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New Advertiser Friendly Features Rolling Out in Microsoft Advertising adCenter

Microsoft Advertising adCenter is introducing new advertiser-friendly features, as well as improving the web interface and providing greater visibility at both the account and customer levels.

“We are also redesigning reports to make the experience more actionable and interactive — delivering insights that will enable advertisers run campaigns that are more effective and achieve better results,” posted Craig Macdonald on Microsoft Advertising blog.

Here are some adCenter features and enhancements rolled-out recently:

Broad Match Modifier is a targeting feature that “lets advertisers create keywords which have greater reach than phrase match, and more control than broad match. Adding modified broad match keywords help advertisers get more clicks and conversions at an attractive ROI, especially if they mainly use exact and phrase match keywords today,” explained Macdonald.

Improved Location Targeting lets advertisers reach more relevant users in targeted locations with fewer steps. Also, advertisers can now leverage new advanced location options to target users by physical location or by their physical location and intent.

URL by Match Type will provide more precise control over advertiser campaigns. In addition to the ability to assign unique destination URLs for each keyword match type within the same ad group, advertisers may also assign unique parameters.

“The team is releasing this feature in waves beginning this week continuing through the end of October. Advertisers will receive a notification email at least one week before this feature is enabled for their account,” said Macdonald.

AdCenter Express (For Small Businesses): Similar to AdWords Express, the process aiming to ease and improve the experience for small business marketers, many of whom have plenty of additional responsibilities, in addition to marketing. The new offering will start beta testing later this year and will officially launch at the end of the year or the beginning of next year, according to Pann.

“Too many times, small businesses set up campaigns but don’t have time to monitor them closely or tweak them, meaning they often are disappointed by results,” Pan said.

More Rich, Integrated Ads In Bing: “[We’re developing] richer kind of ad units that look more like content in context and allow us to help the user to complete a task and engage with an advertiser or merchant. as simply as possible,” said Pann.

“If you as a consumer, were doing research on a product or thinking about buying it, rather than going to advertiser’s site to complete the transaction,” Pann said. “You could put it into the shopping cart directly from the Bing experience.”

Dynamic Location Extensions and Sitelink Extensions
Advertisers with multiple locations will be able to set up ads that serve the most relevant result — i.e. the closest location — to consumers. Alongside the standard text ad, the closest business address and an optional phone number can be displayed. Pann said “sitelink extensions” is in a pilot stage now, and will probably roll out widely in the fall.

More Detailed Quality Score Data: Advertisers will soon be able to get data on their quality scores for various match types and for mobile-only targeted ads. “We’re giving them much more detailed data so they can improve their performance in the marketplace,” he said.

Desktop Tool for the Mac: Microsoft is developing desktop software to manage adCenter from the Macintosh. “That’s something we’ve clearly heard from customers and we are going to be able to support that.” said Pann.

Here is a list of enhancements coming up in the next few months:

  • “Ease of navigation in Web UI and Desktop – Menu redesign to allow for easy discovery of features
  • Browser Compatibility – adCenter support for Chrome and Safari
  • Improving Desktop Performance – Faster and more reliable experience in managing bulk tasks
  • Historical and Aggregated Quality Score – Improves campaign performance by having greater visibility into quality scores,” informs Macdonald.

Also, Microsoft announced that negative keywords uploaded at the campaign and ad group level will now be combined to filter traffic; working in tandem with one another. In the past, negative keywords at the ad group level would override those at the campaign level.

“If you have negative keywords applied at both the campaign and ad group levels you may experience lower traffic volume, as the negative keywords you assigned at the campaign level will now be applied in conjunction with the ad group level negatives,” Pruitt said.

Here’re a few best practices you can follow:

  • Establish negative keywords in each hierarchy (I.e. campaign level and ad group level) based upon the category in each hierarchy.
  • Apply the common negative keywords at the campaign level so they could be shared across the lower ad group level.
  • Continue to monitor the Negative Conflicts Report to avoid any negative conflicts.

Microsoft also re-introduces “Yahoo Rich Ads In Search,” that offers five different types of layouts.

“Two consist of an image, a favicon, deeplinks and a text entry box. The next two include a video thumbnail which expands and plays a video on click, a favicon, deeplinks and a text entry box. The text entry box can be customized and used to search the advertiser’s website – a user could enter a zip code and be taken to a page for the nearest location, for example. The fifth layout is aimed at pharmaceutical advertisers and complies with Food and Drug Administration guidelines, including all the required information.”

The RAIS keywords are subject to approval, so advertisers must work with their account managers on that part of the process. Once the terms are approved, the account is enabled for RAIS features. Ad creation for RAIS must occur in the adCenter Web UI, as it’s currently not supported in the API or desktop client. When advertisers create a new ad group for RAIS, creating a Rich Ad may be selected as an option.

Finally, the ad partnership among Yahoo!, AOL and Microsoft is now live. The three companies said on March 15, that they are offering each other’s premium, non-reserved online display inventory to their advertising customers through their respective ad networks—Yahoo! Network Plus, Microsoft Media Network and AOL’s advertising.com.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Microsoft and AOL and bring to market what we believe will be a more efficient, effective and more effortless way to access true premium inventory and formats,” said Ross Levinsohn, Yahoo! EVP of the Americas, when the partnership was announced four months ago.

Yahoo!’s non-reserved inventory will be offered through Right Media Exchange, and Microsoft’s inventory will remain on the Microsoft Advertising Exchange. On February 3, AOL selected Right Media Exchange as the platform to provide access to its non-reserved ad inventory via the agreement.

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