adCenter Updates for MSN's Bing – PPC Tuesday



Last week on PPC Tuesday, my colleague Kevin dove into Google Conversion Values in the UI, an important update for anyone tracking revenue generated by AdWords. If you missed it, be sure to go check it out.

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Today we are going to venture away from all things Google, and start looking at MSN’s adCenter, which manages placements in Bing, and related networks.

As most of you probably know, last year Yahoo & Microsoft entered into a Search Alliance which will be culminating (in the US) at the end of the summer, in anticipation for the holiday shopping season.

In anticipation of this we will devote a few of the next PPC Tuesday to dive into adCenter and explore it fully for you, our viewers.

We spend a lot of time talking about Google & their AdWords platform in our daily concept video, but we cannot forget about MSN’s adCenter, which is the console to manage Bing ad placements, and soon Yahoo’s.

Recently, some updates were announced to the UI, and this presents us with a great opportunity to take a closer look at the application, and how to best leverage it.

Though both AdWords & adCenter control advertising on search engines and subsequent networks, they are very different in how they execute this. It would not be fair to compare the two, Google is much more advanced from nearly every angle: navigation, depth of data, advertising control, and countless other factors.

Bing represents a viable market for many advertisers so it is worthwhile to learn the system and what it can and can’t do.

The setup is similar to AdWords, you can have one or many accounts associated with a login, which are then comprised of campaigns, with market targeting and budgets, ad groups with controls that can let you segment your campaigns by each ad group having its own market targeting. This can allow you to build larger campaigns that encompass different audiences under a single budget. The keywords are just like the other search engines, with 3 different match types, and the ads are just about the same, except there is one description line of 70 characters, instead of 2 lines of 35 (this is actually a net loss of one character, since there is an automatic space between lines 1 & 2 in Google).

The navigation is not as fluid as Google, and on page changes must be saved, causing the page to reload. This can clear any filters or sorts that were applied to the screen. Late last year, they introduced a handy left nav option, that lets you drilldown to specific adgroups, but it still is laborious to apply account-or-campaign-wide changes, having to click into each, and then save changes before moving to the next one.

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In addition to the campaign management, there are also reports which can be scheduled to run and distributed via email; there is the accounts and billing interface that lets you manage your relationship with MSN; as well as a tools section, that is similar to AdWords opportunities tab, showcasing applications they have developed to give insight into their advertising network.

So now the updates. Most were made to the reporting section, expanding date range capabilities, allowing for time zone settings when scheduling, and giving visibility to bidded match types (in addition to delivered match type, or in other words, how you targeted search in addition to how the search matched your keyword). Another improvement came to the importing feature, most likely in anticipation for the transitioning of Yahoo accounts to adCenter in the coming months.

There are also 2 features that directly effect the UI, and make managing advertising through the system easier. The first is a list of all disapproved keywords & ads, so you can quickly find and fix any errors in you targeting. This is helpful since MSN is much more strict on what are acceptable keywords to target in respect to trademarks and such.

The second one is an improved performance tab that finally brings some graphs into the UI, allowing for the ability to track performance over time, including one or two of the following metrics impressions, clicks, click through rates, spend, cost per click and conversions. There are also 2 tables, one a snapshot of performance by campaign, and the second showing how much budget is left. What is noticeably absent are conversions values. As Kevin covered in last weeks PPC Tuesday installment, Google made great gains recently by bringing conversion values directly into the UI, so they can be compared line by line with other important metrics. MSN not having this vital feature This has been a thorn in our side since we rolled out our Profitable PPC product, but one that should be addressed soon. We certainly hope so!

I hope this video has been helpful!

To Learn More about Exclusive Concepts Profitable PPC product, or any of our excellent services in our suite of online marketing offerings including our Conversion Booster, SEO Foundation or Precision Email Marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We have also launched our new Software As A Service destination, Conversions On Visit it today and see what we have to help your business.

Also, if you have specific questions about how your PPC Account is structured – and whether you are collecting the appropriate data, sign up for one of our Profitable PPC Audits, they are quick, free, and offer some great insight in how to optimize your campaign.

Thank you, this has been Chris for Exclusive Concepts Daily Concept: PPC Tuesday. I look forward to talking to you next time.