For those who don’t know, Google offers “Dynamic Search Ads” as a way to generate additional targeted traffic for paid search campaigns. When a paid search marketer sets up a dynamic search campaign, AdWords will crawl the site in question and then serve up relevant ads based upon the spidered content.

The headline for these ads is dynamically generated by Google, though the two description lines in the ad are controlled by the paid search manager. For well-managed campaigns, I see Dynamic Search ads as a way to fill some gaps that your primary campaigns might miss…especially since the dynamic ads will be focused on the secondary pages of your website.

So long as you keep the bids well under those of your primary campaign, any click activity from these dynamic campaigns should be limited to these peripheral “missed keywords,” and the sanctity of your primary campaigns will remain intact.

However, because these ads aren’t commonly known or used by marketers (and what I’m about to report on is still in Beta), there is some additional functionality that even experienced PPC Managers might not be aware of that I’m going to share with you.

First, you have the ability to add keyword modifiers to dynamic search campaigns. You would do this in the same way as you would add keywords to normal paid search campaigns. When you do this, AdWords will spider the site looking for the keywords/phrases in question and then generate an ad with a dynamically created headline, sending visitors to the web page in question. Exact, Phrase, Broad, Modified Broad Match are all supported.

So, using PPC Associates as an example…our company offers Display Advertising services to clients. However, we might not bid on the term “display advertising” in our “house” AdWords account because it’s too generic and expensive a search term. But, we could bid on “display advertising” in a dynamically driven campaign, allowing Google to spider our site and see a contextual relevance between our internal Display Landing Page, the keyword searched by the user, and some personalization of search results that could ultimately lead to a high quality score and an inexpensive click opportunity. If that were to happen, Google might dynamically generate the following ad for our website:

dynamic search ad

Note that the dynamically generated headline might be a little “out of sync” with the description lines, but that’s “par for the course” with these ads, and we’ve seen really excellent performance even with that small lack of synchronicity.

Even more exciting, however, is that Dynamic Search Ads can now also dynamically generate the description lines of the ad as well if you so choose.  All you have to do is code the ad thusly (in a manner similar to dynamic keyword insertion):

dynamic search ad code

If we then layer the aforementioned keyword modifier functionality onto the fully dynamic search ads, Google will dynamically generate ads for the keywords that you select.

While this doesn’t jive well with the PPC-only landing page setup that is one of our core Best Practices, such functionality could be a huge time-saver for campaign management and, combined with a low bid strategy that doesn’t interfere with the primary campaigns that were created, it might even work to generate incremental additional leads.

For such an ad, Google will spider the site and dynamically generate 100% of what the searcher sees. So, taking the “display advertising” example we used before, if the keyword “display advertising” were “picked” by Google and Google were also to generate the ad, it might look something like:

dynamic search ads

A good “use case” for this final functionality would be that PPC Associates might want to include the name of each of our employees in their paid search campaigns so interested parties would know that the person in question is employed by PPC Associates and that any recruiter trying to contact one of them might get a visit from this guy:

 

So, when someone does a Google Search for “Todd Mintz” and scrolls past the ads for fitness videos, autographed electric guitars, and the other accoutrements that go along with being the most well-known Todd not named either “Rundgren” or “Big Head”, they might get to an ad dynamically generated by Google on behalf of my employer.  It might say something along the lines of:

ad for todd mintz

To learn more about this new Beta functionality for Dynamic Search Ads, contact your Google Rep today.

– Todd Mintz

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Todd Mintz
Todd Mintz, who has been with 3Q Digital since March 2011, has worked in search engine marketing since 2000 and has used Google AdWords since it began. He also is very visible in the SEM social media space and is a curator/contributor at MarketingLand. He was one of the founding members of SEMpdx (Portland’s Search Engine Marketing Group), is a current board member, and writes regularly on their blog.