Microsoft adCenter Adds Ad Rotation

by , Aug 16, 2012, 1:36 PM
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Merry-Go-Round-Shutterstock-AMicrosoft adCenter introduced a feature Thursday that allows marketers to rotate ads at the ad group level, where keywords connect with ad copy. The feature found in adCenter's Advanced Settings will enable marketers to choose from two serving options: Optimize for clicks and Rotate ads more evenly. Ads continue to serve based on chosen settings without time restrictions.

Ping Jen, product manager at Microsoft, explains that marketers can adjust bids and budget to compensate ad copy with lower click-through rates (CTRs). Current bids and budget are based on the performance of existing ad copy. Measuring the performance of test ads means allocating additional funds to mitigate this scenario and allow the new test ads to reach the same ad rank position.

Jen suggests comparing key performance indicators -- impressions, average position, CPC, spend, and conversion rates -- to track ad copy and optimization. Marketers can trace the performance of ad copies to keywords by including Ad ID in the KW Performance Report, he explains.

Campaign managers also should establish clear goals to justify testing costs that might rise because higher cost per clicks will likely apply to ad copy with a lower click-through rate. Jen suggests identifying top points related to budget, functions and services in the ad copy, prompting consumers to click through to a landing page. Develop a method to compare ad copy and track performance for ongoing ad rotation tests.

For Microsoft, the ad rotation tool could mean higher revenue per search; for search marketers, the ability to quickly test and swap out ads could increase return on investments.

Microsoft gained search market share in July, according to comScore. The increase in organic search shares will increase the amount that brands spend for paid search on the engine's network of sites. Microsoft took 15.7% market share for the month, up 0.1 percentage point, with 2.8 billion searches. Yahoo sites, which Microsoft supports through the alliance, took 13.0% market share with 2.3 billion searches.

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2 comments on "Microsoft adCenter Adds Ad Rotation".

  1. Frank Lee from DataPop
    commented on: August 16, 2012 at 3:31 p.m.
    Finally Microsoft is providing this feature! Equal rotation is a critical piece to ad testing so that you can effectively understand the contribution each ad has against ROAS and total sales. While I agree with Ping that marketers should establish clear goals in ad testing, i disagree that you need to justify testing costs if CPCs go up due to lower CTRs. I've seen time and time again that if you develop the right message that improves conversion rates, you might have lower CTRs (since you could filter out non-relevant users). Even if CPCs go up, your bottom line could improve since you have the right message in the marketplace to drive sales. Equal rotation has been a critical feature that allows us to drive more spend (and returns) on Google since keyword-to-ad relevance is so critical to campaign optimization. Providing the ability to test and get the right message out there is the biggest lever in campaign management. Better late than never... thanks Microsoft! -frank lee
  2. Erik Ford from Kaizen
    commented on: August 16, 2012 at 3:48 p.m.
    This is great news for those that want to leverage ad optimization platforms like BoostCTR to maximize ad copy alignment, gain CPC efficiencies, drive higher quality scores and more. Having an open system will only further level the playing field for Microsoft / AdCenter and it's ability to provide superior data to help support advertisers' quest for effectiveness.

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