BLOG-optimize-dynsearchMy co-worker Cary blogged about effectively supplementing your conventional keyword-targeted campaigns with AdWords Dynamic Search back in August. But now we need to discuss some potential pitfalls of this type of campaign, and review how to refine them to be the most effective.

Google AdWords Dynamic Search Ads campaigns are far from “set it and forget it.” They need to be monitored closely and refined to avoid potential wasted clicks and spend.  For example, if you find that that your DSA campaign accounts for 40% of your spend but only 15% of your revenue, there are definite refinements that need to be made to the campaign to make it profitable.

Negative Keywords Are Critical:
Since, by their nature, Google AdWords Dynamic Search Ads are dynamically generated and therefore less in your control, the addition of negative keywords to the campaign is critical. You can use the Search Terms Report feature on the Auto Targets tab to view the search statements that triggered clicked ads.

You’ll want to create negatives of any keywords that have proven unrelated to the goods or services you sell, as well as possibly excluding keywords that you have paused in your regular search campaigns due to low profitability, out of stock or seasonal items.

Block Undesirable Landing Pages:
The Search Term Report will also show you landing pages automatically generated in your Dynamic Search ads. You can easily exclude any undesirable landing pages by using Dynamic Ad Target Exclusions from the Auto Targets tab. You’ll likely want to keep the served landing pages to those that actively feature products or services, and exclude those that include reviews, shipping and return information, contact information, etc.

Find Valuable New Keywords:
The Search Term Report can also provide new keywords to add to your AdWords campaign. Those search statements that produce results can be valuable additions as keywords in your keyword-targeted search campaigns.

Refine Your Targeting:
Choose from categories, URLs, page titles and page contents if you want to assert greater control, and give yourself the capability to break down categories of products for budget control or seasonal availability. Also, by grouping highly-related pages together (much like highly-refined ad groups in a traditional search campaign) and products of similar values together (high-price, high-margin products vs. low-price, low-margin products), the relevance of your ads will increase and an increase in ROI will likely follow.

Remember to check your campaign regularly and take advantage of the tools available to assess if there is wasteful spend. Google AdWords Dynamic Search Ads are not a panacea for all marketers, and regular review and refinement will enable you to determine if they are a good fit for you.