Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Over Coming the DKI Headache

 Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) is a nice little feature that the PPC networks provide.  However, it can also be a huge headache. So how do you get this great little feature to work to your benefit.  Easy… Read this post and then emulate it… For sanities sake we are only going to talk about the Adwords DKI token so as not to confuse anyone.

DKI is basically inserting the searched term into your ad copy and ultimately into your website. This makes your ad copy relevant to your website.  AND it makes it look like you have a lot of dynamic ads on the Internet. The downside to using the DKI with Adwords is that your QS will go down initially.  However, because your CTR will… or should… go up your QS should be fine in the end.

How do you  do this?

Google has a place holder that you can insert anywhere into your ad.  That insert looks like this:  {keyword:default}
Now lets break this down into the individual parts. The word “keyword” can be written several ways in Google. Here is a little chart from Google to help you remember this!

Keyword Capitalization




google ads



Google ads

Sentence (first letter of first word)


Google Ads

Initial (first letter of each word)



  • Entire first word and
  • First letter of each remaining word


Google ADS

  • First letter of first word and
  • All letters of each remaining word



All letters of all words*

This list was taken from Google.  The link to their DKI page can be found below

So now we have all the possible ways that Google allows us to spell the word “keyword”. We now also know the different outcomes of the spelling. I only use “KeyWord”. That is a capital “K” and a capital “W”.   This means that the first letter of all my keywords will end up with capital letters.  This looks good because it helps the keyword stand out to people as they are reading the sponsored listings. I don’t like to do all capital letters because to me it just looks ugly.

Moving on we come to a colon.  Do not put a space before or after the colon. Remember as well.  JUST ONE!

Next we have the default keyword.  Now this can be tricky.  Basically what happens is if we have a keyphrase that is supposed to be in the ad, but it is to long for the space given, then the default word will be used. Keep your default word to one word.  This will insure that you can at least have a default word in otherwise it will be left blank. Examples can be like this:{KeyWord:Phones}, {KeyWord:Clubs}(as in Golf Clubs), {KeyWord:Cars}, or {KeyWord:Honda}, etc, etc, etc You get the point.

So here is the biggest problem.  You want the keyword to show up and you want the default keyword to be really relevant to the rest of the keywords you have just in case. This is how you set it up.

1.  While long tailed keywords are great, try to stay away from them if you want to use the DKI.  Your better off writing special ads in seperate campaigns for long tail keywords.

2. Tightly group your keywords.  Here’s what I mean… Group your keywords by brand.  Break the brand down into models, then brake the models into makes. The make should be your adgroup. If you are running a campaign for cars then you should have adgroups surrounding the different cars. ie.   Civic, Jetta, 350z, Mustang, etc. The smaller the grouping the better. You can go as far as breaking those cars down even further.

I thought I was going to have more steps for that… but really two steps is all that requires for setting up your adgroups.

 Now the fun part.  Writing ad copy to fit the DKI

I don’t know why but this is the part I enjoy.  Writing ad copy for DKI can be a challenge.  I’m going to list some generic keywords for a VW Jetta.

Adgroup: Jetta

2 Door Jetta
4 Door Jetta
Jetta TDI
Wolfsburg Jetta
Jetta TDI 2009
Red Jetta

Okay good enough.  Those are pretty corny and will serve their purpose for this section. Your ad copy has to be able to work with the default word and it has to work with each of those words individually.  So you need bridging words.  Words like “Looking for a…” “Buy a…” “Want a…” Are perfect.  You can say those three terms and any one of the keywords in this adgroup and it will make sense.

Now the difficult part comes in when I tell you how many characters you can have in your ad.

First Line=35
Second Line=35
Display URL=35

Now, Most likely it will be hard to fit the keyword into the title.  So that’s why we have a nice default word that matches everything in the adgroup. I like to start my titles with something like “Looking for a —-DKI—-“. Then for the first line a good line to use would be “We have a —-DKI—-“. Second line, “Volkswagen —-DKI—- Discounts!”.

So essentially your ad with the DKI inserted would look like this:

Looking for a {KeyWord:Jetta}
We have a {KeyWord:Jetta} instock
Volkswagen {KeyWord:Jetta} Discounts!

Re read that with the keywords inserted…
Looking for a Jetta
We have a 2 Door Jetta instock
Volkswagen 2 Door Jetta Discounts!

Looking for a Red Jetta
We have a Red Jetta instock
Volkswagen Red Jetta Discounts!

Okay kool you get the point I hope.  Dynamic keywords have to be tightly grouped in order for them to work properly. Now The example I used was extreme in the keywords and the adcopy. Read up on Google by clicking here for their DKI tutorial.  They use a better example with phones.  But this should give you a running start when creating ads with DKI.  Remember as well… DKI is for the search network only!

Any questions on DKI?

Category: Google / PPC
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14 Responses

September 4, 2008

Thank you for this post, it’s like an aspirin to me. Lol!

September 4, 2008

Excellent, man, excellent.

September 5, 2008


September 6, 2008

Nice post Kris! Thank you for such a great explanation on how to use DKI.

I have recently been struggling with AdWords and have been digging my nose into all the guides and blog posts that I could find that would give me any insights as to how to increase my success.

One of the things I was interested in was using DKI so this post came at a perfect time. I will definitely keep this bookmarked and plan to use the tips you gave here in the very near future.

September 6, 2008

You have done a great job man awesome post, Thanks for this this will be very helpful to me

September 7, 2008

Good post, maybe it will help cut down on all of the obnoxious uses of DKI I see on Google.

September 8, 2008

If you guys have any questions on the DKI just ask. I’m no guru, but I do know how to use it!

November 17, 2008

You have done a great job man awesome post, Thanks for this this will be very helpful to me

November 18, 2008

This certainly helps in ads – I’ve found {KeyWord} to be the most useful in creating a good, balanced-looking ad.

November 26, 2008

Its funny how many times people get the whole DKI thing wrong! Countless times have I found ads like “keyword:blue widgets” in title.

As a marketer I get it but not everybody does and besides the ads look funny

November 30, 2008

Who will use KEYWord or KeyWORD ? lol It’s funny

November 30, 2008

lol love the chart. must have took some time to make. =p

January 18, 2009

This a great tip and it surely make the ads look more professional, thanks :)

January 10, 2010

Hi Great post, thanks fo sharing the info.