Optimizing Your Bing Ads Campaign: The Basics
In late 2015, Comscore reported that Bing's search engine market share had grown to 21 percent (Google accounts for 64 percent), probably because of Bing's incorporation into Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile and Surface devices. Google is still your best bet for reaching the largest number of customers, but to neglect your Bing Ads campaigns is a mistake — one that grows bigger by the day.
Fortunately, optimizing campaigns in Bing Ads is similar to the process of auditing your Google AdWords campaigns. Some of the reports and user options are different, but the general tenants are the same. Read on to learn more about the basics of optimizing in Bing Ads.
Running Reports — Know Your Options
Just like the first step of cooking is to gather your ingredients, the first step of optimizing is to collect your data. Bing Ads provides the following reports with uniquely beneficial information:
- Performance reports: Track the overall performance of your efforts at the account, campaign, ad group, ad and keyword levels. See important metrics such as your CTRs and impressions.
- Change history reports: Want to revisit how you've changed your campaigns over time? Just run these reports to see your change history.
- Targeting reports: See which audiences your campaigns are reaching.
- Campaign analytics reports: Designed to aid conversions, these reports help you understand how visitors are interacting with your website's landing page.
- Billing and budget reports: Good for accounting, these reports offer the nuts-and-bolts of your campaign spending and billing over time.
It's a good idea to regularly generate each type of report. Each report type can be customized to highlight the most relevant data for your needs, and you can also schedule automated reports that hit your email as attachments.
Pump Up Low Impressions
Is your campaign getting unusually low impressions? This could be happening for several reasons, most of which relate to your keywords. Open the keyword list for your underperforming ad group and look for keyword disapprovals and low keyword bids. Bing's reviewers sometimes disapprove keywords based on landing page relevance or various compliance rules. And sometimes, you just need to bid more.
Negative keywords might also be hindering your ad's visibility. Negative keywords can save you lots of money by filtering out visitors who wouldn't be likely to convert on your landing page, but misusing negative keywords can have the opposite impact.
Or it could be that people who are seeing your ad just aren't interested. Try changing up your ad copy, and run a targeting report to make sure you're reaching the right audience.
Reverse Low Clickthrough Rates
If your ad is getting plenty of views but not many clicks — which you can see in your performance report — then you must make your ad more compelling. Define what makes your business special, include an irresistible offer and give a call to action (i.e. "Contact Us for a Free Estimate"). Compare your ad with competing ads for insights about what you're missing. You can also experiment with dynamic text, which plugs the actual terms people search for directly into your ads.
The whole point of online advertising is getting conversions on your landing page. If visitors are reaching your site but not taking your desired action — whether that's making a purchase or filling out a contact form — then that's a problem.
The Universal Event Tracking tool is Bing’s version of conversion tracking. This tool generates a pixel that you place in the code throughout your website — then, you can run a campaign analytics goals report to see how visitors move through your site. From this, you can get invaluable insights about who converts versus who bounces.
Bing Ads lets you include dynamic text in your destination URLs, sending visitors to landing pages that specifically target their needs. The findings in your campaign analytics goals report might also reveal keywords or ad copy variations that aren't capturing the right audiences.
Prepare for Editorial Reviews
Bing Ads has several compliance regulations enforced through its editorial review process. The purpose of this process is to maintain a high degree of quality across the Bing Ads search network. You may see real-time alerts requiring you to change your ads and keywords as you optimize, or a recently revised campaign may be tagged with an editorial disapproval. Most disapprovals are easily correctable and not a cause for long-term concern. As an advertiser, though, you should periodically familiarize yourself with Bing Ads' policies.
Optimizing Bing Ads campaigns can result in greater revenues and fewer losses — and in business, both outcomes are great for your bottom line. Resist pouring all your efforts into Google Adwords, and remember that Bing Ads is actually growing at a faster rate. Microsoft is committed to integrating Bing into its latest computing and smartphone products. You can capitalize on that by reaching a sizeable audience with economical costs per click, but only if you put in the effort.
Want more digital marketing tips? Click here to get the Internet Marketing Survival Guide.
Phil is Founder and COO of Main Street ROI. Phil leads the company’s operations and is primary creator of Main Street ROI’s marketing training programs. He is an expert in search engine marketing, website analytics, and sales funnel optimization. Phil’s marketing thought leadership has been published on Forbes.com, Inc.com, MSN.com, and many other major business media outlets.
Phil earned his Master of Engineering Management degree from Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College. While attending Dartmouth, Phil started every game on the varsity football team as the defensive safety.