How to fix low traffic issues with Google Dynamic Search Ads

If your Dynamic Search Ads aren't getting traffic, 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.

This article goes over some of the most common reasons why Dynamic Search Ads don’t receive traffic after initial setup.

5 common reasons why your Dynamic Search Ads aren’t serving

1. Your website domain and language were incorrectly entered

Dynamic Search Ads require a website domain (for example, example.com) and language corresponding to the pages you want your ads to target to be set in the campaign. To create a Dynamic ad group in a search campaign, you'll need to provide your website information and website domain and language in the campaign settings.

The following domains can't be used for Dynamic Search Ads:

  • Domains that redirect to a different domain
  • Sites from some sensitive verticals, such as pharmaceutical, gambling, and adult may not serve with Dynamic Search Ads
  • Domains without enough content to target:
    • Sites that mostly contain flash content or images
    • Sites that require a user to login 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)

Next steps: Check your domain and language settings:

  1. From the page menu on the left, click Campaigns.
  2. Use a table filter to find your campaign, then click its name.
  3. To view your campaign settings, click Settings from the page menu on the left.
  4. Click Additional settings, and then click Dynamic Search Ads. You should view the website domain and language listed if you previously gave this information. Make sure the language in your settings matches the language of your website.
  5. If the domain or language is missing, enter the domain or select a language from the drop-down. Double-check to be sure that your domain name is spelled correctly.
  6. Click Save.

Go to your Google Ads account

If your URL works only when it starts with ‘www’, enter the URL starting with ‘www’ in the campaign settings. Similarly, if your domain doesn't work if it starts with ‘www’, enter the domain in campaign settings without ‘www’.

2. Your dynamic ad targets aren't set up correctly

Dynamic Search Ads use dynamic ad targets to determine which sections or pages of your website to use for showing your ads to customers.

Next steps:

3. Your negative keywords and negative dynamic ad targets are blocking your ads from serving

Negative keywords

Negative keywords in your Dynamic ad groups block your ads from appearing when a customer uses those words as a search phrase.

Next steps:

  • Compare your negative keywords with pages on your website that you want to include for your Dynamic Search Ads. If there are matches, consider removing the negative keyword.
    • Example: If you don’t want Dynamic Search Ads to show on a brand term that you’re already targeting with keywords, you should add this brand term as a negative exact match keyword.
  • Dynamic Search Ads may find opportunities to serve ads on searches that contain your brand term that you aren’t already targeting with keywords. To make sure you don’t lose these serving opportunities, don’t add your brand term as a negative broad match keyword.

Negative dynamic ad targets

Negative dynamic ad targets 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 negative target, that customer won't view your ad.

Next steps: Check your negative targets and to remove those you don’t want:

  1. From the page menu on the left, click Dynamic ad targets.
  2. Click Negative dynamic ad targets.
  3. Review your list of negative targets. Check if any of them are blocking pages on your website that you don't want blocked.
  4. Check the box next to the negative target that's blocking those pages and click Remove.

Go to your Google Ads account

4. Your targets don’t have coverage in the “Website coverage” column

You can review the ”Website coverage” column to view the percentage of pages that belong to a dynamic ad target. It will 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. If you can’t view the “Website coverage” column, add it to the table.

Next steps: Check the “Website coverage” column to make sure your target is set up correctly and targeting a subset of your webpages.

  • It can take up to 72 hours to expose the website coverage of each Dynamic ad target if you start a new Dynamic ad group.
  • Some sites may show “--”, rather than a number, as the coverage means that there are no pages targeted at all, so this dynamic ad target will get no traffic. This column only shows the percent of webpages that are eligible to serve, so pages excluded by a negative dynamic ad target won’t be reflected in the value shown.
  • Some sites may show 0.0% webpage coverage and still have traffic because the site is very large.
  • You can also use this column in the "Negative dynamic ad targets" view to make sure your negative targets don’t have a wider reach than you intend.
Example: If you add a “Page_Content contains out of stock” target to prevent out of stock pages from serving, but “out of stock” is in webpage text across your website, then you may be accidentally preventing pages from your website from serving that you meant to target.

5. Your campaign is not serving due to Common DSA Delay for Serving

You may experience delays if you’ve updated your website, created a new campaign, or edited your existing campaigns. Here are frequently asked questions with answers to help you understand the expected turnaround times:

1. How soon does the Dynamic Search Ads system reflect the changes I make to my website?

Website changes reflect as soon as the web index does, typically 7–10 days. If you use a Page feed, which has a different crawling mechanism (Ads bot instead of the organic Google bots), your pages get crawled more frequently. New pages added to a page feed get crawled in a day and recrawled up to every 14 days. However, pages that get consistent clicks are crawled typically 2–3 days. If the feed is large, it can take up to 10 days to finish crawling the entire feed.

2. Are frequently-updated websites eligible for Dynamic Search Ads?

Due to DSA crawl times, websites with constant content updates (for example, flash sales websites updating their deals on a daily basis) may not produce good results with DSA.

3. How soon does the Dynamic Search Ads system start serving new campaigns?

A new campaign with a website domain that isn’t used in another active DSA campaign may take 24–48 hours to start serving. If the new campaign is using a website domain that is already used in other active DSA campaigns, then the new campaign may start serving within 8 hours. In some cases, it may still take up to 48 hours.

4. How soon does the Dynamic Search Ads system reflect the changes I make to my campaigns?

The following operations are instant:

  • Bid changes
  • Pausing a campaign, ad group, or category URL
  • New creatives for an existing ad group
  • Changing the copy or tracking of an existing creative

Anything else, such as adding new URLs, moving URLs between ad groups, or configuring new ad groups, can take up to 24 hours.

In order to confirm if your dynamic ad targets or ad target exclusions are valid, you can check your:

Note: It's best to check 24 hours after the ad target exclusions were added, since search terms report don’t have hourly updates.

Also try

  • Your Dynamic Search Ads can show instead of your keyword-based ad groups when the keywords in your keyword-based ad groups are active, paused, or removed.
  • Your Dynamic Search Ads targets may overlap with each other. If this is the case, the most targeted dynamic ad target may serve, or traffic may split between the targets so you don’t get as much traffic as you'd expect.

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