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We have been doing a lot of pay-per-click campaign management that spans all three major search engines: Google, Yahoo, and MSN. We’ve always done Google, but with the newness of the Yahoo and MSN ad interfaces, it has given us the opportunity to learn some new things. Of the three, MSN has the nicest interface. You’re probably going to be shocked to hear this, but it has some bugs (WHAT? Microsoft release something with some bugs?), but they are fairly minor.

One feature of Microsoft adCenter we really like is its keyword research tool. To access it, after logging in to adCenter, just click the Research tab on the main menu. You can then have Microsoft generate a list of keywords based on a single keyword, or based on a URL. The returned keywords are sorted by the number of searches performed for each keyword in the previous month. You can generate keywords that contain the specified keyword, or that are similar to the specified keyword.

But what really sets the MSN keyword generation tool apart from other similar tools is its ability to generate a demographic profile for a set of keywords.

Here is an example:

Let’s say you are in the business of copywriting. Typing “copywriting service” in the search box returns the following results (in the “Contains Term” box) in order of previous month’s searches:

seo copywriting service
copywriting service
website copywriting service
copywriting service web
complete copywriting service

This in itself is interesting data, because we can see that more people are searching on MSN for copywriting services related to search engine optimization than anything else.

If we select each of the keywords and then click “View Profile”, MSN generates a tabbed box of charts, divided into five sections:

Traffic Trends
Age and Gender
Wealth Index

Below is a screenshot of the chart displayed if we click the Geography tab.

Very interesting. We would have expected cities like New York and Chicago to appear high on the list, but they are nowhere to be found. By far, the number one geographical location for MSN searchers searching for copywriting services is London. So what does this mean? Well, you don’t want to draw any wild conclusions, but it looks like if you could get your marketing message to web sites and forums based in or focusing on the U.K., you might find yourself a very active market. This information is also useful in targeting specific cities with your pay-per-click ads.

The above demonstration is just a simple example, but we suggest that you give it a try and see what insites you can glean about your target market.

For help running an effective pay-per-click campaign for your business, contact Work Media at 888-299-4827 or email Info@WorkMedia.net.