to keep your CTAs in your description.
  • Be Wary Of Over-Using Buzzwords/Jargon: Today, consumers can recognize when a word or phrase has little to no meaning or if it’s been overused to death. This causes an ad’s content to quickly go from sounding unique to sounding generic and uninspiring. Phrases like “free consultation” have been overused, but trying “free custom quote” has not and will have a stronger impact. Try a simple meaningful word choice and alternative copy to attract the right attention.
  • Filter Which Pages Use DSA On Your Site: If you have a variety of website pages and are looking to implement DSAs, be sure you choose specific pages that contain an array of different types of copy. Google will use web crawling algorithms to scan your page and choose pages that are considered juicy with informative description copy.

Why NOT To Use Dynamic Search Ads?

As beneficial as they are, there are also cons of DSAs. A well-managed account will always outperform DSAs and these are the reasons why:

  • DSAs make bad headlines: With any DSA campaign, there will always be mistakes. Websites are full of opportunities for a nonsensical, off-key sounding piece of ad copy. Sometimes copy is taken out of context, sometimes random words get thrown together, or sometimes sub-domains somehow make it into the headline. Bad headlines get fewer clicks and lower click-through rates.
  • DSAs don’t find the best keywords: A dynamic search ad campaign will include just about every relevant keyword for your website, but it will not necessarily find the highest-performing variants. Dynamic search ads pull in a lot of long-tail queries, but not all of them will be relevant. This is likely to be more expensive than manual campaigns since the ads will normally be less targeted than for keyword-targeted campaigns.

Why Bother With Dynamic Search Ads?

Despite the drawbacks to DSAs, it is not feasible that every marketer has the time and resources to create intricate campaigns to manage and optimize. So, if you are looking to grow your campaigns’ success with the same logic as Single Keyword Ad Groups, but don’t have the time or the expertise, then Dynamic Search Ads are the best solution.

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