If you’re in love with search query reports as much as I am, I’ve got some good news for you. As part of their Fall 2009 upgrade, MSN has (finally) added search query report functionality to their pay per click advertising platform. Sure, you’ve probably been using something like a detailed search query report in Google Analytics to get this information, but it certainly couldn’t hurt to get the data straight from the source.
Running the report is super easy. Just go to to your “Reports” tab in MSN AdCenter and create a new report. Under the “Report:” drop-down, you’ll see a new option for “Search Query Performance.” Choose this option, and customize the rest of your report as necessary. Once you run it, you’ll get data on the exact search queries your MSN users are typing in when they see your PPC ads. You can then use this data to pick out negative keywords to filter out bad traffic, as well as get some insights into some keywords you might not be using already. I find that search query reports are a great way to get insight into your target customer’s heads with minimal effort on your part. This is especially important in a search engine like MSN/Bing, where it’s tough to get a lot of traffic, since Google and Yahoo tend to monopolize the search engine audience. You can leverage your search query report data to figure out new keywords that will effectively drive more traffic to your landing pages.
I know MSN is a little late to the game on this, but I give them points for trying. Yahoo still hides their search query reports behind the wall of their account reps, so you can’t even get this information without a huge hassle from them. Now if only MSN would freely offer up search query data within the campaign screens like Google does, we might start to see MSN competing on equal terms with the big boys.