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Microsoft’s New Features Will Improve its SEM Platform for Advertisers

Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) has numerous advances in the works to improve functionality for both searchers and advertisers. These changes may have a big impact, considering the Microsoft Advertising network controls the search inventory for Bing, Yahoo, and AOL, which surmounts 5 billion monthly desktop searches and holds a 35% share of the US search market. These advances include new parallel tracking, the ability to add a final URL suffix, custom parameter expansion, and a new recommendations tab which are discussed in further detail below.

Parallel Tracking: With this feature, Microsoft Advertising is matching Google Ads, which began using parallel tracking almost a year ago. This feature will allow searchers to move directly to their desired landing page, while advertisers simultaneously track the searchers’ clicking behaviors in the background. Previously, Microsoft Advertising had these functions running on the same page, which is referred to as sequential tracking. The issue with sequential tracking is that it goes through a lot of redirecting, which created longer loading times for searchers. This caused frustrated searchers to leave pages before they fully loaded, resulting in a wasted click and money out the door for advertisers. Parallel tracking will minimize long loading times and frustrated searchers, and will in turn, create better results for advertisers.

Final URL Suffix: This feature will allow advertisers to better track searchers after they click on an ad. With a final URL suffix, advertisers can place parameters on their landing pages to track specific user behaviors, including where a user’s mouse hovers on the pages of a site and where on the page users are clicking. Another bonus to this feature is that it simplifies the process for advertisers; they will no longer have to worry about embedding the tracking coding on every page – the final URL suffix will do all the work for them.

Custom Parameter Expansion: Microsoft Advertising will also allow advertisers to create up to eight pairs of custom parameters with each field having a character limit of up to 250 characters. This feature will allow advertisers to better tailor their ads to searchers based upon their online behaviors. For example, an advertiser can have a custom parameter in their campaign to only have their ads displayed in certain geographical areas. This expansion of custom parameters should permit advertisers to have a higher chance of developing effective search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns that reach their specific target audiences.

Recommendations Tab: Microsoft Advertising has also launched a ‘new recommendations’ tab to help advertisers improve the performance of their campaigns. This tab shows advertisers various ways they can increase the effectiveness of their ads, including proper budgeting, proposing the use of new features (like the ones mentioned above), and better use of existing features. This tab can be a highly helpful tool for those who are new to Microsoft Advertising and SEM by showing them how to use the platform effectively.

These four new features will increase the functionality of Microsoft Advertising, and could make the platform a viable option for digital advertisers along with Google Ads (formerly AdWords). The changes may make a big difference on the platform and provide advertisers with higher preforming SEM campaigns, and ultimately, put more money in their pockets. These advances are currently in beta but are expected to be rolled out within the next few months.


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