Expanding Keyword Coverage & Increasing Conversions Using Google’s Dynamic Search Ads (DSA)

Posted by David Langert, Account Manager

At Performics, we’ve been testing Google’s new Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) beta, also known as “Keywordless Ads.”  The beta dynamically matches searches to the most relevant landing page on your site and dynamically creates a relevant ad for each search.  Like organic search, Dynamic Search Ads are powered by frequent crawls and indexation of your landing pages.  This puts AdWords automatically in sync with the content and inventory on your landing pages as it continually changes.

Best Practices

Dynamic Search Ads are particularly suited for retailer sites where inventory is continually changing.  DSA can expand your reach by automatically adding keywords to your campaigns based on the changing content of your landing pages.  DSA allows the keywords and ads associated with each landing page to be managed automatically in instances where real-time manual management is difficult.  DSA can also provide coverage on keywords that may have fallen below the first-page bid. 

Best practices that Performics has uncovered through testing include:

  • Add negative keywords and URLs to Dynamic Search Ads campaigns to provide safeguards against serving for unwanted queries or landing pages
  • Use a targeted list of category landing pages rather than the Web site homepage
  • Set bids below the average cost-per-click (CPC) to prevent cannibalizing other keyword traffic
  • Allot 5–10% of your paid search budget to the Dynamic Search Ads campaign

Additionally, it’s important to follow on- and off-page SEO best practices to aid the Google crawler in indexing your landing pages so that Dynamic Search Ads can (1) determine which pages/URLs are selected as landing pages for each keyword and (2) build the most robust keyword list.  SEO best practices for DSA include:

  • Leverage organic rankings data to help define the landing pages to use for DSA; use landing pages that rank highly in organic search
  • Use a clear site architecture and hierarchy
  • Reduce/eliminate Flash content
  • Remove duplicate content
  • Reduce your code to content ratio


For a large multi-channel retailer, Dynamic Search Ads provided a 7% increase in revenue and 4% increase in conversions at 44% lower CPCs and 42% lower effective revenue share than the overall paid search program for the client.

Dynamic Search Ads can yield increased sales and improved efficiency when implemented using a targeted list of site URLs and a strong negative keyword and URL list.  In addition to increased sales, advertisers can also gain strong insights into query performance to expand on keywords, including negative keywords.

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