AdWords Dynamic Structured Snippets Are Here and the Results Are Mixed

Many of us have been waiting to see what AdWords had in store after an announcement Google made earlier this year around dynamic structured snippets. These snippets would automate text that’s generated through AdWords, and place it into our PPC ads.

We don’t have to wait any longer. Dynamic structured snippets have been rearing their ugly heads across many of the retail PPC campaigns we’re running, and so far, the results are confusing. If you read my last article on this feature, you’ll see I tried to uncover how these snippets would be generated. Google, of course, gave a beautiful account of how it might play out in its original announcement:

Whether it’s a list of shoe brands or the number of nonstop flights to New York City, this automated extension gives your customers a better sense of what to expect on your website before they click on your ad.

Here’s the image Google left us with that shows how they imagined dynamic structured snippets to look:

dynamic-structured-snippet1

Not bad. But here’s what it looks like in the real world:

dynamic-structured-snippet-example

And:

dynamic-structured-snippet-example-2

Basically, all dynamic structured snippets are doing here is pulling navigational elements in the site into the ad. OK, so Google did say in its help files that the “information that appears for your ad’s snippets reflects categories of content found on your site.” AdWords went ahead and made good on that promise, but we’re really struggling with how that information improves the ad.

Ugliness aside, it’s not important what we think, or like the important question is whether or not dynamic structured snippets are helping the ads improve ROI. We dove into our reports to try to find out. In your AdWords dashboard under Campaigns > Ad Extensions, you can view data on how your automated extensions are doing in general. There, you can see how the dynamic structured snippets are performing, as well.

However, you can’t you see what those snippets say. The closest you’ll get to that information is to do a search yourself and try to make your ads pop up in the search results. What we do know about looking at the data below is that with this particular account, ads with the dynamic structured snippets show a cost-per-conversion at about $83, while the overall cost-per-conversion in this particular campaign is $68. Hmmm.

structured-snippets-account-example

On another campaign, we see something a little different, where the cost-per-conversion at the campaign level is the same as those ads with dynamic structured snippets, both converting at about $19.

structured-snippets-account-example-2

In my opinion, there’s not enough data to form a conclusion about whether or not the dynamic structured snippets are worth keeping. While my first instinct is always to opt out of features like this, we must constantly remind ourselves that certain features, like extensions, play into Ad Rank, which is not something we want to take chances with.

As a side note, Google recently revamped AdWords Dynamic Search Ads. Some are speculating that the move, along with dynamic structured snippets, could be an indication that Google is moving further into the development of features which allow advertisers to automate more and more. While this makes sense for some advertisers with massive campaigns, we’d still like the power to customize as we see fit.

This particular feature is falling short for us and we’d love it if instead, Google gave us control over what additional text we want to see in our ads. We’re always happy to add more relevant messaging to make our ads even better, right?

What about you? Have you seen these snippets in your ads? Tell me about it in the comments.

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