Dynamic search campaigns are an excellent tool for any paid search advertiser. They are a great marriage between automation and user control and a unique blend of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimization (SEO). Automated bidding has become more and more prevalent in the digital advertising space over the past few years, and for the most part, each addition has been beneficial. However, with more automation comes less user control.
For instance, dynamic search ad (DSA) campaigns are technically paid search campaigns, but you don’t select keywords for your campaigns. Instead, Google delivers ads based on dynamic ad targets, which are nothing more than the pages on your website. You can select a page on your website for a specific product or brand, or you can simply choose all the pages on your site. Bots will then crawl your page, find frequently used phrases, and use them to match your site with a searcher’s query.
Matching searchers to pages based on the content on those pages rather than on keywords in a campaign sounds a lot like organic search, doesn’t it? As with SEO, your DSA campaigns’ effectiveness is based on the strength of your website’s content. As a result, optimizing the content on your pages for SEO will very likely result in more robust DSA campaign performance as well.
For example, catalog browse pages typically lack any content beyond a simple heading, and even that may not be very descriptive. To make the page more appealing for search engine crawlers, an SEO consultant will write and optimize copy for that page to make it more contextually relevant to a valuable keyword theme. That same rich copy benefits your DSA campaigns.
You can also use DSAs to target web pages containing the same URL strings. For example, say you work with a clothing company, and you want to create a dynamic ad target for your line of shoes. If you select every page on your site containing the URL string /shoes, Google’s bots will crawl every page on your site with ‘/shoes’ in the URL string. Using this tactic, you could organize all of your product categories into different ad groups.
The example above is a perfect illustration of how SEO can affect your DSA campaign. If your website hierarchy organization is imperfect, you won’t have the option to organize ad groups based on your URLs neatly.
DSA campaigns can be the perfect automated complement to a well-built search advertising campaign. Not only does it save you the time of having to do deeper keyword research, but it also will use the contents of your website to craft a dynamically generated headline for your ad. You do have the ability to write one or two description lines and assign two display paths, though.
There are a couple of use cases for DSA campaigns.
- Safety Net: DSA campaigns are an excellent fit to serve as more of a role player in the grand scheme of your digital advertising efforts. Like a backup generator when your power goes out during a big thunderstorm. They’re a safety net. Say your primary campaigns are limited by budget and are capped for the day; a DSA campaign will ensure that your most prevalent ads will still show, even if your campaigns are out of budget.
- Discover New Keywords: Another benefit of DSA campaigns is that they might occasionally help you discover new keywords to add to your keyword-based search campaigns. You can use any regular campaign search query to help you develop new keywords; however, most of those new keywords will be some variant of your existing keywords. A DSA campaign search query can offer something new. Perhaps there is an entirely new category of keywords that you didn’t consider when doing your keyword research for your other search campaigns. Using DSAs to data-mine for keywords is a must for any paid search marketer.
- Choose Where Not to Show: Just as you can choose specific landing pages on your website to use as your dynamic ad target, you can also choose pages that you never want Google to use as a landing page for your DSA campaign. You can simply add the page or URL string as a Negative Dynamic Ad Target. This feature is beneficial if your site has a more informational page like FAQs or a blog. If you are an ecommerce company, those pages typically don’t have any products to purchase on them, and therefore they’ll have terrible conversion rates.
There’s no telling the level of efficiency advertisers could reach if we continue to see a healthy blend of automation and user control. Look no further than the unique contribution a well-managed DSA campaign can provide. Hopefully, we’ll start seeing some more user control integration sprinkled into all of Google’s new automated campaigns they’ve been rolling out. Personally, it seems the industry is shifting in the opposite direction, so I’m not going to hold my breath. But hey, at least we’ll always have DSA campaigns!