Is Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) for search campaigns a waste of time? Or can it help your shoppers find what they want? 

After shoppers click on your ad, are you showing them what they searched for? Or do they start searching all over again ?

Carrie Albright at Hanapin Marketing recently wrote a great article for Search Engine Land with the provocative title “Are Dynamic Ad Varieties A Waste of Your Time?”.  In the article, she discusses several types of dynamic ads, gives performance data from campaigns she is managing, and rates each for effectiveness and ease of setup. I wanted to look at and discuss her results for the most frequently used dynamic ads: Dynamic Keyword Insertion.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI)

For DKI, her bottom line was an effectiveness score of 3 and an ease of setup of 5, each on a scale of 1 to 5 (best).

She compared the CTR and conversion rate in two examples for the DKI relative to a baseline text ad. Interestingly, the CTR in her two examples both went down and the conversion rate both went up! 

Is that result surprising? If you assume that, since DKI ads reflect the actual keyword that AdWords matched to the search query, that should result in higher CTR, right? Well, maybe not. And why did the conversion rate go up for those who did click through?

My experience analyzing search term reports brings two reasons to mind. But, I have to admit that, since I do not know the details of the campaigns she used that generated the data, I am making assumptions that may not be valid for her data. 

For keywords that are broad match, the DKI ad inserted the keyword text and that inserted text, in general, does not match the search term words. But the real question is whether the keyword that is inserted into the ad matches the search term intent, that is, what the user actually was looking for. My experience is that it often captures some, but not all of the user intent. 

The result? Dynamic Keyword Insertion makes the ad text clearer to the user and, therefore, some users will see, before clicking on the ad, that it is not the right destination for them. The conversion rate on those clicks would have quite low, so the effect of the DKI is to have eliminated clicks that you actually did not want, that is, did not want to pay for. The smaller number of users for whom you did capture their intent click through and those are the ones who convert more highly. Bottom line — fewer clicks, less cost, same or better number of conversions, which means lower cost per conversion.

That’s great! What could make it even better?

Two Keys to Drive Better Performance

1. Long-tail keywords that capture more of the users search intent. By capturing more of the search intent, the DKI ad reflects more closely what the user searched for, telling the user, “Yes! We really have what you want!”  And, DKI with long-tail keywords should have higher CTR. With longer keywords, though, be aware that the limited number of characters allowed for each line of the ad may prevent the insertion.

Of course, when the user clicks and gets to the destination page, if they don’t see what you just promised them, the result is often a quick bounce. Which brings us to the second key.

2. Destination landing pages with the most relevant content. When you know what your user searched for because you captured that with your keyword, you can ensure that they land on the most relevant page. Then you have eliminated several clicks between the landing page and the users real destination. Driving higher conversion.

Big Tasks that Now Can Be Automated

The two keys I mentioned to drive better performance with Dynamic Keyword Insertion are simple, but the implementation can be too large a task to do well. When you have a large campaign of tens or hundreds of thousands of keywords, optimizing the destination landing page on your website for each is no small task. And to discover the long-tail keywords that will capture the intent of your shoppers means analyzing your search query report with hundreds of thousands of unique queries.

Fortunately, both can be automated using marketing automation tools. At Vioby, we have developed tools using semantic understanding, machine learning and other technologies to automate the long-tail keyword discovery process and the determination of the most relevant landing page destination for each keyword. Together, they are improving the conversion rate performance for our clients by 20%-30%.

Contact me and I’d be glad to tell you more. Or you can click here to request information on Vioby’s products for optimizing your advertising campaigns.

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