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 your ads 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. Dynamic Search Ads use pages on your website that are discovered by Google's search and ad crawlers (programs that automatically discover and scan websites by following links from one webpage to another).

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 and you’d like to target pages that are selling digital cameras. Dynamic Search Ads will automatically organize your website into categories, that are customized to your products and services such as "digital cameras," "televisions," and "video recorders."

    To target pages by categories, click Use categories recommended for your website in the Add dynamic ad target section of the Auto targets tab, and select "digital cameras" from the category targets list. You'll see a dynamic ad target that looks like "CATEGORY = digital cameras.” Click Save.

    You can also search for other categories outside of our recommended category set 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.

  • 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 + DYNAMIC AD TARGET button. See Add dynamic ad target button
  3. Choose whether you’d like to target a set of recommended categories, target all webpages on your site, or use specific webpages (advanced). If you’re new to Dynamic Search Ads, we suggest using recommended categories.
    • For recommended categories, select a set of categories you’d like to target in the ad group.
    • If you want to use more advanced features for targeting your Dynamic Search Ads, you can use the "specific webpages (advanced) feature". This option allows you to create website targeting rules pertaining to category, URL, page content and page title. You can also use a combination of the above options (up to 3) to create even more custom targets.Add dynamic ad target
  4. Click Save.

Tips

  • To target a subdomain, choose to target by "URL" and enter the subdomain you'd like to reach. For example, it might look like this: "URL contains subdomain.example.com."
  • Create dynamic ad targets that are more broadly defined to help increase your incremental traffic. If you create a target with too few indexed landing pages, 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 ads are 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 website pages you don't want used for generating your ads. For example, you might want to exclude pages that contain phrases like "out of stock" to prevent customers from seeing 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. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click + Exclusions. Exclusions link
  3. In the section that expands, click +Add.
  4. Choose an ad group.
  5. Choose to exclude pages by category, page content, page title, or URL. For page titles or page content, add double quotation marks to terms that you'd like to exclude. Add dynamic ad target exclusions
  6. 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 as you'd add them to any other campaign. Even though Dynamic Search Ads don't use keywords, negative keywords are considered when ads appear to potential customers.

Here's how to add negative keywords:

  1. From the "All campaigns" page, click the Keywords tab.
  2. Scroll down to find the negative keywords section below the main keywords table. Expand the section by clicking "+".  Click the Negative keywords button.
  3. Negative keywords table
  4. To add negative keywords, 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. Select an ad group and add negative keywords. There's no need to include a negative sign (-). When you use negative keywords, your ads could still show on searches that include synonyms and other variations, such as singular or plural versions of your words.
  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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