Dynamic Search Ads: Keyword Mining Through Ngram Analysis

If you are looking for supplemental volume and have a website with multiple pages of content or metadata, then Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) should be part of your overall search engine marketing strategy to drive increased query coverage.

If you haven’t sold the benefits of DSA yet, consider the following:

  • Dynamic Search Ads complement your existing search campaigns by filling in gaps that your keyword-based campaigns can’t reach.
  • This feature automatically creates ads based on your website’s most recent content and helps keep your ads relevant by showing ads to the right person at the right time.
  • Increases search term coverage by helping you identify new queries and match types.
  • Usage reduces the load of huge operations by skipping keywords and creating duplicate ad copy.

In this column, you’ll learn how to get creative with keyword mining with DSA using N-gram analysis, and you’ll also find additional best practices for making your campaigns successful.

Track keyword performance/ad copy

The key to keeping track of DSA terms is to be reactive and proactive. The DSA algorithm is smart but not omniscient.

Smart optimization strategies will train the DSA algorithm to match relevant search terms and generate quality traffic.

Not only are the settings in a DSA campaign important, but also the content of the website used by the automated targets to match search queries.

Use Keyword Planner or Bing Ads Intelligence to see which keywords Bing’s web crawler “sees” on these website pages. Add negative keywords, auto-targeted exclusions, etc. as necessary.

As a proactive measure, copy negative keywords from your standard search campaigns into DSA. The list of negatives in the shared library is perfect for this.

Proactively block irrelevant pages on your website with exceptions – contact us blog pages and content that aren’t driving the right types of traffic, etc.

In addition to looking at your search terms, be sure to review the ad headlines generated by the DSA.

Are the titles relevant? You can find negative keyword ideas here too!

Mining new keywords with DSA

Excel is your friend. Aggregate as much data as you can with pivot tables – by default, landing page, search term, etc.

My favorite technique is to improve your analysis with N-grams.

N-grams are something we are starting to hear more and more about in the paid search industry.

Essentially, this is an easy way to break down search terms into one-word (unigram), two-word (bi-gram), and three-word (trigram) phrases to group data into meaningful “bits.”

Proceed to the N-Gram analysis

You will need…

Excel: With basic skills to create formulas and make use of the SUMIF function.

Search term report: From the Bing Ads Campaign DSA (or any search term report for any campaign. This process can be used across the board.).

N-gram parser: Google includes n-gram analysis in their Data Studio product, but there are other free N-gram analyzer resources available online.

20 minutes of your time to prepare the spreadsheet.

Ngam analysis in 8 steps

  1. Check out the search term report for your DSA campaign.
  2. Copy/paste the search terms into the Ngram parser. Choose Bi-grams for two-word phrases or Tri-grams for three-word phrases. send.
  3. Copy/paste the output into a new tab in Excel. Call it BIGRAM or TRIGRAM. (You could do the same thing with monos – single words, but in this example, we’ll just be doing capital letters – two words.)
  4. In the BIGRAM worksheet, ad columns for impressions, clicks, spend, conversions… you can also create columns for CTR, CPC, CPA, CVR – just remember to include the basic formulas to calculate this data.
  5. For impressions, clicks, spend and conversions – you need to include the SUMIF formula.
  6. This searches bi-gram or uni-gram and pits you against the original list of search terms. If there is a match, data for that search term will be collected.
  7. Create your own SUMIF (see example below).
  8. Now, we can see the aggregate data for any search term that contains these two word phrases. Now, instead of one or two impressions and one click or conversion, there is important data to review and analyze.
Screenshot of Online Ngram Analyzer, September 2021

Why go through the trouble of running a report like this?

You can now group single impression and single click search terms together into meaningful data sets.

Because this data is pulled from the search query report, you’re extracting relevant keywords that people are actively using to search, but you haven’t bid on yet.

With the collected data, you can identify positive trends in click-through rate and conversion rates, for example, which may lead you to take the next step of creating targeted keywords with these two- or three-word phrases.

You can also identify negative trends in CTR, CPC, conversion rate, and CPA, which will lead you to take the next step of creating negative keywords with these two word phrases.

Needless to say, DSA is a powerful tool for keyword mining, optimization, and expansion opportunities through existing search queries.

More Dynamic Search Ads best practices

  • Ensure that your website has plenty of web content, related products and services to support the DSA learning algorithm.
  • Start creating Target All web pages + add a variety of automatic targets using the most popular categories on your website.
  • Add existing negative keywords to the shared library. This will help control relevancy and costs because the algorithm is learning.
  • Add site exclusions (the parts of your website that don’t provide meaningful opportunities).
  • Use ad extensions to improve your CTR and conversion rate (CVR).
  • Use ECPC over manual CPC, or test several automated bid strategies to see which performs best for your campaigns. Monitor how your bid strategy works with Dynamic Search Ads and adjust if necessary.
  • Set your DSA campaigns with your existing remarketing audiences to boost performance.
  • Keep in mind that DSA is a learning algorithm. It takes at least three to five days for your live DSA ads to sync for Auto Targets to your site and to the back end of the platform you’re advertising on.
  • Add your existing negative keywords to your DSA campaign.
  • Use ad extensions to improve your CTR.

More resources:

  • 5 Creative Pay-Per-Click Tactics You Can Try Today
  • Remember when keywords were most important in PPC? Well, that is changing
  • PPC 101: A Complete Guide to the Basics of PPC Marketing

Featured image: I000s_pixels / Shutterstock

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