Microsoft's Bid To Strengthen adCenter

Craig-MacdonaldadCenter, Microsoft's paid-search marketing platform for Bing, has made some improvements to the system: automated bid recommendation analysis, targeting features. location-based options and click-to-call for mobile. While some features have already rolled out, brands will begin seeing others this week across both Bing and Yahoo.

Yahoo and Microsoft product development teams spearheading the search alliance, along with an advisory board and joint customer forums, continue to drive the future of paid-search advertising for the duo. In Q4, Bing experienced 15% year-on-year click-through growth, according to Craig MacDonald, senior director of product marketing for Microsoft adCenter.

MacDonald, who joined the Microsoft team earlier this year from digital marketing and platform company Covario, said the collaboration among companies is better than he had expected. Search engine marketers will get a better glimpse into improvements when companies like IgnitionOne, Marin Software, Kenshoo and others begin releasing paid-search market share this quarter.

Microsoft will roll out new adCenter functions this week that give advertisers more control over URL match types. Other than assigning unique destination URLs for each keyword match type in the same ad group, advertisers can assign unique parameters, such as creative, keyword set, and match type.

Advertisers also gain access to a targeting feature that lets advertisers create keywords with greater reach than phrase match. It offers control through modified broad-match keywords to help advertisers up clicks and conversions. The tools now provide advanced location options to target consumers by physical location and/or intent.

A function built into adCenter called Share of Voice Analysis enables advertisers to view the clicks and analyze missed opportunities, comparing performance to the competition. It automates recommendations for bid-strategy changes in paid-search ads. In February, adCenter integrated the ability to add click-to-call telephone numbers in ads for mobile.

This year, Microsoft will advance the Yahoo alliance into France, Germany, and Asia, Middle East, and Africa (AMEA). The company also continues its mobile partnership with Nokia.

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