Dynamic Keyword Insertion – Do It Right

Dynamic Keyword Insertion – Do It Right

Dynamic Keyword Insertion is a great technique to boost click-through rates. Advertisers love it. A high CTR results in a high quality score, which in turn leads to a better ad position and a lower cost-per-click. Some argue that DKI is not required when you create tightly themed ad groups with only a small number of related keywords, since in that case you can pretty much tailor your ads to the targeted keywords without having to use DKI.

Personally, I prefer to use DKI, as it has proven its ability to increase CTR  — as you can see in the table below, which compares CTR performance of DKI vs. non-DKI ads for the same account over the course of several months:

Comparing DKI ad vs. non-DKI ad performance

Comparing the performance of DKI ads vs. non-DKI ads






Although it is easy to create a DKI ad you must do so carefully, to avoid generating a ridiculous ad. Inappropriate or irrelevant DKI ads can cause a lot of trouble.

The first and cardinal rule of DKI is: NEVER use it with competitors’ campaigns. Or, at least, be very careful and aware of what you are doing. Otherwise you are liable to be sued for trademark infringement of a competitor’s brand. I usually create designated headlines for competitors campaigns ads without using DKI at all.

Another important consideration is the proper use of capital letters. You can control the capitalization of a keyword that is inserted dynamically into the ad. For example, when you use DKI in headlines you probably want to use the syntax: {KeyWord:Default Text}. This ensures that the first letter of each word is capitalized. However, when using DKI in the body of the ad you most often will want to use the syntax: {Keyword:Default text} or {keyword:default text}. The first option will capitalize the first letter of the headline’s first word (sentence-case capitalization) and the latter will keep all letters in lower case. For more details on how capital letters work with DKI, see:

My last tip relates to the use of DKI with BMM keywords. Your BMM ad group might be targeting keywords like: +learn +trade +online. If your ad headline looks like this:{KeyWord:Learn to Trade Online} you will end up displaying a ridiculous ad with the headline: “Learn Trade Online”. This headline will not make sense unless you include the word “to” after “Learn”.

Here is an example of another bad ad that would be triggered when searching for ‘learn trade online’:

To avoid this you need to include the word “to” as a broad match in your targeted keyword. So instead of targeting +learn +trade +online you need to target the keyword: +learn to +trade +online. Because it is in broad match, Google will ignore the “to” and match other relevant search queries, such as ‘learn trading online’ so you will get the impressions for those long-tail queries but will not end up with a ridiculous ad

If you are thinking of solving the problem by adding all possible word combinations as keywords then think again. Those long-tailed combinations will most likely end up flagged as ‘low search volume’ and will not trigger any ads. I have previously written about the problem of ‘low search volume’ keywords and how you should handle them.

To summarize, DKI is an excellent technique to increase CTR when used carefully and intelligently. Make sure your ads make sense with DKI when matching with all keywords in your ad group and take special care  that you never use a trademark and risk being sued.

Comments are closed.