Create targets for Dynamic Search Ads

To reach your customers, we'll use dynamic ad targets based on the content of your website. You can target based on specific categories that reflect the structure of your website, or target all the pages of your website. You can also create additional types of dynamic ad targets or block pages using dynamic ad target exclusions.

Ways to target

Dynamic Search Ads automatically show your ad based on the content of your website. This means that instead of keywords, we use dynamic ad targets to show your ads to customers. With dynamic ad targets, you can choose all or a subset of pages in your website's domain that'll be used to target your ads to customers. It's important to keep in mind that Dynamic Search Ads use the landing pages from your website's domain that are indexed in Google's organic search index.

Here are the five types of dynamic ad targets you can use to refine how we'll show your ads:

  • All webpages: Every single page in your website's domain.

    Example

    Let's say you have a website about electronics, www.electronicsexample.com.

    To target all pages in www.electronicsexample.com, select Use all webpages in the Add dynamic ad target section of the Auto targets tab. Then click Save.

  • Categories: Based on your website content, Google creates targetable categories, or sets of landing pages organized by theme. You decide which sets of pages to target, how to group similar pages, and the level of granularity.

    Example

    Let's say you have a website about electronics organized into sections for different devices, which the Dynamic Search Ads system might identify as different categories, like "camera," "television," and "video recorder." You might also see subcategories in each category, like "camera accessories" and "camera models" in the "camera" category.

    To target pages by categories, click Use categories recommended for your website in the Add dynamic ad target section of the Auto targets tab, then select category targets from the list. You can also search for other categories that are available for targeting, even if they are not listed. Alternatively, you can select Dynamically target all pages within my site to target your entire site. Click Save. You'll see a dynamic ad target that looks like "CATEGORY = camera."

  • URLs: Pages with URLs containing certain strings that you specify.

    Example

    Let's say you want to target all the services-related pages of your electronics website based on the URL string that appears when you navigate the site. If all of those URLs follow a similar pattern, like electronicsexample.com/services/, you should target every one that contains "services."

    To target pages by URL, select the Add a group of webpages button from the "Add dynamic ad target" section of the Auto targets tab. Select "URL" from the drop-down menu and enter "services." Then, click Save. You'll see a dynamic ad target that looks like "URL contains /services/".

  • Page title: Pages with titles that contain certain words. Don't know what a page title is? Click google.com and look at the top of your browser window. You should see the page title "Google" at the top.

    Example

    You might want to target pages with titles that contain certain words, like "cameras."

    To target pages by title, select Use specific webpages from the Add dynamic ad target section of the Auto targets tab. Select PAGE_TITLE from the drop-down menu and enter camera. Click Save. You'll see a dynamic ad target that looks like "PAGE_TITLE contains cameras".

  • Page content: Pages that contain certain words that you specify.

    Example

    Let's say you want to use all pages that contain the words "digital cameras" to target your ads.

    To target pages by content, select Add a group of webpages from the Add dynamic ad target section of the Auto targets tab. Select PAGE_CONTENT from the drop-down menu and enter digital cameras. Click Save. You'll see a dynamic ad target that looks like "PAGE_CONTENT contains digital cameras".

How dynamic ad targets work

Think of dynamic ad targets the same way you'd think about operators, which are special search commands that people use to refine their searches on Google or other search engines. To help you understand how the Dynamic Search Ads system uses dynamic ad targets to show your ads, check out the following examples of how operators work on Google search:

All webpages

If someone uses the operator site:google.com, then the organic search index will include all webpages within the domain google.com. Example

URLs

Let's say someone wants to search for webpages with URLs that contain certain terms. If that person uses the operator inurl:adwords, then the organic search index will include all webpages with a URL that contains the term "AdWords". Example

Page title

If someone only wants to see webpages with a certain page title, that person could use the operator intitle:"adwords help". Then, the organic search index will include all webpages with a title that contains "AdWords Help". Example

Page content

Let's say someone only wants to see webpages with certain content. If that person uses the operator intext:"dynamic search", then the organic search index will include all webpages with content that contains "Dynamic Search". Example

Create dynamic ad targets

You can add one or multiple dynamic ad targets to your Dynamic Search Ads campaign.

Here's how to add dynamic ad targets:

  1. From your Dynamic Search Ad campaign, click the Auto targets tab.
  2. Click the +Add dynamic ad target button. See Add dynamic ad target button
  3. Pick whether you’d like to target a set of recommended categories, or target all pages of your site, or select more advanced targeting criteria. If you’re new to Dynamic Search Ads, we recommend using recommended categories.
    • For recommended categories, select a set of categories you’d like to target in the ad group.
    • For all pages, click the button to target all pages.
    • For advanced targets, select a combination of category, URL contains, page contains, and title contains rules that apply to the pages you’d like to target.Add dynamic ad target
  4. Click Save.

Tips

  • To combine any dynamic ad targets, click the Add another link that appears below your first dynamic ad target.
  • To target a subdomain, choose to target by "URL" and enter the subdomain you'd like to target. For example, when you create a dynamic ad target to target a subdomain, it might look like the following: "URL contains subdomain.example.com."
  • Create dynamic ad targets that are more broadly defined to help increase your incremental traffic. If you create a dynamic ad target with too few indexed landing pages, then your ads might not get any incremental traffic.
  • You can set bid adjustments to increase or decrease your dynamic ad target bids by a percentage. Bid adjustments can give you more control over when and where your ad is shown. Learn more about how to use bid adjustments with Dynamic Search Ads campaigns.
Block pages with dynamic ad target exclusions

Create dynamic ad targets that exclude pages on your website that you don't want to be used for generating your ads. For example, you might want to exclude pages that contain words like "out of stock" to prevent customers from seeing pages on your website that contain products they can't buy.

Here's how to add dynamic ad target exclusions:

  1. From the "All campaigns" page click the Auto targets tab.
  2. Click "View" and choose Dynamic ad targets. View drop-down menu
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click + Exclusions. Exclusions link
  4. In the section that expands, click +Add.
  5. Assign your dynamic ad target exclusion to an ad group.
  6. Choose to exclude pages by category, URL, page title, or page content. For page titles or page content, add double quotation marks to terms that you'd like to exclude. Add dynamic ad target exclusions
  7. Click Save. Your new dynamic ad target exclusion should appear in the "Exclusions" section.

Tips

We strongly recommend creating exclusions for pages that contain words like  "sold out" or "unavailable." This will prevent customers from seeing pages on your website that contain products they won't be able to buy.

Add negative keywords

You can add negative keywords to your Dynamic Search Ad campaign just like how you'd add negative keywords to any campaign in your account. Even though Dynamic Search Ads don't use keywords, our system does consider negative keywords when it shows ads to potential customers.

Here's how to add negative keywords:

  1. From the "All campaigns" page, click the Keywords tab. See Keywords tab
  2. Scroll down to find the negative keywords section below the main keywords table. Expand the section by clicking "+". Negative keywords link
  3. You'll see two tables: "Ad group level" and "Campaign level." Negative keywords table
  4. To add negative keywords to an ad group, click the +Add button in the "Ad group level" table. To add negative keywords to a campaign, click the Add button in the "Campaign level" table.
  5. Add your negative keywords, one per line. There's no need to include a negative sign (-) before each keyword. If you add broad-matched negative keywords, you'll need to add their plural versions. To add a negative phrase-matched keyword, surround the term with quotation marks, such as "used". To add a negative exact-matched keyword, surround the term with brackets, such as [used].
  6. Click Save.

Example

Let's say you'd like to prevent your ad about electronic devices from showing to someone searching for used camera or used television. You'd want to add used as a negative keyword since that person isn't likely to buy your new cameras and televisions.

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