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Getting the Most Out of Dynamic Search Ads: Tips from the Pros

Welcome to the world of Dynamic Search Ads (DSA)! This powerful tool has been around in Google Ads for quite a while, and I’ve been a fan since 2017. However, I’ve noticed that some people struggle with DSA campaigns because they operate differently than regular search campaigns. It’s a shame because, when used correctly, DSAs, together with the PPC Beast, can deliver fantastic results, especially when run alongside regular search campaigns.

In this article, I want to share some tips to help you get the most out of Dynamic Search Ads. 

  • I’ll cover everything from what DSAs are¬†
  • How to set them up
  • Five ways you can make DSAs work for you¬†

¬†Let’s dive right in and learn how to harness the power of Dynamic Search Ads!



Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) are a distinctive type of online advertising that sets them apart from regular search ads. 

While regular search ads are based on campaigns centered around specific keywords, Dynamic Search Ads take advantage of the content available on your website to optimize targeting and even generate some portions of the ad copy.

With Dynamic Search Ads, when a user makes a relevant search query, the search engine will respond by selecting a landing page from your website that is deemed appropriate for that query. Additionally, the ad copy accompanying the search result will be automatically generated, ensuring that it closely matches or aligns with the user’s specific query. This approach allows for a more personalized and relevant online marketing experience for potential customers with the expertise of a PPC agency.

Google suggests that utilizing this feature can assist you in identifying relevant searches that you might be overlooking in your regular search campaigns. Additionally, it can help ensure that your ads remain pertinent to what users are actively searching for.


How to Set Up Dynamic Search Ads

While writing and capturing screenshots, I realized that the setup process for a Dynamic Search Ads campaign had been updated, particularly in Google Ads. Here are the revised steps to set up Dynamic Search Ads:

To begin, initiate the process of making a new campaign through Google Ads. When prompted to select, decide upon your campaign’s desired marketing goal.

To use Dynamic Search Ads campaigns in Google Ads, you need to select one of the compatible campaign objectives, such as

  • ¬†Sales
  • ¬†Leads
  • Website Traffic
  • ¬†Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance

After selecting the objective, you should choose the search network and complete the campaign-level settings.

However, it’s important to note that the guided setup doesn’t include an option to create anything related to Dynamic Search Ads. This means you won’t be able to specify the URLs or create specific ad groups for Dynamic Search Ads during the setup process through a PPC agency.

To work around this, you should continue the rest of the campaign setup without adding any keywords or ads. Click “Next” and publish your campaign.

If your interface is similar to mine, you will receive a warning stating that the campaign cannot be published due to some errors. However, despite this warning, you click on the publish button anyway.

To make changes to your Dynamic Search Ads campaign, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Settings tab in your campaign dashboard.
  • Click on Additional Options.
  • Find the Dynamic Search Ads Settings section.
  • Add your URL and select your targeting preferences. We will dive into these options in the next section.

Before you can start running Dynamic Search Ads, there is one more thing you need to do. DSA controls are managed at the Ad Group level. The initial Ad Group created when you published the campaign is called “Standard.”

You have two options:

  • Modify the existing “Standard” Ad Group: If you want to apply DSA controls to your existing Ad Group, you can modify the “Standard” Ad Group by adjusting the targeting and bid settings.
  • Create a new Ad Group: Alternatively, you can create a new Ad Group specifically for your DSA campaign. This is a good option if you want to separate your DSA ads from your other ads.

Please note that setting up DSA controls effectively is essential to ensure your ads deliver relevant and high-performing results. If you need assistance with this process, I would recommend reaching out to a PPC (pay-per-click) agency for expert help.

To enable Dynamic Search Ads for a new Ad Group, make sure to change the first setting from “Standard” to “Dynamic.”

Finding these settings on Google’s platform can be tricky, but we can move on to the next point now that you have learned how to do it.



5 Ways to Make Google Dynamic Search Ads Work for You

Here are five essential tips to help you optimize your Google Dynamic Search Ads campaign:


1. Assess if your Website is Suitable for DSA Campaigns

Before diving into Dynamic Search Ads, evaluating whether your website fits this advertising strategy is crucial. Before proceeding, it is important to pause and reflect on a few aspects of your website. Evaluate whether your website encompasses diverse products or services, possesses a well-organized sitemap, and maintains regularly updated content. The success and effectiveness of DSA campaigns heavily rely on these crucial factors. If you’re unsure about any of these aspects, seeking guidance from a PPC agency can be beneficial.

To ensure that Google’s algorithm accurately identifies and serves your ads, your website must have sufficient and meaningful text describing your company, product, and services. Without relevant text, your Dynamic Search Ads may not perform optimally.

If your website lacks substantial and relevant wording, has inadequate page titles and meta descriptions, or relies heavily on visual content, you should reconsider using DSA as part of your advertising strategy. By improving your website content, you can ensure that your DSA campaigns, managed by a PPC agency, effectively reach your target audience and drive meaningful results.


2. Unveiling the Process of URL Selection by Google and Microsoft

To ensure your Dynamic Search Ads campaigns are successful, it is crucial to understand how Google and Microsoft select the URLs for your campaigns.

When you visited the settings tab in your incomplete campaign, you had several options available after adding your website URL. Now, let’s delve into each of these options in more detail.

The default option for a new DSA campaign, using Google Ads Manager, is to use all the URLs that Google knows about, along with Page Feeds. This means that any page on your website that Google can find has the potential to be used for an ad. While this may seem intimidating, it is generally safe to use.

If I choose this option, I like to exclude a few specific pages in my Dynamic Targets within the campaigns. These pages include:

  • About Us
  • Terms of Service
  • Privacy Policy
  • Any client-only or platform pages on a SaaS site
  • Customer service pages
  • Online help documentation
  • Blog pages

Please be aware that while this list is not comprehensive, it will serve as a helpful starting point for determining which pages would be appropriate for a new potential client to visit.

The process is quite simple when excluding pages from your DSA campaigns.

Under the ‘Dynamic Ad Targets’ section, you can create a Negative Dynamic Ad Target. This feature provides you with the same level of control as a regular ad target but with a focus on exclusions rather than specific targeting.

Exclusively Utilize URLs from a Page Feed

To easily exclude the maximum number of pages, use the controls you are most comfortable with, whether using Exact URLs or implementing rules for specific pages.

If you choose to use Page Feeds, which I prefer, you can upload a CSV file containing the URLs of the webpages on your site that you want to use for Dynamic Search Ads. With this option, you can include as many or as few web pages as you desire. By selecting the second targeting option at the campaign level, Google will only consider the pages from your Page Feeds for DSA campaigns.

Creating a Page Feed is a straightforward process. Start by obtaining a sitemap of your website and then identify the URLs you do not want to be included. However, manually excluding all these URLs might be challenging if your website is large. In such cases, it may be more effective to use all URLs as a target and utilize comprehensive exclusion filters instead.

To upload your list, follow these steps:

  • Go to the top navigation menu.
  • Select “Business Data” under the “Setup” section.
  • Ensure you’re on the left-hand navigation’s ” “Data Feeds” page.

Once you have finished the previous steps, you can move forward by carrying out the following actions:

  • Click on the blue “+” button.
  • Choose “Page Feed” from the options provided.

Follow the given instructions to complete the upload process.

It is important to note that Google can display any content it deems appropriate from the list of URLs you have provided permission for.

To exclude certain pages from being used for DSA, you can add them to the Negative Dynamic Ad Targets or modify your permission list to only include Page Feeds, ensuring those specific URLs are not included.


3. To Understand How Ad Copy is Generated for Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) Campaigns,

¬†it’s important to note the difference from regular search ads. In DSA campaigns, advertisers can only provide a portion of the ad copy, specifically the two description lines.

Sharing relevant, impactful, and compelling information about your product or service is crucial when targeting potential customers. This type of principle applies to all types of ads, including Dynamic Search Ads. However, in DSA campaigns, Google assists by generating the headlines that appear alongside your ads, which means you’ll be partially dependent on their ability to create attention-grabbing content.

The positive aspect is that you can evaluate the main advertisement copies utilized by Google for your ads. To access this, go to the Search Terms report under Dynamic Ad Targets. Although you cannot make any targeted modifications, you can view the search terms, headlines, and landing pages that Google is using for your ads. The screenshot attached is from a real client’s account, so it is blurred, along with the subsequent image. However, I want to help you locate where DSA ad headlines come from.

Additionally, if you want to enhance your PPC strategy, you might consider using PPC Beast. PPC Beast can assist you in managing and optimizing your pay-per-click campaigns.

By going to the page linked to the search term and performing a right-click, followed by selecting “View Page Source,” I can examine the code of the webpage.

Upon examining the code, I came across the <title> of the page, and surprisingly, it aligns with the headline being used.

However, it’s important to note that this may not always be the case. Still, it is commonly observed that when running DSA campaigns, the headlines used by Google are usually quite similar, if not identical, to your page’s meta title or other meta information. Therefore, it is advisable to closely monitor the appearance of your headlines and consider adjusting the page titles accordingly. However, you may want to consult your company’s SEO team before making changes.


4. Implement Measures to Avoid Cannibalization

One of the main objectives of Dynamic Search Ads is to discover new queries not covered by your current keywords. This concept is explicitly mentioned as part of the Benefits section of Dynamic Search Ads.

You know what? That idea may seem great in theory, but guess what? It doesn’t always work out that way in real life.

Believe it or not, in many cases where I’ve seen Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) and search campaigns running side by side, DSA targets the same search terms as the other campaign’s carefully selected keywords in the field of digital marketing. Now, Google claims that this should be avoided, but guess what? It still happens. And it happens a lot. This is a common challenge faced by many PPC (pay-per-click) agencies.

Don’t sweat it! There’s a super simple solution to this problem.

Whenever I kick off a DSA campaign for my clients at a PPC agency, I take all of the Exact matches (and maybe some Phrase matches) keywords from the existing search campaigns. I then gather them all up into a single Negative Keyword List. Guess what I do next? I apply that list ONLY to the DSA campaign. Boom! This ensures that none of my existing keywords get targeted in the DSA campaign.

I get it, it might sound a little weird, and you might find some Google reps saying it’s unnecessary. But let me tell you, trust me on this one. You’ll be thanking yourself later when you have much cleaner search terms reports. So give it a shot!


5. Include Negative Keywords

This may not be a new concept for some of you, but it could be a revelation for others. As a Google Ads Specialist, it’s important to understand that DSA campaigns don’t rely on keywords for targeting. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that you can’t use negative keywords in DSA campaigns to help improve their performance. In fact, negative keywords can play a crucial role in making sure your DSA ads are shown to the right people and at the right time. So, if you haven’t already, it’s worth considering adding negative keywords to your DSA campaigns and measuring their impact on your performance.

Like a typical search ads campaign, you can review the search terms in your Search Terms report, located under Keywords. You can add negative keywords as needed to optimize your campaign.



Maximizing the Benefits of Dynamic Search Ads

Dynamic Search Ads are a standout choice for achieving comprehensive search advertising coverage. However, they can be tricky to handle and require meticulous attention to details that may not be necessary for regular search ads. If you want to streamline the process and make the most of your ad spend, you could try PPC Beast to automate some of the more tedious tasks and get more insights into the performance of your campaigns.

Here Are FiveValuable Tips to Ensure the Effectiveness of  Your Dynamic Search Ads Campaign:

1. Assess if your website is suitable for DSA campaigns

2. Exclusively utilize URLs from a page feed

3. To understand how Ad copy is generated for dynamic search Ads (DSA) campaigns

4. Implement measures to avoid cannibalization

5. Include negative keywords

I hope the information provided has helped ensure that your DSA campaigns are set up correctly and that your performance expectations are realistic.



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