Schedule a call

Ready to scale?

Pick the service you need and book a free Discovery Call.

We've spent millions on Facebook and Google scaling fledgling brands into eCommerce empires. Now it's YOUR turn.

Which is Better for Your Business: Dynamic Search Ads or Responsive Search Ads?

Andres Morales Zuleta
Last Updated December 12, 2023

Search advertising has become a popular strategy to drive traffic to websites and increase brand visibility. Two common approaches to search advertising are Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) and Responsive Search Ads (RSA). But which is better for your business? In this article, we will delve into the basics of search ads, explore the mechanisms behind DSA and RSA, compare their performance and costs, and provide insights to help you make an informed decision.

The Basics of Search Ads

Search ads are a powerful tool for businesses to reach their target audience and increase their online visibility. By understanding the different types of search ads available, you can optimize your advertising strategy and maximize your return on investment.

Dynamic Search Ads

Dynamic Search Ads, or DSA, are a type of search advertisement that relies on Google's algorithm to match relevant search queries with the content of your website. Instead of relying on specific keywords, DSA dynamically generates headlines and landing pages based on the information found on your website.


This automation allows for a more targeted and efficient advertising approach. With DSA, you can reach potential customers who are actively searching for products or services similar to what you offer, even if they are not using the exact keywords you have specified in your campaign.

DSA is particularly useful for businesses with large websites or frequently changing inventory. It saves time and effort by automatically creating and updating ads based on the content of your website. This means that as your website evolves, your ads will adapt accordingly, ensuring that your advertising remains relevant and up-to-date.

How Dynamic Search Ads Work

When a user enters a search query that matches the content on your website, Google's advanced algorithms come into play. These algorithms analyze the user's search intent and dynamically generate a headline and landing page for your ad. This process ensures that your ads are highly relevant to the user's search, increasing the chances of capturing their attention and driving them to click on your ad.

DSA takes advantage of Google's extensive web crawling technology, which continuously scans and indexes websites across the internet. This allows DSA to stay up-to-date with the latest content on your website, ensuring that your ads reflect the most current information available.

Benefits of Using Dynamic Search Ads

  • Automatic ad updates: No need to manually update keyword lists, saving time and effort.
  • Always relevant: Ads reflect the latest website content, ensuring high-quality targeting.
  • Wider reach: Capture relevant search terms you might miss, increasing visibility.
  • Higher conversion rates: Connect with users actively seeking your offerings.
  • Valuable insights: Analyze performance data to understand user behavior and optimize campaigns.

Responsive Search Ads

On the other hand, Responsive Search Ads, or RSA, are a flexible ad format that allows you to create multiple headlines and descriptions. Google will automatically test different combinations to determine the best-performing variations. With RSA, you can provide up to 15 different headlines and 4 descriptions, giving you a wide range of possibilities to tailor your ad to various search queries. This flexibility allows you to experiment with different messaging and calls to action, helping you find the most effective combination that resonates with your target audience.

The Functioning of Responsive Search Ads

The functioning of RSA is quite fascinating. When you provide multiple headlines and descriptions, Google's algorithm starts testing different combinations to see which ones resonate best with your target audience. It analyzes various factors such as user behavior, search intent, and historical performance to determine the most compelling ad variations.

As the algorithm learns and gathers insights about your audience, it adapts and optimizes your ads accordingly. This means that over time, your ads become more tailored and compelling, increasing the chances of driving higher engagement and conversions.

Advantages of Responsive Search Ads

  • Flexibility & Adaptability: Experiment with headlines & descriptions, find messaging that resonates.
  • Increased Visibility: Take up more screen space, potentially higher click-through rates.
  • Machine Learning: Adapts to user behavior & preferences, keeps messaging relevant & compelling.
  • Personalization: Delivers tailored messages, improves engagement & conversions.
  • Revolutionized Ad Creation: RSA offers optimization traditional ads lack.

    rsa vs dsa search ads marketing

Comparing Dynamic and Responsive Search Ads

When it comes to performance, both Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) and Responsive Search Ads (RSA) have their strengths and offer unique benefits for advertisers.

Performance Comparison

DSA is well-suited for websites with a large inventory or frequently changing content. It automatically generates ads based on your website's content, saving you time and effort in creating individual ads for each product or service. This dynamic approach ensures that your ads are always up-to-date and relevant to what users are searching for.

At the same time, RSA allows for more ad customization and testing. With RSA, you can create multiple headlines and descriptions, and Google's machine learning algorithms will automatically test different combinations to find the most effective ad variations. This enables you to fine-tune your messaging based on user preferences and increase the chances of capturing the attention of potential customers.

Ultimately, the optimal approach may vary depending on your specific business needs and goals. If you have a large inventory or frequently changing content, DSA can be a powerful tool to ensure your ads are always relevant. If you prefer more control over your ad messaging and want to test different variations, RSA offers greater flexibility.

Cost Comparison

In terms of cost, both DSA and RSA operate under a pay-per-click (PPC) model, where you only pay when a user clicks on your ad. This means that you are not charged for impressions or views, but only for actual engagement with your ads.

While the actual costs can vary depending on factors such as competition and ad quality, both DSA and RSA offer a cost-efficient way to reach your target audience. With DSA, you can benefit from automatically generated ads that are tailored to the content of your website, potentially increasing the relevance and click-through rate of your ads. With RSA, the ability to test different ad variations can help you optimize your campaigns and improve your return on investment.

It's important to carefully monitor and optimize your campaigns, regardless of whether you choose DSA or RSA, to maximize your return on investment. Regularly reviewing your ad performance, adjusting your targeting options, and refining your ad messaging can help you achieve better results and make the most out of your advertising budget.

google crawler search ads

Choosing the Right Search Ads for Your Business

Factors to Consider - DSA vs RSA

Website size and content:

  • DSA: Efficient for large, dynamic websites (saves time/effort).
  • RSA: Works well for any size, but less efficient for frequent updates.

Advertising goals and customization:

  • DSA: Less control over ad messaging, better for broad campaigns.
  • RSA: More control and flexibility, ideal for specific ad messages.

Target audience and search intent:

  • DSA: Aligns with broad search queries and diverse intent.
  • RSA: Targets specific search terms and intent, leading to more relevant ads.

Keyword research:

  • Crucial for both options to understand user intent and optimize campaigns.

Making the Final Decision

Ultimately, the decision between DSA and RSA depends on your specific business needs and goals. Some businesses may benefit from a combination of both approaches, using DSA to capture a broad audience and RSA to tailor messaging for specific target segments. Regular analysis and optimization of your search ad campaigns will help you refine your strategy and achieve better results over time.

Ready to Improve your Search Ads Campaign?

We've been doing this for some time now... So we know how to help businesses scale their brands sustainably. Schedule a free discovery call with our growth experts today!

let's talk

T. J. Jones 

CoFounder EmberTribe

TJ will help you uncover some of the best growth opportunities for your brand in the First Call.


With over 10 years of experience and 80 million in ad spend under our belts, we know how to guide businesses from fizzle to sizzle.

Seth Bunch-1
"Embertribe has been incredible to work with. Not only are they knowledgeable and the best at their craft but they care about you and your business. Highly recommend!"

Seth Bunch

Founder of Xylem Woodworks

Portrait Lisa FusionBelts
"I tried one company before you guys but you guys are better. And you're all good looking too."

Lisa Vigliorolo

Founder of Fusion Belts

1199958010828334 - Embertribe (Internal Marketing) - 500x500 - SP - 45.01
"EmberTribe has been an incredible ally in our growth strategy. In a short period of time they were able to scale up our ad budget 200%, while decreasing the unit cost for each additional sign up. We see them as an extension of our internal marketing team, which, for a fast growing company, gives us tremendous leverage when building out and scaling new user channels."

Duncan Street

Co-founder, Qeepsake

1199958010828334 - Embertribe (Internal Marketing) - 500x500 - SP - 49.01
“One of the things I love most about working with EmberTribe which has been a standout from working with other companies is that there's a level of ownership that the team has in what we're doing that you really feel like they care."

Cody Barbo

Cofounder, Trust & Will

1199958010828334 - Embertribe (Internal Marketing) - 500x500 - SP - 57.01
"All around great team...The EmberTribe team really answered my technical questions without hesitation...Helped me understand where my business was lacking. It's hard to find companies nowadays that really go above and beyond."

Joey Hettler

Media and Marketing Coordinator at Altis

Grow Faster, Smarter with EmberTribe

If you are stuck on the half a million yearly revenue plateau, you need a growth agency that will get to know your business, audiences, and growth opportunities like the backs of their hands—and let you in on everything they learn. 

No secrets, no bull. Just making sparks fly together.

✅ Focused on revenue

Look elsewhere if you're looking for a new logo or brand identity via 200-page slide decks. Those marketing disciplines have their place, but they're not our focus. We've doubled down on growing sales and injecting our clients with cash flow.

✅ We move fast

The typical agency model moves slowly: endless meetings, thousands of email threads, lots of talk, but little action. EmberTribe is different. We know what it takes to grow fledgling brands into formidable empires: a hell of a lot of execution.

✅ Trusted by the best

We've been recognized by Facebook and Google as one of the top agencies in the world. We're a mentor to startups within Techstars, Y Combinator and regularly consult with programs at MIT and Harvard Business School. Now it's time to add you to our Tribe.

Okay, let's do this!

Book Discovery Call

You May Also Like

These Stories on Content Marketing