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The MSN Ad Excellence Accreditation Test – Could you Pass it?

October usually is the time of year PPC managers & optimisers choose to start studying to pass their tests with the different networks (Google, Yahoo, MSN), as the Google Accreditation is valid for one year, from that month onwards… so it’s not officially revision month, but I have just passed the MSN Ad Excellence Test with flying colours (just under 90%), and thought I d let you guys know about a few tips and tricks you should know before passing the test.

PPC Hero also has a good guide on the different tests, but it’s becoming a little out dated. Kudos though!

MSN AdExcellence Members

MSN Test:
1 Hour
100 Questions
(1.6 a minute)

MSN Ad Excellence vs. Google AdWords Accreditation:

First of all, you really have to understand that the Google and MSN tests are very different – you might think “d’uh!”, but I have chatted with many PPC ‘esperts’ who believe that if you pass the Google test, the MSN one will be fine… Wrong! It’s not because Google leads the market that their test is harder! Quite the opposite actually: as Search Marketers run more campaigns on Google than MSN, they easily forget that MSN has many features that Google does not offer, and therefore test questions!

What to Look out for:

Therefore look out for questions asking you about the Dynamic Keyword Insertions as MSN has many more than Google: {param1} and {param2} placeholders, the {keyword} insertion tool (different to Google, spot the difference), and the Credit Card billing cycle. I got caught out on that one, as we don’t use credit cards for MSN…

Where to revise for your test:

The Ad Excellence Classroom is a place where you can go revise your test (or simply train your trainees on) which I would say is on equal foot with Google’s Revision Center as it offers the ability to view the lessons in flash etc. Make sure you go through each lecture at least once, as I believe most of the questions are drawn from there, although you can’t do the test if you have not had exposure with real campaigns.

Why its important to pass the test:

MSN has made some huge improvements in the past 6-12 months. Their interface has improved, their customer service is great, and their AdCenter lab tools are really useful if used in the right way, as they can give you info you’ll find nowhere else (keyword’s commercial intent, demographic prediction…). We have recently tested some client campaigns on MSN, using Google’s best performing keywords & ads, and my oh my my esteem for MSN has gone up ten fold.

Any self-respecting PPC manager/optimiser knows that if you’re not an expert, you’re nothing. Passing your accreditations on all the networks ensures you are one, and will enable you to generate great ROI for your clients

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No Comments
  • Simon on May 6, 2008

    LOL. Thanks for the kind words. I think most top flight agencies are going to be using hand rolled tools. Commercial software just doesn’t give the flexibility, the added value or the competitive advantage.
    That applies to ranking tools certainly as well I would think.

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