DKI Google Ads

Why you HAVE TO use DKI for Google Ads in 2023

Feb 22, 2023

Dynamic Keyword Insertion, or DKI for those in the know, is nothing new to Google Ads.

Dynamically generated headlines have been available in Google Ads since 2011.

But even though DKI has been around for a long time, over the past 12 months, Dynamic Keyword Insertion is now more critical than ever. Currently, every single one of my Search Ads uses one DKI headline. 

What is Dynamic Keyword Insertion?

If you are already lost and need to learn what I am talking about, Dynamic Keyword Insertion or DKI is where you can use a special rule in your Ad Headline that tells Google to dynamically insert the keyword that triggered your ad into the headline. 

DKI is a powerful tool to use in Google Ads because it has long been known that your CTR will increase when someone sees the exact search term they typed into Google in your ads copies headline. 

DKI Example

Think about if you did a google search for “Noosa Beachfront Hotels”, and you saw one ad saying:

  • Book Noosa Beachfront Hotels

And another ad saying

  • Beachfront Hotel Deals

You would be more likely to click on the first ad because the headline matches what you are searching for with Google.

What are the benefits of Dynamic Keyword Insertion?

Higher CTR and conversions

The main benefits are what everybody wants from their ads: higher CTR, more clicks and more conversions. And don’t just take my word for it because data published by showed that when DKI was introduced into a campaign, they saw that:

  • Clicks improved by 55%
  • CTR increased by 45%
  • Conversions jumped by a whopping 228%


So the data shows that DKI is a clear Gold Medal strategy for search ads.

Higher ad relevancy

The key to relevance lies in using clear, concise copy that precisely describes what you're promoting and why it's beneficial for a particular user's goals. Inserting the exact keyword the searcher typed into the headline of your ad does exactly this. Making it clear that you are offering what the searcher is looking for.

Increased quality score

Quality score is an elusive metric used by Google that evaluates how relevant and effective an ad is for a potential customer. Your goal should always be to raise your quality score as it comes with several benefits, such as higher ad positions, lower cost-per-click (CPA) and, eventually, lower cost-per-conversion (CPC).

Potential drawbacks to using DKI

Landing page relevancy

Since DKI relies on inserting a variety of keyword versions into your ads, keeping your landing pages relevant to all these potential versions can be a challenge. You usually need to make some compromises and make your landing pages more general, which can lead to fewer conversions from the same number of clicks. Still, the significant increase in clicks offsets this, but it is worth keeping an eye on and continuously testing landing page elements to suit most of the clicks you get.

Broad match keywords

The reason injected keywords work so well is that they are highly relevant and specific to the search query. Broad-match keywords have ambiguous search intent combined with a high number of searches. This can easily lead to you wasting a large chunk of your budget on clicks that lack relevancy and will convert less. The bottom line: only use DKI with keywords that are highly relevant and avoid broad search terms.

Super long-tail keywords

This is the opposite end of the spectrum, and just as too broad keywords do not work well, very long keywords are not ideal either. This is because there are a limited number of characters for your ad copy, and if you add very long search terms into the mix, they might end up not showing at all, as the ad copy would be too long with them included. Pick highly relevant, medium-length keywords instead.

Trademarks and competitor keywords

Yes, you can appear for the same searches as your competitor, but including the names of competitors can easily backfire and get your account banned by Google. The same goes for other brands (for example, different shoe brands if you sell them in your store) unless you have permission to use those brand names in advertisements.

Why is DKI more important now than ever before? 

Now that it is agreed that you should be using DKI for your search campaigns in Google Ads, I want to tell you why DKI has become even more critical for success in Google Ads over the past 12 months.

And this has to do with Google changing the way keyword match types function in Google Ads.

Until late 2021, as a Google Ads manager, you had complete control over what user search terms would trigger your ads. This was because [exact match] keywords function precisely how the name suggests, only triggering for search terms typed in exactly how you entered the targeted keyword.

This change to Google Ads keyword match types means that rather than having many ad groups in your campaigns with only 1 or 2 keywords in each one, you now need to have fewer ad groups with more keywords.

So rather than having 

  • 15-20 ad groups, with each one having 2-3 keywords

You would now have 

  • 3-4 ad groups, with each one having 20+ keywords

In some cases, I will have successful, highly profitable accounts having just 1 campaign with 1-2 ad groups.

So, you should start testing DKI and see if you can also see significantly increased CTR & Conversion rates using DKI.

And finally, while DKI is highly important for increasing your conversions & CTR in Google Ads, you must also be split-testing your ads.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion FAQ

What are dynamic ads?

Dynamic ads are a great tool for Google Ads users to make their online advertising more effective. They allow us to customise our ad copy quickly and easily by including the exact keyword that triggered the search query in the first place.

This way, we create personalised messages tailored to our target audience that increases click-through rates and drives conversions. We can also track which keywords perform best, allowing us to optimise our ads accordingly. Whether you’re a smaller business or a large corporation, dynamic keyword insertion is an invaluable asset in maximizing your ROI on your Google Ads campaigns.

What's the difference between static and dynamic ads?

Static ads are pre-defined ad copies with a predetermined headline, text body and call-to-action. On the other hand, dynamic ads are created in real-time based on a customer’s search query or browsing behaviours.

Dynamic keyword insertion makes use of a special code in Google Ads to capture the search keyword used by customers and turn it into an insert in the ad copy. This creates multiple instances of the same ad that is tailored to each individual customer’s searches. In essence, this technique allows your ad to stay fresh and relevant as well as increase relevance score over time, thus improving quality score through improved CTR (click-through rate).

Should I use Dynamic Keyword Insertion?

The short answer is: yes, but you need to make sure you use them in the correct way (see some of the potential drawbacks to avoid above). By using this sophisticated feature, you can make sure that keywords in your ad text match the search query by automatically inserting them into predetermined locations in your ad. It is a simple but effective technique for optimising the relevance of an advertisement and increasing click-through rate (CTR), leading to the better top-of-page placement and higher ROI.