The Pay Per Click Agency Manchester Guide to Dynamic Search Ads (DSA)

Dynamic Search Ads
Dynamic Search Ads

Dynamic Search Ad’s (DSA) are something that we use a lot here at SEO MCR, pay per click agency Manchester, as they have the potential for both high volume and high profit. However, in the wrong hands, they also have the potential for both cannibalising your budget and being a bit of a waste of time. We work hard to harness their advantages though, through planning ahead, making sure we have clear goals and not being afraid to move some of the budgets around to focus on more restrictive options.

It is important to us, as well, that our clients understand the work we are doing for them as PPC specialists Manchester, and so, in this article, we will explore a little more about what DSA’s are and how they work.

What are Dynamic Search Ads?

Dynamic search ads are ad’s in a campaign that focuses on sections of your company’s website, rather than on bidding on keywords. Google will crawl your site, identify pages on your site that may match the search, populate the headline with the relevant copy, and link to the pages they have identified.

There are several ways you can set up DSAs, including targeting specific pages, targeting specific sections (such as products) or just giving google free reign.  Once you have chosen your target area, Google will prompt you to write ad copy which is a good idea seeing as the headline is written by Google. When writing ad copy for DSAs it is important to make it as flexible as possible, so that it is easy for dynamic keyword insertion.

The best industries for DSA

As you can see, DSA’s aren’t going to work for every business – although when they do work, they work really well. Here are a few examples of how DSA can benefit certain industries:

  • Ecommerce. Running a PPC shopping campaign can be tough as it is hard to really deliver the granularity that they thrive on, but this is something that DSAs can help with. What DSAs allow you to do is to target product groupings before you build your campaign structure and shopping feed. This means you get insight into which products are searched more often, how well they convert, and what auction price they need to win before investing any time into campaign building.
  • Local brands/landing pages. Local branches of nationwide companies often face the challenge of budget meaning they make compromises over account structure – either setting a budget for each location and spreading themselves too thinly or lumping all the locations together and potentially ignoring certain markets. DSAs can help with this as they allow you to set location pages as a target, while also showing you how searchers are searching for your services by market.

DSAs: What to avoid

There is a lot of buzz around data acquisition strategies at the moment, and DSAs are sometimes called the ultimate representation of this, as using these types of ads can tell you a lot about how your potential customers search, how much these searches cost, and how easy Google finds it to crawl your site. This all sounds great, but there are some things you can do that will quickly sink the usefulness of DSAs, and these are:

  • Adding DSAs to existing campaigns. If you add DSAs to campaigns that are already running you will run the risk of budget misallocation, as they are predisposed to grab budget that has been pre-allocated to proven concepts. This means that ads that have previously been performing well can begin to stagnate as the DSA drives up the average cost per click.
  • Incorrect application of exclusions/negatives. DSAs are designed to crawl your site and serve up what appears to be the best answer, and these results will be heavily impacted by SEO.  Usually your websites home page will be the most heavily optimised page, but this isn’t necessarily where you want to send traffic. The same can be said for blogs which are also great for information, but not necessarily sales. This means you need to exclude certain pages from your DSA campaign as well as any keywords you are targeting in other campaigns.
  • Targeting everything in one ad group. DSAs are also the perfect example of automation – you set the target and Google does everything else (headline writing, picking a page and setting auction bids). However, because you still have to write the description you need to ensure they are configured for each section of the DSA.

DSAs are complicated, as is much to do with PPC, but that is what we are here for. As PPC specialists Manchester we work with companies of all sizes to help set up and manage their PPC campaigns for optimal ROI.

About the author

Simon is best know for Co-Founding, a portal for student accommodation which attracts over 2 million visitors a year. Simon has 17 years online digital marketing experience and has widespread knowledge of building and/or optimising websites in most industries.

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