Taking the Microsoft AdExcellence Exam Part 2

Continuing on with Part 2 of our 7 part series, I won’t dilly dally with details and like Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, we’re just going to jump right into our guide on taking the adExcellence exam, Getting Started.

Creating an Account (3:58)

This section is a quick overview on how to set up a MSN adCenter account and advises you to view the other tutorials that actually walk you through step by step on account creation. You have to enter billing information when starting a new account. The listed “benefit” of doing it this way is that you’ll be getting a full tour/view of what the adCenter interface is like and how to use it before completing sign up. Takeaway- be sure to have that credit card out and ready- because you won’t be able to save your progress and come back later. And of course, pay that $5 start up fee.

  • Other things to notate about this, during the set up you can send invitations to new users to be added to have access for your account including inviting an agency if you are being managed by one. You will need the agencies’ adCenter customer number and email address to invite them and they must be an admin on that account invited in.

Introduction to Campaigns and Ad Groups (3:59)

This section explains what the relationship is between a campaign and ad group using the travel industry as an example. Then again with a fake person and their toy store site- note that a campaign name cannot exceed 100 characters and that you must set a preferred time zone for the account before creating your first campaign.

  • Conversion tracking is introduced here as well, the benefits of it and that most importantly, that the time zone setting for the account can be overridden at the campaign level. So make sure when you set those campaign level time zones that they match up where needed.
  • Know the targeting setting options: geographic, days of the week, hours of the day, demographics (age, gender)
  • Set incremental bids- users are directed to see the targeting ads tutorial.
  • Users are encouraged to add negative keywords and webites
  • Ad Group names can be up to 60 characters long and have the ability to have start and end dates.

Choosing Keywords (3:03)

We start here with a definition of what keywords are and that the maximum length of a keywords is 100 characters.

  • A quick walkthrough on how to add or delete keywords.
  • Introduction to the keyword tools offered by adCenter. Specifically how to generate keywords through the keywords tab and “add to keywords” list feature.
  • Search by Keywords tools where you can search by URL or keywords. Then sort by number of searches, CTR, average CPC and click on the individual keywords to add to your list.
  • Match types and bidding are stated to be covered elsewhere in the training materials.
  • Additional tools mentioned: preview tool, desktop editor, Excel plugin and adCenter labs.

Introducing Dynamic Text (3:05)

This section explains what dynamic text is and the parameters like character limits and adding default text. This is one of the few sections you should watch in it’s entirety.

  • If your ad/keyword list is going to exceed character limits and you did not set appropriate default text, you’ll see warning about this in the user interface under the status column.
  • To add dynamic text, just click “add dynamic text” and select which type and add defaults. Know what the difference is between keyword and param 1, 2, and 3 are and how to enter them with defaults into the user interface.
  • Always put good default text in for either option.
  • Adding {keyword} even if you add capitalization like {Keyword} won’t make it show in caps. It’ll be all lowercase unless the keyword itself is capitalized in the keyword list like “Ford.” Don’t forget that this populates with a specific keyword from your list- unlike param.
  • Param will populate with what the user actually typed in. If the query is too long, it’ll populate with the default text.

Writing an Effective Ad (5:12)

This section goes over the ad section and components.

  • Text ads: 25 characters for headline, 70 for the body, 35 for the display URL and 1,022 for the destination URL.
  • Mobile ads: 18 headline, 18 body, 10 for the phone number and 20 for the business name.
  • No profanity, misleading or trademark violations- go read the Editorial Guidelines section again, it’s just a re-hash of that.
  • Stressing how the ads need to be relevant, specific and use action words. Highlight benefits, features.
  • Ads “shouldn’t” use superlatives or sales language.
  • You will not be notified via email of approved or disapproved statuses of ads.

Importing Campaigns, Ads & Keywords (2:39)

Walks you through using the “easy campaign import wizard” from the dashboard go to the tools page.

  • Click browse to see the supported file formats: Yahoo Web UI Export, Google AdWords Editor Export, Google AdWords Performance Report, adCenter Desktop Editor Export and the adCenter Web UI Import Template.
  • Know that the file formats accepted for import are CSV and XLS.
  • Download the supported file format and confirming matching, validate the columns and run a “compatibility check” with the import wizard. If there are errors you can fix them now, import or later there’s the “resolve issues” screen where you can fix issues, modify and apply based on what is in the error field descriptions. This is all dependent on how screwed up (or not) your import is turning out to be.
  • There are required fields for time zone, campaign and monthly budget when importing campaigns.
  • If importing ads, use the Excel template and make sure the ad info is not only correct, but in the correct order. (Ad title, ad text, display URL, destination URL.)
  • If importing keywords, again use the Excel template file so that the required fields are there and in the right order (keyword, excluded keywords, match type, destination URL and dynamic text.)

That’s it for part 2- stay tuned for part 3: Targeting!

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