The term keyword is omnipresent. Keyword generation, long tail keywords, keyword matching options, keyword targeting – in connection with Google AdWords, the term keyword often prophesies additional working hours in the office. But when using Dynamic Search Ads, you can simply ignore them. Yes, you can.



Before you start cheering and treat yourself to the chocolate bar you keep in your drawer for spontaneous celebrations, wait a moment. The truth is, Google’s Dynamic Search Ads are not for everyone. But let’s take one step at a time and check out what Dynamic Search Ads actually are.

What Are Dynamic Search Ads?

At first glance, Dynamic Search Ads basically look like any normal Google AdWords ad apart from the fact that their headline probably pretty much reflects the user’s search phrase. However, in contrast to Google AdWords, you’re not using keywords as a targeting basis that determines whether your ad is being shown or not. Thus, you don’t have to inform Google when you add or delete a page to your website. Neither do you have to build an ad for each product page of your website.

In fact, the convenient thing about Dynamic Search Ads is that whether your ad is being shown or not, is determined by the content of your website. Hence, Dynamic Search Ads don’t take any minute of your time for generation as they are automatically set up and pretty easy to handle without the burden of creating keywords.

How Do They Work?

Put easy, instead of keywords Google uses content from your website to match your ads to search queries. Like in organic search, Google’s organic search index of your website decides if the products and services you’re offering might be relevant to a particular search query. During the set up of Dynamic Search Ads you just indicate whether you would like to have your whole website or just specific parts of it used to target your ads. Insofar, you can choose to only use pages for targeting that belong to i.e. specific categories or contain certain words in titles or in their URL.

The magic happens when a person’s search query and one of your dynamic ads match. Then, Google automatically generates an ad headline and a destination URL that leads the user to the most appropriate page from your website. The headline of the ad is dynamically – yes, that’s where the name for this ad type derives from – composed of words from the person’s search phrase as well as text from the landing page designated to the ad. The rest of the ad is a template that you filled out when you set up a campaign.

Notice that only the headline and the destination URL are dynamically generated. The first and second description lines as well as the display URL are totally up to you as you create the template for the ad group.

Who Should Adopt Dynamic Search Ads?

Businesses that could benefit most from this type of ad share often the following characteristics:

  • A website that showcases lots of different products or services
  • Frequently changing products or services
  • Seasoned product offerings

Especially when you have a large stock of products and services, there are numerous advantages that may help you in your display advertising efforts.

Don’t waste time: Stop spending time on combining keywords, bids and ad text for each product. Just rely on the organic search index of your website to match searches to relevant ads promoting your products and services.

Increase relevancy of your ads: When a search query is relevant to one of your products, a highly customized ad is shown. The dynamically generated ad shows a headline which includes words from the search phrase as well as your website and leads the searcher to the relevant landing page.

You’re still the boss: Only because you leave the matching up to Google, doesn’t mean you’re giving up control. It’s still up to you which pages or sections of your website are being crawled for matching purposes. Naturally, you can also exclude out-of-stock-products from being promoted in ads.

Get more traffic: By using Dynamic Search Ads you’re likely to get higher traffic rates than relying exclusively on keyword-targeted campaigns.

Who Shouldn’t Use Them?

Despite the just listed benefits, Dynamic Search Ads are not the Holy Grail in Search Engine Advertising (SEA). There are some businesses for which they may not bring the expected results.

  • Customizable product and gift websites
  • Comparison shopping websites as well as affiliate sites
  • Daily deal websites
  • Small websites with less than a few hundred landing pages

The reason is that Dynamic Search Ads use the content of your website for targeting purposes. Unfortunately, websites featuring examples of customized products as well third party links aren’t suited for that matching technique. However, if you consider yourself one of these businesses for which Dynamic Search Ads are not really working well, it’s not a tragedy. Google is currently working on fixing their flaws when it comes to your business type. Until then, apply one of the optimization methods for keyword-based ads that you can check out in our free e-book Writing Killer Text Ads.

How Do Dynamic Search Ads Impact My Account?

Dynamic Search Ads impact the basis on which your ads are targeted for searches. Apart from that, there won’t be any changes regarding your ad ranking, the performance of your keyword-based ads or the control over your campaign.

Talking about the of a Dynamic Search Ad, it actually follows pretty much the same rules as for keyword-based ads. In this respect, the ranking is based on the cost-per-click (CPC) bid that you’ve determined for your Dynamic Search Ad as well as on the ad’s quality score.

In case you’re using simultaneously keyword-based ads, your Dynamic Search Ads won’t be displayed if the user’s search phrase matches exactly one of your keywords. Nevertheless, your Dynamic Search Ad might replace a keyword-based ad if the user’s search term constitutes a broad or phrase match to one of your keywords, and your Dynamic Search Ad has a higher quality score than the keyword-based one.

Lastly, as we said before, you won’t lose control over your campaign. On the one hand, you still decide on the targets, ad templates, bids and budgets. On the other hand, you can use negative keywords to make sure you show the ad only to people who will likely be interested in your products. By the same token can you block some of your pages when they contain certain words like “temporarily out of stock” through dynamic ad target exclusions. In this vein, you surely remain at the wheel.

In sum, simply try them out. Dare the next step in your conquest of the SEM world.

What we often benefit most from are simple guides that remind us of tips, tricks and tools that we can use in our SEM efforts. If you find the article above helpful, you might also like our SEM Manager Survival Guide.

Featured Image Credit – Shutterstock, Cienpies Design