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Why Advertisers Should Reconsider Their Google Dynamic Search Ad Qualms

Posted on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured, SEM

How to Use Google’s Dynamic Search Ads to Efficiently Boost Long-Tail Traffic

Media Planning


There’s nothing more frustrating to search marketers than receiving only a handful of clicks after spending countless hours researching and building out thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, of campaign keywords. For advertisers looking to expand lower-funnel traffic without all that work, there is now a viable solution—Google’s Dynamic Search Ads.

Google’s Dynamic Search Ads do not use keywords to target consumers, but rather target based on an advertiser’s website content. Hence, the more pages available with rich content to crawl, the higher the chances your ads will map to long-tail queries and drive a good amount of incremental volume. This targeting option thus provides advertisers with an automated and efficient way to serve ads, minimizing the amount of exhaustive, time-consuming, difficult-to-manage, minimal-payoff long-tail keyword expansions.


Haven’t Dynamic Search Ads been around for a while now? Why post about them now?


Dynamic Search Ads, or DSAs, have indeed been around for a couple of years, but some advertisers are still reluctant to give them a try. Why this slow adoption rate? Possibly because advertisers remain wary of the limited control DSAs offer in terms of which queries are mapped to ads, which landing pages Google then sends traffic to via those ads, and which search terms dynamically populate those ad headlines.

Yes *spoiler alert* Dynamic Search Ads use dynamic keyword insertion to populate ad headlines, which means that in order to run these ads at all, you must relinquish control to Google’s algorithm. Some big brand advertisers concerned about brand messaging are not fans of Dynamic Search Ads just for this reason alone.


So how is it that Google’s DSA campaigns can drive a decent amount of incremental traffic from long-tail queries when seasoned search marketers are only able to drive a small amount of clicks?


16% of all searches are new queries—keywords, phrases, or questions that Google has never seen typed before. That in mind, even the most experienced search marketers cannot possibly guess every single query their target audiences will type into a search bar. They can’t predict the future. That’s where Dynamic Search Ads can potentially be of great use. Since Dynamic Search Ads use Google’s organic web-crawling technology, they have the ability to capture these never seen before queries and serve up relevant ads based on an advertiser’s site content.


How does Google factor in quality score when it comes to Dynamic Search Ads?


How Google factors in quality score for Dynamic Search Ads campaigns is somewhat of a black box. There is no real way to view quality score for these kinds of campaigns, since there are no specific keywords targeted in an account. Does this mean that DSA is an exception to quality score? Not likely. However, think about how quality score is calculated in the first place. This score is designed to measure the relevance of an ad to its subsequent landing-page content. If Google displays Dynamic Search Ads by crawling advertisers’ site content and then mapping a query to that crawled content, the experience stands to be innately relevant, eliminating concerns for quality score entirely.


What should I expect from my Dynamic Search Ad campaigns in terms of performance levels?


Dynamic Search ads will take longer to ramp up than a typical keyword-targeted campaign as Google’s technology needs time to crawl and understand your site. Google’s spiders typically take anywhere from 2–3 weeks before you will understand just how much traffic a DSA campaign will drive. Bids will also affect traffic levels, so be willing to increase bids if the initial bids are only allowing your campaign to capture a small amount of impression share.

*Added bonus* Another advantage to Dynamic Search Ads are more-efficient CPCs. DSA CPCs are typically lower compared with keyword-targeted campaigns, since by the campaign’s very nature the keywords are long tail and searched infrequently, and therefore less competitive. CTRs also tend to be higher than regular keyword-targeted campaigns, due both to the long-tail nature of the search terms and dynamic keyword insertion in the ads which makes for a highly relevant and customized ad.


Are there any signs that might point to Dynamic Search Ads as a good option for my brand?


If your website has a substantial number of pages with static, robust content, then Dynamic Search Ads could very well be the answer to your long-tail strategy. Consequently, if you have a small number of pages with a small amount of, or frequently changing, content, DSA may not be the right fit. In any case, Dynamic Search Ads should always run alongside other campaigns and be used simply as a catch-all for relevant searched-on terms that you are not already actively bidding on in your account.

While Dynamic Search Ads are certainly not the be-all and end-all product to use when striving to reach any advertiser’s long-tail traffic goals, they do offer an effective way to drive incremental volume, while scaling long-tail expansions in an efficient and automated way. This automation can additionally free up your search marketing team to focus further optimization efforts on the higher-volume keywords driving the bulk of clicks and spend. Sounds like a Grade A time-management strategy to us!

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About Ami Grant

Ami joined The Search Agency in 2004 and has over 9 years of online marketing experience both on the publisher and agency-side. She is responsible for SEM campaign management, strategy, and maximizing ROI. Before joining TSA, Ami was a Senior Content Solutions Editor at Yahoo! Search Marketing, where she spent over 2 years optimizing accounts through keyword generation, creative development, and landing page recommendations. Ami is originally from Austin, TX and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also a certified Google AdWords Professional and SEMPO–LA Chapter Member.

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