By Jocelyn Le Conte

Too many products to build keywords for? Website content changing faster than you can keep up with? Eliminate the need for keywords, take away the panic and go dynamic with DSAs.

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Ensure Your Entire Website Is Covered With DSAs

Keeping on top of your keywords if you’re a retailer with tens of thousands of products or a job board with 100s of new listings each day can be nigh on impossible, let alone ensuring the ads and landing pages are correct too.

These days cars can get from A to B without a driver, your house can keep itself warm and toasty and Alexa has your favourite takeaway on speed dial. So why can’t keyword lists just take care of themselves? Thanks to Dynamic Search Ads, they can! Sort of.

First made available to all advertisers back in March 2013, Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) have been a staple of campaign management ever since, but recent changes have made them easier to use and more effective than ever. DSAs use Google’s index of your website content to show ads for relevant searches and automatically generate relevant ads to direct users to that landing page. This can be particularly useful for:

  • part numbers
  • product names
  • products with multiple variations such as colour or size
  • job titles
  • hotels and holiday destinations
  • sale or rental properties
Johnny Five, Oooh Input

Indistinguishable From Search Ads, But Without The Keywords

Created from a regular search campaign by adding auto targets, you have the option to include:

  • all web pages
  • specific pages by
    • category
    • page title content
    • URL content
    • pages containing certain words
  • page feeds
    • business data spreadsheet of chosen URLs (e.g. product pages)
    • use labels to target areas of the feed differently

Using an expanded text ad template, Google will automatically generate an ad headline, display URL and destination URL from the page that matched the search query. This then leaves you the 80 character description line to play with.

DSA default ad template

All of your regular search ad extensions can then be applied so that the one determinedly specific person last month who searched for “Acme machine part number 8472353” will see an ad just as compelling as someone searching for one of your top traffic search keywords. You’d never have time to build this long tail keyword out yourself and it’s highly unlikely to be searched for often, but DSAs can plug this gap for you and direct that user straight through to the product page for exactly what they were looking for.

Full instructions on how to get set up can be found here.

Coverage Without Cannibalisation

DSAs will help you gain additional traffic by reaching more searchers beyond your existing search campaigns. DSA ads will not be generated when a user’s search query matches one of your active keywords exactly to avoid inter-account competition, but bear in mind that this doesn’t include broad or phrase match variants. Keep an eye on your search query reports to identify new areas that would benefit from being added to your search campaigns and use negative keywords to eliminate anything unwanted.

If you make changes to pages in Google’s index, the website will be crawled again to ensure ads are as up to date as possible. Whilst this doesn’t happen in real time, it’ll take considerably less time that it would for you to notice that a job was no longer available or 10 new colour variations were added to a handful of less popular products.

Johnny Five, Attractive Nice Software

Use In Conjunction With Other Tools For Best Results

Don't just set it up and forget about it. Whilst DSAs should be used to support and not replace your search campaigns, to get the best results you have an arsenal of tools at your disposal that should not be neglected. DSAs are compatible with:

  • remarketing lists for search ads, including similar users and customer match
  • automated bidding strategies for clicks and conversions
  • bid adjustments including device, location, demographic and time/day

 There are however a few things to watch out for.

  • If your website uses sub domains, page feeds may be the best option for you to prevent pages from the wrong area of the site triggering ads.
  • There may be areas of your site you don't want it picking up on, for example blog posts or career opportunities. Be sure to exclude these URLs or categories from the start.
  • DSAs don't know the difference between brand and generic terms. Use negative keywords to keep it on the right track.
  • The headline of the ad will be taken from the web page title. If these aren't relevant or reliable, sort that out first before launching the campaign.

When setting up a new campaign, keep a close eye on traffic volumes and search queries. You have the option to test DSAs on a smaller pool of users by limiting the ads to returning visitors only through RLSAs, so give this a try first before rolling out to everyone if you have your reservations.

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