If used well, Google DSAs can help you find the right searcher, at the right time, for the exact thing that you’re advertising. That’s because dynamic search ads are all about automated personalization

Personalized ads really pay off in the long run, as consumers are  2.1x more likely to view personalized offers than standard ones, and they can also reduce your acquisition costs up to 50%! However, unless you follow certain practices and meet some basic content requirements, your dynamic search ads could end up being inefficient and wasting your budget. 

Automated personalization sounds contradictory, but with Google DSA campaigns, we assure you that it’s possible and it works! In this post, discover how to optimize your dynamic search campaigns.   

About Google Dynamic Search Ads

First of all, you need to understand how DSAs work and how they differ from your traditional text ads campaigns. DSAs are actually very similar to text ads but differ in one major point: instead of bidding on keywords, you’ll be bidding on actual content from your website. 

This is called “auto-targeting”, and it means that you will target specific content that is present on your landing pages, such as products, services, or offers. DSAs are much easier to create, set up, and target because Google will dynamically generate headlines by matching user queries to your content – all you need to do is add a description line to your ad. Talk about the power of automation! 

In this sense, you’ll capture traffic that you may have overlooked, in an extremely personalized and targeted way – all with minimal effort. In summary, dynamic search ads save you time in creating efficient ad campaigns while increasing conversions from qualified leads. 

Common Challenges in Google DSA Campaigns

Based on the explanation above, DSAs seem like the perfect option, and in fact, they can be very effective and generate excellent campaign results…so what’s the catch? 

Like any advertising option, dynamic search ads have their challenges and pitfalls, so let’s explore the most common ones and talk about solutions. 

1. Poor or little content

The basis of your DSA campaigns is your web content, so having a great website with a big inventory of products, services or offers is an absolute must. Furthermore, that content needs to be highly optimized so that Google can easily identify themes and terms – remember, Google will be automatically generating headlines based on this web content.

2. Spiraling costs

As with text campaigns, when a few keywords are receiving the majority of your traffic, in DSA campaigns, a few queries can eat up your budget before your strongest converting offers are researched and matched by Google. 

In order to avoid this from happening, you need to respect these criteria:

  • Strong campaign structure: Create ad groups for specific categories of products, and increase management and control by implementing a granular structure.
  • Strong ad copy: Headlines will be dynamically generated by Google, so make sure that your description line is compelling, creative, and in line with the type of product you’re selling. 
  • Accurate targeting: You can add negative keywords to your DSAs campaigns to be more precise and prevent your ads from matching with irrelevant queries.

3. Irrelevant headlines

Since Google matches searches to your content and automatically generates ad headlines, the only work you need to do is write creative descriptions. So, while it’s rare to see an irrelevant headline, it’s true that you’re relying on Google to correctly generate a dynamic headline for user queries. 

In the rarest of cases, the headline generated by Google DSA algorithms doesn’t match your ad copy – but don’t worry, there are a couple ways to avoid this from happening. 

  • Negative Keywords:  Add negative keywords for specific products or ad groups you think Google could misinterpret. As you implement a list of negatives, you will help Google better interpret your intentions and avoid spending on irrelevant queries.
  • Search Terms Reports: Constantly review and monitor your search terms or consult Orbital Ads keyword products when launching a new campaign. Changes in performance, competition, bidding, etc. can affect your ad campaigns.  

3 Easy Ways to Optimize Google DSA Campaigns

Now that we’ve seen some solutions to problems that you may have when launching DSAs campaigns, let’s explore the major features you can optimize to get the most out of Google DSAs. 

1. Optimize your website

As Google will be pulling dynamic content straight from your website, the first thing you need to do is get your web pages in tip top shape: this refers to your landing pages, product descriptions, downloadable offers, etc. Follow the best practices below to optimize your website for dynamic search ad campaigns:

  • Above all, make sure your content is valuable, well-written, and extensive. Craft eye-catching, relevant titles that Google can easily pull from your pages. 
  • Update all information and offers, and eliminate or exclude irrelevant pages. You don’t want to mislead or anger customers with outdated information. 
  • Make sure to include compelling descriptions of all products and services. This will help Google match headlines to pages. 
  • Ensure titles are labeled as such so that Google can pull them easily from your pages. 
  • Create clear CTAs
  • Optimize your pages for mobile responsiveness
  • For DSA campaigns, Google interprets text better than images, so consider using text rather than visuals to explain concepts. 

2. Optimize your targeting

Relevance between ads and content is crucial for ad clicks and conversions, so alongside your website optimization, you need to configure accurate and well-defined targeting. If you’re using a lot of different pages and can’t necessarily optimize your entire web, focus on your targeting options within Google.  

Remember that personalization is essential for DSAs, which is why you need to be as specific as possible with your targeting.  This will help you increase relevance and drive more clicks to your landings.

Let’s see how to make your targeting as accurate as possible with a step-by-step explanation: insert your URL to pull keywords data from your site

Google will offer you these three options: 

  • Categories: Follow certain criteria (ex: Landing pages)
  • URLs: Target a specific URL type (ex: “URL Contains” or “URL Equals”)
  • Other factors: A page title or specific content

You can start now creating relevant ad groups by using any of these 3 elements. Also remember that your ad groups for DSAs need to be relevant to a specific offer or line of products.

3. Optimize your bidding

DSAs use a bidding system similar to traditional text ads, but instead of bidding on keywords, you will be bidding at an “auto-target” level, meaning the actual list of pages of your website. Costs will be determined based on a cost-per-click formula. 

Now, you have 2 different options for bidding: 

  • Manual bidding: This option will obviously require more time but will also get you a better control of your bids. This service is available in the “advanced options” tab just below the “additional settings” section.
  • Smart bidding: This is the best way to optimize for conversions, Google will use an automated bidding system based on machine learning, contextual signals, flexible performance control, and transparent performance reporting. These factors will help better understand the likelihood of a conversion depending on the bid amount.

Moreover, depending on your campaign goals, you can set up a target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) bidding to optimize bids and tailor them for each ad auction, or you can set up a return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) bidding to hit a targeted return on investment.

Use Google DSA campaigns to unlock new opportunities

On top of all the benefits you can get from using Google DSA campaigns, there is an additional advantage you can leverage. As these kinds of campaigns generate search terms linked to topics of your interest, it would be a waste not to use this wide  resource of possible relevant keywords for your ads. That’s exactly one of the things our keyword management platform helps you do! One of our features focuses specifically on analyzing search terms generated by DSA ad groups and identifying those meeting your marketing objectives to discover new keywords. Based on lexical affinity, metrics, and campaign goals, it allocates keywords in the most suitable non-DSA ad groups, so that you don’t lose relevant traffic anymore.

Dynamic search ads are a powerful way to cover gaps in your keyword-based campaigns, with minimal effort due to their automated personalization. With the strategies for optimization listed above, you’ll make your DSA campaigns even more effective, and find your budget being spent on new, relevant clicks and conversions. If you haven’t tried dynamic search ads yet, it’s time to get started! 

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