Click Through Reads #61: Microsoft Ad Tools, Amazon Stealing Conversions

Hello Click-Through-Readers! 

Who likes discounts while shopping? Or, more likely, who checks Amazon for better prices and product reviews before purchasing? According to a new UK study, 43% percent of us do. This poses a concern as advertisers lose bottom funnel conversions to this conglomerate. 

Google is testing bold text in search ad descriptions, but they're keeping it hush hush as no official update has been released yet. You tell us, is the bold text grabbing your attention?

Microsoft Ads is also playing with fonts in their new Ad Creator rollout. Easily edit and transform your creatives without back and forth communication between teams. They also released a new ad format for professionals. 

…As professionals do, let’s get into the news!

Microsoft Ads Announces New Ad Format for Professionals

Microsoft Ads rolled out a new beta available to the U.S. and Canada, called Professional Services Ads. The hope is to better connect consumers to professionals with the intent of these ads getting consumers through the marketing funnel faster by connecting them directly with information about a client’s service agent or advisors. 

These new ads are dynamically generated, based on the data you specify on a feed file that contains your business’ data (i.e plan type, organization category, URLs), and doesn’t require keywords. You could also promote a specific branch or even your national company. The more information that’s provided on the feed, the more it will show up in the ads. In the short amount of time that Professional Service Ads have been running, advertisers have seen CVRs increase by about 60% compared to regular text ads, and CPAs decrease by about 67% compared to overall campaign performance.

Additional Information about Professional Service Ads:

  • Show up on the right side of Bing search results page
  • Professional Service Ads auction is separate from regular text ad auction (you can participate in both auctions)
  • CPC based

Screenshot of Microsoft Ad's Professional Services auction - for Insurance services, real estate services, and tax services.

Screenshot of Microsoft Ad's Professional Services auction - for local, regional, or national companies


Microsoft Advertising Ad Creator

Microsoft Advertising released a new Ad Creator that makes finding relevant creative for your company/clients easier than ever. Microsoft’s new feature differentiates your brand from the competition by pulling a collection of relevant images directly from your website. Ad Creator offers image recommendations to help you modify the look and feel of your ads, without calling in the design team or using any subscription based design services. Simple image editing tools allow for quick and meaningful edits with designer effects such as cropping, filters, background blur and color. 

As marketers already know, images greatly help communicate your product or service to a customer. According to research firm Kantar, content with imagery results in 50% more recall. Additionally, ads with visuals lead to more engagement, with 7% higher click-through rates on ads.


Screenshot of Microsoft Advertising Ad Creator

Is Amazon Eating Up Your Hard Earned Conversions?

It’s no secret that Amazon has been a huge player in the ecommerce space for years now.  A new study conducted in the UK suggests that 43% of users abandon cart at checkout on brands’ websites and to research and complete their purchase on Amazon. 

This shows that consumer purchase behavior is changing: People are spending more time researching products and all of their options before finalizing a purchase—especially for larger ticket items. More and more people are discovering products through paid channels, visiting alternative websites to explore & learn about the product options, and then using those sites as stepping stones to make a purchase elsewhere. 

The research from the study indicates that brands are frequently losing customers at the last step, with many abandoning their cart at the last moment to see if items are available for cheaper elsewhere (65%), like on Amazon (43%), and finalizing their purchase there instead.

This poses a challenge for brands to correctly attribute credit back to channels that brought users into the funnel initially. Once users leave the brand’s website and go to Amazon to purchase, that tracking is lost.

Google is Testing Bolding Domain URLs in Search Ads

As there doesn’t appear to be an official Google page explaining this update, this is likely one of those features that Google is quietly testing without officially telling anyone, gathering data and seeing if it improves ad performance, and then roll out if they see it. 

Perform a search and you will see the bolded domain URLs appear for the ad’s results. It will be interesting to watch if engagement levels on our search ads see a noticeable increase or not.

In the search ad descriptions, Google has been automatically putting words in bold if they match the searched keyword. Putting the domain URLs in bold, in theory, should help users more quickly and easily see where they will land if they click on an ad, and also reduce accidental ad clicks. 

Screenshot of Google Ad results with bolded terms in the description


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