Create targets for Dynamic Search Ads

To show your Dynamic Search Ads to customers, we'll use dynamic ad targets that you create based on the content of your website. You can set up an all-encompassing dynamic ad target that includes all pages in your website's domain. We'll also show you 10 themes based on your website content (called "categories") that you might want to consider when targeting your ads. You can also create additional types of dynamic ad targets or block pages with dynamic ad target exclusions.

Guided tour: Create a dynamic ad target

Click the "Show me how" button below to go to your account and be guided through each step to create a dynamic ad target. Or, you can read the instructions below.


Show me how

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 the Add all webpages button from the "Add dynamic ad target" section of the Auto targets tab. Then, click Save.

  • Categories: The Dynamic Search Ads system uses Google's organic search index for your website to see the themes of your website content. Once our system identifies these themes, we create "categories" that you can target. Entering your own category instead of choosing from AdWords' categories may prevent the system from properly targeting sections of your website. That's because our system needs to match the landing pages from your website with the categories that you create, and sometimes it might be difficult for our system to understand the categories that you create.

    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." You might also see subcategories in each category, like "camera accessories" and "camera models" in the "camera" category.

    To target pages by categories, select the Add a group of webpages button from the "Add dynamic ad target" section of the Auto targets tab. Select "CATEGORY" from the drop-down menu and you'll see a list of categories identified by our system, like "camera," "television," and "video." Then, click Save. You'll see a dynamic ad target that looks like "CATEGORY contains 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 the URL for the landing page of your services section is www.electronicsexample.com/services/main/id=64725, then you can target all URLs that contain the term "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 the Add a group of webpages button from the "Add dynamic ad target" section of the Auto targets tab. Select "PAGE_TITLE" from the drop-down menu and enter "camera." Then, 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 word "digital cameras" to target your ads.

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

Example of 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. To see an example, click the following link: https://www.google.com/search?&q=site%3Agoogle.com.

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". To see an example, click the following link: https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Agoogle.com+inurl%3Aadwords

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". To see an example, click the following link: https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Agoogle.com+intitle%3A

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". To see an example, click the following link: https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Agoogle.com+intext:%22dynamic+search%22

Create dynamic ad targets

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

Keep in mind

Keep in mind that you can only include three attributes per dynamic ad target. For example, if you add the URL dynamic ad target that includes "camera," then you can only add two more attributes to this ad target. Then, one attribute could be a page title ad target that includes "digital cameras," and the other could be a page content ad target that includes "sale."

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. Choose Add all webpages or Add a group of webpages. If you choose the latter, select whether to target by category, URL, page title, or page content. For specific page titles or page content, add double quotation marks, like "camera" to terms that you'd like to include. 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.

Next steps

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