Dynamic Search Ads
Google’s Dynamic Search Ads, often known as DSAs, are a powerful form of online advertising that has the potential to drive a higher volume of traffic to your website and increase your profit. Dynamic search ads work because they get to those hard to reach places when running a PPC and paid advertising campaign. Think about it – compared to the users out there who are specifically searching for things related to your ad, how many more could otherwise be enticed to convert?
Dynamic search ads capture that extra traffic, catching unique searches and leading to a powerful campaign with a broader reach and more query coverage than other advertising. DSAs work to fill in the gaps in your campaign, and the results can be fantastic. But when set up poorly, they can sabotage your results.
DSAs require a professional’s touch. When set up by those unaware about what they’re doing and are set up inappropriately, they can swallow your budget whole. A good campaign requires forethought and planning, and for professional and talented PPC marketers to establish clear goals and budget control. But when done properly, DSAs can achieve the results your other campaigns struggle to get, increasing brand exposure, boosting web traffic, and driving profit.
What Exactly Are Dynamic Search Ads?
Simply put, dynamic search ads are ads that display to users based entirely on the content of your website – not on keywords. In the world of search marketing, this certainly stands out as an alternative approach. As a Manchester-based SEO and PPC agency here at Embryo, keyword optimisation is a core talent of ours. DSAs provide an alluring and captivating alternative for online marketing.
Essentially, dynamic search ads use Google’s web crawling technology in order to (completely automatically) target relevant user searches based on your website content, avoiding the process of bidding on keywords. When Google matches search intent to your website content, it dynamically generates an ad, including the headline and landing page, entirely tailored to the user’s query and needs.
This is a unique way of advertising that allows for more appropriate advertising based on the search term, ad and landing page. These DSAs still show in the SERPs (search engine results pages) on Google, and are able to provide a greater and more coherent flow between user queries and ad display.
Dynamic search ads are a great way to connect interested and relevant search users with your website through the use of dynamic content. They help to fill in the gaps in your keyword campaigns for a greater volume of relevant traffic and ROI.
When setting up DSAs, you can choose between specific web and product pages to target, you can target more generally for categories of sub-categories of content, or, if you feel so inclined, you can just generally match user searches with your web content as a whole.
Are DSA Campaigns Different To Traditional Advertising Campaigns?
In short, yes – dynamic search ad campaigns function differently to traditional campaigns in a number of different ways. From setting up the ads to bidding and paying for them, DSA campaigns should always be dealt with by professional PPC marketers who know what they’re doing.
Dynamic Ad Headlines And Copy
Creating a dynamic search ad is fundamentally different to writing an ad for a keyword based campaign. The ad headline for dynamic ads is always generated by Google in attempt to match user query to the web content. The information for this headline content is pulled directly from the website. But this doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to write.
PPC advertisers still need to write a thorough description line for the ad. But this, essentially, is the only thing to can control and adjust about a dynamic search ad’s content. The description text is your chance to get across the information you deem important for your ad. Other than that, Google will dynamically generate the copy for your ad.
While this might sound a little risky, the actual fact is that Google’s machine learning and algorithms are advanced enough that it will always provide great, coherent and relevant ad copy. Having a tailored ad headline for individual user searches about the relevant product is an amazing asset to have, and DSAs can achieve this.
Bidding On Dynamic Search Ads
If you’re this far down the page, there’s a good chance that you’re pretty interested in running a dynamic search ads page for your business and to begin benefitting from all the great advantages of DSAs. But first, you’re going to need to know how exactly DSAs are paid for.
The good news is that if your business has ever run an advertising campaign through Google Ads, then the process is very similar. Just like similar PPC text based campaign, DSA campaigns are priced on a cost per click (commonly known as CPC) basis. This means that your costs are determined by the number of times your ad is clicked on by users, then multiplied by the maximum CPC limit that you have set for your campaign.
Where DSAs differ from traditional text based PPC ads, however, is in the bidding process.
When running a text ad campaign on Google, you pay for bids on individual keywords. Unlike regular text campaigns, however, dynamic search ads run on a different model. Instead, bids are applied to the auto-target level.
Essentially, auto targets are a list of different pages on your website that you can choose to be targeted by Google for your dynamic search ads. You set bids on your auto targets, and then Google will show you in the SERPs (search engine results pages) based on your ad rank. However, alongside setting bids to auto target, there is also the option to bid manually.
The manual bidding option (much like manual bidding for text based PPC campaigns) allows you to be more hands on. This gives you more control over your bidding, allowing you to target more specifically while being quicker to react to trends and competitors – but it certainly takes a lot more time than the alternative.
Smart bidding is an increasingly popular option
Smart bidding is another great option. Smart bidding, which is simply a variation on traditional automated bidding, makes full use of Google’s algorithms and advanced machine learning in order to optimize bids specifically for conversions. Smart bidding is a popular option with a lot of marketers. Not only does it save a lot of time, but it benefits from Google’s advanced machine learning, transparent performance reporting, flexible performance control and contextual signals. Essentially, smart bidding on dynamic search ads is a great way of improving your overall campaign performance while saving time on the more granular aspects of PPC.
The machine learning algorithms are built partly in order to help analyse bid performance and offer accurate predictions when it comes to your bidding. If you want to know how different bid amounts might change your conversion rate, Google’s machine learning can help with this. For a lot of marketers, this is being found to be more efficient and effective than employing manual bidding strategies for DSAs.
If using smart bidding or automated bidding strategies for DSAs, it’s important to bear in mind that setting up multiple different bidding strategies might be best. Of course, this depends on what exactly your campaign goals are, but – generally speaking – experimenting with different approaches is a great way to discover what works best and generates the best results.
For example, you might be setting up a cost per acquisition (CPA) model to improve and optimize your bid to bring down the cost of each customer acquisition. But employing a return on ad spend (ROAS) model alongside this in order to deliver the best ROI can be a great way of identifying which approach works best for your business.
What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Using Dynamic Search Ads?
There are a lot of great benefits to using dynamic search ads, especially alongside more traditional PPC marketing campaigns. Some of the best include:
Fill in your keyword coverage – No matter how hard you try, any keyword based text ad campaign will have gaps in it. It’s impossible to fully optimise for every relevant keyword under the sun. But with dynamic search ads, advertisers can close this cap. The crawler will index your page feed, listing all of your products to make sure that nothing is unaccounted for. This is great for two main reasons – it will ensure that you show up for keywords and products for more relevant searches, but it will also mean your DSAs can show for keywords that Google Ads would usually flag as those of low search volume – thereby increasing your reach.
Dynamic search campaigns are easy to set up – If you’re already advertising through Google Ads, a good DSA campaign is incredibly quick and easy to set up. Any talented PPC marketer will be able to set up your campaign and have you showing for a wider range of categories and products in double-quick time.
Dynamic search ads are easy to create – Well, we already told you that Google does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to setting up dynamic search ads, and we weren’t lying. Because Google dynamically generates headlines based on the given product, all matched to the specific user search, a lot of work is taken out of the advertiser’s hands. Of course, you still need to set up a good campaign, custom description lines and page feeds, the dynamic headline might be the most important part of your ad. And with DSAs, you don’t need to worry about it.
What Are Some Of The Cons To Dynamic Search Ads And How Do We Optimise Our Ads To Avoid Them?
Dynamic search ads are pretty great, and you’ve probably been reading and asking yourself ‘OK, so what’s the catch?’ Well, the catch is that DSAs, when done poorly, can have a range of drawbacks. Without the experienced hand of PPC marketer who knows what they’re doing, DSAs can do more harm than good.
Wasting budget on low performing search terms – No one knows better than a business owner what products are worth the most to their business. When optimised poorly, DSAs can have the drawback of eating up your budget on some of the lower earning search queries and keywords – preventing budget spend on those products with a higher profit margin and greater conversion rate. Now, this is an issue with traditional text based campaigns too, but with DSAs it’s easier to overlook and essentially harder to fix after launch. Structure to your campaign is incredibly important in avoiding this.
Inaccurate headlines that don’t match the content of your ad – Google’s dynamically generated headlines are brilliant for increasing your search engine reach and taking work off your hands. But a problem arises when your headline and ad copy don’t align. This is because there are three elements at play: your website content; the dynamically generated ad; and the user query. Matching all of these up entirely depends on how Google delivers your ad. Now, most of the time the dynamically generated headlines are great – but there are exceptions. Fortunately, you PPC marketers can do a lot to ensure coherency and accuracy here.
Not having complete control over your ads – Dynamic search advertising inherently means putting Google in control over what kind of searches your ads are matched to and displayed for. For businesses and marketers who want complete control over their branding and messaging, this can be a lot to relinquish. You’re putting a certain amount of trust in Google and it can be quite daunting – in fact, it’s a prospect that drives a lot of marketers away entirely. But in the right hands, a PPC marketer will ensure that you site structure is clear and strong, and will account for the appropriate negatives where necessary.
How Do We Optimise Our Dynamic Search Ad Campaigns?
In order to avoid the cons of DSAs and to make the most of your campaign, optimisation is a vital process. There’s a huge amount of good to benefit from with a strong campaign, but getting it wrong can sabotage results. This is why it’s always recommended that you make sure your campaign is in the hands of talented and professional PPC marketers. Some of the things that the PPC team here at Embryo do to optimise DSA campaigns include:
1. Mining for negatives
DSA campaigns are all about extending your coverage and increasing your reach. But this should always have a limit – without one, you risk wasting your budget and matching with less relevant user queries. One of the ways in which this can be avoided is to mine for negatives.
Negative keywords will prevent your ads from showing for specifically chosen target locations and existing keywords. This gives an element of control that is often lacking with DSA campaigns. But the process is also excellent for providing keywords for you to use and add into your text campaigns too.
2. Creating a clear campaign structure
As mentioned above, in DSA campaigns you bid at the auto-target level. These auto-targets that are set up then live within ad groups. This is where structure becomes incredibly important. In a DSA campaign, you want your auto-targets to belong in the ad groups that are as specific and descriptive as possible. This is a way of seizing back some of the control that many lose when setting up targeted campaigns using dynamic search ads.
If all of your ad groups represent products for a larger overarching category, it’s easier to then control. Having a granular structure allows you to create more tailored and specific description lines in each unique ad group. This, in turn, allows Google’s algorithms to dynamically generate a more accurate and clear headline that better matches its description text.
3. Mapping keywords for a more accurate and expansive campaign
If you’re running a dynamic search campaign, it’s because you want to expand your query and search coverage. This, after all, is the main benefit to DSAs. But alongside having strong and relevant landing pages and tailored, specific ads, we also map queries too. Part of this means adding negative keywords (which we mentioned above) into different dynamic search ad groups. This improves the mapping of your keywords when it comes to matching user queries to your specific ad groups and product pages, giving you control over how you advertise your product range. Basically, this helps to make sure that your DSAs are appearing with the most relevant ad of your campaign for any given user query.
Alongside this process, we’ll often build an overarching DSA campaign, known as a ‘catch-all’. This is a more broad campaign that targets all web pages across your entire site to scoop up those relevant searches you may have missed with the more granular ad groups. This strategy is a fantastic way of expanding your reach on the SERPs while ensuring that you maintain high ad relevancy and accuracy at the same time. Maintaining control over a DSA campaign is difficult, but in the right hands it can be done.
Dynamic search advertising is an exciting and powerful way of expanding your advertising reach on Google by reaching more relevant user queries. It’s not easy to set up, but our talented PPC team here at Embryo have a lot of experience delivering our clients efficient and effective DSA campaign. Want to find out more?
Contact us today to chat about digital marketing, PPC, dynamic search ad campaigns, and more. Find out how we can help boost your business in the online world.