If You Haven’t Tried Microsoft adCenter for Paid Search, Now Is the Time

Quite a few welcome changes have arrived from Microsoft adCenter lately, providing more control and flexibility when managing paid search accounts.

I recently sat in on a webinar from adCenter which highlighted these changes as well as a few announcements for more enhancements this coming quarter.

 Change highlights from Q1:

  • You can now target specific smartphones and devices.
  • Ad description character limit from 70 to 71.  Although this is small, this slight increase helps for an easier copy of ads from Google AdWords into adCenter.
  • Improved geo-targeting options.
  • Ad group keywords no longer override campaign-level negatives.  This now aligns with AdWords, allowing for more general negatives to be applied across the account in addition to negative keywords that apply to only a few ad groups within a campaign.

Exciting management & advertising opportunities: 

These are being rolled out (in some cases, slowly) over the next few months:

  • The ability to more easily manage keywords by match type individually.  Within the interface, you can see keywords by each match type individually to adjust status, assign bidding, params and destination URLs.
  • The ability to use the “broad match modifier” match type.  If you are not familiar with this in AdWords, you can add a “+” in front of all or a few keywords to give you more control, like “phrase match” with the flexibility of “broad.” The terms within the keyword with a “+” must be in the search query for your ad to be triggered.  For example, if your keyword is +soccer shoes, your ad could show for soccer balls or shoes for soccer, but not for tennis shoes or shoes for prom.
  • You will be able to include location extensions with your ads.
  • For campaigns that use the new ad location extensions, you will also be able to use click-to-call.
  • For exact-match brand terms only, you will be able to utilize rich ads on search.yahoo.com and bing.com.  They will only show for ads in the first-page position.  This is in beta right now, so if you have an account representative, you will need to reach out to them to apply.

For the past two months, adCenter has had about 29% of the US search market share, according to comScore’s recent reports.  With all of the new marketing features that have been implemented and changes coming, now is the time to start advertising in adCenter and capturing that 29%!

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