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30 April 2018 / Opinion

Can you supercharge your paid search proposition with dynamic search ads?

Matthew Morrish / Senior PPC Analyst

I recently read a very negative article discussing the validity of expanding on conventional paid search and utilising Dynamic Search Ads (also known as DSA) to further enhance your online presence.

Whilst I do agree with some of the negative points made in the article, I also know from experience that if used correctly (following best practices with a sensible strategy) they can without question deliver the goods and help grow your online presence.

But first of all, what are Dynamic Search Ads?

Dynamic Search Ads are a highly targeted way of reaching users who are actively in-market searching for either a product or service relevant to content on your site. They utilise proprietary Google technology to match a search term to a specific piece of content on your web page and dynamically create the advert headline (you create the description) in-line with the content onsite to increase ad relevance and CTR.

There is no keyword targeting from a human implementation perspective, making this one of the most simplistic paid search models you can deploy.

To put this in its most simplistic format, you get Google to do all of the work for you from both a headline generation perspective and also matching your ads to highly relevant search terms. This works exactly like conventional paid search and there are no hidden catches, it’s just Google is in the driving seat and not you.


  • Market / product coverage: Even the best conventional PPC campaigns in the world have some missing gaps in keyword coverage. Dynamic Search Ads fill that void and widen the net when it comes to maxising paid search as a channel. In short; resulting in driving incremental traffic through to your website and generating additional conversions.
  • Control of targeting: Want to target a specific product page, product category page or the full website? You can do all of the above and so much more (including even blocking out products that are out of stock or low margin). You’re fully in the driving seat when it comes to defining your campaign’s targeting all the way from strategy through to implementation and optimisation.
  • Audience customisation: The tap isn’t fully turned on when it comes to defining your target audience as this feature is highly customisable through RLSA. Whether you want to target new / existing customers or negate these users to generate pure new business (or simply target anyone eligible in market), you’re in complete control and can do as you please.
  • Continuous updates and integration: Google regularly crawls your website to ensure that the dynamically created headline ad copy is as aligned with on-page content as possible and fully relevant to the landing page you’re driving traffic to, improving CTR.
  • Voice Search: As voice search traffic levels increase and more and more people start using this feature as their first point of contact (as opposed to conventional searching), native language terms are going to become more frequent and subsequently more important to reach. Dynamic Search Ads give you the competitive advantage here, widening your net away from traditional terminology and expanding on your market share from paid search.
  • Simplicity: To put it short and sweet, it’s incredibly simple to not only set up, but also optimise and scale. There’s no time wasted researching for keywords and grouping into themes, AdWords does all of this for you as well as creating highly-relevant dynamically created headlines tailored specifically for your designated landing page.


  • Ad copy: Although Google offers a helping hand by creating dynamically generated headlines, it’s by no stretch of the imagination the most enticing or literate. This means that although you are identifying new keyword opportunities and widening your net on the search engine results page, you may not actually get the desired onsite action you are looking to achieve as automated ad copy is typically much weaker than conventional human created. You also have to create your own description lines meaning some time does need to be invested here.
  • Relevance: Once again, Google offers a massive helping hand by identifying new keyword opportunities, but how do you know if they are the right keywords you want to be showing ads against? This is something you don’t have full control over which is why you need to be fully on the ball with your negative keyword deployment to control the type of terms you are paying for.
  • Maintenance: Dynamic Search Ads were invented to simplify paid search marketing and save man hours. This initially isn’t the case however as you really need to be on the ball from day one with your search query reporting and negative keyword deployment. Over time the number of hours needed here reduces, but for certainly the first month or so it can be quite time consuming.

The numbers

Still not convinced Dynamic Search Ads can deliver the goods? Below is one example of how Dynamic Search Ads has expanded away from conventional paid search and driven a strong uplift in performance.

Dynamic Search Ads   ROIDynamic Search Ads   CPC

CPC’s were the lowest across all four deployed channels tracking at just £0.20 (even lower than brand). This means based on the above you can drive three clicks through DSA for the same cost as one on non-brand. Clever bidding, right?

Dynamic Search Ads   ROI

Not only has revenue contribution been strong, but so has marketing efficiency with ROI the second strongest at 15.6 (behind brand, obviously). It’s hard not to love incremental website traffic, but when it’s as profitable and efficient as this, can you really afford to say no?


Nothing is ever perfect, certainly not in the automation world, but Dynamic Search Ads are probably the closest Google (or any other advertiser) has come thus far. The project isn’t yet finished and there is still a long way to go in the perfection process, but Dynamic Search Ads should 100% not be overlooked by any online advertiser.

Whether it be used to identify new keyword opportunities, increase traffic volumes or simply streamline your business’ marketing operation, Dynamic Search Ads can comprehensively add a new dimension in supercharging your paid search proposition.