What Are Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs)? - Vine Street Digital

What Are Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs)?

What Are Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs)?

Dynamic Search Ads or DSAs are a great way to capture traffic from crazy, wild yet relevant search queries. They are perfect for filling in the gaps between the keywords current running in your Google ads account & operating as a ‘catch-all’ solution allowing you to expand your keyword database.

Dynamic Search Ads appear as regular search ads on the results page, however, the way they trigger is very different from regular Expanded Search Ads or Responsive Search Ads. Instead of using keywords to trigger the ads, Google will crawl your website and look for content based on the search query.

Once it finds a match, the headlines & landing page are dynamically inserted into the ad text to match the search query. This allows for much more relevancy between the search query, the resulting search ad copy, and the landing page.

DSA Targeting

But what happens if you only want to target a specific set of pages? Well, Google has an option for that too! By default, Google will automatically index your entire website to find matches for the search query. But, Google also allows you to create Page Feeds. These Page Feeds allow you to add specific URLs you want to target. Once the option “Use URL’s from my Page Feed only” is selected, Google’s AI will only crawl those specific pages.

The way Dynamic Search Ads are set up also differs a lot from regular search ads. As I mentioned, the headlines & landing page are dynamically inserted into the ad. So, the two description lines are the only adjustable aspect of the ads.

In terms of targeting methods, there are several options to specify exactly which URLs you want to include.

All Web Pages

This default targeting method simply targets all available web pages on your domain or in your page feed.

Category =

Category = can be used to target specific categories created by Google. As Google crawls your website, it will begin to segment certain pages into categories which can allow for more defined targeting.

URL Contains

URL Contains allows you to target pages containing specific strings. For example, say you want to target all services for your plumbing business. If your service pages followed the URL pattern of plumbing.com/services/ then you would be able to set the URL Contains to “services”


This method is very straightforward. URL = allows you to target specific URLs on your website or in your feeds. For example, if you wanted to drive traffic to a ‘Clearance’ subpage, you can target the exact URL.

Page_Title Contains

Page_Title Contains allows you to target pages containing certain words in their title.

Page_Content Contains

Page_Content Contains allows you to target pages containing specific words that you select. For example, you could show all the pages on your website that contain the phrase “men’s shirt”.

Custom_Label =

Custom Labels are mostly used when Page Feeds are being utilised. Custom_Label = allows you to target the Custom Labels you can set on specific URLs. For example, you might have three URLs that are labelled as ‘Shoes’ while another three might be ‘Backpack’.

DSA Challenges

The biggest downside to DSA is the spending. Think of it as a kid in a candy shop – guaranteed to find the best lollies, but will probably also grab many others along the way! This makes it extremely important to get the targeting sorted from the beginning. Try including things such as negative keywords to help prevent irrelevant search queries triggering your ads.

With the range of targeting options & the ability to select specific URLs, DSA ads are a great way to capture additional traffic that could result in more sales. Along with that, the amount of time saved by not having to map keywords or adjust bids makes testing DSA even more appealing. Just make sure you keep an eye on your budget!

Let us know if you have any questions or want help setting up dynamic search ads in your own accounts.

Written by Lachlan Ward