Five Reasons Google Keyword Insertion Tool is Dumb

Judging by the title of this blog, I’ve already tipped my hand on my opinion of the Google Keyword Insertion tool. For those who don’t know what it is, here’s a quick primer. When you’re creating ads to be displayed in Google AdWords, you can automatically insert the search phrase used into the ad copy, to be displayed as the Ad Title or even embedded in the body of the ad. The more common approach is the former, and it looks something like this:

Demonstration of Google Keyword Insertion Tool
If the search term used to trigger the ad is too long for the 25 character limit, a default title is displayed instead. In the example above, the default title would be “Buy Ravensburger® Games”. Sounds so neat and easy – so why not use it for every ad, right? Ha. In case it’s not obvious, I couldn’t disagree more.

5 Reasons Why I Don’t Like the Google Keyword Insertion Tool

Here are my top reasons why I don’t like the Google Keyword Insertion tool:

  1. You can’t control inappropriate content or misleading words in the ads. For example, what happens when the search term entered is “Ravensburger Coupons”, yet when the searcher lands on that page there are no coupons to be found. Right from the start of that visit, you already have created mistrust and disappointment in the mind of the visitor. ‘Didn’t your ads say “Coupons,”‘ they wonder? Not a great way to start the selling process. Remember PPC is not just about bringing traffic to a website but creating sales and leads.
  2. Humans still rule over machines. A hand crafted messaged that inspires emotion will read better than a “repeat after me” machine response. Google claims you will get great CTR when people see the same search phrase repeated in the ad, and there is truth in that statement. But are you looking for lemmings to visit your website or real buyers? Why not pre-qualify the prospect and avoid eating up your PPC budget! It is ideal to have a high CTR, but an improving Conversion rate is even better.
  3. You can’t control the message. The best PPC Managers think like control freaks. They want to own the entire process from the beginning interest (selection of the search phrase) to the final sale or lead. So why give up something like the message of your initial value prop? Own it all!
  4. No pain, no gain. I often tell our clients that writing a Google Ad is hard work. You have just 25 characters for the tile and two 35 character ad lines. It’s hard to come up with compelling ad copy that will get you both great CTR and conversion rates in such a small space.  Why should I get lazy and “throw into the wind” one of the most important elements of the ad for someone else to decide what to say.
  5. It works for long tail applications, but fails where it matters. Every time I have ad tested my hand crafted, human inspired ads against the random and dynamically generated copy for top performing terms of very tight ad groupings, I win. In most cases these top performing terms with hand crafted ads win because you have more control over the message. The one caveat is that insertion tool does work in broad long tail ads where you are looking for a small number of additional sales, so it does have a place, but in long tail terms they often exceed the 25 character limit.

These are my top reasons I don’t like the insertion tool by default. I don’t use it as a hammer to every ad, more like a rifle for special cases. Maybe it’s part of your main arsenal and don’t agree. Cool. I’m always up for a challenge and would be willing to test one of my ads against your top performer. But don’t forget, I don’t just measure CTR as the winning argument – conversion rate matters too!

Want to know more? Just contact us and we can offer a free Google AdWords review and assessment.


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