PPC Tuesday – Dynamic Search Ads

By Matthew


My name is Matthew and I am a PPC Specialist at Exclusive Concepts. Today, I will be going over a new beta feature within Google AdWords – Dynamic Search Ads, also known as keywordless ads.

Websites selling thousands of items can subsequently have thousands of keywords in their AdWords accounts. Many ad groups are created around products and item numbers, but with inventory constantly being updated it is extremely time consuming to add and remove keywords and ads. Aligning your AdWords account with your full, constantly evolving website inventory would literally be a full time job!

Thus, Google has created an ad format to help capture traffic that you might not have otherwise received. Dynamic Search Ads (or DSAs) allow your ads to show based on the inventory from your site.

Setting up a DSA first involves submitting your website to Google so the engine can crawl your site. You will then create a generic ad template to be used in description lines 1 and 2. Google will create the ad headline based on the search, very similar to how dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) works with the query becoming the headline of the ad. For example, if search queries include “basketball shoes that are blue” and “shoes for basketball blue,” the dynamic headline created by Google might be “Blue Basketball Shoes.” The generic ad template might then say “Several Styles of Basketball Shoes. Shop Basketball Shoe Selection!” The ad might then lead to a landing page showcasing a pair of blue basketball shoes.

You can target DSAs by all pages, but you can also target specific pages. You can choose to show DSAs when only certain attributes are met, such as URL structure, page title and page content. Google does give you a certain amount of control to make sure this feature provides effective results.

Currently, DSAs are in beta and only available to a select number of advertisers. You can request to be included in this beta by following the link below.


I’m thrilled about DSAs for a couple of reasons. The first reason being that they act in a similar manner to Product Listing Ads, or PLAs. PLAs are targeted by product attribute where the ad shows an image of the product, the name of the product, the price of the product and an optional promotional line of text (ie: Free Shipping!). PLAs show within the top 3 positions of ads on the top right corner of the results. I have seen great results with PLAs and am encouraged with the similarities to DSAs.

The second reason is the catch all nature of DSAs. Queries that have little search volume, and have not been added to the campaign, will still trigger ads. Thus, in reviewing the results you can then create ads around queries/products that are performing well. Once you create a keyword and/or ad group around a keyword your regular ad will show instead of the DSA. For example, if you write ads specifically around keyword variations of “red basketball shoes” a DSA will not show, but rather your custom copy.

Of course with any new feature it is important to test and make sure the results are worth the cost. With this mentality I am looking forward to DSAs.