How to Run PPC Campaigns in Bing
Google AdWords pretty much dominates the search and paid advertising channels, this is the reason why marketers often overlook Bing as a paid marketing option.
The truth is that Bing is a powerful network, with powerful benefits.
You can connect with your customers at any time and through any device, plus you have the ability to import campaigns from other networks, such as Google AdWords conveniently into your Bing dashboard.
Here’s a visual which sums up why you should consider running PPC campaigns in Bing:
Ignoring Bing Ads for paid campaigns means you’re ignoring a big chunk of advertising space, plus a chance to get more clicks with lower CPC.
For instance, WordStream reported that they experienced a 33.5% cheaper CPC when using Bing Ads, compared to Google AdWords. CJ Pony Parts, a service that sells Mustang parts reported that they gained 35% better CPC and ROI compared to Google AdWords.
In fact, when you choose to run paid campaigns in Bing rather than Google AdWords you get to enjoy the following benefits:
1. Less competition, cheaper CPCs: Bing uses an auction system similar to that of Google AdWords, but, because currently there’s less competition on the platform advertisers get to enjoy better ad positions and cheaper cost per click.
2. More control at campaign and ad group level: Bing allows you to assign different time zones to different campaigns, which makes ad scheduling easier to manage for campaigns with an international audience. Google AdWords lets you set network, location, scheduling, language, and ad rotation settings at the campaign level, Bing lets you access these settings at the ad group level. You can easily adjust a setting for an ad group without going through the hassle to create a new campaign to implement a change.
3. Better device targeting options: Bing gives you the option of excluding desktop and tablet traffic from your campaigns. You can even target mobile devices’ operating systems for your ads. Bing also allows advertisers to adjust your bid for tablet users.
4.More control over search partner targeting: Unlike Google AdWords that only allows advertisers to target Google search, or Google search and search partners at the campaign level. Bing enables you to target ads for just Bing & Yahoo, just search partners, or both at the ad group level. You can also easily run a report and see which search partners are bringing traffic to your post-click landing page or website.
5. Better social extensions: Although Google AdWords does allow your ads to showcase your Google+ followers, the problem is the network doesn’t really have that many followers, to begin with. Bing, on the other hand allows you to show your social media following, such as Twitter followers.
Convinced that running a paid campaign on Bing is a good idea? Let’s begin the account set-up process.
When you decide to run campaigns in Bing, the ads appear at the top of or to the right side of Bing, Yahoo, and MSN search results.
Getting started with Bing ads
The First thing you need to do is create an account on Bing.
Once you’ve successfully created an account, you’ll have the following options:
If you’re looking to import a campaign from Google AdWords, you can save time and click Option 1. If you’re looking to create a brand-new campaign with Bing, select Option 2.
Step 1: Campaign Settings
This step involves filling in your campaign settings:
You have to choose a campaign name, this is a unique name for your campaign that is centered on a single goal. It’s ideal if your campaign name is relevant to the goal you’re trying to achieve.
You then have the option to select the language you will use to write your ads, essentially the language your target audience uses, as Bing doesn’t translate ads or keywords. The ad language determines where your ads can appear.
For example, if you have selected French as the language, the ads will appear in Bing Network web pages in France, Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg, but not in Spain.
Another thing to remember is that you can’t change the language, once you’ve selected and saved it – so, choose wisely. If you want to run ads in multiple languages, it’s best to create a separate campaign for each language.
The location option determines where you want the ads to appear. You can either choose the US, all available countries/regions or choose specific locations.
When choosing a specific location, you also need to specify who you want to see the ads – people in your targeted locations or people searching for viewing pages about your targeted locations:
Location targeting helps you show your ads to the right audience, so you aren’t paying for clicks from people who have no intent of buying your product/service. For example, if you are a local business you should target your location accordingly, as showing your ad to people living in a different state won’t help you achieve your marketing goal.
Step 2: Ads & keywords
Bing campaigns consist of ad groups, and ad groups are made of sets of keywords and ads. This step allows you to create your first ad group (including both ads and keywords).
Ad group name
The first thing to enter is the ad group name, this is a unique name for this particular ad group. Your campaigns can consist of one or more ad group. Each ad group is based on the campaign theme.
You can now create your ad:
It’s always best to include keywords in your ad copy, so your target audience finds your ads relevant and are enticed to click. We’ll discuss more on how to optimize Bing ads in the next section of the chapter.
While creating the ad you need to add the Final URL – which is your post-click landing page URL i.e. the link of the page that a visitor will come to after the ad click.
Bing expanded text ads allow you to add two titles in your ads – Ad title 1 and Ad title 2. Each ad title can be up to 30 characters long and are separated by a hyphen. You can also add dynamic text in ad titles – dynamic text is a word or phrase inserted into the ad title or ad text that matches the text the user types in the search engine.
The path is a simplified web page address that is showcased in your ads, it should give users a clear idea of where they’ll go after they’ve clicked the ad.
2. Ad Text
Ad text is the copy that appears below the path in your Bing ad. Your ad text should feature copy that explains to users how your product/service can help solve their problem. You can also insert a call to action in your ad text to convince visitors to click. The ad text has a character limit of 80.
The mobile URL is the webpage where users are directed to after they’ve clicked the ad from a mobile device.
After you’ve filled the appropriate fields, you are able to view your ad in different placements:
Keywords are the words and phrases associated with your ads so users typing particular search queries can find your ads. To connect ads to the right audience, it is important to think like a customer and come up with keywords they would type while searching for a solution that your product/service solves.
In the enter keyword box, you can type or paste keywords separated by commas or just one keyword at a time. You can set the keyword match type by including brackets and quotes:
- Keyword = Broad match keyword
- “Keyword” = Phrase match keyword
- [Keyword] = Exact match keyword
You can read the difference between the types of keywords in Chapter 2. (hyperlink here) Bing suggests having at least 20 keywords in each ad group. If you’re having trouble selecting keywords, simply take help from the ‘Get keyword suggestions’ option.
You can use keyword suggestions to pick out appropriate keywords for your campaign. Just enter a relevant word relevant to your campaign, or your website’s URL to see the suggested keywords.
For each suggested keyword, Bing also tells you how many times users searched the keyword every month, what the average CPC is, and how competitive the keyword is.
Step 3: Budget
You now need to fill in the maximum amount you want to pay for each ad click, and how much you’re comfortable spending on your ads on a daily basis.
Maximum cost per click
By selecting the maximum cost per click you’re determining the amount to pay for a click on one of your ads. The average CPC of Bing ads is about $0.84, you can set your CPC higher or lower than this based on your business type.
If you feel that your budget is being used up fairly quickly, it’s better to lower the CPC, if you have ample budget leftover you can raise your CPC amount.
Your CPC or PPC is the maximum amount you’ll pay every time a customer clicks your ad. You bid against other advertisers using the same keyword, so in general, higher bids help get your ad to display in more desirable locations on the search results page.
There are two bidding options you can choose from:
- Default bidding
- Custom bidding
When you bid on a keyword, you can use the default bid for the ad group or you can enter a custom bid.
Custom bids for keywords override the ad group default bid for those specific keywords. With custom bids, you can focus your time and money on the most profitable keywords, but you will need to spend more time on managing the individual bids.
The campaign budget sets the amount of money you want to spend on a daily basis. You have two options when you select daily budget:
1. Standard: Your budget is spent as evenly as appropriate throughout the course of the day.
2. Accelerated: Your budget is spent as quickly as appropriate.
Your ad campaign is now ready to go live, and you can start directing visitors to your post-click landing pages via the ads.
The next section of the guide is going to discuss how to create optimized Bing ads that get users to click.
Creating optimized Bing ads
Want users to pick out your Bing ad from the search engine results page? The first thing you need to consider is ad position.
Ad position is the position of your ad on Bing, AOL, or Yahoo search results page. Similar to Google Analytics (hyperlink here to relevant section), Bing ad position is determined by how your ad measures up to other competing ads.
The factors that determine ad position include:
1. Keyword bid: This is the amount you bid for your keyword. You set this up when selecting the budget for your campaign.
2. Ad relevance: How relevant your ad is to the search query the user typed.
3. Ad performance: Ad performance is measured by the ad’s click through rate on web pages. The click through rate is the ratio of the number of times an ad is clicked to the number of times the ad is displayed.
Here’s how ads appear in Bing, AOL, or Yahoo depending on ad position:
In addition to ad position, you should consider the following optimization techniques when creating ads:
Use keywords in the ad headline
Using keyword phrases which the user typed in the search engine in ad headlines reassures the user that your ad holds the answer to their question.
This is what Hootsuite does with their Bing ad:
Use specific and clear ad copy
There isn’t a lot of room for error when writing ad copy, because you only get to use a predetermined number of characters. The ad copy needs to clearly explain what the offer is about, while being specific about the details you know your target audience is most interested in.
This is what Insightly does with their ad:
The ad headline emphasizes that the service is easy to use, the copy reinforces this message with the phrase, ‘From Grandmas to Geeks’. The ad also mentions the price and the number of worldwide users.
Use a call to action
The right call to action has the power to persuade the user to take action. Make sure the CTA button copy you use in the ad is relevant to the offer being promoted. For example, if you’re promoting a free ebook – CTA copy that reads ‘Download Now’, or ‘Get a Copy’ works.
The Microsoft Project Online CTA, ‘Try it Free’ helps motivate the user to click:
Now that you know the optimization techniques you should consider while creating Bing ads, let’s discuss some things you need to avoid when creating Bing ads.
Don’t randomly capitalize letters as it looks unprofessional. For example, copy like ‘Get a FREE sample TODAY’ won’t do anything to increase click through rate.
Adding a handful of exclamation marks next to a promotion you think is amazing isn’t going to make visitors think the same.
Instead of writing ‘50% off!!!!!Order Now!!!!!’, simply include the appropriate number of punctuation marks. If you want your ad to stand out, use copy that gets visitors curious about the offer and click the ad.
Not taking visitors to a dedicated post-click landing page
Getting the user to click the ad is only half the conversion battle. To ensure that they don’t leave after the ad click it’s necessary that you connect all your ads with dedicated post-click landing pages.
A post-click landing page is a dedicated page that’s created to promote a single offer. It’s the best place to direct visitors who’ve clicked your ad thinking about buying just that offer. The post-click landing page you direct visitors to after the ad click must have message match, and have the same message that was promoted in the ad.
This is what Freshdesk does with their ad and post-click landing page:
Here is the post-click landing page connected with the ad.
The ad and post-click landing page both highlight the 30-day free trial and the benefits of Freshdesk as a help desk tool.
Your post-click landing page should also have a conversion ratio of 1:1:
On a post-click landing page, conversion ratio refers to the number of places to click compared to the number of conversion goals. Ideally, the ratio is 1:1, meaning there’s only one place to click on your post-click landing page: the link that accomplishes your conversion goal. On the majority of post-click landing pages, that link is a call-to-action button.
Directing visitors to post-click landing pages that have message match and no navigation links increases the probability of conversions, resulting in a higher ROI for your paid search campaigns.
Bing ads is a powerful search advertising tool that is designed to get ads in front of your target audience. Bing ads appear on search networks such as Bing, Yahoo, AOL, within Windows devices, and within Windows apps.
Use Bing PPC marketing campaigns to advertise to your target audience by paying only when a visitor clicks an ad. Create optimized ad campaigns in Bing today to take advantage of the network’s user base and a lower CPC than Google AdWords.