Dynamic Search Ads – Do Their Extended Headlines Impact CTR?

By — 06.25.15

Dynamic Search Ads Cover Banner

What are Dynamic Search Ads?

Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) are a program from Google, which allow you to show ads for your site without setting up keywords, landing pages or complete ad text.  For DSAs, Google decides which queries your ad will show for based on the content of your website.  Advertisers are only responsible for telling Google which pages of your site should be advertised (or allow them to use any page) and setting up the two description lines for the ads. When ads are shown for these queries, Google chooses a relevant headline based on the landing page chosen and the query searched. Adlucent clients have seen on average a 10%-15% increase in non-brand revenue through DSAs—but bear in mind every account is different.

Example of a DSA:

Example of a DSA

 

How to Monitor DSA Performance

The standard keyword search query report in AdWords provides very high level attributes, so when analyzing DSA search terms we recommend utilizing the Auto targets tab. This feature provides a much more robust reporting capability when looking at search queries, such as ad headline, landing page title, and destination URL, which facilitates new keyword creation. Analysis on landing page and category performance can also provide valuable insights about the website that is not accessible through standard search query reports.

How to Monitor DSA Performance

 

How Long Should My Ad Be?

Standard text ad headline length for keywords is 25 characters, however many of the dynamically generated headlines on DSAs are significantly longer. According to Google, the auto generated headlines for DSAs are slightly longer than standard text ads, giving your ads more visibility and relevance for people searching on the web for what you have to offer. Adlucent analyzed DSA headline length for a couple retailers who utilize DSAs across their entire product catalog. The analysis, done for a 12-month period and looking at nearly 182,000 unique DSA search queries, concluded that 72% of all DSAs had a character length greater than the standard 25 characters. The longest ad headline in the report was 84 characters, or 3.3x greater than the standard length! The average dynamically generated headline was 36 characters for these particular accounts combined.

DSA Ad Headline Character Length Pie Chart

 

The Impact of DSA Extended Headlines on Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

In analyzing the DSA Extended Headlines for these retailers, we found that CTR by average position for ads greater than the 25-character limit, were higher for all positions, compared to the standard ads with less than 25 characters. In aggregate, DSA ads greater than 25 characters have a 259% higher CTR compared to DSA ads with a standard ad headline length. Naturally performance will vary by account, and the sample size used. Keep this in mind when testing the CTR for DSA extended headlines on your accounts and let us know if you find similar results!

CTR by Average Position & Ad Headline Length

 

DSA Recommendations

The real value of DSAs lies in the search query data. Analyzing the data on a regular basis helps uncover valuable new keywords and search query trends.  Given their much higher CTR by all positions for ad headlines, DSAs can also provide a quick and easy way to fill gaps in your keyword portfolio, while also covering your entire product catalog. However, the disadvantage is the loss of control over the ad text or landing page that Google is serving. When used and analyzed regularly, DSAs can provide valuable insights, and help uncover hidden gems, across your entire product catalog which you can then use to expand your keyword portfolio.


One Response

  1. […] AdLucent reported the following findings last year for Dynamic Search Ads: […]

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