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Dynamic Search Ads - What, Why and How to implement?

Short Summary:-

I started using dynamic search ads quite recently when Google made it available for all the advertisers after beta version in the last week of October 2012. This option has been pretty economical with good ROI on top of my search and display network campaigns for my Ecommerce clients.


What are Dynamic Search Ads?

It's an amazing option for the advertisers who have a huge list of products in their websites and want to take advantage of Google's organic search index of the website. Having said that, the advertisers are still in full control of what part of their websites they want to target using this dynamic technique. I believe that it's a revolutionary feature of Google Adwords, which if used properly can bring in high quality leads with lower spend. The best part I like about these special kind of ads is that you don't have to use keywords to target your audiences and no worries about the text ad headline and the destination URL or the landing page because all these things (i.e. keywords, landing page and ad headline) are taken care by Google itself.


How to implement Dynamic Search Ads:

I believe that creating a new campaign with campaign type (Search Network only Dynamic Search Ads) would be the best option to start with. Doing this will not alter any of the other search campaigns and it helps in making proper business decisions in near future, whether to keep running this campaign or pause it. 


Now, once the proper campaign settings are selected, it's time to create ad copies. The advertisers have to only provide the description line 1, description line 2 and the display URL. Rest part will be taken care by Google as I said above:



Once the ad copies are created, it's time to really select the Dynamic Ad Targets. Dynamic ad targets is a way to explain Google which pages advertisers want to target using Dynamic ads. In order to enable them, advertisers have to make sure that Auto Targets is check marked ahead of Display Network on the main campaigns tab. To create a dynamic ad target, firstly go to the required ad group and select the tab Auto Targets. Now click on Add Dynamic ad target. It will show the following screen:-



Now, advertisers can either select first radio button which says add all web pages if you are really not sure which specific pages should be targeted using this advanced feature. Otherwise, selecting second radio button gives you 4 options (Category, URL, Page title and Page Content) to direct Google as how the pages from your website should be selected. You can select upto 3 maximum attributes which Google can match based on its organic search index to target dynamic ads.


Let's see what all these 4 options mean:


Category:- While selecting this option, advertisers might see automatically some categories listed by Google for the website which is being targeted like this:-



It actually depends upon if you have added breadcrumbs to the website pages or not. If not, Google won't be able to categorize the website and you will first have to add the breadcrumbs to the website in order to trigger them automatically while creating Dynamic ad targets.


URL:- It means that if you want to select certain URLs of the website to target dynamic ads. For example, it could be some men's blazer section of your website which you want to target. Then you have to indicate URL which contains blazer (depending upon how the URLs are set up inside your website) so that Google can automatically select blazer section of the website and show those landing pages dynamically.


Page_Title:- It simply means that you want to select certain pages of your website with certain titles. If I take the above example, it might happen that you want to select page title which contains blazers in you web pages and Google will try to dynamically target those pages.


Page_Content:- If you have specific content in your mind which you want to target using Dynamic ads, then this is the option for you. You can mention certain words defining this attribute and Google would match this preference while choosing the landing page of your website.


Why use Dynamic Search Ads?

If your website contains more than 500 pages (just an hypothetical estimate as per my experience) and you have many products to target which you think you cannot achieve using regular search or display campaigns, then this is the best option to choose from. This would not only help you achieve additional business objectives but would also help you experiement Google's technique of targeting your ad and landing page dynamically based on the ad targets you set. I personally feel that all the Ecommerce advertisers should definitely try this feature at least once and then see whether it makes any difference in terms of their goals or not.


Few words of caution:-

As per Google, businesses which are into daily deals, comparison websites, affiliate websites, custom gift/product websites should avoid this feature because the system won't be able to match the relevant users online, which can be accomplished using other options like regular search ads, display ads etc... 


Tips on using Dynamic Ads:-


  • Use search terms report for this particular campaign (in addition to your other search campaigns) to find out the negative keywords and include them for optimal results. Although positive keywords doesn't actually work due to dynamic system for this campaign, but the negative keywords can be included for relevant traffic towards the website.
  • Add Negative Dynamic Ad Targets at the ad group or campaign level in order to avoid Google to target the parts of your website which you don't want to target. This can be implemented in the same way as you include positive dynamic ad targets as mentioned above. Exclusions Tab is available in the end to include them.


Learn More

How to create targets for your Dynamic Ad campaign

What are Breadcrumbs



Posted by Pankaj Sabharwal

about Pankaj Sabharwal

I am a Google AdWords lover. Always excited to learn something new about it. I am always engaged with the AdWords Community and love to interact and solve the problems to the best of my knowledge if I can.

January 2013
I will try to implement this. thank you for sharing.
Sanjay Katariya
January 2013

Sounds good, will be testing this for sure!!

February 2013

will it work for tech support websites????

Myshop G
April 2013

Can you create 2 different dynamic ads for the same website, but targeting different pages based on particular string in the title of the page.


The problem i am seeing is that only the first dynamic search ad is being served the second one is not being served.


Any pointers, help is appreciated,