What are Dynamic Search Ads and How to Use Them?

What are Dynamic Search Ads and How to Use Them?
June 12, 2019 MadMarTech

What are Dynamic Search Ads?

Dynamic search ads (DSA) are powerful search campaigns that use your website to target ads. It helps advertisers to manage their campaigns without using keyword lists. Dynamic search campaigns are a great way to complement your existing keyword-based search ads. It fills in the gaps and missed opportunities that were not in the keyword list. DSA campaigns are completely automated and have been observed to get 5-10% more clicks even in the beta phase. Dynamic search ads are ideally used for eCommerce campaigns with millions of pages where it becomes hard to manage keyword lists for each product. However for DSA to perform well the landing pages have to be completely optimized.

How do Dynamic Search Ads Work?

Google has crawled and indexed your web pages. Based on frequently used phrases, page titles, and web content Google will show your ads to users who are looking for the products advertisers offer.

In order to understand how it works, let us consider an example of watch retailer Sam. Sam has a dedicated page for watches with all the different variants and product categories. He has a dedicated page for a digital watch with golden straps. Sam uses lots of images with alt texts and all the headlines are optimized for the keyword. The product descriptions and all the nitty-gritty details are included in the page.

Sam creates a DSA campaign targeting that particular page:


Now the user Jimmy who is looking for a digital watch, types in the search query on his browser. This query matches with Sam’s digital watch web content. Google displays Dynamic Search Ads.

How Do dynamic search ads work

Benefits of Using Dynamic Search Ads

Dynamic search ads can be really robust if used correctly. In spite of being automated, it needs to be monitored on a continuous basis otherwise it could drain the money. Let us have a look at why you need to be using dynamic search ads to complement your existing search campaigns.

Relevant Headlines

Google generates dynamic headlines that exactly match a user’s search query. This results in better performance as the ad is highly relevant to the user.


Automation with control is always good. With dynamic search ads, the campaigns are completely automated that leads to less manual work and better management of the campaigns.

Reach More Users

15% of search queries are new and were never seen before by Google. This means that you can never have all keywords covered no matter how exhaustive your keyword list is. As dynamic search ads don’t work on a keyword basis, it helps advertisers reach more users. This would be never possible in case of manual keyword list campaign.

Campaign Control

Yes, it is great if everything is automated. But things can go out of control if it is not monitored. Using DSA, you can control and monitor the performance based on the search terms report. If you are getting unwanted traffic, time to add those to your negative keyword list.

Save time and Money

No more keyword research means more time. Advertisers can reallocate their time to optimize the campaigns instead of draining it on keyword research. Time is money!

Better CTR

Due to dynamically generated headlines and high relevancy, the probability of a user clicking on the ad dramatically increases.

Boost in Conversions

As Google targets your webpage content with dynamic ads, it means that you target people who are looking exactly what you offer. This leads to a boost in conversions and a higher conversion rate.

Optimized Account Management

Imagine you are an eCommerce retailer. You have 1000s of products and variants. It becomes almost impossible to create search campaigns for all the pages. DSA makes your life much easier and helps you set up manageable campaigns that work well for your business.



How to Set Up a Dynamic Search Ad Campaign?

Now that we have convinced how amazing DSA is, let us walk you through how to set up the campaign.

The campaign level settings are the same as the normal search campaign. If you would like to know how to set up a regular search campaign, read this post.

The ad group level, things starts to change. Create an ad group and choose dynamic from the top left corner.

Name the ad group appropriately. Once you choose dynamic, the interface looks like this:


dynamic search ads interface to setup DSA campaign


As you can see there are 3 possible ways to set up a dynamic search campaign.

All Web Pages

You can target your whole web site using this option. Although it may sound like a great option to set up one campaign for the whole site, it is not recommended. Mainly because your ads won’t be optimized and it provides less control over the campaign.

Categories recommended for your website

Google will crawl your website to find different categories of your webpage. You could target those categories and create ads for each one. This is much better than targeting the whole webpage. However, this is still too broad. Imagine you have an eCommerce site with categories shoes, shirts, and dresses. It would be hard to choose landing pages for the ads as it would be too generalistic. Here is an example of how it looks:


webpage category targeting using dynamic search adsn


Specific Web Pages

This is the recommended option because you can create ad groups to trigger ads for specific landing pages. It is a good idea to use a mix of categories and specific web pages. Make sure you add negative keywords else your ads will compete with each other in the auction. For example, if Sam would like to create a web page for his with digital watches and he knows the URL structure, then he would create it using an “And” operator. This indicates Google to choose the URL that contains both “digital” and “watches”.You could also bulk upload URL directly and paste it after choosing “Use exact URL” instead of creating rules.

Dynamic search ads targeting specific webpages or URL

Google also allows you to upload the product feed and advertisers can use the same feed for multiple campaigns. There is no right or wrong method, choose the one which is convenient for you.

In order to set up a DSA ad group using this method, click on the tools and choose “Business data” in the setup section. This would redirect you to the data feed page. Click on “plus” sign and choose page feed option.

dynamic search campaign set up using page feeds


Download the template and fill it in with your site’s page feed data. Upload the file and use it the ad group to target the categories from the file.

You have created ad groups now. Time to create Dynamic search Ad copies. Here is how the interface looks.


Dynamic search ad copies


As you can see from the above image, the headlines and URL are dynamically generated to match the user query. All you need to do is create a compelling description that would complement the dynamic headlines.
Voila, your campaign set up is complete and is ready to go live.


Dynamic Search Ads are really powerful if set up and monitored properly. They are predominantly used with eCommerce sites that have a lot of web pages. Using dynamic search ads you can target the whole site, categories, or specific webpages. You can bulk upload URL or use product feed for targeting purposes. The headlines and URL are dynamically generated to match the search query. Due to this overall campaign performance increases as it helps to boost CTR and conversions. It is good to set up a dynamic campaign to complement existing search campaigns to fill in the gaps of the keyword list.