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Trivago's Success with Dynamic Search Ads

January 2016


One of the world’s largest travel brands, trivago, needed to quickly increase its search campaign coverage in all markets across large volumes of long-tail keywords.

Launched in 2005, trivago has quickly become one of the world's largest hotel search engines. Operating in more than 50 markets and 30 languages, the company helps millions of people compare more than 900K hotels from hundreds of booking sites every day. While trivago used Google Ads to help establish itself as a top global brand for travelers in 2009 through traditional search campaigns, the company decided to supplement this strategy to increase its search presence in both newer and more established markets.


  • Up to 140% higher click-through rate (CTR) on search terms for DSA vs. original ads
  • Significantly lower CPAs for established markets
  • Significant conversion gains in newer markets


  • Establish trivago as a global brand for hotel search
  • Expand long-tail keyword search coverage in all markets at scale
  • Drive traffic at a profitable cost-per-acquisition (CPA)


  • Create Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) campaigns for all markets
  • Use category recommendations
  • Use conversion-based automated bidding

Keyword coverage with relevant ads at scale

In 2015, trivago decided to investigate whether its original campaign setup had overlooked potentially valuable long-tail keyword search queries. In order to claim meaningful search coverage in less developed markets, such as Southeast Asia and South America, the travel brand needed to capture a broad spectrum of new keyword opportunities. To drive conversions, trivago also knew that its long-tail keyword search queries required highly-relevant ads. When travelers search for "what are the best hotels in new york city" or "cheapest hotels in san francisco" they expect an answer that's just as descriptive.

DSA offered trivago the automated solution it needed to quickly and efficiently close keyword gaps and expand the reach of its search campaigns. The product also automatically generated longer, more relevant ad headlines for the company's ads based on a person's specific search. By customizing its ad template to match its recommended categories, trivago was able to reach travelers with the right dynamic search ad, at the right moment.

Dynamic Search Ads deliver

Before trivago even set up its first campaign, DSA had already crawled its website and identified its ideal categories. The travel brand then took advantage of those categories and the search terms recommended by the system to launch its first campaign. With DSA, trivago's ads were automatically optimized to appear for any hotel search in markets where the website also had a relevant landing page—all without the need to manage individual keywords or ads. As a result, the company efficiently launched DSA campaigns in more than 50 markets within weeks.

The DSA campaigns delivered impressive results, especially in developing markets. The brand saw up to 140% higher click-through rates on ads from its DSA campaigns compared to regular search ads for the same keywords. Newer markets also experienced a significant increase in conversions, while more established markets saw CPAs decrease.

“DSA helped us easily expand our search coverage in the hotel market at scale. Now, we're able to generate high-quality ads and show them to customers more efficiently, driving better CTRs, CPAs, and conversion rates. The results have led us to make DSA campaigns a core part of our online marketing strategy, and we're now optimizing them for even better results.”

– Maren Alke, Global SEM, trivago

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