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Creating Compelling Ad Copy, Part 2: Trademarks and Dynamic Insertion Tutorial

Welcome to the nineth lesson ‘Creating Compelling Ad Copy, Part 2: Trademarks and Dynamic Insertion’ of PPC Advertising Tutorial which is a part of Advanced Pay Per Click (PPC) Certification Course offered by Simplilearn.

In this lesson, you will know how to work dynamic keyword insertion like a pro, and make managing massive PPC campaigns far easier. You’ll also learn how search engines deal with trademarks so that you can avoid infringement and a lawsuit.

Let us first look at the objectives of this lesson


After completing this lesson, you will learn:

  • How to take advantage of destination and display URLs

  • How to write compelling ad copy

  • How dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) works

  • How to check if you're infringing on any trademarks

Let first take a look at Trademarks and how trademarks act for most paid search accounts.

What is a Trademark?

The trademark laws do vary by country. In the US, you can use a trademark (Fair Use) if you're identifying the owner of the trademark or describing your products.

Please note, this is not legal advice. All we're looking at are the overall policies of how engines work. You can still be within the policy of an engine and get sued. So, we're going to look at how engines handle things, not necessarily what all the laws are.

Example: Comparisons

Mercedes can say they're higher rated than BMW according to some J.D. Power Associates study because they're using BMW to identify the owner of the trademark.

When Mercedes says we're higher rated than BMW, they're not confusing the customer they are BMW, they're just saying, BMW is this other company that owns this trademark.

Example: Newspaper

If you look at a newspaper ad, Best Buy can say they sell Apple iPods in the advertisement because the owner of the trademark is identified. So again Best Buy's not saying we're Apple, Best Buy is just speaking in their newspaper ad, that we sell a product and here's the owner of the trademark of this product we sell.

Example: Describing Products

Whenever you see things like Powered by Intel or Bose iPod Deck, these are just describing the products and components of the products.

Are You Infringing?

There's often something called the sniff test to see if you think your use of the trademark would be confusing to the customer. Let us consider two ad copies as follows.

  1. Confusing to Consumer:

  • Official Apple Store

  • Buy the iPod Touch and gain access to the app store

  • Not an Apple's website

It's the fact that official Apple stores stated in the ad don't go to Apple's website, that's confusing the customer that's not past trademarks.

  1. Non-confusing to Consumer:

  • Best Buy shopping

  • Buy the iPod Touch and gain access to the app store

Therefore, it's not confusing to customers.

Trademark Lawsuit

In 2004, a judge agreed with Google that showing ads on a trademark search does not confuse the customer. So you can use a trademark as a keyword in most countries. Putting a trademark in the ad itself is a little different.

You can always use another company or search engine even if their policy approved you.

Google’s Policy in 2008

So after a few legal cases and especially that Google versus Geico lawsuit, led Google down the path where they thought that they were then the good firm legal group to institute a policy in multiple countries.

So in 2008 in the US, the UK, Ireland, and Canada, you could trigger an ad on any keyword. However, if that trademark holder had filed a request with Google saying, please don't use this in ads, then you couldn't use the trademark in an ad, you could still use it as a keyword.

So the first big change was trademarked rely on the use of keywords in many, many more countries. ---And what we're talking about Google here right now,-- ad center has fairly similar policies, but please note there are countries where you can't use keywords as trademarks.


If you're advertising in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, you can use any keyword you want to. The real question with trademark is if you can put it in the ad copy itself. Now in some countries, you still can't use a trademark even as a keyword.

So you should look at your country policies. Then in 2009, Google made a really big change to trademarks that some of the engines have started to follow in the years that past that. But you could use a trademark in ad text if you use it in a descriptive manner. Now please note this is not groundbreaking.

You can always use a word in its descriptive manner, what's known as a dictionary based usage. So if you sell apples, because you're an orchard farmer, you can always use the word apple in your ad copy. It's the dictionary usage of the word.

However, Google went beyond that common sense one and said, if you sell or resell the goods or products related to the trademark, such as the Best Buy newspaper example.

If you sell replacement parts or compatible parts to a trademark or informational sites, then you could use the trademark in ad copy, anyway. But only on US Google-owned pages at that point in time.

Submitting Trademarked Ads

So what happens when you add a trademark in an ad copy, often you see an exception request.

Single TM ad submission:

If you're doing one trademark at a time, then go ahead and write the ad's interface.

Multiple TM ad submission:

If you're doing a lot of ads with trademarks in them and you have rights to use the trademarks, use one of the bulk programs such as the AdWords Editor. Microsoft has an Excel editor as well.

You can bulk list all your trademarked terms at once, makes it so much quicker for you and you can see trademarks in ads. Now, this is only if you sell the product, fix the product on an informational site.

The biggest issue though with Google and Microsoft is if you don't have a rep, you might see ads are under review for quite a long time.

So in cases like that, you may want to talk to your rep or submit through the engines, requests to have an ad approved. Once it is approved, often you see limited status underneath the ad copy. All the limited status means is that it only goes live on certain pages due to the ruling.

However, that means these ads are only being shown on sites owned by that particular engine. So they're partner sites.

Some partners want to take that legal risk. Therefore, if you have an ad in an ad group that's using a trademark, you want to use two ad copies. One with the trademark that can be displayed on the sites the engine owns.

One without the trademark, which would be shown on their partner sites. So for instance,, are powered by Google AdWords. Ask, and AOL doesn't necessarily show trademark based ad copy.

So you want one ad with a trademark that can go live on and one ad without the trademark that will go live on some of their partners.

In the next section, we'll talk about destination URLs.

Keyword Level Destination URLs

You can have a URL where the consumer goes at the ad copy level or the keyword level. If you put it every keyword with their URL, it may take a long time for ad approval as they will look at every single URL and landing page combination.

Microsoft adCenter & Facebook

Microsoft does follow reasonably similar rules as Google. They sometimes allow comparison ads, where Google does not enable trademarks in advertisements that are purely comparison.

Facebook is still evolving policies, and they seem to be changing their policies based on the person reviewing their ads. Their language is still somewhat ambiguous. So once you start advertising for a while, you'll eventually run into a trademark issue.

If it's a dictionary usage of the word and the exception request which every engine has a way to follow exception request. Just say we're using the word in the dictionary usage. That should pass your, the approval issues.

If you're using it because you have legal rights to the word, put that in there. A trademark owner can give another account access to use a trademark word if you're using it in a non-confusing manner that the engines are allowing.

Just put that information into the exception request then you can have ads that will use trademarks in them within the engine policies. Just make sure if you're going to use trademarks in your ad copies and you're not the owner of the trademark.

You talk within your own company first, your legal team. Make sure you feel you're on solid ground, where the engines are on solid ground before you do so.

Let us now look at the dynamic keyword insertion.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion

There's one last aspect to our creating ad copy that can speed up getting those keywords into ads and making your ads seem relevant all the time. It's something called Dynamic Keyword Insertion.

It's a technique that allows you to input keywords from your ad group right into the ad copy. So this is great if you have an extensive list of product numbers, and you can't write an ad for every part number.

When you have a long list of keywords and very little time, it's a time-saving method of creating ads, but be careful. DKI ads are rarely the best ads you could write, DKIs good to test, would type that as better.

The static ads you wrote or inserting a word into the ad copy. But you have to be careful when there are some ads, and they all look very similar. In that case, it's often either lazy ad copywriting, or dynamic keyword insertion.

Dynamic keyword insertion was originally a tool Google launched, and it was undocumented, and mostly used for their internal usage. But advertisers freed up the system and started calling it dynamic keyword insertion. It's a term that sort of stuck over time.

When Google officially launched their files for this, for this technique, they called it keyword insertion. Now Microsoft Adcenter has something similar, but they call it params.

Regardless of if you name it DKI, dynamic keyword insertion, keyword insertion, params, inserts It all means the same thing. Here in this tutorial, we're going to call it DKI as we've used this technique before it was even known by most people outside of Google.

Let us now understand how DKI works.

How DKI Works?

The way DKI works is:

  • A searcher goes to an engine and they type in the query.

  • The engine looks through your keywords and shows an ad based upon the searcher's query

  • Your standard ad displays.

Another way dynamic keyword insertion works is Google looks if you searched for Verizon cell phone plan. You have that keyword, that's the one Google going to trail this off of.

Let's take part of that ad copy and automatically change that part of ad copy to include the word from your keyword list. So this automatically changes ad copies on the fly, based upon the user's query and what it's matching in your list.

So the way this works is slightly different in Adwords versus Microsoft Bing. However, as you start with an Adwords account, we'll look through it in Adwords.

To understand how it works in Adwords and then you can easily translate it to Bing. So you'll write it in ad copy as normal. Then you'll choose a part of your ad where you want to insert the keyword and you put it in a brace.

Then you write the word KeyWord. This is where it's confusing. It's just the word KeyWord. It has nothing to do with your keyword list. Write a colon then close the DKI section with another brace.

On Google, your headline is 25 characters. So in this in ad copy, our headline is Buy space KeyWord insertion. So 25 character line, buy, and space is four characters. That leaves 21 characters available for keyword insertion. If the keyword were 40 characters long, it can't be inserted.

So what's between the colon and the brace is what is shown in your ad, if the keyword cannot be inserted due to length issues or trademark issues.

So if you have an ad copy like this and don't use dynamic keyword insertion three times. That is for sample purposes.

DKI Example

Let's say someone searched for, blue coffee mug, and you have the keyword Blue coffee mug inside your account.


Ad copy in your account


Buy {KeyWord: Coffee Mugs}

Description 1

Save on {keyword: coffee mugs} for

Description 2

home or office. {Keyword: Coffee Mugs}

So, now, the engine looks through and says, all right. You're using dynamic keyword search and in these three places, let's change the ad copy, not just from coffee mugs, which is our backup text, but to the actual keyword.

Now if you notice and look closely, you'll see the casing is different by each headline. In fact, the way we wrote the word keyword in the top ad copy is also different. One place it's a capital K and capital W. Another it's a lower case. The third line it's a capital K in the word keyword. The rest is lower case.


Ad copy in SERP for the search query “blue coffee mug”


Buy Blue Coffee Mug

Description 1

Save on blue coffee mug for

Description 2

Home or office. Blue Coffee mug

DKI will not magically fix everything. DKI is a tool. Like any tool, it can be used improperly or used to solve a problem.

However, when used correctly, it can help increase click-through rates and the relevancy of your ads. Just always be aware of the other ads and always measure results. Only then will you know if dynamic keyword insertion is helping you reach your marketing goals.

Formatting Determines the Case

So why does this matter? It matters because the secret sauce keyword insertion is in the casing.

Now, this is not how your keywords are written within in an ad group. It's only how your ad text is crafted. There's often a different CTR, just by changing the casing. So often, Title Casing does work pretty well.

But commonly in an older demographic or a serious B2B demographic, you'll see sentence casing works well. There are times you just want to continue a sentence with your keywords. In that case, the lower case works well.


Display Example



Coffee Mugs

Title Case


Coffee mugs

Sentence case


coffee mugs


For younger demographics, title casing often works well, because it's like you're screaming at them.

So now when we think back to the earlier example, NYC real estate, where NYC was not capitalized correctly.

Odds are it's not that the advertisers couldn't spell NYC in the correct uppercase characters. It's that they were using that keyword insertion. Keyword insertion does not support acronyms well. So in cases where using acronyms, then it's best not to use DKI.

Now even if you use DKI, your ad still must meet editorial approval. But, when you use it, be aware of your ads. Never use dynamic keyword insertion in single keyword ad groups.

In cases like this, the consumer has no good reason even to start looking at these ads, because the ads are pretty boring from headline standpoints. But also be aware of your competitor's ads. If everyone's using dynamic keyword insertion, it loses its effectiveness.

So always be aware of how well your ad will stand out from the crowd and cases where you want to use it. But the headlines are all similar. Try it in description line one, or description line two.

It will still get bolded; it will still draw attention to the ad copy. It's most effective as a technique for writing ads for longer tail words, (which include words that are three, four, five words in length). Now your ad is always specific to the search query. However, the five-word phrase is often 30+ characters.

Therefore it would never fit in the headline. It'd only fit in description line one or description range two.

Ad Preview

If you live in one city, and you're running ads for a different city, it’s important to know what the ads look like in all these locations. So, Google has a tool, and so does Microsoft, that are identified as ad preview tools.

Where you can see what search results look like for different geographies, different domains, different languages. So it's a right place to preview ads, to make sure your ad's standing out in different areas.

Where should you send traffic?

Once you write your ads, you looked at your competitor's ads; you looked at your strengths and weaknesses. You made a list of:  

  • Our benefits and features

  • Your competitors' benefits and features

  • Places they were weak, and you were strong

  • You wrote some ads and put them into accounts.

The last step is choosing where on your website you want to send the traffic to.

So we'll cover this in a landing page module, but for now, when you first write your ads, the rule you should think about is you should send traffic to:

  • Furthest, most logical page in the buying cycle for that keyword

  • A page that answers the question asked by someone searching for that keyword

  • A page you created specifically for that ad copy

Rarely, is the home page the best place to send the traffic. If you send someone to a page in your site, and the first thing they need to do is search again, you need a new landing page.

The page the consumer arrives on should tell them the answer to their search query or have instructions on how to get the answer such as "call us" or "ad this product to your shopping cart." Searchers want to know what's going to happen after they click on an ad.

So the display URL communicates that to the searcher. So display URL is marketing copy. The destination URL is where they go on your website.

Your ad's job is to get the click and set the proper expectation, that's your ad's job. Your landing page, which is your destination URL, is to convert them. So when you write ads, use USPs, use benefits.

Be aware of the buying cycle, and you write compelling ads, and you test ads.

Then you'll start getting traffic; you'll begin to get clicks, you'll begin to accumulate metrics. Next question we'll look through, where does the searcher go next on my website so I can convert them accurately? Once the ad has completed its job of delivering someone who is looking for an answer to your website


This brings us to the end of this lesson. In the next lesson, we will look at Ad extensions.

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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