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Mike Friedman

Dynamic Keyword Insertion

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Someone recently asked me about DKI, and we had an interesting conversation about it. I thought I would share a little bit about it and my thoughts on why I never use it.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion is used by AdWords and other PPC advertisers to allow advertisers to insert search variables into their ads. 

As an example, I can insert this into AdWords:



The way it will work is if someone searches for cheap used cars and my ad is displayed, the heading will be 

Cheap Used Cars - Priced to Move

If they searched for used cars under $8,000 and my ad was triggered, the heading will be

Used Cars Under $8,000 - Priced to Move


You can control the capitalization of the keywords by how you type the word "keyword" in the command.

keyword produces "used cars"
Keyword produces "Used cars"
KeyWord produces "Used Cars"

If the search query is too long, the word or words you put after the KeyWord: are used in its place. In Adwords, you have 30 characters available in the headlines and 80 in the description. If someone searched for used 2002 Subaru Outback Legacy with leather interior, that would obviously be too long and would just be replaced with Used Cars in the headline.


On the surface, this might seem like a very useful feature, but there are some issues with it. 

The first issue you can see in the second example I put up there. A heading of "Used Cars Under $8,000 - Priced to Move" is not an ideal headline. You are already stating they are under $8,000. The "Priced to move" tagline is somewhat redundant. And what if your lot doesn't have any cars under $8,000? Even if you are using only exact match keywords in your ad groups, Google has been expanding its definition of exact match and you may get some ads that end up not making a lot of sense or just not being very ideal.

A second problem you can run into is a more serious one. You could violate someone's trademark.

Someone might search for Joe's Used Cars , which is the name of a competitor down the street. If my ad is triggered, my headline is

Joe's Used Cars - Price to Move

It's perfectly okay to bid on keywords that are someone else's trademark, but you cannot run ads using their trademark in them. Not only could Google close your account for something like this, but you could also end up in legal hot water. 

Can you use Dynamic Keyword Insertion in your ads? Sure, but I would do so very, very sparingly and keep a close eye on what search terms are triggering ads. Make sure you are maintaining a good negative keyword list.

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