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Digital Marketing News & Best Practices - Adlucent Search Pros(e)

Dynamic Search Ads: Finessing Google DSA

Posted by Kelsey Hart on October 26, 2020

Google's Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) allow ads for your site to appear in Google's search results without the bloat and time sink of heavy long-tail keyword buildout. They are most valuable for extensive product catalogs and location-based providers. They're an outstanding tool for marketing professionals and can help you better target your customers.

At Adlucent, we’ve been solving retail’s toughest challenges since 2001. Our “Better Every Day” mindset means we never stop imagining new ways to meet our clients’ unique needs. Working with some of the biggest names in retail ecommerce, we’re always focused on fast adoption and mastery of the latest developments in digital advertising. Today, we're going to provide a light refresher on dynamic search ads, and we'll explain how our views and uses of DSA, and the methodology for taking advantage of it, are changing — for the better!


A DSA Refresher: How Google's Dynamic Search Ads Work

With DSA, Google decides where to serve your ads based on the page's title and publicly visible content. Meta tags, other than the title tag, are practically irrelevant to DSA.

  • DSA advertisers are only responsible for telling Google which pages of your site should be advertised and crafting two description lines.

  • Once the system has analyzed your content, it matches that data to relevant search terms, automatically generating headlines and landing pages to match.

  • When ads are shown for these queries, searchers should see relevant headlines based on the landing page and the search performed.

  • Historically, Adlucent clients saw an average of 10%-15% increase in non-brand revenue through DSAs — although naturally, every account is different.

DSAs used to be considered a backup to your keyword structure, something to catch the odd query you hadn't accounted for, but not reliable enough to move much traffic through. Now, with better campaign architecture and advancements in matching algorithms, we can use it to cover much more ground at strong efficiency.

A few years ago, the team here at Adlucent achieved the best results out of non-brand keyword structure by building elaborate campaign structures to drive granular bidding and funneling. However, the Google platform has evolved. As Google has weakened match types and taken increasingly more data away from advertisers, this method has become less effective.

The Changing Landscape of SEO, PPC, and DSA

Previously, the best approach was to exercise specific, granular control over as much of a campaign as possible. Then, utilize DSAs to cover the gaps and drive incremental traffic to specific product pages.

But, things are always changing in the realm of online marketing. Consider how drastically the landscape has changed in 2020 alone!

  • In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused internet traffic and social media traffic to explode.

  • US Consumers — stuck at home — spent 40% more time on their smartphones and handheld devices and 37% more time on their laptops, according to Statista

  • The zero-click results that had blossomed in 2019, poised to cut off PPC and DSA results at the knees, have lost tremendous momentum. We imagine that's due to a captive, homebound audience that had plenty of time to relax, perform research, and shop online from the comfort of their sofa — but citable statistics are not yet available.

It's become clear that successful online marketing professionals have a hand in manual management, make fast choices, and utilize DSA to manage more low-volume, long-tail queries

Flip the Script: The New Method of DSA and PPC Management

In our experience, a significant percentage — as much as 40 to 50% — of non-brand search activity is against lower-volume, long-tail queries. Consumers are search savvy. They may not know the manufacturer of a product or be familiar with a new brand, but they can describe the results they seek. And, to that end, we need human creativity paired with data.

  • Google's algorithm has access to more data — and does a better job — predicting and optimizing for modern search behavior than any human can accomplish.

  • It's a flip from "manual management is the default, DSA to cover the gaps" to "DSA is the default, manual management is used to maximize where the opportunity exists."

We believe the practical execution is to continue to have a focused, hand-managed campaign. Such a structure allows for fine control of keywords and common search queries that demonstrate sufficient search volume to allow for more meaningful and "wholesale" optimization of your website.

  • The concept is well illustrated in our recent music retailer case study. We went from more than 526,000 keywords and 40 DSAs to about 5,000 high-impact keywords and around 10,000 DSAs, driving spectacular performance improvements. 

And, Adlucent is uniquely positioned to maximize the success of this approach for our clients.

Combine Automation and a Human Touch to Dominate DSA with Adlucent

On the automated side, Adlucent's expertise in feed management, plus granular product category and subcategory-driven optimization, allows us to keep your DSA structure up-to-date efficiently. In other words, our automation provides the best format for Google's algorithms to reference.

On the manual side, Adlucent has repeatedly proven in head-to-head tests that we outperform automated solutions. We know how to extract insights from the DSA campaigns to optimize the manual campaigns. We can make fast decisions and operate ahead of the curve. 

If you'd like to learn more about any of the concepts we've touched on here — whether it's paid search, feed optimization, DSA, or SEO in the continually changing realms of search engine criteria — reach out to our team today!

Contact Us Today


Related Reading & Resources:

Support.Google.com: About Dynamic Search Ads

Support.Google.com: Fix Low Traffic Issues With Your Dynamic Search Ads

Hospitality.net: Does Google's "Zero Click Search" Mark the End of Hotel Paid Search?

Topics: digital marketing, dsa, dynamic search ads, Featured Post, paid search, paid search strategy


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