Check It: Dynamic Search Campaigns

Google’s Dynamic Search Campaigns have been around for a while now but I’ve only recently rolled up my sleeves and sunk some time into launching and optimizing these campaigns.  I must admit – I am kicking myself for not giving these a chance sooner.  Dynamic Search campaigns are ideal for accounts that have a lot of webpages – such as ecommerce sites.  Dynamic Search campaigns essentially scrape your site to identify keywords that are relevant to your business, and dynamically creates an ad using landing page content for ad text.  This becomes extremely beneficial for sites that are constantly being updated – new products, new pages, new posts.  It can act as a “sweep campaign” that picks up new content quickly if you are not updating your evergreen campaigns frequently to support new products.


Set-up is quite easy – it involves three steps:

  1. Set up the campaign as a Dynamic Search campaign.
    Dynamic Search Ads
  2. Identify which pages Google is allowed to “scrape”; all webpages is the standard option but you can also target Category Pages, specific URLs, or specific Page Title/Content.
    Ad Group
  3. Create your dynamic ad. You fill in the Description Lines & Display URL, but the headline and destination URL are dynamically inserted based on website content.


So how do you optimize?

What I like to do as a precautionary measure is add all existing keywords as Negative Keywords in the Dynamic Search campaign to ensure that my evergreen ads will appear, not a dynamic search ad.  This campaign format is supposed to target only keywords that are not in your account, but I haven’t been able to verify this.

Once your campaigns are up and running, the next step is optimization.  I eyeball my average search CPC for the account and target 1/2 of that to be the max CPC for the Dynamic Search campaign.  Previously I ran the Dynamic Search campaign at the same Max CPC and I ended up with a high-spending campaign that did not have great efficiency in CPC or CPA.  My goal was to create a Dynamic Search campaign that ran just as efficiently, if not more, than my evergreen campaigns, and I found that setting a lower max CPC target created an efficient account that did not waste money on broad terms that don’t convert well.  In addition, I’ve found that this campaign does an efficient job of running ads on low-return items (such as cheaper accessories) at a positive ROI.

The most valuable part of a Dynamic Search campaign is the detailed reporting you get once your campaign has been running for some time.  In the Auto Targets tab, you can view “all search terms” which shows you the keywords that people searched for your ad to be triggered, the headline that was used and the landing page that people were sent to.

Auto Targets

I use this report to identify keywords to add to my evergreen campaigns, keywords to add as exclusions to my campaigns, and also possible Headline language that I should test.

Finally, one last bonus to using this campaign type – really, really long headlines!  This campaign type does not have the typical 25 character headline limit; most of the dynamic ads I see in my report are well over that limit.

I still have a lot of learning to do with this new campaign format, but I strongly urge you to give this campaign format a chance if you are running on a website with many pages.  It’s a way to scrape additional revenue that your current campaigns may be missing, and provides insight into new keywords and messages you can test, all at efficient metrics.

Evelyn Baek About the author

Evelyn Baek is an Account Director at Point It Digital Marketing in Seattle, with a passion for developing advanced marketing strategies for the agency's larger clients who want to stay ahead in the ever-changing world of digital marketing. She enjoys leading teams that work collaboratively to deliver results for their clients. Outside of Point It, Evelyn loves exploring the Pacific Northwest, rooting for the Pittsburgh Penguins (Go Pens!), cuddling with her little pup, Tifa, and cooking up a storm.

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