How a Dynamic Search Campaign Succeeds where Regular Search Campaigns Encounter Difficulties
As campaign managers we are control freaks, we want to know what we’re spending money on and how it comes back to us in the most efficient way possible. We spend hours and hours changing budgets, bids, advertisement copy, market research on consumers and keyword searches that will serve us best. What if we told you there’s a way to solve the keyword and advert adaptation research, saving you considerable time and effort?
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Dynamic Search Ads, or DSA for short, are dynamic search advertisements that allow us to pinpoint whole Internet sites, or parts of them, without having to create a targeted campaign with keywords and reproduce or duplicate awareness for all possible adaptations.
Why is this campaign so necessary? On websites with dynamic pages, the content changes, there’s a large number of pages to scan and a greater volume of content, which makes it difficult for us to target all the expressions, adjust our ads and optimize on a regular basis (for example, E-COMMERCE sites, classifieds or tourism sites with a large and varying array of products). Moreover, we cannot know for certain whether we can manually exhaust all the expressions through which we would want to appear. Meaning, a DSA campaign can reveal many expressions that users search for that we’re not aware of.
It’s important to note that this style of campaign is less relevant and will produce lower-quality results for sparse or one-page websites.
As previously stated, this is not a new Google feature or some new innovation. The reason we’re writing about it regardless is because we have reached the conclusion that this is a campaign that must take into account all search activities, the “bread and butter” of search campaigns if you will. If you built it correctly and with proper optimization, you will manage to maintain a success rate for long periods of time.
So, what is the difference between a DSA campaign and a keyword-based Search campaign?
The campaign bases itself on the URL of the site being promoted, rather than by targeting keywords. In this campaign the first header in the advertisement and the landing page are dynamic and change in accordance with the user’s searches. The system will build a dynamic advertisement for us which is adjusted to the landing page, unlike a Search campaign where we build the entire ad ourselves based on keywords we target. Google scans the site and every time relevant users conduct a search, the system creates a dynamic ad for us with a header based on the user’s search, directing the surfer towards the our most relevant landing page on the site. We control only the body of the ad itself. We must still consider relevant descriptions for the advertisements, but other than that, the rest is done automatically.
Pricing in a DSA campaign is carried out based on cost per click. The cost is determined by the number of times the ad was clicked on times the maximal cost per click that we are willing to pay. Unlike a standard text campaign, we will not price bids for lone keywords as DSA does not use keywords. Instead, we will price bids at the automatic goal level we target (for example: a certain category on our website).
How to Correctly Build a Campaign:
Establishing a DSA campaign is actually quite simple. The process is identical to creating a search campaign. Upon arriving at the page shown here, we will have the option to choose DSA.
We will input the domain of our website and then establish ad groups accordingly:
While establishing ad groups we can choose one of three options –
1. Different categories the system provides according to our website –Google scans our website and suggests a division into categories based on pages / headers / descriptions identified in shared pages. If a certain category in the website is chosen, Google will target all pages included in that category. Therefore, this option is perfect for organized and well-built pages, in hierarchical order.
2. Using specific URLs for targeting – a certain RULE that has been chosen (for example – a word that appears in the header, the content of the page and so on) – useful if there are specific pages we’ll want to focus on.
3. This option is suitable for situations where we want to target very specific pages on our website. Targeting the entire website and letting the system just learn on its own.
It’s important to note that in terms of the ad itself, Google gives us the option to add only descriptions. Thus, build about 3 advertisements per ad group with different descriptions to test which works best.
After establishing our campaign we’ll conduct a few reductions of the following phrases:
» Negating brand expressions – Phrase
» Negating generic expressions (expressions we use to target campaigns of regular searches) – Exact
We want to catch the branding expressions only in the branded campaign, and so we will negate it from the DSA campaign.
This is also the case for generic expressions we have already manually separated. We’ll want to manually control these expressions in their designated campaign. Thus, we will negate them in the DSA campaign.
How to Optimize the DSA Campaign
Optimizing a DSA campaign is different from a standard search campaign, since as we previously mentioned we are not targeting keywords. The following actions can be used to carry out optimization:
Negative search terms – in the search terms report we can see the expressions users searched for, and accordingly see the landing page they reached after clicking on the ad presented to them.
Using the above report, we can determine which expressions we want to keep and which to send to the Negative Search Terms report.
Negative Dynamic Ad Target – this report can negate pages that are not relevant to us. For example, if we see we are redirecting to blog pages that are not being converted to us, we can send them using this report, according to their URL.
Wait… what do we do with conversion phrases?!
So, you’ve found a phrase that works well for you, brings in conversions, is low cost, now what?
Phrases that bring you positive results should be separated into a different ad group within the manual search campaign.
You’ll want to control these phrases manually, to maximize their cost versus the profit you receive from them.
The phrases you’ve taken out should be negated from within the DSA campaign in Phrase to ensure you don’t occupy them again in your DSA campaign.
If you’ve made it this far, you must be wondering how good the performance really is? Won’t we be spending too great a budget on this? How are their results?
So, here you go…
Some real activity data from one of our clients with a very large site, containing millions of dynamic pages. We found it difficult to manage all the expressions, and adjust the ads to each category, intent or phrase that same user was searching for. We decided back in 2017 to open a DSA campaign for the first time. The results were swift! We compared the data of generic campaigns conducted in 2016 (before the DSA campaign) to a three-month period in which the DSA operated in 2017:
2017 Performance (Generic versus DSA)
2018 Performance (Generic versus DSA)
2019 Performance (Generic versus DSA)
If your site contains a high number of webpages (from hundreds to millions), using a DSA campaign is necessary and extremely vital to manage the operations well. Using DSA allows you to find phrases users are searching for that you didn’t know existed. It will help you adjust ads per search without resorting to manual, Sisyphean and straining work. Thus, you can improve your account’s quality indicators, drive more users to the site, at a lower cost, with a higher CTR.