The Pros and Cons of Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Written on 27 October, 2015 by Dmitri Ivanovich
Categories PPC

What is Dynamic Keyword Insertion?

In today’s world of competing for digital relevancy, many marketers of websites (campaigners) choose to opt for dynamically changing keywords to better attempt to increase their relevancy to the end user. One of the methods implemented to deliver this strategy is called “Dynamic Keyword Insertion”, or “DKI”. This blog will explain the pros and cons of choosing this important function, and how to get the most out of it, whilst trying to reduce the possibility of legal action from opposing brands or businesses.

The Ups and Downs of DKI

DKI is a functionality of Google AdWords, designed to dynamically change the content in the headline of your ad to show an apparent increased relevancy to the end user. For example, if you are a plumber that advertises in ‘Prahran – Melbourne’ using the following headline:

Quality Plumber – Prahran

You can opt to use DKI to change the word Prahran in the ad copy to another suburb listed as a keyword within that ad group. Take, for example, the following keywords used in our hypothetical plumber ad group:


South Yarra



The use of DKI will change the title of the ad to the keyword that the end user has searched, as opposed to the title that you have statically listed for that ad copy in your AdWords campaign. So if the end user searches “plumber South Yarra”, the DKI function will change your ad to the following:

Quality Plumber – South Yarra

This gives the end user the impression that your ad is directly relevant to the search they have made, without forcing you to write a different title for each ad you have targeted to any suburb you wish to list as one you service. This also increases your relevancy to the Google algorithm, and grants increased quality score and an inevitably cheaper Cost Per Click (CPC). This feature, of course, has its pros and cons, which I will now go into in more detail.

DKI – Why it’s so great!

DKI has the following benefits:

  • Increased relevancy over opposing ads in the same search
  • Higher quality score, due to increased relevancy
  • Lower CPC due to higher quality score
  • More on screen ‘real estate’ due to more relaxed character restrictions as DKI keywords are not included in character limitations
  • Allows for efficient campaign builds.

DKI – Why sometimes it’s not so great…

DKI is not without its risks, and bidding on competitor brands, such as keywords, is already a grey area. You need to ensure that all keywords used in the DKI campaign are not opposing brands/trademarks, or owned as a brand name by any other business. DKI should only be used for the most generic of keywords to minimise the risks of legal battles if your ad changes to the brand name of a competitor. For example, if you had the keywords Sony, Phillips or Sanyo in an ad group and they were competitors of yours, the DKI function would actually work against you and likely cause an ad disapproval without any physical changes being actioned by anyone. It is important to ensure that keywords have been tightly grouped together in small clusters to allow manipulation of the data to favour a positive outcome.

DKI can have the following risks:

  • Risk of ads changing to competitor brands or business names, giving the impression that you aren’t promoting yourself truthfully
  • Risk of ads being disapproved regularly due to inaccurate information
  • Risk of competing businesses or brands taking legal action for perceived fraudulent activity
  • The necessity to fully understand AdWords and its nuances for correct control and use of this feature
  • Time-consuming research of large campaigns to try and isolate the cause of an issue or disapproval.

In Summary

When used correctly, DKI can be an extremely useful tool to target new campaigns, or ad groups that have had trouble ‘getting off the ground’. I hope that the above has not discouraged you from looking into this as a possible feature for your next bout of campaign optimisation. If you are inexperienced with AdWords, or do not have the time to research the best ways to get the most out of this feature, it is highly recommended that you have a professional digital marketing agency manage this for you, and it is something we are very good at, here at Webcentral.

Thank you for reading this blog! I do hope you have gotten something useful out of it.

Happy campaigning!

Looking for some help with domains, hosting, web design or digital marketing?

Send me marketing tips, special offers and updates