What is a Dynamic Search Ad?
Before we dive into dynamic search ad examples, here’s a recap of the basics - what is a dynamic search ad?
Dynamic search ads are a Google ad type that uses automation and advanced machine learning to deliver a highly relevant experience to users. They are similar to standard search ads in how they look, however, there are two main differences around the content of a dynamic search ad and how they are targeted.
1. Firstly, the ad’s headlines and final URL are populated dynamically by Google based on your website content and a user’s search query. This makes dynamic search ads highly relevant to a user’s search query from an ad copy perspective.
2. Secondly, instead of using keywords for targeting, dynamic search ads target users using website content. The advertiser must supply dynamic ad targets, which are essentially web pages that should be included in the ad group’s targeting. Google will crawl these web pages and match relevant content to relevant searches, again providing a relevant experience for users.
Who are Dynamic Search Ads for?
Dynamic search ads are an excellent addition to ad accounts of all shapes and sizes. They are suitable for almost all advertisers, whether you’re B2B or B2C, e-commerce or lead generation. There’s no real restriction over who can use dynamic search ads.
They are a really effective way to fill keyword gaps and uncover new search queries that would have otherwise been missed. Dynamic search ads are also great for dynamically serving ad copy based on the products and services that are on offer. This is what makes them a really relevant ad type since the copy and landing page is dynamic and tailored to individual searches.
What also makes them so powerful is the automation that’s involved, which can save advertisers a lot of time that would have been spent manually creating ads, especially if the advertiser has a large repertoire of products or services.
For example, businesses that are promoting thousands of products could benefit from a DSA campaign that’s capable of covering search terms and serving relevant ads for all of the products on offer, something that would be challenging and time-consuming to do manually with standard ad groups and ads.
Who should avoid DSAs?
It would be best to avoid dynamic search ads if you need to maintain a high level of control over the keywords you are bidding on or the ad copy that’s shown to users. Both of these elements of dynamic search ads are dynamic, meaning Google takes care of this for the advertiser. There’s no way to manually control or override this.
Businesses that need to adhere to compliance or strict regulations may find that dynamic search ads don’t offer enough control. Industries that might be applicable to include finance, investment, insurance and pharmaceutical. It may be risky for Google to dynamically serve ad copy in case information in the ad copy is incorrect.
For example, for an investment business, they may reference the term ‘bad credit rating’ on their website, however, this may not be a term that is appropriate for ad copy.
To find out more, and to give your DSAs the best possible chance of driving the performance you need you should read this article that provides Dynamic Search Ads Best Practices.
The best Dynamic Search Ads examples
Let’s take a look at 3 dynamic ad examples of how businesses have used dynamic search ads to generate success in their ad account.
Example 1 - Using DSAs to generate cost-effective traffic
Dynamic search ads can be used to generate cost-effective traffic, which often has a lower CPC compared to standard Search and Shopping campaigns. Dynamic search ads are also broad-match by nature, having the ability to pick up numerous keyword variations and do it fast and at scale.
One of the main reasons why this happens is because DSAs are able to pick up search queries with fewer advertisers bidding on them, therefore lower competition and lower CPCs. Since DSAs are powered by content, websites that are rich in high-quality and accurate text work best.
Furniture company: DSA achieved a -61% lower average CPC
The screenshot below is from a furniture company and shows the difference in average CPC between a standard search campaign and a dynamic search ad campaign.
Both campaigns have a similar CTR, however average CPC is -61% lower for the DSA, with £0.29 average CPC compared to £0.75 average CPC.
In this dynamic ad example, the DSAs are generating a much higher number of clicks from ad spend and they are working well at introducing new users to the business.
Within the metal furniture campaign, here are some of the keywords in the metal bed frame ad group, showing the average CPC ranging from £0.74 to £0.81.
In comparison to this, search terms in the corresponding DSA ad group for metal bed frames include more variety, filling in the gaps that would have been missed by keywords, and again achieving a much lower average CPC, ranging from £0.34 to £0.48.
Remember the importance of traffic quality
Traffic volume doesn’t always translate to more conversions and revenue, therefore traffic quality needs to be considered. To ensure the cost-effective traffic that’s being generated by the dynamic search ads is high quality, monitor the search queries report.
This needs to be done on a regular basis to ensure all of the search queries that are showing ads are relevant. If they are then great, however, if non-relevant search queries are showing up in the search query report, add them as negative keywords to the ad group, campaign or to your DSA negative keyword list.
Exclude negative keywords in bulk to save time
Taking the above search terms report, the advertiser may wish to exclude search terms relating to ‘headboards’, since the focus of the ad group is metal bed frames. Even if the company sells headboards, perhaps they are lower margin and less of a priority to the business, in which case it would again make sense to exclude terms relating to headboards.
Filter your search term report by terms containing ‘metal’ and ‘headboard’, select all of the search terms and add them as negative keywords. To prevent further search terms relating to headboards from coming through, add ‘headboard’ as a negative keyword in the phrase match.
This is an excellent Google Search ads example of how one furniture business is using dynamic search ads as part of their PPC strategy, generating cheaper traffic that’s still really relevant.
Example 2 - Accurately targeting a large number of website pages with highly relevant ads
Dynamic search ads use dynamic ad targets instead of keywords to find people searching for content, products and services. Dynamic ad targets consist of website pages that you would like to include as part of the targeting.
How dynamic search ads targeting works
Dynamic search ads targeting works by either using specific categories that reflect the structure of your website or by targeting all the pages of your website. Here’s an overview of the rules that are available for building dynamic ad targets:
- ‘URL Equals’ to target specific URLs
- ‘URL Contains’ to target a particular group of pages
- ‘Custom label’ to use a page feed of URLs to target
- ‘All website pages’ to target the entire site
- ‘Page title’ to target pages with certain titles
- ‘Page content’ to target website pages with particular content
There’s no right or wrong way of approaching dynamic ad targets, it’s dependent on the individual needs of each business and their ad account.
Travel website: Relevant ads for thousands of website pages
For a travel website featuring more than 20,000 properties in Europe, building relevant search ads for each property landing page is a challenge. Manually building and tailoring ads to each property is virtually impossible due to the time this would take, especially when factoring in updating ad copy on an ongoing basis.
This is where dynamic search ads have been able to help. The travel website has set up a dynamic search ad campaign that targets all hotel landing pages. This has meant that people searching for specific hotels are being served with relevant ads that reference the hotel, and a final URL that takes the user to the property they have searched for.
For instance, searching for Powdermills Country Hotel brings up really relevant ad description examples that reference this specific property in the copy from a number of advertisers.
Clicking on these ads then links through to the dedicated hotel landing page. This dynamic search ad example is achievable with standard search ads, however as mentioned, when there are thousands of properties to advertise, dynamic search ads offer a really powerful solution that saves a lot of time.
Results: -19% Decrease in CPA, +14% Increase in Conversion Rate
In this search ad example, not only does the advertiser benefit from a time-saving perspective, the dynamic search ad campaign outperforms the standard generic search campaign.
The DSA has been able to achieve a better conversion rate and cost per acquisition, whilst driving a much higher volume of conversions.
Don’t forget to add Negative Dynamic Ad Targets
Make sure you add non-relevant pages as negative dynamic ad targets, in the same way you would add dynamic ad targets for targeting. Adding negative dynamic ad targets will prevent Google from using those pages in the DSA.
For example, for the holiday website, the DSA campaign is intended only for hotels, so pages relating to cottages need to be excluded. This has been achieved by adding pages containing ‘cottage’ and ‘cottages’ as a negative dynamic ad target.
Example 3 - Automatically create Dynamic Search Ads to get maximum coverage of product search terms
Dynamic search ads can be used to get maximum coverage of products and services that are being promoted. They do this by filling in keyword gaps and dynamically showing ads for search terms that would have otherwise been missed, something we’ve explored in the first example.
Not only that, it’s possible to scale your search campaigns in this way using a tool that automatically creates dynamic search ads for you. This streamlines the entire process and saves the advertiser time.
Gym marketplace: maximum search term coverage for individual locations
Here’s an example of how an online gym marketplace uses dynamic search ads to find additional search terms that keywords may not have picked up. The gym memberships are available in over 100 locations, and this ensures the business gets maximum coverage in each location, keeping them as competitive as possible.
Standard search terms for “boston gym membership” keywords
DSA search terms using Boston landing pages
boston gym memberships
top boston gym memberships
gym memberships in boston
best gym memberships boston
gym membership near me
annual boston gym membership
beacon hill gym memberships
back bay gym memberships
south end gym boston memberships
boston gym and sauna membership
beacon hill 24 hour gym membership
best gym membership deals boston
boston gyms under $50
boston gym day passes
flexible gym memberships south boston
The search terms in both the standard paid search ads example and the dynamic search ad example are equally as relevant. The standard search terms are slightly more general whereas the dynamic search ads are bringing in a broader mix of searches, such as specific neighbourhoods, terms that reference price and also different types of memberships.
Automate this process using a product and location feed
It’s possible to automate the process of setting up dynamic search ads using the PPC automation tool.
A product feed must first be created containing attributes such as product id, page URL, name and city. As well as that, a location feed must also be created with attributes such as city, page URL, available gyms, min. 1-day pass, min. 5-day pass, and so on.
Advertisers can then use feed mapping templates and the campaign build feature via Feed-BasedText Ads tool to build dynamic search ads with single product ad groups, achieving maximum coverage for each product.
Increase in conversions for top-performing products and locations
Automatically setting up dynamic search ads using the Feed Based Text Ad tool enabled the gym marketplace to successfully create single product ad groups in well-structured campaigns, providing reporting capabilities at location and product levels.
Product feed optimization along with the dynamic search ads enabled maximum traffic to their site and increased conversions for the top-performing products and locations. Traffic and conversions were scaled during the business's busy season.
Dynamic search ads can deliver great results for a wide range of businesses for numerous reasons. Advertisers can take advantage of low competition and cost-effective CPCs, the ability to tailor ads to a large volume of products or services, as well as ensure you get the maximum search term coverage.
The dynamic ad examples in this article demonstrate how DSAs work well alongside standard campaigns. So, if dynamic search ads are not yet part of your PPC strategy, now is the time to start experimenting with them.
If you’ve been inspired by any of the dynamic search ads examples in this article and you’re ready to experiment with DSAs, check out this tutorial on how to set up Dynamic Search Ads.