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Google Is Improving the Capabilities of Dynamic Search Ads

Published: September 25, 2018

Author: Alex Kent

If you have ever run, or considered running, Google’s Dynamic Search ads, you know that this is considered a way to run “keyword-less ads.” It sounds simple, but the setup and execution of DSAs can be quite complicated.
Over the last few years it may have seemed that Google was de-prioritizing DSAs with no major updates to the tool. That, however, is no longer the case as Google has recently rolled out several new features and reporting capabilities for DSAs. In this post, we’ll break down the new capabilities and how to use them.

View aggregated landing-page performance for your DSAs

Google now gives you the ability to determine what landing pages are driving the best and worst performance for your DSA campaigns.

Not only do DSAs determine what traffic is relevant to your site, but the tool also chooses what landing page is most appropriate for that search term. For this reason, visibility into that landing page performance is critical.
You can use this tool to exclude pages on your site that you may not want to drive traffic to. For example, you may not want to send traffic to your employment opportunity landing page or to a page for an out-of-stock product.
A quick look at your landing page performance report will help you quickly identify URLs contributing high or low-quality performance.

Direct DSA traffic to your best landing pages

Use the report mentioned above to identify top-performing DSA landing pages and then use the “URL is” targeting method to funnel traffic to those pages:

Leverage your existing landing pages across standard search campaigns

If you are worried about customers landing on your site’s FAQ or employee bio landing page, you can now prevent this with one easy step. You can now choose to run DSAs on only your landing pages that are being used in other standard ad groups across the account. So if you aren’t targeting a page in any other ad groups, you won’t have to worry about your dynamic search ads directing any traffic to that landing page. This is a great targeting method to choose if you are new to DSAs but want to give them a shot.

These New Features Make Dynamic Search Ads Better, Not Perfect

As always, with Dynamic Search Ads there are a number of considerations to go through before launching a new campaign:

  • Know what you are trying to accomplish: do you want your DSA campaign to work with your standard ad campaigns or independently? You will want to make sure your DSA search terms are not stealing traffic from a campaign where you would prefer that traffic lands.
  • Check search term reports and landing page reports often: Irrelevant search terms and landing pages can get costly very quickly. Regularly review these reports and apply negatives to ensure you aren’t bleeding spend in your DSA campaign.
  • Get a feel for the appropriate bid levels of your DSA auto-targets. Ramping up bids too quickly runs the risk of rapidly pushing irrelevant traffic to your site.

In short, DSAs aren’t magic; you don’t set them and forget them and watch conversions roll in. But used properly, they’re a fairly safe way to increase traffic coverage and revenue – now more than ever.

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