Microsoft Adcenter - A beginner's guide to Microsoft Pay per click

As most of us are aware, Pay per Click (PPC) search engine marketing is an advertising strategy where you, as an advertiser, pay a search engine every time a potential customer clicks on your ad. These ads appear either on search engine results pages or on sites within a search engine's network of partners. The growth of the search industry worldwide has resulted in a big market for paid search advertising and hence most search engines have developed some type of PPC related, of course, to performance.

To appear in the PPC results, advertisers sign up for the PPC program and create short text ads, image ads or videos describing their product or services shown on their site in a way that will tempt searchers to visit it. While setting up the program, an advertiser will determine which trigger keywords/phrases they wish to bid on and how much they are willing to pay when a visitor clicks on their ad.



If you study at a search engine results page (SERP), you will be able to distinguish between search results that are regular organic search listings and PPC search results which are actually paid advertisements. These paid ones are generally listed under "sponsored results" or "featured listings" and consist of specially designed text, image or video ads that are triggered to display when your target keywords are used in a search query.

Microsoft AdCenter (formerly MSN adCenter) has brought out the latest PPC. Microsoft adCenter is the division of the MSN entrusted with the task of providing Pay Per Click advertisements. Microsoft has joined the Big Three league the other two being Google and Yahoo - develop its own system for delivering PPC ads.

Strictly speaking, Microsoft is not a stranger tp PPC as till recently, all of the Microsoft ads displayed on the MSN search engine were supplied by Overture and later Yahoo!. MSN claimed a percentage of the ad revenue in return for displaying Yahoo!'s ads on its search engine. As search marketing expanded and presented great opportunities, Microsoft has now developed its own system, Microsoft adCenter, for selling PPC advertisements directly to advertisers.

Microsoft adCenter lets you to offer bids for keywords or phrases you associate with your ads (See this : http://advertising.microsoft.com/wwdocs/user/en-us/adexcellence/flash/18_Bidding/index.html). This bid is the maximum amount you are willing to pay if any user searches for one of your keywords and clicks your ad. You can also increase your bid if you wish to reach specific audience target that fits your buyer profile. Generally, the higher the bid, the more likely their ad will show above their competitor's

It is good to know that Microsoft sets store on the ability to build brand awareness with their PPC program, permitting the continued exposure of your brand to a wider audience, regardless how many clicks your ad attracts. This is an important feature of most PPC programs though Google or Yahoo is reluctant to use this strategy.

Borrowing ideas from Google adWords, Microsoft adCenter avails the maximum amount an advertiser is willing to pay per click as well as the advertisement's click through rate (CTR) to determine how frequently an advertisement is shown. This dual operation is said to encourage advertisers to write effective ads and makes them advertise only on searches which are relevant to their advertisement.

Microsoft adCenter lets advertisers to target their ads by restricting their ads to a given set of locations. Similarly, adCenter allows advertisers to run their ads on select days of the week or at specific hours of day.

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