We all know the feeling when we search for a product online, and we see a link to an advertisement that looks sort of fishy. To click on it, or not to click? Well, Microsoft Advertising is taking security measures to make sure the ads you see and click on are from verified advertisers and trusted sources.
Advertisers using Microsoft Ads will now be required to complete an identity verification process in order to enhance the customer experience by deterring any bad actors from showing an ad that may be a scam. A recent trend in the digital world is the ability for customers to easily purchase a product from an advertiser online, which in turn introduces the topic of discussion of digital payment fraud. Customers deserve to feel secure and safe when making a transaction online, which is exactly the experience Microsoft is going to provide to them.
Not to fret, advertisers! Microsoft has made this verification process simple and quick, so it won’t be a hassle to complete. Microsoft will send you, as an advertiser, an email to request identity verification. Simply follow the steps that are included in the email. Depending on your advertising business, you may be required to verify your status as a business, an individual, or both.
The tasks must be completed within 30 days that the email requesting identification was sent. Be aware that if you do not complete the verification tasks within that time frame, Microsoft will pause your account, causing your ads to not show on the advertising platform.
However, this does not mean that your account will permanently be paused; just complete the process as soon as possible, and Microsoft will begin showing your ads once the verification is complete and approved. The review and approval of your verification submission may take three to five business days.
Here are some other helpful tips to know when completing Microsoft’s identity verification process:
- Only a Super Admin owner of the account can apply for verification.
- You are only required to complete identity verification for the Microsoft Advertising accounts that Microsoft notifies you about. You can’t opt into other accounts for identity verification.
- You can currently apply for verification for one account at a time.
If you are interested in reading more about these guidelines or to gain a better understanding of how to verify as a business, an individual, or both, please see Microsoft’s Advertiser identity verification page.
So, advertisers, you’re probably wondering: What exactly will I have to provide to Microsoft, and how will this information be displayed to the end user?
Microsoft will require you to identify your business identity status (business, individual, or both). You will need to provide your business and/or individual name and your country of operation. To establish your legal identity, you will need to use government-issued, photograph-included personal identity or business-related documents issued by the appropriate regulatory authorities.
Once you have been approved of the verification process and your ads are shown on the SERP, end users will be able to see your business and/or individual name and operation country or region. This information will be available for viewing underneath your ad’s headline, where your URL is listed with a small drop-down arrow beside the URL. This is where customers will be able to see your verified credentials. Please see the image below for reference.
This new security measure is a step in the right direction toward improving customers’ trust in advertisers and, in return, will help your business pull in loyal customers who trust and appreciate your authenticity. The sooner that Microsoft advertisers start this identity verification process, the better off our advertising ecosystem will be.