By Evan Levy
Jan 25, 2011
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Microsoft’s Bing search engine is gaining search traffic by the day, and since it merged with Yahoo, it’s collecting more search resources as well. As the search engine grows both in user base and capability, running an efficient, precisely targeted ad campaign will soon be a necessity for many that wish to advertise in the search space. The Microsoft Adcenter interface is sufficient for running many pay-per-click advertising campaigns, but there are a few features that would make creating and managing a large, efficient, and highly effective campaign a little easier.
Adcenter currently does not have a way to edit or view keywords at the campaign level, or at the account level. When making bulk edits to destination URL’s or trying to analyze which keywords have the highest conversion rates, or are spending the most without producing results, it’s very helpful to see all the keywords in a campaign at once. This makes it quick and easy to see where bids need to be adjusted or if words need to be paused completely.
When creating campaigns for a single brand with multiple products, it can be difficult to keep ads for one product from being served to a search term for a different campaign, or for something entirely irrelevant. This becomes especially problematic when broad match keywords are in use. Negative keywords are usually a great way to ensure only the intended ads are triggered for specific keywords. In Microsoft Adcenter, negative keywords can only be used with the phrase match match type. While this helps to eliminate some of the overlap, broad match terms will still creep through without an exact match option. For example, if I run an account for a sporting goods store, and I want to sell baseball bats to people who search for Louisville Slugger, I have no way to exclude searches for other Louisville related queries that aren’t related to the baseball bat. I could still broad match to searches about Louisville basketball, or general inquiries about the city, even though they’re entirely irrelevant. Microsoft does suggest only using phrase and exact match keywords to avoid this problem, but wouldn’t you like a broad match too?
Microsoft produced a desktop application that makes it easier to manage large accounts, have multiple users edit accounts without overwriting changes, and even manage multiple accounts at once. While this program is certainly a great convenience in some aspects, there are a few bugs that need to get worked out. The biggest problem I have run into lately comes in the form of missing keywords. On many occasions I have been adjusting bids for a client and would need to find an individual keyword that needs to be raised or lowered. After downloading the entire account and making sure all updates have been made, I will search for a keyword that I know is in the account and active, but the search feature of the program will return no results. Additionally, the keyword will be present in the online interface, but occasionally it won’t even show up in the ad group view of all keywords! Discrepancies like this make me hesitant to rely on the application to do anything else of great importance.
What do you think? Do you use Microsoft Adcenter and want to see something else added? Leave a comment!