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If you think that Bing Ads is just small advertising potatoes that you don’t have time for, you could be missing out on some low-hanging fruit in your digital marketing endeavors. In this 22 point guide, we will explain the features and benefits of Bing Ads that will help you dominate this niche – but very relevant – ad space.
The Bing search engine does not compare to the Google search engine, but then again, what does compare to Google search? Coming in second to Google is not nothing, that’s for sure. If your SEM agency isn’t hip to advertising on Bing, then you may want to find a new one.
If we are to believe Bing’s numbers, that there are 66 million unique searchers that are not reached on the Google network.
Also, with so many people having the mindset that Bing is not worth using, there is less competition, and thus, a better ROI to be had by advertising on this network. The CPC (cost-per-click) numbers comparing Google and Bing back this up.
Microsoft owns Bing, as well as AOL and Yahoo, so these are the networks where your Bing Ads will show. Yes, people still actually use all of these networks – again, 66 million people. That’s around one-fifth of the population of the United States!
If your target audience is worldwide, then Bing Ads should be a consideration based on the data above. Also, if you’re looking to target married and older people, Bing is for you! Indeed, Bing has 7% of the world’s market share in search.
Also according to Bing, the average household income of one third of its users is over $100K. That’s a lot of money waiting to get spent!
So, what are you waiting for? Create an account, and let’s get started!
Here is how ads look like on the Bing platform; they do not look too different from Google Ads. Yes, there’s even shopping ads, which we will get to at the end of this article.
Bing recognizes the dominance of Google, and makes it easy to use their platform by simply importing your Google Ads campaigns directly into their platform. This is what a lot of advertisers do, but it is not always the best way to start campaigns, because there are some differences in how the Bing platform runs search ads. However, if you’re just looking to get something going with the least amount of time spent digging into the nuances of Bing, this is a actually a really great option.
There are a few differences when importing campaigns from Google, such as how ad scheduling is done, targeting demographics, character limits on ads (Bing allows 71 characters in their description), and differences in negative keywords (Bing doesn’t allow negative broad).
Bing also allows you to use the same sitelink multiple times, instead of having a unique URL per site link, which allows you to use your best performing landing page for multiple site links if you wish.
Just like with Google, choosing the most appropriate keywords related to your business is one of the most important steps in creating campaigns within Bing.
Via Neil Patel
Bing’s ‘Keyword Planner’ is very similar to Google Ads’ Keyword Planner. Is it worth it to research specific keywords for Bing Ads – that might differ slightly from you Google campaigns – with minimal lift in performance based on the extra work? I can see the argument for either side.
You’ll want to balance your time and money to determine what’s best for your organization.
Choose your location, budget, and campaign name. Simple enough.
Segmentation of campaigns by offers and landing pages is crucial for PPC success. The more granular and the more control you want over your keyword targeted campaigns, the more you will want to shift towards a Single Keyword Ad Group (SKAG) structure within the campaign.
Just like Google, Bing has a quality score component that rewards relevance, too. This means making your ads as relevant as possible to your targeted keywords is of the utmost importance, which inevitably means including the keywords you are targeting within your ads.
You’ll also want to speak to the intent of your keywords within the ad. All of this is made much easier by making your keyword ad groups more granular.
However, there is always a balance needed with the time and resources you have available to manage your ads and making the required granular changes to your campaigns and ad groups. If you don’t have these resources, then grouping similar keywords into tightly formed ad groups will be your next best bet.
Don’t get out of hand grouping too many keywords into your ad groups. I would stay under ten keywords per ad group, unless they are very closely related in intent and words, so that you can easily show ad copy that is relevant for all of the keywords.
Creating an effective ad on Bing is similar to creating an effective ad anywhere else in the pay-per-click world. Here is what it looks like when you’re creating ads on Bing.
You want to create multiple ads per ad group. First of all, you don’t want ad fatigue happening to your ads. Secondly, you want to always be testing different ads to incrementally increase the performance.
Be sure to list the unique selling points (USPs) of your product or service. In other words, you have to list the benefit(s) that you’re giving the user.
Prequalify your visitors with wording that accurately describes your product. At the risk of weeding out some users, clearly state what your business is about. This is similar to the previous point. While you might be excluding some relevant traffic, the more qualified the traffic is due to their specific interest in your unique selling point, the more likely they are to convert – which is, after all, the whole point of these campaigns.
Finally, you don’t want to forget your call-to-action (CTA). This is one of the most important aspects to ad copy, landing page relevance, and conversion rate optimization. This is the knockout punch of your ad.
What do you want the user to do? Whether its ‘Get a Free Trial’ or ‘Sign Up for Exclusive Information’ or ‘Purchase This Limited Time Offer’, you need to make it clear to the user what is going to happen when they click on the ad. This also prequalifies them, because if they aren’t interested, they shouldn’t want to click on the ad; if they are interested, you have the perfect landing page waiting for them that will allow them to perform the call-to-action as easily as possible. Expectations and execution are crucial.
As of August 2017, Bing no longer allows you to create or edit Standard Ads. While you can still run Standard Ads, they encourage you to update them to Expanded Text Ads.
Ad extensions on Bing are similar to Google’s ad extensions in that they give your ad more ‘real-estate’. This means they take up more space – which is a good thing for your ad! The more space your ad takes up, the more salient your ad will be and the more likely it is that your ad is seen and clicked on.
Because of this, you’ll want to employ as many of these as possible (that are relevant to your business) to improve the CTR of your ad.
Some of the ad extensions that Bing has are similar to Google’s, like:
Straight from Bing themselves: “Providing extension data allows our algorithms to evaluate all the possible layouts for your ad. It increases the chances of additional space being allocated and increasing clicks for your ad.”
We won’t go through a lot of the ad extensions here, except to say that you need to use as many as you possibly can.
Image extensions are a unique offering Bing has for advertisers that aren’t advertising products on Bing Shopping. Find a relevant image and use it, but don’t go overboard trying to find relevant images if there aren’t any for your product as they’ll just distract instead of encouraging a click.
Review extensions are like testimonials that allow third party endorsements and these – just like landing page testimonials – can build credibility that can push a user over the threshold to take action.
Bing has introduced price extensions that are available on both desktop and mobile (as opposed to Google, which only currently allows them on mobile).
If you use price extensions, make sure the prices are the same ones as on the landing page you’re taking the user to. The landing page can be a 3rd party seller, like Amazon or Walmart, or they can be imported from Google campaigns.
Here’s what they look like:
Via Search Engine Land
One key difference between Bing and Google is Bing’s use of social extensions. This can go a long way to raising brand awareness as an auxiliary goal connected to all of your ads.
Via Search Engine Land
Call extensions are a must if you’re a business that gains any values from phone calls to your business.
There are even hacks to create call-only ads on Bing, because currently they don’t allow the familiar format that is available on Google.
This includes creating a mobile only campaign and setting it up to show only the mobile phone extension, which precludes your website link from showing. You also need to go to ‘Advanced Settings’ to bid down desktop and tablets 100%.
Don’t forget to schedule your campaign to only run during business hours. While you will be sacrificing valuable Skype calls from desktop, it is worth it to narrow down the intent of an ad to be call-only as it forces the user to make that conversion alone – which again, is super valuable to your business!
Finally, you’ll only want to run on the highest intent keywords for this campaign to maximize conversion rate, so make sure your keyword research and ad group keywords are tight.
Bing Dynamic Search Ads are Ideal for businesses with a lot of products or services. For example, Ecommerce businesses would be great because they usually have many different products they are selling.
These ads are aimed at dynamically targeting search queries based on the content of your website.
Via Search Engine Journal
By using Dynamic Ads, you can not only increase CTR, but you can take users to the most relevant landing pages that match up with your ads. Talk about relevance!
If you have product or service categories with many sub-categories or niches, Dynamic Search Ads are great at providing more relevant ad copy to the user, thus increasing CTR.
You can easily set up Dynamic Search Ads on Bing. Dynamic Ads are also easily adjustable, and Bing consistently scans your site to keep Dynamic Ads as up-to-date as possible. You can even use as many parameters as you need.
One of the crucial aspects of keyword PPC campaigns is to always have the search term in your headline, and Dynamic Search Ads help you with this aim by including the exact sub-category keyword in the headline.
The other aspect to an ideal PPC campaign is to have the key term that is in the ad headline also be the landing page headline. Bing helps with this by crawling your site constantly to keep these landing pages up-to-date. Websites with many product or service pages will greatly benefit from Dynamic Search Ads and the relevance they provide across search terms, ad copy, and landing page copy.
The really cool thing is that Bing does most of the work for you, generating relevant keyword-based headlines based on the parameters that you set and sending users to the appropriate landing pages.
(formerly Bing Native Ads or Bing Intent Ads)
The recently released Microsoft Audience Ads are Bing’s answer to Google Display Ads, with their own proprietary mix of search-intent signals, Microsoft’s AI capabilities, and the Microsoft Audience Graph.
Previously, if you wanted to do display on Bing’s network, you had to work with AOL, but not anymore.
There are currently two options to use this network. The basic version is to employ search extensions, which just allows you to push your campaigns out to the broader Microsoft Audience Network.
Audience campaigns, which include dedicated creative and tools to optimize performance, are available only in the U.S. right now, with global rollout set for later this year.
Many wonder how the MSAN will be any better than Facebook or Google’s vast network reaches. Bing counters, even naming Google and Facebook on their website, that there are over 60 million users that even Google can’t reach.
Advocates also point to the Microsoft Graph API, which has data from Outlook, Excel, Sharepoint, and LinkedIn profile data. 85% of Fortune 500 companies have their data on these platforms, which can be particularly powerful – especially if you’re a B2B seller.
You will be able to reach the MSAN through image ads and feed-based ads. Microsoft mentions dynamic remarketing of products as one of the main ways that one can capitalize on this network.
If you’re not using dynamic search ads as the previous section advocated, you should make sure your ad copy headlines have search terms that match the keywords in the headline of the landing pages where you send website visitors. This improves click-through-rate and conversion rate – two of the most important metrics in your PPC endeavors.
There are tons of articles on the internet about landing page best practices, and optimizing landing pages is one of the best ways to improve your conversion rate, so you won’t want to ignore this aspect of your Bing Ads strategy.
Bing officially rolled out In-Market Audiences after testing it out last year. Bing now has given publishers data on the buying intent of users to layer on top of Bing PPC campaigns.
There are over 170 audiences to choose from, up from only fourteen groups that were part of the initial launch.
Via Marketing Land
No surprise that the setup and layout of selecting audiences looks strangely familiar to Google’s Affinity Audiences.
Bing has some similar automatic bidding strategies as Google, which include Enhanced CPC, Maximize Clicks, Maximize Conversions, and Target CPA.
It is important to know the value of your conversions so that you can accurately optimize your campaigns toward a target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) or target ROI. If you know your target CPA, you can use the automatic bidding strategy that allows Bing’s algorithms to try to get conversions automatically at your required CPA.
If you don’t trust this method, you can also combine this bidding strategy with max CPC to add control of the cost to Bing.
Finally, you can layer on top of bidding adjustments based on time, location, device, and even demographic targeting to further help Bing hone in on the right price based on granular control of all the factors involved.
Of course, you can’t have any success in pay-per-click advertising – much less use Bing’s bidding strategies – without tracking conversions. Bing recently implemented a universal tracking code, that you can implement across every page of your website only once, which they use to track events and goals associated with your campaigns.
This Universal Event Tracking is similar to the Facebook Pixel and all the other do-it-all conversion pixels for the various pay-per-click platforms these days.
With conversion tracking set up you’re able to perform another one of PPC’s staple functions: remarketing.
Remarketing allows you to strategically market to audiences that have already expressed interest in your brand by interacting with your website.
Understanding your customer sales funnel, and how your users interact with various touchpoints in the customer sales journey, can help you move a customer down the sales funnel – especially if the lifecycle of a customer is longer in your particular industry or business.
Via Fuel Travel
As you can see, you can employ remarketing at many points in the customer sales funnel. For example, after introducing a user to your brand with a display ad, you can remarket to them with an educational tool to help them learn about how to choose vendors within the offerings they are now considering. In the example above, hotels, you could show them the variables that go into choosing a hotel and give them helpful hints on how to do it.
The next remarketing campaign could be for a discount for a hotel room after they’ve been to certain pages on your website indicating that they want to make a purchase.
The possibilities with remarketing are endless, and they all help with eventually closing a customer. If you’re serious about digital marketing, you can’t leave home without this critical tool in your digital marketing toolbox.
As with all keyword-based PPC endeavors, adding negative keywords to campaigns, using data from search term reports, is crucial in refining traffic and weeding out irrelevant clicks.
One of the hallmarks of good PPC management is to consistently analyze search term reports and update campaigns to improve CTR.
If you’re already running Google Shopping campaigns, it is really easy to use the same data feed that is compatible with Google in Bing’s Merchant Center. You may as well be running on Bing Shopping if you’re running on Google, because the extra legwork is not much more. Start by creating a Merchant Center account and uploading your data feed. Again, the same one you use for Google works just as well for Bing.
Via PPC Hero
Once you’ve uploaded your products, you can start the campaign creation process. Just like in Google, creating campaigns with different levels of priority (high, medium, and low) can permit bidding strategies that allow certain high value products to show ahead of not-so-high value products, creating a filter that orders how you want to bid for each product.
Just like in Google, you can create ad groups within campaigns to specifically target and bid on various product categories, or products categorized by custom labels specific to your business model.
Make sure you use product keyword negatives to route budgets to the correct products (i.e. high performing products) first, eventually filtering down to the low priority campaign with low bids for the rest of your products
Bing has made some recent changes to their Shopping Campaigns that can help you be more successful at selling your products.
You can serve multiple images for your products now.
Via Search Engine Land
You can add up to ten images that are at least 220X220 pixels, with a file size no bigger than 3.9 MB.
There are also new product group reporting columns to give you more visibility on the products within an ad group.
Via Search Engine Land
This application is for power users of Bing Ads and is similar to Google’s Ad Editor. This can be a great tool for the PPC manager or PPC agency that manages multiple accounts and makes bulk changes often.
For the longest time, Bing Ads Editor was the bane of Mac users, but they’ve recently come out with a compatible version which took a lot of the hassle out of finding a work-around to accommodate running the application on Apple computers.
Bing has also recently updated the application to improve management over device controls, radius targeting bid adjustments, and selecting multiple campaigns to move across accounts. Check out these and other recent changes that surely have PPC managers sighing relief by making it easier to bulk edit on Bing.
As you can see, Bing has value! Additionally, they haven’t differentiated themselves too much from the Google platform, which makes importing campaigns pretty easy. If you are targeting older people or international users, it makes sense to add Bing to your PPC repertoire if you haven’t already. Even if you don’t serve these demographics, the low cost platform is bound to give you some low CPA conversions that can increase your revenue volume a not-so-insignificant 10-30%. Happy advertising on Bing!