A Quick Guide to Dynamic Search Ads

A Quick Guide to Dynamic Search Ads


  • Dynamic search ads (DSAs) work by matching users' search terms to the content provided on your site. It then generates a dynamic headline to match the search term. 
  • DSAs can increase the likelihood of showing your products or services to people who are searching for them as the ad is tailored to their specific search.
  • Find out what dynamic search ads are and how to create your first dynamic search ad campaign. We'll also share some tips on how to optimise your DSAs for optimal results.

If your keyword-focused search advertising isn’t quite hitting the spot on Google, dynamic search ads may be a great alternative to put your product on the map.

Dynamic search ads are a practical way to match your products with customers' thoughts, whilst also learning more about their purchasing processes. So what exactly are dynamic search ads and how do they work?

What Are Dynamic Search Ads?

Dynamic search ads (commonly referred to as DSAs) are search ads that use your product feed or website content to advertise your products or services. DSAs are shown to people searching for specific terms that match with the terms listed on your product website or feed. 

The advertisement headline is automatically generated to match the search term as well as the landing page. This ensures merchants have the greatest chance of finding appropriate customers who see their products as relevant to their search. 

What Are Some Examples of Dynamic Search Ads?

Below are some visual examples of dynamic search ads:

Visual examples of dynamic search ads

A Quick Guide to Dynamic Search Ads

A Quick Guide to Dynamic Search Ads

A Quick Guide to Dynamic Search Ads

How Do Dynamic Search Ads Work?

DSAs work by using your product feed or website to match search queries with your products of the same name. DSAs automatically adjust their headline to the search so that when they show it to a searcher, their exact term appears in the headline (ideally with an accurate landing page appearing if they choose to click the advertisement). Merchants must still write their own descriptions, making the details in this section all the more important.

DSAs work on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis, with advertisers having the ability to set a maximum CPC per page on your site/product in your feed (this is known as the auto-target level). Your ad shows in results based on ad ranking.

What Are the Features of Dynamic Search Ads?

Dynamic search ads have a number of features that make them effective. They consist of:

  • Automated search term matching
  • Ad schedule and bid adjustments
  • Ad extensions
  • Audience targeting
  • Device bid adjustments
  • Negative keywords
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) pricing

Dynamic search ads and responsive search ads are often confused with one another, which is why it's important to get familiar with the key differences between the two ad formats.

What Is the Difference Between Responsive Search Ads vs. Dynamic Search Ads?

Responsive search ads (RSAs) allow you to pre-plan your ads by creating 15 headlines and 4 unique descriptions. Each version of an RSA may have three headlines, two 90-character descriptions, and will automatically rotate until Google finds the best performing variation per search query. As mentioned before, DSAs change their headings to match search queries with your products on-site or in your feed. 

The key difference between DSAs and RSAs is the level of automation and control. With dynamic search ads, you have less control over how your ads appear to searchers. However, you don’t have to spend time making various headlines, and you are only required to make a single description.

Dynamic ads are certainly the more time-efficient option, but they also rely heavily on Google to be effective.

How to Create a Dynamic Search Ad Campaign

To create an effective dynamic search ad campaign, you will first need to create a Google Ads account. Then follow these steps:

  1. To begin with, you will follow a process very similar to that of a standard Google text ads campaign. Start by clicking on the ‘campaigns’ section, and then click the blue ‘+’ symbol.
  2. Select ‘new campaign’ and choose your campaign goals from the below options:

A Quick Guide to Dynamic Search Ads

 3. Select ‘search’ for your campaign type and proceed by clicking continue.

4. At this stage, the settings will appear. You need to select ‘show more settings’ before selecting ‘enable dynamic search ads’.

5. You then need to enter details, such as your website domain and language, and choose one of the targeting sources. Following that, select your geographic target regions and then your bid strategy.

6. Enter your default bid and click ‘save and continue’.

7. Now you can create your ad groups, as well as target via categories if you want to.

8. To complete your campaign set up, you can write out your description.

How to Optimise Your Dynamic Search Ads

Creating a DSA campaign is relatively simple. However, making that campaign effective is often a bigger challenge. Here are some tips on how to optimise your dynamic ad campaigns:

  1. Use negative keywords
  2. Refine your ad groups
  3. Use the description wisely
  4. Use a data feed

1. Use Negative Keywords

Whilst keywords themselves are less significant with DSA campaigns in comparison to other Google campaigns (though they can still be used in product descriptions), negative keywords are vital.

By adding negative keywords to ad groups within your campaigns, you can refine the search queries your products appear for. After adding negative keywords, relevant products will be matched to relevant keywords, thereby avoiding similar searches that are not relevant.

An example of this is adding the negative keyword ‘pre-owned Nike trainers’. This will ensure your product does not appear to those searching for the used version of your product, thus saving your ad budget and making more money.

2. Refine Your Ad Groups

As dynamic search ads use auto-targeting, you will need to create refined and relevant ad groups, to ensure your products show for the right search queries. This then allows you to create tailored descriptions for each product segment within an ad group.

3. Use the Description Wisely 

With DSAs, your description is often the only area of your advertisement you have complete control over so you should try to utilise it well. Include relevant keywords within your description, whilst also considering other marketing elements such as the call to action (CTA) and highlighting any unique selling propositions (USPs).

4. Use a Data Feed

If you are looking for a bit more control over a larger campaign, a data feed is a great way to go. By using a data feed, you can use feed refining techniques to ensure you do not advertise out of stock products, advertise products in a certain price bracket, and many other options.

Final Thoughts

Dynamic search ads are a fantastic way to further your advertising on Google. They can adjust to search query patterns faster than any manual campaign, often giving merchants who know how to use DSAs a competitive advantage. 

Whether you are looking to drive more traffic to your website or spot new opportunities, a good dynamic search ad campaign can go a long way to improving your Google advertising campaigns.

Be sure to also check out how you can interpret your AdWords campaign results and bring your advertising to the next level!

Do you use dynamic search ads? How effective are they for your business? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Marvin Flores

Global Account Manager at DataFeedWatch

Marvin Flores is Global Account Manager at DataFeedWatch, the easiest solution for merchants to create, optimise, and manage product feeds for 1000+ shopping channels and marketplaces. Ask me anything!

Comments (1)
Hatty Bell

Hatty Bell, Team at

Great read @Marvin Flores !