FAQ: How can I use {expansion} token in my ads?

The logic that sits underneath which tokens you can and can't use is a little complicated to get your head around. It relates to the one-to-one nature of SKAG campaigns vs the one-to-many nature of Thematic (STAG) campaigns.

Here is a quick explanation of the different structures of these two campaigns, which hopefully will help you understand why you can’t use some tokens within a thematic (STAG) campaign. 

SKAG Campaign 

With a SKAG campaign, it creates an ad group for every combination of keywords (Seed and Expansion1). As a result, you have 1 keyword output that contains both the seed and expansion and 1 ad. As a result, your ad only has to cover 1 seed and 1 expansion keyword. So, you can use all tokens.

See the image below. You’ll see each ad is linked to just 1 combined keyword of seed and expansion. 

Thematic Campaign

On the other hand, Thematic campaigns create an ad group with multiple keywords. This type of campaign combines 1 {seed} keyword to all of your {expansion} keywords which makes it impossible to use the {expansion} token on your ad copy. You can only use the {seed} token in your ad copy. 

You’ll see in the diagram below that there is 1 ad group per theme. So you can use the theme (seed) keyword, but you can’t use the expansion keyword in the ad, because you wouldn’t know which of the many expansion keywords to use. 

The rule to follow is very simple, and you don't really need to understand why. You just need to understand when you can use them.


Why is the same token listed multiple times in the options to select? Does it do anything?

The main reason why they are repeated is to give you options to either use a fallback, which SpeedPPC uses if the character count is too long for the ad. Otherwise, it transforms the case.

How do nested tokens work?

You can use advanced nested tokens to improve how the fallbacks work. Here is a guide on how to do that: https://help.speedppc.com/article/44-explained-ads-with-nested-tokens

My tokens don’t work. 

Here are the top 3 reasons why your tokens are not working. Work through each of these to determine the root cause. 

  1. Typo. This one is easy. You’ve just mistyped the token. Check that each token you are using is correct.
  2. You haven’t used a fallback in your token. For each token, you ideally want a fallback so that when the dynamically inserted keyword is too long, it will be replaced by the fallback. So check your fallbacks are correctly in place.
  3. You’re using a token that is not available for your campaign type. If you’re building a SKAG campaign, you should be able to use any token. If you’re using a thematic campaign, you’ll only be able to use the {Seed} token for keywords. Because of the way that thematic campaigns are structured, expansion keywords are not available.

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