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Google AdWords Tips: Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Posted by Ryan Cole on: 2006-10-05 19:57:48

Self SEO > Pay Per Click Articles

We’ve all seen those sponsored links with headlines like “Get [keyword] Here!” The thing is, what if you searched for “dead bodies,” only to find an eBay ad selling dead bodies for as low as $23.99 apiece? These often goofy-looking ads exemplify poor use of an AdWords feature that’s actually pretty nifty: dynamic keyword insertion.

Basically, this feature allows you to dynamically insert any keyword you’re bidding on anywhere in your ad text. So, whoever was in charge of eBay’s AdWords account did something that looks like this:

Get {KeyWord} Here!

So, when you searched for “dead bodies,” the {KeyWord} part automatically inserted your search term into the ad. Obviously, there are some drawbacks to using this feature, but knowing when and how to use it makes this a powerful way to increase CTRs on large batches of keywords. Here’s how it works:

{KeyWord efault Text}

Wherever you enter this in your ad text, the search query will replace it in your ad. Instead of Default Text, you type in an alternate word or phrase that will appear if the search query is too long. The major drawback here is that it knocks 10 characters off your already-limited 25 (or 35 for anything below the headline). So, if you enter “Dead Bodies” as your default text, and then someone searches for “how to dispose of dead bodies,” your ad will just say, “Dead Bodies.”

However, if you’re not bidding on the phrase “how to dispose of dead bodies,” but rather the broad-matched term “dispose of bodies” is what triggered your ad, your ad will say, “Dispose of Bodies,” because dynamic keyword insertion only inserts terms you’re bidding on. This is particularly useful for broad-matched terms, because dynamically inserted keywords will display in your ad exactly as they appear in your ad groups. For example, if you’re bidding on the term “dead bodies,” and someone searches for “bodies dead,” the dynamically inserted keyword will display as “Dead Bodies.”

See? Pretty simple concept. There’s one more thing, though. Notice the formatting of the text in the above examples. Each word begins with a capital letter. That’s because when I typed in the formatting code, both the k and the w were capital. You can control the formatting of all your dynamically inserted keywords this way. Capitalizing k and w will capitalize the first letter of each word that gets inserted; capitalizing only the k will capitalize only the first letter; and leaving everything lowercase will leave your inserted keywords lowercase. Any default text will appear just as you type it in your ad.

A good application of this technique is to use it for regional matching on a nationally targeted campaign. For example, if you sell stereo equipment in Seattle, you can take all your ad groups and add “seattle” to every keyword in your list, so one example might be “seattle stereo equipment.” This way, anyone who might be looking for stereo equipment in Seattle but who isn’t actually in Seattle at the moment he does his search will still find your ad, and it will look like this: “Seattle Stereo Equipment.”

That about covers dynamic keyword insertion. Try it out and see if you can find new ways to make it work for you. One caveat about using this feature, though: dynamically inserted keywords don’t improve your Quality Score on Google. Whenever possible, you should actually type the keywords into the ads yourself. But, if you’ve got a huge list of words, this is a quick fix that should improve your CTRs across the board.

Ryan Cole runs The Internet Marketing Blog, a free resource for people interested in making money online. Ryan is available to answer any questions you may have, so shoot him an e-mail at ryan (at)

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