Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) have been around for quite a while now. They’ve gone through numerous iterations and continue to get better each time a new feature is launched. Most of the time, I see ecommerce accounts successfully utilizing DSA. After all, the easiest comparison is probably to Shopping campaigns. But DSA can be a great strategy for lead generation accounts as well.
First, let’s get into why Dynamic Search Ads and lead gen don’t mesh well, then we’ll talk about some strategies to overcome those obstacles.
The Trouble with Dynamic Search Ads and Lead Generation
There are some inherent reasons as to why Dynamic Search Ads aren’t typically used for lead generation accounts. The biggest reason being that for Dynamic Search Ads, each page on your site essentially becomes a potential landing page. Unlike many ecommerce sites, not all pages on a lead gen site are geared toward landing page best practices. Typically, these pages are serving a different purpose.
Inexact Product Descriptions
Unlike ecommerce sites, lead generation sites are trying to get you to exchange information rather than dollars. In many cases, as with software or an insurance quote, lead gen sites are also selling the intangible. There aren’t descriptions about the size, shape, or color of the product, so text can be less specific.
Rather than talking about features, lead generation sites often talk about benefits or outcomes from their solutions. This isn’t a bad thing, don’t get me wrong. This is exactly how you should look to market the intangible, but the problem comes when Dynamic Search Ads are looking for keywords and landing pages. These intangibles can sometimes be nothing more than common phrases and can end up spending your advertising dollars on matches to phrases on your site pages that simply aren’t going to get you a sale.
Text is Spread Across the Site
In the same vein as having inexact text on a site, many lead generation sites also have the text spread across many pages of a site. How often have you visited a page of a site to find that there’s only a small paragraph about it with a button to more text on another page? Now, that page *might* have a fuller view of the whole product, but it also might just be another teaser type page hoping to lure you into filling out the form to learn more.
Ecommerce sites don’t do this. A product page houses all the information for that product and it’s typically not teased somewhere else with less information in the same way as lead generation sites.
Again, there is nothing wrong with this type of site layout from the lead generation company. It’s common practice and can get users more interested in what you’re selling. But it’s simply not a good fit for a Dynamic Search Ads campaign. In the teaser text scenario above, your teaser page and the more specific page can be eligible for your landing page. Without some fairly specific rules in place, it can be a crapshoot if the user is taken to the strong individually focused page or the teaser page with only a small amount of information.
Lack of Calls to Action
Lastly, the biggest difference between lead generation and ecommerce sites tends to be the number of calls to action on each page. Ecommerce sites typically have a purchase option on literally every product page, but lead generation sites tend to shy away from the more direct calls to action. The sites are more focused on conveying content first, getting in touch second.
Usually on a lead generation site you’ll find a small “Contact Us”, a phone number, or maybe even a button that says “Learn More” rather than a direct call to action and page that leads users right to a form fill. Again, this isn’t a bad thing. It just means that some of your pages might not be right for Dynamic Search Ads.
Dynamic Search Ads Strategies for Lead Generation
So enough about the problems with Dynamic Search Ads for lead generation. Let’s get to why you’re here in the first place: how to actually make these two mesh.
1) Page Feeds
Whether it’s due to inexact text, teaser text, lack of call to action, or other reasons, not all pages are right for your Dynamic Search Ads campaign. In March of this year, Google announced Page Feeds to the Dynamic Search Ads capabilities and changed the way I use DSA for lead generation forever.
Instead of writing tons of Dynamic Target rules in your DSA campaigns, you can now simply upload a Page Feed full of your pre-approved pages to be used for your Dynamic Search Ads campaigns. This function is found in the Shared Library, under Business Data.
You can get pretty advanced with these lists if you put some time and effort into them, especially if you take advantage of the custom label feature. Bringing the comparison back to Shopping Campaigns, you can add labels to easily segment the pages within your list to then be utilized in the DSA campaigns themselves. Simply upload a file that contains the pages you like with descriptive labels.
Then write your Auto Targeting rules to reflect the structure you built with your custom labels to create segmented campaigns.
The main benefit is that you’re providing Google with a library of pages that you’ve preselected to represent your site instead of letting it choose pages based on those it can find on your domain. Only the pages you designate will be eligible to trigger ads and function as landing pages so you’re not surprised by which pages Google chooses. Additionally, you’re able to create highly customized labels that don’t require you to rely on the previous rules utilizing Page Content, URL, Category, or Page Title to control which pages show and which don’t. We as advertisers now have far more control with Page Feeds for Dynamic Search Ads.
2) Create a Long Form Landing Page
Don’t think that you’re limited to only the pages that exist on the site for DSA. If you have the resources available, crafting a long form landing page for lead generation accounts can be a great way to get incremental traffic from DSA without having to dip into your site.
As we mentioned earlier, sometimes the best text on your site either lives on multiple pages or isn’t as exact as you would like. So why not simply craft your ideal page and have that be the only one you let Google crawl?
There are tons of amazing articles out there about building successful long term landing pages that cover insights on copy, structure, when to use them, etc.. Give any of the pages below a read and you’ll be off to the races.
When Do You Need A Long Form Sales Page – Unbounce
How to Design Kickass Long Form Sales Pages – ConversionXL
How to Structure a Successful Long Form Sales Page – EnvatoTuts+
Here are just a couple extra things to consider to make sure your page is Dynamic Search Ads approved:
- Have plenty of specific, supporting text about your product from features, to benefits, to the problems that cause them, to the solutions you provide. The whole point of DSA is that we’re never sure what someone is going to search for to find you, so try to cover as many bases as you can in a natural way.
- Be sure to have one clear call to action that remains consistent throughout the page. There can and should be multiple instances where you ask the user to convert as they’re going through the page, but keep the different types of conversion actions minimal.
- If you’re continuing to tease a content piece, be sure to put enough text on the page to let DSA run without giving away the secret sauce. Sometimes exerpts can be a great way to make this happen.
3) Content Amplification
Many lead generation companies have begun to embrace a content marketing strategy to build their top of funnel awareness. For them, this means many new pieces of content being rolled out regularly to provide quality information to their audience.
What that can mean for lead generation marketers is an endless cycle of new campaigns requiring keyword research, new campaign builds in all applicable channels, ad creation, tracking adjustments, and a host of other things.
Dynamic Search Ads can help alleviate loads of the setup work for each of these content campaigns. By utilizing DSA, you’ll be saving time on the keyword research, campaign building, and ad copy creation.
The drawback for this campaign type comes back to the idea of teaser text we’ve already discussed. Most companies utilize gated content for this type of strategy, which means that not all the text is available for the DSA tool to scan. See the issue?
To use this strategy effectively, you’ll need to make sure that your landing pages contain enough copy for the tool to run on. There might need to be some testing to figure out what is and isn’t enough for the DSA algorithm, but once you find the right formula, you’ll be off to the races.
4) Combining DSA and RLSA: RDSA
Dynamic Search Ads can also be combined with Remarketing Lists for Search Ads to create a wonderful catch-all type of campaign for your lead generation site: Remarketing Dynamic Search Ads or RDSA. More than likely, you already have your keyword targeted campaigns opted into RLSA or you have a separate set of campaigns for this scenario. But this is only covering the keywords and queries you’re already aware of.
The whole point of Dynamic Search Ads is to reach beyond your current lists for incremental traffic. Once you think about using this for your retargeting audiences, folks that are theoretically pre-qualified as they’ve been to your site before, you might be a bit more willing to loosen the reigns.
Tip: Here’s a list of some of the pretty common exclusions you should be making in your DSA campaigns, RDSA or not.
Taking this strategy one step further, Remarketing Dynamic Search Ads campaigns can also be broken up into previous activity tracked on the site. For example, if someone has visited your site before but never converted, even on a content offer, maybe those users stay in a strict list of conversion focused pages in your RDSA campaigns.
But if that person has downloaded a whitepaper before, it might behoove you to give that user a bit more leniency and allow them to land on any page of your main site without being as focused on conversions. At this stage, it’s possible that they’re gathering more information on your solutions to find if you’re the right fit for them. Since you’ve already got their contact info, you’re already able to start your follow up sequences without a second form fill. At this stage, let them peruse and get the information they need from your main site without being too pushy.
Additionally, you could look to segment audiences based on the specific pages they viewed and segment their activity in DSA to see how each group interacts with your site. You could then leverage IF Statements to have your dynamic ad copy reflect the audience the user falls into with specific messaging.
Don’t let your imagination be stifled. There are lots of ways you can get highly customized with DSA. The only trend you’ll be fighting to search volume for the audience and search terms you’re targeting.
Dynamic Search Ads might not be a successful out-of-the-box solution for many lead generation sites. But if you spend a little time and put in some elbow grease, DSA can be a valuable addition to your campaign strategy and help drive incremental volume. You just have to be willing to do the work.
So what do you think? Are Dynamic Search Ads or Remarketing Dynamic Search Ads a good fit for lead generation accounts? What is your favorite strategy and what have you had success with? Share with us in the comments!