The process of creating Google Dynamic Search Ad campaigns has shifted slightly in 2019, so we have developed new video tutorials. In addition to this article, we encourage you to view our corresponding YouTube video for a visual step-by-step explanation. You can find the video embedded below as well.
Also, we suggest that you also view the Surfside PPC 2019 Google Ads Tutorial, which offers in-depth instructions on setting up your account, linking accounts, campaign goals, conversion tracking, targeting, and more.
Google Dynamic Search Ads
What are Dynamic Search Ads Campaigns?
Dynamic search ads use your website for targeting and do not require set-up with ad headlines, display URLs, or final URLs. Google will use its index of your website, or you can upload a specific page feed for your targeting. In addition, dynamic search ads through Google Ads will set-up targeting and ads almost automatically, rather than your standard method of targeting keywords and creating custom ads.
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How Do I Create Dynamic Search Ads?
To get started, you will need to sign into your Google Ads account. Once you have signed in, your next step will be to link this account with your Google Analytics Account. In Google Analytics, click on “Admin” and you will see a screen with various options. By selecting “Google Ads linking”, you can create a new link group and confirm that your Google account numbers match. If you are using the same Google email address for both accounts, this step will be a breeze. Visit Link Configuration > Link Group Title and enter your website name. During this step be sure to select “All website data” and make sure auto-tagging is enabled.
Once you have completed the link information, go back to your Google Ad Words account and view the “Linked Accounts” section under the Tools menu on the top of your screen. Here you will double check that the account link is completed, and your Auto-Tagging is enabled. Both tools are now able to communicate with each other and track conversion data; which is extremely important when testing your ads to see which is working the best for your business.
As defined above, you have two ways to create a Dynamic Search Ad; uploading your own page feed and using Google’s own index. They can be used in combination with each other. We will share screen shot examples from a campaign Surfside PPC has set up for our Farmhouse Goals affiliate site.
To begin, start at your Google Ads home page after sign-in, go to the Tools menu in the upper right corner, and click on “Business data”. On the next screen click on (+) to begin uploading your page feeds. You can upload different URLs and set labels for each of the URLs, which will help with targeting for your Dynamic Search Ads campaign. When you click to add these URLs, Google will provide you with a spreadsheet template to utilize. You can also create custom labels (broad or targeted) for each URL. We recommend making all of your custom labels fairly uniform; it makes it easier for you to organize and categorize your content. Google will review and approve all or your URLs; but it normally doesn’t take longer than 24 hours.
Now you are ready to create your search campaign. On the campaign screen, click on “add a new campaign”, then select “Search campaign”. When creating a new Search campaign, you will first be asked to choose your goal. We typically use the sales of leads goal when running most of our Google Ads campaigns in order to drive the most conversions. You will also need to select the method in which you would like to reach your goal with website visits, phone calls, app downloads, or store visits.
Once you click “continue” you will be brought to the next screen where you will name your campaign and select the Search Network; do not select the Display Network. Typically, you will want to keep search and display campaigns completely separate. If you want more information on running ads on the Display Network, visit the Google Display Ads Tutorial on the Surfside PPC YouTube Channel.
Next, you will want to select the box that says ‘Enable Dynamic Search Ads for this campaign’ when you are in the Google Ads set-up screen. You can enter your URL, and choose to use Google’s index of your website, use your custom page feed, or use a combination of both.
In this area, you also set your location targeting, language targeting, and additional audiences. For our Farmhouse site we are using the United States, but you can target any city, region, or country that you choose. The options are limitless. We will go through some more of these options in detail on future tutorials on the Surfside PPC YouTube Channel.
Under Budget you will need to decide on an average of what you want to spend each day. Now remember, Google looks at your budget as a monthly cycle; so be sure to keep a 30-day spend total in mind when you are setting your daily budget.
Here you will also begin setting your bidding – which is one of the most important items when you are creating a new campaign. You will want to tailor our bidding strategy to your conversion goals. Our preferred bidding strategies are Target CPA bidding and Target ROAS bidding. Under optional settings, you can also set an ad schedule and rotation.
Now we move down to extensions. Extensions expand your ad with additional information—giving people more reasons to choose your business. They typically increase an ad’s click-through-rate by several percentage points. Extension formats include call buttons, location information, links to specific parts of your website, additional text, and more. For more information about extensions and to see some real-world examples, click here. Some common extensions we use at Surfside PPC are sitelink and callout extensions. Once you have all of your settings selected, click “Save and Continue”.
Once you get to the next screen, you will create and name your Google Ad Groups with Dynamic Search Ads targeting. For targeting, you can choose to enter specific URLs, enter your entire website, use Google’s categories, use your page feed, and more. If you opt to use your page feed, this section will look slightly different when setting up your campaign. When naming your ad groups, you will select custom labels from your feed document. You can also still enter specific URLs and web pages.
The best practice for Dynamic Search Ads is to set-up your targeting into different ad groups. In our video tutorial we walk you through creating different groups with different targeting examples.
When you click on “Save and continue” you will be prompted to create your ads. For this, all you need to enter is your description 1, description 2, and URL options if applicable. Your final URL, headline, and display URL will be dynamically generated; so, you won’t need to worry about these entries. When you click on “Done”, you have generated your first ad and can go through the process as many times as you need to create different ads. We recommend creating at least three advertisements for each ad group. Once you click “Save and Continue”, you have created your campaign.
One other thing to keep in mind when creating Dynamic Search Ads is adding negative keywords to your campaign to obtain best performance. In your Google Ads campaign screen, select your specific campaign, click on “Keywords” in your left-hand menu, and add some very broad negative keywords; broad terms don’t typically result in conversions as often as targeted keywords. If you want to keep track of various keywords, both positive and negative, be sure to regularly check your search terms report in Google Ads.
How do I get rid of dynamic search ads?
You can simply pause your campaign and create Standard Ad Groups that target keywords instead. You are not forced to use Dynamic Search Ads in any Google Ads campaign, so if you change your mind, you can change your targeting to exact match keywords, phrase match keywords, and broad match keywords instead.
If you would like more information, including access to tutorials on Google Ads, we invite you to subscribe to the Surfside PPC YouTube Channel. Until next time!