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Performance insights and other key March product updates

Welcome to the March product round-up from Microsoft Advertising. As we shared in the February update, these posts are now coming to our blog on the first Tuesday of every month, so mark your calendar if you want to get the latest in what’s new, and what’s coming to the platform! Some select announcements will still arrive separately from this round-up in their own posts, but we’ll make sure to recap anything you may have missed from the past month with a link.

On to the product updates!

This month’s top story: Get to the root of issues at the account level with performance insights

There are few things as frustrating as seeing an unexpected spike or dip in traffic, and then having to spend precious minutes or hours running reports and analyzing data just to understand what caused your account’s performance to change so drastically. That’s why we’re excited to share new performance insights now at the account level, so now you can get insights when a change seems out of the ordinary, telling you why that spike or dip may have occurred, and how you can take action.

Product view of the performance insights pop-up window.
Get notifications on how your account performance changed, what may have happened, and what you can do.

These insights are now available as an Overview tile as well as the Account Summary page and are currently just available for search campaigns.

Responsive Search Ads became the new default ad type in January

Proven to drive more qualified traffic to your website and alleviate the time-consuming operations of ad copy creation and testing, we updated the default ad type for new ad copy creation in Microsoft Advertising online to Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) in January. They continue to drive stellar performance: from recent aggregate data across all advertisers who have adopted RSAs, they had achieved a 14% increase in conversions and clicks, complemented by a 2% increase in conversion rate (CVR), with a consistent cost per acquisition (CPA). While you still have the option to also create Expanded Text Ads, we recommend including RSAs in your ad copy mix to significantly improve your performance.

Build a free website for your business in Digital Marketing Center

Just last week, we announced an exciting new service to help enable small businesses who are currently without websites to get set up with an online presence. Now, by importing your information from a Facebook page or an existing advertising campaign, any small business can get a website and then also start advertising with Digital Marketing Center! Learn more about the steps on our post Build a free website for your business in Digital Marketing Center.

Up level your bidding practice with Enhanced Manual Bidding

Earlier in February, we also announced how we’ll be infusing more automation into Microsoft Advertising bidding, starting now and going into April. This Enhanced Manual Bidding will allow you to get real-time responsiveness and flexibility in your bidding practices and help you boost performance.

Final reminder: Average position being removed from performance reporting

At the end of this month (March 31), we’ll be removing average position from performance reporting so you can focus on the prominence metrics that matter most. If you want to test new logic with your automated bidding strategies and the prominence metrics now available, this is a great time to do that!

Product image showing the average position column to be removed in the performance reporting window.
The average position (Avg. pos.) column will be removed.

Product image showing the performance reporting window with prominence metrics, now available to all advertisers.
Prominence metrics are now available to all advertisers.

Now rolling out: Get more creative control over your dynamic search ads with static headlines

Finally, Microsoft Advertising is now in the middle of rolling out the ability for advertisers to use static headlines on your dynamic search ads (DSAs). This is an exciting new capability unique to Microsoft Advertising that will grant you full creative control over the messages you have in your DSAs, while still leveraging the discovery power of matching to new and unique queries.

Currently, the only way to add static headlines to your DSAs is through a page feed. Look out for another blog post later this month with more details.

What’s to come

Target impression share is still being worked on, but here are some other announcements to look for in the coming weeks:

  • Coming in another blog announcement later this month, Smart Campaigns is the latest AI-powered feature to help small businesses manage their search advertising campaigns on the Microsoft Advertising platform. Designed to get even the smallest of small businesses up and running with their search ads in a matter of minutes, the Smart Campaigns automated campaign optimization is built in to continually improve your ad performance and business results.
  • For retailers: The Microsoft Advertising app for Shopify makes it easy for Shopify merchants to integrate their online store with shopping campaigns that appear across the entire Microsoft Search Network. Soon, Smart Shopping from Microsoft Advertising will be integrated into that app, allowing you to automatically optimize shopping campaigns to target users who are more likely to convert at higher revenue values.
  • For Responsive Search Ads, you’ll soon be able to dynamically customize this ad type with Countdown customizers, combining the power of RSA automated optimizations to serve the right message at the right time, with new countdowns to your key moments like sales and online events.
  • Finally, another capability in the works is Portfolio Bidding. You’ll soon be able to organize your automated bidding strategies more efficiently by assigning different campaigns within an account to share strategies. This new technique to come can help you better optimize your campaigns collectively towards your performance goals.

That’s all for now — be sure to check out our latest episode of The Download and stay tuned for more updates in the future!

Help us improve Microsoft Advertising

Your comments and feedback are integral to our ongoing efforts to shape and improve our product. For any questions or feedback, please reach out to your Microsoft Advertising account manager, or send us an email at You can also interact with us on Twitter or suggest a feature on Microsoft Advertising Feature Suggestions.