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Dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) is a feature offered in Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) and other ad networks which allows you to customize an ad to a searcher’s search query. In this quick tutorial on dynamic keyword insertion, you’ll learn:
So let’s say I have an Ad Group for my couch store that includes keywords like:
With dynamic keyword insertion, I can show people who search for “couches” the word couches, people who search for “leather couches” that phrase, and so on, in the ad text itself. DKI customizes the ad based on the exact search query.
In short: Dynamic keyword insertion allows you to show searchers a more relevant ad, since the ad is dynamically updated to include the user’s real search query.
Google defines DKI like so:
Keyword insertion is an advanced feature that helps you provide users with more relevant ad text while using a single generic ad for multiple keywords. Google Ads will insert individual keywords into the same ad text so that a user sees a distinct ad for their keyword search, if their keyword triggers one of your ad group keywords.
So, let’s say we’re selling furniture online. We have our Ad Group dedicated to couches. Most of the terms in our Ad Group have to do with couches, and we’d like to use dynamic keyword insertion to target each individual user query better. Here’s how we’ll input our ad to take advantage of dynamic keyword insertion:
Note the dynamic keyword insertion, which is highlighted. Three things to note:
Dynamic keyword insertion can be a valuable asset, but be warned: it can also get you into trouble! This option has the capacity to greatly increase click-through rate, if used properly. It can also get you sued, if used irresponsibly.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons associated with this option:
Note the awkward-sounding “Great Prices on Couch” headline. These awkward ad combinations will sometimes encourage clicks from being humorous, but the odds for conversion are extremely low, leading to wasted spend. eBay in particular, is well known in the search marketing industry for misuing DKI, sometimes creating unintentionally humorous ads.
Worse yet, what if we were bidding on “Joe the competition’s Couch Store”?
Let’s say I set my headline as “KeyWord:Great Prices on Couches” and one of the keywords in my Ad Group was “Joe’s Couch Store”, which is the name of my competitor’s store.
While it’s legal to bid on this keyword, it’s not legal to display “Joe’s Couch Store” in the headline. DKI has gotten me into some legal hot water here. Obviously this wasn’t a great time to use dynamic keyword insertion.
So, the next natural step in the tutorial is to recommend to you how you can implement dynamic keyword insertion properly.
The short answer is “sparingly”. In the above example, we see the potential problems with using this tactic too liberally. You need to know exactly which keywords are in your Ad Groups before you implement this option, and should try to imagine them as the text for that ad. Ask yourself:
Learn more about using DKI, the right way and the wrong way, with these resources: