Business Guide to Dynamic Search Ads

Investing in a pay-per-click campaign, such as dynamic search ads, is an excellent strategy to broaden your reach, get more leads, and increase sales. Many businesses hire a franchise marketing agency or paid search company to manage their PPC and SEM efforts. However, understanding the different types of ads and their benefits can help strengthen your strategy. 

In the last several years, Google has leaned into machine learning and automation to make the ad creation process smoother. But, it’s not fully automated. For one, you still need to know which settings will work best for you and your business. 

Dynamic search ads can save you time and optimize your ad performance, but what exactly are they and how do they work? 

What Are Dynamic Search Ads? 

Dynamic search ads (DSAs) are paid search advertisements that dynamically display content from your website based on the user’s search term. 

Whenever a user enters a query on Google, the system pulls content from the most relevant page on your website and creates the ad headline based on the search. With DSAs, you can target groups of URLs (categories), specific URLs (pages), or the entire website.

Dynamic search ads offer broader exposure because they act as a backup when search queries fail to match your existing campaigns (text ads, responsive ads, etc.) 

Difference Between Text, Responsive, And Dynamic Search Ads

Dynamic search ads are usually used in combination with other types of Google Ads. They are similar to text and responsive ads. As a Google user, you may not notice if an ad is considered a text or dynamic search ad because they look alike. 

The major difference is that dynamic search ads do not pull from a list of keywords that you create. Instead, they pull from your website or product page feed. 

Text Ads

A text search ad is the most basic form of advertisement. It contains words (text) comprising a headline, a description, and a link to the target web page. 

When generating a text ad, you create a headline of about 30 characters. Then, a lengthier description that provides more details about your product or service. 

You also conduct keyword research and identify search terms that are relevant to your audience and business. When your target audience searches for them, you want your ad to appear. You may also create a list of negative keywords, a list of terms that you don’t want your ad to show.

Usually, text ads appear above and below Google search results and are labeled as ads. 

For example, if you search for a customer relationship management tool or “CRM”, you’ll see a list of text ads like this one. 

Responsive Search Ad

A responsive search ad allows more flexibility in the ad format because you can create multiple headlines and descriptions. You can also add location words to target customers in specific areas, which is useful if you’re doing multi-location business marketing

Then, using machine learning, Google tests several combinations of the ads and optimizes them for best performance. 

Responsive search ads can lead to greater visibility in relevant search queries and better performance than text search ads alone. However, unlike dynamic search ads, you have to create unique headlines and have no control over which ads get served. 

Dynamic Search Ad

A dynamic search ad is displayed when the search queries match frequently used phrases from your website. It dynamically generates the headline and the target URL(s), so you don’t need to create ad copy other than the description. 

For instance, if you search for “hotels with pools in New Orleans” or “New Orleans hotels with pools”, you’ll see that and are likely using dynamic search ads. 

You might see ads from different companies, depending on the exact words you use in your search. However, each one will include a headline that includes hotels with pools and directs you to a relevant page on their site. 

Using dynamic search ads can save you time, even compared to responsive ads. However, you must update your website regularly and structure it specifically to maximize DSA potential. 

When to Use Dynamic Search Ads 

Google Ads still play a huge role in achieving the present-day’s marketer digital marketing goals. Actually, well-targeted ads can garner a 200% return on investment.

Dynamic search ads can help you capture more visitors and leads by supplementing your other Google ads. However, to get the most out of your DSAs, there are best practices you must follow, primarily:

  • Well-written HTML page titles and content – Dynamic search ads rely on your page content to generate ad headlines. You’ll need to structure your pages intentionally so that it is easy for Google to crawl and understand what a page is about.

To further appreciate the benefits of dynamic search ads and possible challenges, consider their pros and cons. 

Pros of Dynamic Search Ads

  • Saves time 
  • Personalizes ad messages
  • Improves CTR
  • Increases traffic

Cons of Dynamic Search Ads

  • Best suited for large websites
  • Can waste budget on low-performing search queries

Despite the above cons, if your website has well-written and optimized pages, then DSAs are an ideal tool for customer acquisition and remarketing. However, if you want to build brand awareness and you don’t already have significant site traffic, consider responsive ads instead.

How Do You Set Up Dynamic Search Ads?

If you are a business owner or executive marketer, you can always partner with a paid search agency to set up your dynamic search ad campaigns. For example, Goodway will not only set up, manage, and optimize the ads for you, but we’ll assess your business goals and budget first. 

This way, we can determine which types of ads make sense for you. Plus, our team will combine ad copy, performance creative, and data and analytics to optimize performance. Overall, an agency will have experienced SEM and PPC professionals that understand which levers to pull to get more sales. 

However, if you still want to understand what happens behind the scenes, here are the basic steps for creating DSAs.

How to Improve Dynamic Search Ad Performance

Having acquainted yourself with the ad creation process, you may want to dive in and start generating them. However, you could end up spending a lot of money on Google Ads that don’t generate sales if you don’t know how to optimize them for the best performance. 

Here are quick tips to remember.

Ensure Information Accuracy

As much as you have an option to target all the pages on your website, ensure your target pages have the most relevant content and keywords. 

Then once you set up the campaigns, evaluate the landing pages’ performance constantly. This will allow you to quickly pivot and adapt your pages so you are getting clicks and conversions. Plus, if a page or campaign is underperforming you can adjust or nix it completely, making the most of your marketing budget.

Give Special Offers

Customers love discounts and gifts. If you’re running a promo, dynamic search ads are an excellent tool to encourage customers to take action. 

On top of that, people search for sales and discounts all the time. Instead of a coupon app getting that traffic, it can go directly to your site. If you have an ad running that specifically calls out your latest offering, they are more likely to click. Plus, at that point, they are high-intent customers—in the market to buy at the time that they are searching. 

Optimize Your Landing Pages

You should optimize your landing pages for search and conversions. Each targeted page should have high-quality content to match the visitor’s search intent and provide value. After all, if you get them to click on the page (and you’re paying for every click), but they don’t take action, you’re going to lose a lot of money. 

Instead, you should understand which levers to pull to not only get people to click but also to take the action you want. 

In addition to monitoring your analytics in Google, consider A/B testing your landing pages continuously with a tool like Optimize. Identify versions of your page that have the highest conversion and why. You can also use heat mapping tools like Hotjar to better understand how people interact with your site and make data-driven improvements.

At the most basic level, your landing pages should give visitors all the information they need to know about your brand and the product. It should have one clear call-to-action, whether that’s to sign up, buy now, add to cart, or something else.


Search engine marketing (SEM) is an excellent way to boost lead generation and conversions and increase return on investment (ROI). 

Dynamic search ads bridge the gap between paid ads and organic. They ensure your ads compete with organic results by serving highly relevant ad copy that matches the web user’s search intent.  

Unlike many other advertisements, DSAs are faster for marketers to implement. They’re generated dynamically based on the user’s search query and frequently-used phrases on your website. Besides providing broader targeting, they supplement your existing text and responsive ads.

However, implementation is everything. If you are not experienced with dynamic search ads, you could spend a lot of your marketing budget with little to no return. For more information, contact us.