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Verify that your Dynamic Search Ads are set up correctly

If your Dynamic Search Ad campaigns aren't getting traffic, then it might be because your settings are missing key information. Within an ad group, you'll need to create your Dynamic Search ad text and choose Dynamic ad targets for your ad to run. Here are some tips that address some of the most common reasons why Dynamic Search Ad campaigns don't receive traffic after initial set-up.

Check that you've correctly entered your website domain and language

Dynamic Search Ad campaigns require a website domain (example.com) and language corresponding to the pages that you want your ads to target. When you first create your campaign, or change your settings later, you'll need to provide your website information and website language to set up the campaign properly. To check your domain settings:

  1. While viewing your campaign, click the Settings tab.
  2. Scroll down to the "Dynamic Search Ads" section at the bottom of the page. If you don't see a Dynamic Search Ads section, ensure that the campaign type is set to either "All Features'"or "Dynamic Search Ads".

You should see your website domain and language listed here if you've previously provided this. If the domain or language is missing, you'll need to add it by clicking Edit. Double check to make sure that your domain name is spelled correctly.

The following domains cannot be used for Dynamic Search Ad campaigns:

  • Redirected domains
  • Subdomains or domains that you don't actually own or have authorisation to use for this purpose. This includes the domain for a larger website that hosts multiple independent websites. In this case, you'll need to enter the full domain for your specific site (e.g. commonwebhost.com/yoursite).
  • Domains without enough content to target:
    • Sites that mostly contain flash content or images.
    • Sites that require a user to log in to access the majority of the site's content.
    • Sites that don't have a lot of pages indexed by Google. Check your website's index status on Google
Verify your ad format

Dynamic Search Ads are different from text ads, so you'll want to make sure that you chose the "Dynamic search ad" format instead of the "Text ad" format.

Here's how to check that you've selected the correct ad format:

  1. Click on the Ads tab in your Dynamic Search Ad campaign.
  2. Look for the label "{Dynamically generated headline}" in your ad's headline.
  3. If "{Dynamically generated headline}" doesn't appear in the ad's headline, then create a new ad by clicking +New ad and selecting Dynamic search ad from the drop-down menu.
  4. Enter text in the description lines. If you use third-party tracking software, then you'll need to include the relevant tracking URL in your tracking template.
  5. Click on Save ad.
Review your dynamic ad targets

Dynamic Search Ad campaigns use dynamic ad targets to determine which sections or pages of your website to use for showing your ads to customers. When you create a Dynamic Search Ad campaign, we suggest that you start by implementing all recommended category targets. You can find more info on how to add recommended targets in this article.

If you want to set up your own dynamic ad targets, then you'll need to format them in a way that our system understands. If you create your own dynamic ad targets, then make sure that they aren't too narrowly defined. For example, if you create a dynamic ad target for one web page on your site, such as "URL contains business/benefits.html", then our system can use only that one page to show your ad.

Check your negative keywords and dynamic ad target exclusions

Negative keywords

Negative keywords in your Dynamic Search Ad campaign block your ads from appearing when a customer uses those words as a search phrase. You can compare your negative keywords from your Keywords tab with pages on your website that you want to include for your Dynamic Search Ad campaigns. If there are matches, then consider removing the negative keyword.

Dynamic ad target exclusions

Dynamic ad target exclusions prevent us from using certain pages on your website to target your Dynamic Search Ads. If a customer uses a search phrase that could've been matched with a page from your website that's in a dynamic ad target exclusion, then that customer won't see your ad.

Here's how to check your dynamic ad target exclusions and to remove any exclusions that you don’t want:

  1. From the "All campaigns" page, click on the Auto targets tab.
  2. Click on View and choose Dynamic ad targets from the drop-down menu.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of your page and click on Exclusions.
  4. Review your list of dynamic ad target exclusions. Check whether any of them are blocking pages on your website that you don't want to be blocked.
  5. Select the box next to the dynamic ad target exclusion that's blocking those pages and click on Remove.

Tip

You can review the Website Coverage column to see the percentage of pages that belong to a dynamic ad target exclusion. It'll tell you the percentage of landing pages – out of all the pages in your website's domain that Google has indexed – that belong to the same category, contain certain words in the page title, use the same URL snippet or have common phrases in the content of the website itself. To add this column so that you can see it, click the Columns drop-down menu from the Auto targets tab, select Customise Columns and add Website Coverage. Please note that it can take up to 72 hours to expose the website coverage of each auto target if you start a new DSA campaign.

Other reasons that your Dynamic Search Ads might not appear as expected
  1. Your Dynamic Search Ads can show instead of your keyword-based campaigns when the keywords in your keyword-based campaigns are active, paused or removed.
  2. Your Dynamic Search Ads won't show when a customer's search term matches one of your keywords exactly (this applies to all keyword-based campaigns and accounts that use the same domain as your Dynamic Search Ads campaign). However, we might show your dynamic search ad instead of your keyword-targeted ad when a customer's search term is a broad match or phrase match to one of your keywords and when your dynamic search ad has a higher Quality Score.
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