Dynamic Keyword Insertion

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How to Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion in AdWords

The following scenario might sound familiar.

You perform a search for a rather obscure item. But to your surprise you see an ad that offers exactly what you are looking for, right down to the headline and body description. It also happens to come from a trusted brand so you click through and happily make your purchase.

Chances are the advertiser was implementing Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) into their campaigns. This unique marketing strategy makes ads far more targeted and can boost click through rates to your landing pages. The end result is a highly profitable AdWords campaign for your business.

But Dynamic Keyword Insertion is not utilised nearly enough.

One reason is because many advertisers don’t even know it exists and another is simply not knowing how to implement it correctly. Here we provide an in-depth look at how get started with Dynamic Keyword Insertion.

What is Dynamic Keyword Insertion?

If you sell golf clubs, your ad group might include the following keywords:

  • Golf Drivers
  • Golf Wedges
  • Golf Irons
  • Golf Putters
  • Golf Woods

Writing ads for every single keyword can be tedious and time-consuming. With Dynamic Keyword Insertion, you can use a special keyword insertion code that updates the ad to fit the search query. So the ad you create appears more relevant and useful for searchers.

Here are some additional examples of Dynamic Keyword Insertion in action:


Keywords are also bolded in the ads which helps improve click through rates.

Here are some of the advantages of implementing Dynamic Keyword Insertion in your campaigns:

  • Easy setup: If you have an online store with hundreds or thousands of products, imagine having to create ads for each one. Certainly possible but incredibly time-consuming as well. For certain campaigns, DKI can be a major time saver. And setting it up is as simple as inserting the right code into your ads.
  • Bolded keywords: As can be seen from the example above, Google will bold keywords in your ad that match a user’s search query. This helps draw attention to the ad as searchers are more likely to notice it especially if it fits their exact query, leading to higher click through rates.
  • Character limitations: You write the perfect ad but then you run into character limitations so you are forced to cut it down. For example, titles are limited to 25 characters but ads can exceed that limit (but not always) with Dynamic Keyword Insertion. This is particularly beneficial when bidding on long tail keywords.

These are just some of the benefits of using this strategy in your own campaign. Here we look at how to actually implement it.

How to Setup Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Login to your AdWords account.

Go into one of your ad groups and create a new ad.

In the ad text, simply type a brace ( { ) and you will see the following drop-down menu:


Select the Keyword insertion option. The Default text is the text that will appear if AdWords is unable to insert the keyword into the ad. This will appear in your ad exact as-is so take some time with your copy. Then choose how you want the text to capitalised.

Select the Keyword insertion option. The Default text is the text that will appear if AdWords is unable to insert the keyword into the ad. This will appear in your ad exact as-is so take some time with your copy. Then choose how you want the text to capitalised.

  • Title case: First letter of all the keywords are capitalised (e.g. Golf Drivers).
  • Sentence case: Only the first letter is capitalised (e.g. Golf drivers).
  • Lower case: None of the letters are capitalised (e.g. golf drivers)


In this example, we will enter “Golf Clubs For Sale” in the default text field.

Here is what you are left with:


This now tells Google to dynamically insert keywords that are only in your ad group (e.g. Golf Drivers, Golf Wedges, Golf Putters, etc.). But when it can’t, it will use the default text. Carefully review your ad and the keywords in your group before your ad goes live.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion is a great way to make your ads more targeted. But there are also some downsides to consider:

  • Character limitations: If your ad group consists of mainly long tail keywords, Dynamic Keyword Insertion may not be the best option as the default text will be displayed instead.
  • Appearing for unrelated keywords: Compiling and bidding on large keyword lists is a common AdWords strategy (although not recommended). Doing this with Dynamic Keyword Insertion could mean that your ad triggers for irrelevant keywords.
  • Using the wrong code: Using this feature is rather straightforward but all it takes is a single error to completely break your ads.
  • Violating trademark policy: Advertisers are not allowed to use trademarked terms in their ad copy. If such terms are inserted into your ad, your campaigns could be shut down temporarily.

You can test the performance of your ads by running two separate ad groups, one with Dynamic Keyword Insertion and one without. Then monitor click through rates and conversions to determine if your campaigns are benefiting from this feature.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion is an overlooked feature in AdWords. But implementing it correctly can lead to great results for your campaigns.

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