Today’s post is by Account Manager Jason Bruggemann, a sports nut who could write Yelp reviews for just about any basketball court in Chicago.
Over the last seven months or so, Bing has made a huge effort to revamp their paid ad services. The updates came in all forms, from UI redesign to complete name changes. In the dynamic industry of paid search, it can be easy to lose track of the tools available to you. And as we’ve covered, Bing can be a great alternative/supplement to Google, so it might be more important than you think to stay on top of its advancements.
In this post I wanted to focus on the lesser-known features that can benefit your optimization efforts: namely, some new UI features, reporting, Bing Ads Editor, and Bing Ads Intelligence.
(Also, note that Bing does a fine job in keeping advertisers up to date on the releases. You can find articles and videos in the help section of Bing ads or watch informative videos here.)
The User Interface
The home screen provides a quick snapshot of account performance. Three gadgets give data for campaign trends, top campaigns by spend, and any alerts, what’s new, or FAQ for Bing Ads. You can adjust the metrics and campaigns in the campaign trends gadget, adjust the time frame for the spend gadget, and move between the alerts, what’s new, & FAQ sections in the third gadget. Nothing more with the home screen.
This is probably where you have spent or will spend most of your time. I will say if you plan on making account-wide changes, definitely download and use Bing Ads Editor, which I will talk more about. (The UI doesn’t allow for quick account-wide changes.)
Within the campaign screen, you have the ability to add the locations of your business. Once you do this you will have the option to use location extensions, which you have to enable at the bottom of your campaign settings. Location extensions show the address of the closest store to the user, as long as they are within 50 miles. The address is paired with a phone number to that location, although you have the option to exclude a phone number. Here’s an example:
The location extensions will be undergoing some maintenance over the next few months, and as soon as Q2, there could be some updates that will move the location extension feature to the ad extensions tab.
The call extensions are used to display a phone number that is not associated with a specific location. These extensions also allow you to set the ads as call-only ads where the phone number is the only clickable part of the ad. The price is the same as what your bid would be for a regular paid ad.
This ad extension may not be available to you just yet, but Bing notes that they are coming soon to everyone.
Sitelinks are additional links within your ad that can take users to specific pages. Sitelinks are always a must when running paid ads as they take up more real estate on the SERPs and they allow for more lines of text. Nothing can really go wrong when using Sitelinks. Remember that the links you enter at the top of your Sitelinks list have a higher priority in being shown than the links below, but Bing determines which links are most relevant to the ad being displayed. You can edit Sitelinks in the desktop editor and the user interface.
Campaign Analytics & Custom Dimensions
This is where you will incorporate a code within your pages so you can track goals. Your goals can be anything you want to get information on to analyze the success of your campaign(s). The setup process is fairly simple, and Bing provides a lot of set-up help.
Custom dimensions provide the ability to append additional tracking to your destination URLs if you have ads that are serving through third-party tools. That way Bing Ads can act as a central hub for all of your information.
Rich Ads in Search
Rich Ads in Search (RAIS) is a feature designed to engage users through images, videos, and direct links to your site. I have included an example below. The ads are for your brand keywords only because they are displayed exclusively in the top position on Yahoo! and Bing search results pages. To set this up, you will have to contact your rep. You can find more information on RAIS here.
The website placement report is going to be applicable only if you are bidding on placements. To do this, you will have to create a new ad group and select placement as the bid type. Once you select this option, you will have to decide to either run on the Microsoft Media Network or certain placements. The Microsoft Media Network in the U.S. is made up of “some of the most trusted sites across the web, including Microsoft owned and operated sites such as MSN and Windows Live.” You can find more information here.
Website URL (Publisher)
The website URL (publisher) report provides the information on domains your ads are showing for both search and content networks. This is where you can find performance on networks and decide which to focus on. To change the settings, you will have to go into ad group settings. For the sake of time, it is better to adjust these settings in Bing Ads Editor.
You will have options on the ad distribution (search, content, mixed) and network distribution (all Bing and Yahoo! search networks and syndicated search partners, only search partners, or only Bing and Yahoo! websites). Running on Bing and Yahoo! search partners has been known in the past to bring in lower-quality traffic, just like any other search partner network, so it is important to watch it closely by running this report.
Rich Ad Component
This report only applies to you if you are running the rich ads that I mentioned above.
Share of Voice
The share of voice reports on impression share and impression share lost to either budget, rank, landing page relevance, keyword relevance, or bid. I highly recommend you use these reports to see where you can improve and pick up more traffic. This report can be a very valuable tool to use because it provides tons of insight on why your campaigns are not performing the way you want.
Ad Extension by Keyword & Ad
This is where you can find performance on each of your ad extensions for each keyword or for each ad.
Campaign Analytics – Traffic Sources
Reports for campaign analytics will not be available to you unless you have campaign analytics enabled. This report is similar to the website URL report but is specific to your goals, conversions and revenue.
Campaign Analytics – Segments
The segments report will provide more insight into where your conversions and goals are coming from. It provides data on geographic locations, age group, and gender. (Note: It’s common that a lot of the age group and gender come back as unknown.)
Campaign Analytics – Tactics and Channels
The tactics and channels report is where you will find the data for your custom dimensions if you have them set up.
Bing Ads Editor
I added Bing Ads Editor on this post because there are features that may not be very well known. One example is the dashboard. Hidden off to the right-hand side you will see a heading labeled “Dashboard” rotated vertically. If you click on the heading, a box expands. What you will find is a dashboard that provides more insight into your account more quickly.
This is where you can find greatest changes in your metrics at the campaign, ad group, ad, or keyword level. It is the chart at the bottom of the dashboard where you can view these changes. You can view the changes as day-over-day, week-over-week, and month-over-month. It can save some time when digging into your data.
There is a feature embedded into Bing Ads where you can search for related keywords. You can search for keywords by entering in a term or phrase or by entering in the URL to pull keywords. After you search for more terms, the tool gives you the option to add the keyword into the ad group, the campaign negatives, or the ad group negatives.
The tool also gives you the ability to see your keywords’ monthly traffic history. The data gets loaded directly into your list of keywords as new columns. In order to use it, you have to select the keyword or keywords you want to see the monthly volume for and select the option. After you select it, it acts as a toggle, so if you want to try a new set of keywords, you have to deselect it, select your keywords, and reselect the feature. If your columns get mixed up, don’t forget that you can easily rearrange the columns with a simple drag and drop.
The desktop editor also allows you to easily find bid estimates and apply those estimates to your keywords with one press of a button. These buttons will be located on the line located underneath the tabs labeled campaign, ad groups, text ads, etc. If your screen isn’t long enough then they will be grouped together and you will have to select the down arrow to access them (see image below).
My last tip for the desktop editor is an easy way to change bids. Within the keyword tab you will see a few options pop up at the bottom of the window; one is labeled as “CHANGE BIDS”. This feature allows you to make mass changes to your keyword bids either by a percentage or amount and allows you to place minimums and maximums.
Bing Ads Intelligence
This handy tool requires just a tad bit more effort to use. You can install it here, and if you run into an issue, there are plenty of solutions posted in the support center.
The Bing Ads Intelligence is a keyword research tool that gets embedded into your Excel. There are many features that allow you to quickly and easily build out lists of suggested keywords based on relevance, volume, cost history, demographic, and geographic data. You also gain insight into historic and forecasted monthly query volume.
I highly recommend looking into the keyword research templates. These templates continue to expand and enable you to quickly find anything from search query insights data to specific industry query data. The templates can provide data on weekly, day of week, age, gender, location, related search trends, related searches, and much more. The best thing to do is to dig into the templates and see what you can come up with. The templates also contain tools to quickly build out variations of your keywords.
The rest of Bing Ads Intelligence provides quite a bit of information on keyword suggestions and keyword analysis for traffic and bids. These tools can help paint a picture for you and your clients of what to expect when running your accounts.
There are a lot of changes coming to Bing still, so don’t forget to stay on top of them by visiting the Bing Ads Support Center.
- Jason Bruggeman, Account Manager