Methods to optimize Microsoft AdCenter for simpler paid campaigns
It can be difficult to get paid search results. Once you've created a successful Google Ads campaign and watched its performance, reaching the end of that campaign's life can be daunting.
It doesn't have to end there, however.
A great strategy to increase the success of your PPC campaigns is to look beyond Google Ads to other platforms such as Microsoft AdCenter that you use to access Bing, Yahoo! and other partner platforms.
It is easy to translate your Google Ads campaign to the Microsoft platform as it has similar features. Using the same basic best practices, you can create more leads through PPC on a whole new platform.
What is Microsoft AdCenter?
Microsoft AdCenter is the central hub through which advertisers use sponsored ads on Bing or Yahoo!
Previously, the platform was renamed by Bing Ads after joining forces with Yahoo!
While it's safe to say that the majority of internet search traffic comes from Google, that doesn't mean digital marketers should be sleeping in Microsoft AdCenter.
With a combined 30 percent share of the Internet search market, you want to add Microsoft AdCenter to your digital marketing program.
Benefits of optimizing Microsoft AdCenter for your advertising campaigns
Whenever you run a PPC campaign, you want to constantly optimize.
When you recalibrate through optimization, you increase your chances of reaching your target audience. This approach not only increases your overall sales, but also lowers your advertising expenses.
Microsoft AdCenter is no different. You want to continuously optimize your campaigns for success. While there is still much to be done before a campaign starts, it can be assumed that the most valuable work will be done after it starts.
With 1.03 billion unique users per month, Bing offers advertisers extensive reach.
However, how can you make sure you are reaching the right audiences without optimizing your campaigns?
Short answer: this is not possible. Because of this, understanding how to optimize in Microsoft AdCenter is critical to your success on the platform.
Difference Between Microsoft AdCenter and Google Ads
As mentioned above, Microsoft AdCenter has similar features to Google Ads. However, the two PPC platforms differ greatly in five key areas: campaign-level control, closed variants, engagement rates, search partner targeting options, and ad scheduling.
Campaign level control
With Google Ads, users must define language, ad rotation, network, ad scheduling, and location settings at the campaign level. Groups are then limited to these settings.
On the other hand, Microsoft AdCenter opens these options at the ad group level so that users can easily make changes at any time instead of having to create a completely new campaign.
After eliminating exact and phrase match keywords by forcing a "tight variation" target in Google Ads, exact and phrase keywords increased 7 percent reach, including misspellings, pluralized terms, and grammatical iterations.
While Microsoft AdCenter has an option to use the query to close variants, it is only one of the following: Optional.
Increased engagement and conversion rates
Microsoft AdCenter PPC Ads users have been paying more attention to the websites and landing pages they chose.
In fact, studies have found that auto search users who interacted with Microsoft AdCenter content had 10 to 56 percent higher conversation rates than Google Ads.
While this is clearly a specific target audience, it generally indicates increased interaction.
In addition to these factors, there is another difference between Google Ads and Microsoft AdCenter.
As explained above, it's easy to import your Google Ads campaign into Microsoft AdCenter. Despite this ease, there are significant differences to consider when optimizing your campaigns on the respective platform, including:
- Search partner targeting options
- Advertisement planning
While both Google Ads and Microsoft Ads have search partner networks (external websites that advertisers can use to expand the reach of their platforms), the networks differ significantly.
Search partner targeting options
Unsurprisingly, Google has hundreds of websites on its search partner network. If you don't get a lot of returns from including this expanded network in your target campaign, you can remove the feature. Unfortunately, that distance is all or nothing – you can't choose which partners to reach out to.
However, Microsoft Ads lets you choose which partners to reach out to. This is a major difference when it comes to optimizing your campaigns.
While ad scheduling is a key component of any PPC campaign, when you transition your Google Ads strategy to Microsoft, there are different parameters for setting ad schedules.
With Google Ads, the dashboard time is automatically set to the time selected when the account was created. Therefore, users need to update the scheduled times depending on the time zone they want to reach.
However, Microsoft Ads allows users to set schedules based on the location of the destination, which makes scheduling infinitely easy.
While these differences don't seem very big, they should be kept in mind when starting your Microsoft AdCenter campaign.
Tips for optimizing Microsoft AdCenter
We have already highlighted the importance of optimization. Now is the time to describe exactly how you can optimize your Microsoft AdCenter campaigns.
1. Do keyword research
If you are unsure of your keywords, now is the time to start. By researching which terms apply to your purpose and audience, you can incorporate this language into your campaigns to ensure that you reach your desired audience.
2. Use exclusive keywords
Including negative keywords in your campaign can help eliminate confusing or irrelevant terms from your strategy. This enables a more precise target group reach as well as lower advertising expenditure due to a more precise assignment.
3. Segment your campaigns
For data-driven PPC advertisers, segmenting campaigns into ad groups can help you make smarter optimization decisions. Segmentation allows marketers to focus their message on different groups, which enables targeted metrics to be captured. Having a more segmented audience allows you to customize the message and the recipient.
4. Use ad extensions
Ad extensions let you add extra information about your business, including a phone number, address, or a specific link. These free options can improve the visibility and usefulness of your ads.
5. Follow ad writing best practices
Having a strong, relevant copy is critical to the success of any PPC campaign. When optimizing your Microsoft AdCenter content, keep these best practices in mind:
- Underline the audience's main pain point: By speaking to your audience's primary pain point, you are not just determining how to resolve their pain. They also find that you understand their pain. This creates trust and connection between the advertiser and the consumer.
- Include numbers or statistics: In the past, numbers have drawn the reader's attention. This was the case long before the internet and will continue to do so as the internet evolves.
- Use emotional triggers: It's no secret that people respond to emotional triggers. If you harness the power of emotion in your ads, you can almost guarantee a response from your audience. See how this law firm uses emotion to advertise their services:
6. Customize the audience type
Microsoft Ads offers users different types of audiences to help ensure that your ads reach the right audience. You can adjust the type of audience you are targeting to optimize your campaign and improve your reach.
7. Experiment with dynamic search ads
These ads automatically target relevant searches generated from the content of your website. The ads are then dynamically created to respond to those custom requests, reducing workload and increasing audience reach.
8. Use the Microsoft Audience Network
This audience marketing solution relies on Microsoft's artificial intelligence (AI) to better target your ideal audience. Take advantage of this exclusive Microsoft offer as it can dramatically increase ad performance.
9. Use Universal Event Tracking (UET).
Another exclusive Microsoft solution: UET allows you to view customer behavior after they have interacted with your ad. By placing a UET tag on your website, Microsoft collects data that targets and audiences track with remarketing lists.
10. Set up conversion tracking
By setting up conversion tracking in Microsoft AdCenter, you will be matched with the platform with relevant searchers in the entire Microsoft network. Conversion tracking also offers tools to optimize your campaigns for success.
Measure the success of your Microsoft AdCenter campaign
You have optimized your campaign throughout its lifespan and now you want to know whether it should be considered a success or a failure.
Below are three key metrics that will highlight the overall performance of your campaign.
Click through rate (CTR)
This metric is key to understanding whether your ads are relevant to your customers. Click-through rate is determined by dividing the number of clicks your ad receives by the number of times your ad is shown.
Strong conversion rates indicate that what you spend on clicks is making you profit. This metric is calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the number of total ad interactions recorded for a conversion in a given time period.
Cost per conversion
When you're overpaying for conversions, it's time to get back to the drawing board. This metric is found by dividing the total cost of clicks by the number of conversions.
These three metrics provide an informed and basic estimate of your campaign's performance. While you can get lost in the intricacies of the data, these numbers always give a clear result.
Examples of great Microsoft AdCenter campaigns
Although Microsoft AdCenter is filled with examples of great PPC advertising, here are three great PPC ads that have used a unique feature of the platform for a successful campaign.
Maybelline uses a detailed breakdown in the paid list to help searchers find exactly what they need. By segmenting by eyes, lips, mascara, and facial makeup, the beauty company increases the likelihood that the seeker will easily find what they need with clear intent.
Flowers from you
These product ads are based on graphics that interest the searcher. By placing product images, prices, and information at the edge of the page, searchers get all the information they need instantly.
Ad extensions can be very important to PPC ads. Pizza seller Papa John made his listing as informative as possible while promoting his success and visibility by sharing the number of monthly website visitors. Not only does this strategy provide helpful information like deals and options for pizza types, but it also increases consumer confidence through the sheer number of social visitors.
All three ads use extensions in very different ways, but add texture to the search engine results page (SERP), engage audiences through images, increase the immediacy of search results, and build consumer confidence.
While both Google Ads and Microsoft AdCenter offer similar functionality, the optimization options in Microsoft AdCenter are completely different.
Take advantage of Microsoft's unique offerings and optimize your content and strategies through the Microsoft lens to ensure you get the most out of your advertising money.
As you become familiar with the capabilities of Microsoft AdCenter, you can find that your success rate increases as you optimize the reach of the target audience.
When you're ready to find an agency partner to help you launch your paid campaign on Microsoft's advertising platform, let us know!
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