A few weeks ago I started using Microsoft adCenter when I became extremely frustrated with Google AdWords. AdWords would deliver impressions to a campaign one day and then nothing the day after that and so on. Between the strict guidelines, long wait times for ad approval and dealing with Google’s unpredictable “slaps” to your landing pages, I was fed up!
A friend recommended I give adCenter a try to see how I like it. The interface compared to AdWords isn’t that appealing, but at least it gets the job done. I signed up with adCenter and paid the one time $5.00 account set up fee (not sure why they charge it, but it’s only $5.) I set up a quick test campaign to see how it would perform and left it for 24 hours.
I came back 24 hours later and was a bit disappointed. I had a few thousand impressions and only three clicks! My daily budget was high enough ($100), but I only spent $0.87.
The second campaign on that page is one I created just before I took the screenshot, so don’t go by that one.
The good thing about adCenter is that they have a toll free support number you can call to speak with their staff. I called them up and asked how I could optimize my campaign. They logged into my account to give it a look over, as well as providing me with some tips.
This is what I was told:
- Don’t dump hundreds or thousands of keywords into a campaign like with AdWords. Keep it under 50 words and use the adCenter keyword tool only.
- Increase the monthly spending limit to about $500, but adjust the daily spending limit accordingly so you don’t spend $500 if you can’t afford to.
- Run search and content campaigns separately and use exact match and phrase for search only.
- Delete all keywords that have 0 impressions after 24 hours.
I was a little surprised when they said to only use the adCenter keyword tool, but once I figured out why, it made perfect sense. MSN Search doesn’t have the same kind of keyword data Google has and therefore does not have the volume for popular terms you may find by using software like PPC Spy and Keyword Elite for example. Using adCenter’s keyword tool brings up words that MSN Search finds, and thus making it more likely your campaign will succeed.
I took those tips and set up another campaign (the second one shown above.) Now I sit and wait to see if it’ll boost my CTR and eventually make me conversions.
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