Have you thought about Dynamic Search Ads to grow your PPC campaigns? | Articles

Though Dynamic Search Ads are far from new, you might still wonder what they are, how they work and how they can benefit your business.

In this article, you will find the answer to the above questions as well as a few tips & tricks to get the most of your DSA campaigns.

What are Dynamic Search Ads

At a first glance, Dynamic Search Ads look like any normal Google AdWords ad apart from the fact that their headline highly reflects the user’s search phrase. Indeed, Google dynamically generates a headline based on the query and the relevant landing page.

Actually, Dynamic Search Ad campaigns target relevant Google searches by scanning the text of your existing website and serving up ads on Google when a query matches your site.

When Google finds searches that are a match for your dynamic ad targets, it generates your ad's headline and landing page URL. This URL will link to the most appropriate page from your website. In contrast to Google AdWords, you’re not using keywords as a targeting basis that determines whether your ad is being shown or not.

Dynamic Search Ads.jpg

In other words, you could see it as as a broad match for your landing pages as well as a way to fill in the gaps in you classical campaigns.

Say you are running an ecommerce selling sneakers. As you have hundreds of different brands & models, it is impossible or irrelevant to buy every single brand or model as keywords.

With dynamics search ads, when a user is searching for a brand or model you are not buying the keyword for, Google will scroll your website and decide whether or not the query of the user is a good fit for your website. If so, it will dynamically generates an appropriate headline and landing page to show. Got it?

Are Dynamic Search Ads for you?

Before implementing Dynamic Search Ads campaigns, you may want to question yourself whether or not it is relevant for your business.

As you may have understood from the above example, Dynamic Search Ads are highly relevant for businesses with huge inventories. Most of the time, keyword-based campaigns won’t cover the whole website. DSA campaigns will then play a great complement for your existing campaigns.

If you are running a highly seasonal business, you may also benefit from Dynamic Search Ads. Indeed, your inventory is probably constantly changing which makes DSA very handy for you: no one wants to spend hours pausing outdated products and uploading new ones and DSA will thus take care of it.

On the other hand, small websites with a manageable number of landing pages may want to pass their turn when it comes to Dynamic Search Ads. Similarly, I would not advise DSA for customizable products and gift websites as well as for comparison websites.

It is also important to mention that having a well optimized website in terms of SEO is an important requirement for DSA. Indeed, Google will scroll your website to make the match between the user’s query and your website and then dynamically generate a headline. Therefore, we advise having a look at your titles, descriptions and meta tags to ensure these are accurate.

In a nutshell, as long as you have a content rich & SEO-optimised website and do not fall in the unadvised type of business for DSA, I would advise you give it a try.

Benefits & Perks of Dynamic Search Ads

Running Dynamic Search Ads campaigns can highly benefit your business.

First of all, you will capture additional traffic. Indeed, DSA campaigns play as a complement of your traditional campaigns and will allow your ads to be displayed on formerly uncovered search queries.

Then, Dynamic Search Ads can have longer headlines than other search ads, which improves their visibility. Next to this, they are usually more relevant to users’ search queries (vs. ads from keyword-based campaigns) leading to higher CTRs.

We have actually noticed among our clients that Dynamic Search Ads have lower CPCs and CPA as well as a CTR 50% higher - on average - than for regular ads.

On the other hand, remember that headlines of your ads are dynamically generated by Google. Therefore, you have a limited control over what is appearing to the user. Control freak? Pass your turn ! However, there are plenty of options to optimise your campaigns that will be covered in the next part of this article.

Best practices

As I really want you to succeed using DSA, I will share with you some best practices I learned through experiencing it with various clients:

When setting up your campaign, make sure to breakdown your website into various ad groups. You can do so based on the categories, URLs, page title, page content or a mix of these.

Website breakdown.jpg

You will then be able to:

  • Create different ads (description line 1&2) for each of your ad groups and thus, increase relevance for the user
  • Monitor performances per category / URLs and eventually
    • Adapt bids for each ad group
    • If needed, isolate an outperforming ad group in a new campaign

In the first days of your DSA campaign, it is necessary to monitor your search term report closely. This way, you will make sure to appear on relevant requests. Make sure to set the following queries in negative: “out of stock”, “complaints”, “unsubscribe”, ... A qualitative keyword cleaning in the beginning and onwards will increase the quality of your campaign.

You should also make sure to exclude some pages or categories of your website to prevent Google from considering it when scrolling your website and generating the headline of your ads. Think of archived pages with promotions or offers that are outdated. Other pages to consider are “thank you” and “about us” pages.


Don’t forget to optimize your ads. Although you do not have control on your headlines, you can still control the description lines of your ads. As you are doing with your regular ads, it is of prime importance to ad test with DSAs. Try several unique selling propositions, be relevant to your ad target and monitor performances closely.

Last but not least, implement remarketing lists for search ads on your DSA campaigns. Chance is high you already implemented an RLSA strategy on your other campaigns, make sure to also link your audiences to your DSA campaigns. Be careful when choosing between Bid only or Target and bid: with “Bid only”, you can implement a bid modifier for the users that enter your audience, without impacting the other users. However, when you set your RLSA on target and bid, only the people entering your audience will be able to see your ads.

It’s your turn !

In a nutshell, Dynamic Search Ads are a great way to increase your reach, appear on long tail queries and generate additional conversions. Nex to this, they have shown amazing performances when set up and optimized correctly.

Now that you have all the keys in hands, I wish you good luck with the set-up, optimization and experimentation of your Dynamic Search Ads campaigns. Try to keep in mind the tips and tricks I shared with you to get the most of your DSA campaigns: lower CPCs & CPAs, higher CTRs, highly relevant ads and gain of time.

Author: Eléonore Dagneau de Richecour


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