Optimizing Your Google AdWords Dynamic Search Ads

September 8th, 2014 by Sandi Goldstein

BLOG-optimize-dynsearchMy co-worker Cary blogged about effectively supplementing your conventional keyword-targeted campaigns with AdWords Dynamic Search back in August. But now we need to discuss some potential pitfalls of this type of campaign, and review how to refine them to be the most effective.

Google AdWords Dynamic Search Ads campaigns are far from “set it and forget it.” They need to be monitored closely and refined to avoid potential wasted clicks and spend.  For example, if you find that that your DSA campaign accounts for 40% of your spend but only 15% of your revenue, there are definite refinements that need to be made to the campaign to make it profitable.

Negative Keywords Are Critical:
Since, by their nature, Google AdWords Dynamic Search Ads are dynamically generated and therefore less in your control, the addition of negative keywords to the campaign is critical. You can use the Search Terms Report feature on the Auto Targets tab to view the search statements that triggered clicked ads.

You’ll want to create negatives of any keywords that have proven unrelated to the goods or services you sell, as well as possibly excluding keywords that you have paused in your regular search campaigns due to low profitability, out of stock or seasonal items.

Block Undesirable Landing Pages:
The Search Term Report will also show you landing pages automatically generated in your Dynamic Search ads. You can easily exclude any undesirable landing pages by using Dynamic Ad Target Exclusions from the Auto Targets tab. You’ll likely want to keep the served landing pages to those that actively feature products or services, and exclude those that include reviews, shipping and return information, contact information, etc.

Find Valuable New Keywords:
The Search Term Report can also provide new keywords to add to your AdWords campaign. Those search statements that produce results can be valuable additions as keywords in your keyword-targeted search campaigns.

Refine Your Targeting:
Choose from categories, URLs, page titles and page contents if you want to assert greater control, and give yourself the capability to break down categories of products for budget control or seasonal availability. Also, by grouping highly-related pages together (much like highly-refined ad groups in a traditional search campaign) and products of similar values together (high-price, high-margin products vs. low-price, low-margin products), the relevance of your ads will increase and an increase in ROI will likely follow.

Remember to check your campaign regularly and take advantage of the tools available to assess if there is wasteful spend. Google AdWords Dynamic Search Ads are not a panacea for all marketers, and regular review and refinement will enable you to determine if they are a good fit for you.

Goodbye Google AdWords PLAs, Hello Shopping

August 25th, 2014 by Steve Butler

BLOG-byePLAsIf you haven’t already heard, Google Product Listing Ad campaigns are being retired in late August and are being replaced by Google Shopping campaigns. Advertisers will be required to do some PPC management in order to transition to the new platform. Google Shopping offers a variety of new features that improve upon the performance of the old PLAs.

Before you transition your current PLA campaigns to Google Shopping, you’ll want to optimize your data feed. Use the attribute values in your feed to create product groups within your campaign. When reviewing your data feed, consider the best way to subdivide your products into product groups using any attributes you choose (category, product type, brand, item ID, custom labels, etc.). You can make these subcategories as granular as you like. Any ungrouped products will remain in an “Everything Else” product group. You can then use the Products tab to view your inventory, filter by attribute, and place bids.

How Google Shopping Campaigns are Different from PLAs

  • Ability to see your product inventory, group your products, and set your bids directly through AdWords.
  • Enhanced reporting capabilities allow you to see how a particular product or group of products is performing, down to any level of granularity rather than just at ad group level.
  • Access to competitive benchmark data that you can use to optimize your campaign and adjust bids to remain competitive.
  • Ability to organize your campaigns by Product Groups rather than Product Targets. Now that you can see your inventory directly through AdWords, organizing into Product Groups is much more seamless. Then you can bid on each product group according to your particular goals.
  • Custom Labels rather than “adwords labels” or “adwords grouping” allow you to group products that are on sale, are seasonal, or have other attributes (high price, high margin) that you want to easily monitor and report on.
  • Inventory Filters (vs. Product Filters) allow you to limit your advertising on certain products based on certain attributes you identify.
  • Optional Campaign Priority setting allows you to prioritize which campaign will be used when you advertise the same products across multiple campaigns.

Once your Google Shopping campaigns are up and running, you can easily monitor and optimize them. You can view ad performance in the Products Groups tab, and further optimize your campaign based on benchmark data to see how your ads compare to those for similar products, Impression Share (IS) data to identify opportunities for more impressions and clicks, and using the Bid Simulator tool to help estimate the bid that is most likely to provide the desired level of performance.

Boost Conversions With Google AdWords Dynamic Search

August 11th, 2014 by Cary Goldstein

BLOG-boostConversionsWhen exploring AdWords management opportunities, Dynamic Search can be an effective supplement to conventional keyword targeted campaigns, especially in a business where you routinely have new product listings or items temporarily changing in availability. In this type of environment, along with the fact that search behavior can be a moving target (on average 15% of search queries each day have never been seen before by Google’s Search Engine), even well managed AdWords campaigns containing thousands of keywords can miss potentially relevant searches, experience delays in creating ads for new items, and become temporarily out of sync with the full range of products available on your website at any point in time.

Dynamic Search Ads are a great way to target relevant searches with dynamic ads generated directly from your website content. A well-structured Dynamic Search campaign can effectively complement your existing keyword targeted ads to achieve broader coverage across all of your products and generate incremental sales.

How Dynamic Search Works:
Google maintains an active index of your products using their web crawling technology. Whenever a relevant search occurs that is not already covered by a conventional keyword-targeted campaign, Google dynamically generates an ad with the headline based on the specific search query and brings traffic to the most relevant landing page identified through their product indexing. This allows for more comprehensive exposure on your product inventory without disrupting your existing keyword campaigns.
 Dynamic Search Image

Set Your Coverage Target:
You can choose to target your whole website, specific categories of products, or even pages containing certain strings within your URL. Traditional keyword negatives can be used to help refine your targeting and prevent coverage on specific products or categories that you may not want to advertise.

Expand Your Reach and Conversion Results:
Dynamic Search Ads can generate incremental sales by promoting your products on a broader range of search queries than you’re currently covering today. Even well managed AdWords campaigns containing thousands of keywords still have the potential to miss some relevant searches, so expand your reach with Dynamic Search to help ensure the most comprehensive level of product coverage and bring shoppers to the landing pages that deliver exactly what they searched for where they are more likely to convert.