Microsoft Ads (MSA) paid search accounts can play a valuable part in your paid search strategy. While smaller than Google, advertisers often find that the traffic from MSA converts well into leads and purchases, with a higher than average conversion rate, and is oftentimes cheaper than the traffic or leads from Google, with less competition and lower CPCs.
Including this platform as part of your strategy also helps to reduce your reliance on Google advertising. How much it will reduce your reliance will depend on the country/region you’re advertising in, but is important now more than ever given the changes that Google continues to roll out across Google Ads.
MSA also has some great features of its own. The inclusion of targeting by LinkedIn industry and job function provide a powerful opportunity for advertisers to really tighten their targeting and reduce wasted spend. It also affords excellent testing and learning opportunities that can then inform your strategy across other channels.
And finally, there is the fact that all search query data is still available in the search query report. Since Google Ads has reduced the visibility of search queries, this data is valuable not just for optimising your MSA account but also your Google Ads campaigns.
A few things to watch out for with MSA
The incremental opportunity that comes with MSA is excellent but there are a few common things to watch out for.
- MSA requires time to implement and optimise. Given how incremental the traffic and revenue can be, this can make the platform unsustainable for agencies - the hours spent on optimising these campaigns don’t result in enough additional revenue.
- MSA’s suite of automated bidding strategies are not yet as advanced as those in Google Ads, so manual bidding may still be required for your keywords.
- MSA’s query matching can be a little more lenient than Google’s, with phrase and broad match keywords being matched with search terms that are perhaps a little less relevant than you’d like.
Workflows to help
The opportunity is there with MSA so don’t let those 3 areas stop you! With PPC Samurai workflows, you can automate the manual tasks and make the platform profitable, create controlled bidding strategies that simulate target CPA/ROAS, and quickly perform and take action on deep-dive search query analysis.
To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of some key workflows to test out:
1. Automate your ongoing optimisation and account hygiene:
- Know immediately if your account has stopped serving: [Daily] Account has stopped serving v1
- Know immediately if there has been a drop in impressions for best converting search queries: [Daily] Drop in impressions for best converting SQs
- Identify a spike in impressions for search queries you have not seen before: [Daily] Spike in impressions for search queries you have not seen before
- Identify duplicate keywords with the same match type: [Weekly] Identify duplicate keywords with the same match type v1
- Know when there has been a spike in CPC: [Daily] Spike in CPC v1
- BMM/Exact strategy - the full BMM/Exact suite of workflows is also available for MSA, so you can automatically build a best practice campaign structure quickly. Not familiar with the BMM/Exact strategy? You’re gonna love it - click here for more info.
- Add negative keywords to ensure traffic is being delivered to the correct ad group: [Weekly] Sculpt at account level: Use exact match negatives to sculpt search traffic to the correct exact match keyword v1
- Resolve negative keyword conflicts in your account: [Weekly] Resolve exact & phrase match negative keyword conflicts v1
3.Automate your search query deep-dive analysis
- Reduce wasted spend and find high cost search queries that have not converted: [Weekly] Scan high cost + no converting SQs looking for negatives
- Find single words that have not converted: [Weekly] Scan single words looking for negatives v1
- Try out our suite of deep-dive search query workflows:
- [MSA] [Weekly] SQ Deep Dive: Bottom up - clicks > 2x target but no conversions v1
- [MSA] [Weekly] SQ Deep Dive: Bottom up - cost > 2x CPA but no conversions v1
- [MSA] [Weekly] SQ Deep Dive: Top Down - clicks > 2x target but no conversions v1
- [MSA] [Weekly] SQ Deep Dive: Top Down - cost > 2x CPA but no conversions v1
- Click here for more information on the Bottom Up workflows.
- Click here for more information on the Top Down workflows.