adCenter: Offering Longer Ad Titles for Improved Click through Rates; Migrating from Metro to DMA Targeting

Microsoft adCenter is experimenting to provide advertisers with "Longer Ad Titles to Promote Improved Click through Rates." This test is currently limited to US traffic on Bing and will soon be enabled on Yahoo! Search. In a blog post, Microsoft's posted, "We are currently testing longer ad titles for paid search advertisements on Bing with […]

Microsoft adCenter is experimenting to provide advertisers with "Longer Ad Titles to Promote Improved Click through Rates." This test is currently limited to US traffic on Bing and will soon be enabled on Yahoo! Search.

In a blog post, Microsoft's posted, "We are currently testing longer ad titles for paid search advertisements on Bing with a small percentage of the consumer search queries and will begin testing on Yahoo Search! in the coming weeks." This does not include any other markets in North America.

The longer ad titles "will improve the click-through rates of the mainline ads, those ads that appear in positions one through three at the top of the page, and at the same time deliver an improved search experience for users," Mirosoft Advertising explains.

The content of the mainline ads will appear in this order after receiving a longer ad title: "Longer ad title (with a) first sentence or b) with display URL); URL; and Description copy," Microsoft explains.

Here is an example of a longer headline treatment on Bing (Before vs. After):

adCenter offering Longer Ad Titles for improved Click through Rates

How does this test work?

During the test period in September, ads appearing in the mainline may see the impact of this change. Microsoft will not modify any of the original ad copy. "We simply rearrange the layout of the ads in one of two ways," the company said:

  • "If first sentence of the ad description copy ends with an exclamation mark (!), question mark (?), or period (.) and followed by a space, it is added to the original ad title and a "-" is used as a separator between the old ad title and the extension.
  • If the first sentence of the ad description copy does not fit, the display URL is added with a "|" separator by removing (www.) and any URL extensions," explained Microsoft Advertising.

For more information, visit this Help Center article.

Microsoft also notified that adCenter is migrating from Metro to Designated Market Area (DMA) targeting in late September through October. During this period, "all advertisers currently targeting metros will be automatically migrated to DMAs," Microsoft posted.

Nielson DMAs are widely used in TV and online advertising.

Microsoft posted following recommendations for Advertisers and API customer currently using Metro -- per Microsoft blog post:

Action for Advertisers -

  1. "Identify the metros that you are currently targeting - Make a list of metros that you are currently targeting in your campaigns and ad groups
  2. Find your metros in the attached spreadsheet to understand the traffic impact - Please check the metro to DMA mappingto understand whether you are likely to see positive or negative traffic impact from this change. Most metros will see additional traffic after migrating to DMAs, but a few could see a decline in traffic
  3. Closely monitor your traffic during September and October - If you notice an increase in traffic after migration, you may want to -
    • Adjust your budget to account for additional traffic
    • Consider switching to city or radius targeting if you want to limit your traffic

    If you notice a decrease in traffic after migration, you may want to...

    • Target additional DMAs or cities to bring traffic levels back up

For API Customers -

  1. Code to new DMA and city location strings before February 2013 - After February, adCenter "will no longer support the old metro and city strings and your ad target calls will return error messages." Important note - Although you can still use the old metro and city strings until Feb 2013, all traffic will be migrated from metros to DMAs in September and October. There is no traffic change for cities
  2. Closely monitor your traffic during the transition period," Microsoft explained.