The Microsoft Adcenter Beta Excel 2007 Add-In Tool

I attended the MSN webinar this week that gave a demo and some background behind Microsoft Adcenter’s latest research tool: The Excel Add-In called “Ad-Intelligence”.  Basically, this is another keyword (KW) research tool.

It’s got a lot of the functionality of Google’s KW research tool in the User Interface (UI), and same stuff as some other independent KW research tools, plus some additional stuff only MSN can provide.  You’ll probably just want to test this out for yourself, so I have provided the appropriate links below.  If you want to hear my initial reaction, read on.

If you want to get this tool, you will find it here:
http://advertising.microsoft.com/advertising/adcenter_addin

If you want to comment or read other comments from people on this tool go here:
http://forums.microsoft.com/AdCenter/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=2017&SiteID=44

My reaction:
Okay, yes, it is a fully functional beta version that does provide some value but when the heck am I going to get a total row in the MSN Adcenter UI? Sorry could not resist to complain about that on the blog just one time.  Seriously though, the tool is pretty cool.

Here is what I like:

-The tool is free
(if you have at least one account already with Adcenter but if you don’t have Excel 2007 you will have to upgrade after their 60 day trial offer or wait to see if they create a version for Excel 2003 later)

-The data is real-time

-It’s easy to get recommended KWs extracted from your landing page

-It’s easy to further expand those KWs, with a full expansion, or by selecting that you want to have a root word(s) in the expansion KW.

-I like working in Excel
(Being able to easily sort and copy paste this information to where ever I want it like into a new adgroup in Adcenter, or an expansion recommendation email to a client, or another engine etc is a time saver, even if it is only 20 seconds)

-You are able to see some geography and demographic skews for keyword searched
(based on Passport/Live user info)

-It provides average CPC and click predictions by keyword for varying positions and by different match type too.
(This is average CPC, not actual, to protect advertisers)

-It has the ability to see historical and forecasted monthly and daily volume by KW (interesting, might not be accurate but it is interesting)

-There is a feature that allows you to select a category and see what KWs are highest in volume and/or what are KWs that have had an unusual spike recently

What I don’t like:
-It’s MSN data, so because of the low volume of impressions on Microsoft for some of my B to B clients some of the keywords don’t have much data yet.  The engine is still growing, but the data just is not there yet for every client.

-This is not available to all excel users (2007 only).  It feels like a convenient sales channel, but if you read their blog  (above) they do state this tool will eventually be in the UI and may be available to 2003 users at some point.

I still need to get more experience using the tool, have only played around, but have not used it for an active client project.  I’ll let you know about my experience later.  Likely, when I do that, I will compare it to the results I get from my usual KW research tool.  In the meantime, please feel free to tell my your experience!

PS to Jeff:  This is NOT MSN’s rumored “Editor” tool.  They say they are still working on that and I have our name in the queue to be a beta user for that when/if it is released.

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