5 mins

A huge thank you to everyone who attended our recent masterclass: “Gain new prospects with Dynamic Search”.

We received a series of insightful and thought-provoking questions from the audience, which we have shared a summary of below.

Oh, and if you missed the workshop and want to get yourself up to speed with the key takeaways, check them out here. You can also actually watch the full workshop on our YouTube channel here.


1. What does the analytics implementation involve?

When onboarding a client, we typically find a mismatch of data and reports that have been set up by different members of the team or by different agencies over time.

We begin with a discovery, looking at what’s already being tracked through Google Tag Manager. We see what’s useful, look to strip back anything that’s not currently being used in a reporting or optimisation capacity, and then we build out from there.

We interrogate the integrity of the data that’s being processed in the back end of the website, and then make it accessible in the front end so when, for example, a user is on a course page or starting or submitting an application, we put through the course information ID, the level of study, the course code – all sorts of information – and then use Google Tag Manager to “grab” it and pass it through Google Analytics. This enables us to make associations between the activity of the user and the end result, and everything in between.

The next step is to aggregate. A good baseline is to know what is effective and what isn’t. It’s vital to know the amount of money that you spend on platforms, so that you can ensure it’s being spent correctly.

It gets more and more involved from there, as the more data, and the better quality of data, you will be able to make smarter and more accurate decisions.

2. What does the CRO audit involve?

The CRO audit is engineered completely around your objectives and what you’re trying to actually drive and achieve. In an education setting, it’s about reducing the distance and the number of clicks it takes to get users viewing course pages and product pages, and then completing an application form or applying through UCAS.

We use all kinds of different methods, including heuristic assessments based around the site navigation and search functions. On-site search functions can be a really good place to start, as analysing search terms gives us a good indication of the content that is missing from pages or the kind of content that users are trying to find but can’t necessarily consume on your site.

A CRO audit can be as comprehensive or as stripped back as it needs to be, but it’s always focused on objectives and accelerating users through your site.

3. Lack of control would probably be our biggest area of concern, in particular negative keywords, how do you suggest negating this?

Lack of control is one of the biggest factors in preventing advertisers from using Dynamic Search Ads, but actually, you’ve got a lot more control than you might think. Setting up negative keyword lists is an example of this. You can limit exposure or impressions to certain audiences, and then we’ve got visibility on the types of queries that are triggering our ads. Using search terms reports, we can go through this and pick out irrelevant search queries that are triggering ads, and add those to our negative keyword lists. This is a standard part of our optimisation process, so we’re always looking through and making sure we’re only triggering against the most relevant kind of queries.

4. Have you got any examples of negative keywords for an FE college?

Something we’ve found useful in the past is to completely negate postgraduate or master’s degree terms – essentially terms that aren’t relevant to your offering, but might get picked up by Google because, for example, terms like ‘engineering courses’, which are quite broad, might trigger against those people searching for postgraduate engineering courses. From the get go, imagine what the content of your website might trigger against and then set up those keyword lists as a barrier. It’s also worth looking at your search trends report, and then top up your negative keywords list in real time to make sure that everything is relevant and up to date.

5. What are the steps involved in setting up a Dynamic Search Ads campaign?

Start by agreeing which pages or categories of your site you’re going to use to target with Dynamic Search Ads and then write copy for the descriptions that go along with those Dynamic Search Ads. In the session, we touched upon description lines being the only part that is predefined, and the rest is generated from the landing page. Once all that’s agreed and copy is approved, we move onto the build and setting the parameters, setting up target locations, implementing negative keyword lists, and then go from there into optimisation.

6. What’s the difference between DSAs and RSAs?

Responsive Search Ads are triggered by keywords, whereas Dynamic Search Ads don’t use keywords at all, they’re triggered by what Google automatically pulls from your website. Another difference is that Responsive Search Ads use copy that is completely pre-written and pre-defined by you, whereas Dynamic Search Ads are dynamic in the way that they pull headlines that display in your ads.


If you’re thinking about jumping into the world of Dynamic Search or are after some advice about how to reach new audiences and markets with advertising, get in touch with one of our experts today.

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