All I Want For Christmas…Is Bing Ads?

As of November, Google garners just under 67% of the market for search. One would expect the distribution of budgets within a PPC portfolio would be in line with market share. The reality is quite the contrary: more often than not, AdWords represents closer to 85-90% of the budget and gets 95% of the internal resources, leaving Bing Ads as an afterthought.

I can certainly understand why AdWords deserves the lion’s share of resources; however, 30% is quite the spicy meatball to push under the rug.

Think about where your resources are going — one of the biggest opportunities in your PPC program might just be getting your Bing Ads account up to speed.

Not surprisingly, Bing Ads agrees:

importadwords

If you’ve been paying attention to Bing Ads, it’s clear as day that they are aggressively adopting AdWords account structures (match types, negatives, enhanced campaigns, sitelinks, PLAs, etc.) and features making it increasingly easier to import your AdWords account and start spending.

I’m not implying that you should just import your AdWords account into Bing Ads and raise your arms in victory, but that would be a good start.

Bing and Yahoo are like any other inbound traffic channel with a unique set of behaviors, qualifications and subsequent value per click. The following is a short manual to help build up your Bing Ads account from its current state of shambles into a well-optimized machine churning out qualified visitors.

Step 1: Get The Right Mindset

Unless you’ve spent countless hours custom fabricating campaigns, adgroups, ads, keywords and their associated {0}, brace yourself to throw out your legacy campaigns set. It’s just way easier to get the structure right in one place (AdWords) and replicate into Bing Ads.

Step 2: Import

The most critical step in the process. Login to your Bing Ads account and click the button.

You’ll have the option to review bulk sheets prior to uploading into Bing Ads. I strongly recommend digging through the bulk sheets as the import process isn’t perfect. There are bound to be a handful of issues which can only be identified through a proper QA. Don’t forget to tag your URLs – Bing Ads doesn’t have auto-tagging, so what you see is what you get.

Now, you can either proceed directly to step 3 (bidding adjustments) prior to uploading or go ahead and upload and then re-pull a bulk sheet to modify bids. Whatever you’re comfortable with.

Step 3: Bidding

As previously mentioned, Bing and Yahoo are like any other inbound channel with unique behaviors and subsequent values per click. The only issue with Bing Ads is that we get traffic from both Bing and Yahoo without any insight into the distribution of that traffic for bidding purposes. As a result, I’m going make the assumption that there’s a 50/50 split in inbound traffic coming from Bing and Yahoo via PPC.

Diving into analytics, calculate average revenue-per-visit via organic search for Google, Yahoo, and Bing:

AVG Rev Visit

Combining Bing and Yahoo, we get a Rev/Visit of $2.34.

The purpose of this exercise is to establish a multiplier for Bing Ads versus AdWords bidding. In this example, a click from Bing Ads is expected to be worth 7% more than a similar click from AdWords. As a result, we can increase bids systematically by 7% within Bing Ads.

Two important considerations:

  1. You may observe a different Rev/Click ratio in your program.
  2. This is an account level analysis. If your analytics software allows you to parse traffic — for example, by Brand, Non Brand, and Competitor traffic — you can generate more accurate multipliers. The process remains the same:

Segmented Avg Rev

Merging Bing and Yahoo:

Segmented Merged Avg Rev

And finally calculating recommended ratios:

Segmented Ratios

Step 4: Ads

Fortunately, character count limitations are identical for Bing Ads and AdWords. That said, one of the more commonly used features in AdWords, Dynamic Keyword Insertion (look for the {KeyWord: Something} in your ads) is not supported by Bing Ads.

Instead, Bing Ads offers a series of dynamic text substitutions, allowing advertisers to control the exact text which will populate instead of a given keyword. While a bit more difficult to implement, dynamic text substitution is quite a powerful tool, as it allows for keyword level customization rather than adgroup level as in AdWords.

And That’s It

You’ve got a systematic structure across your portfolio; your bids and ads are all set up; now it’s time the reap the rewards of organization. Making internal tracking consistent with a well-tagged URL structure allows for systematic bidding and ongoing optimizations.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Search Marketing | Search Marketing Column

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About The Author: is the Vice President of Performance Marketing and Analytics at SellPoints and is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.



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  • Guest

    Assuming market share numbers will be indicative of portfolio makeup will likely set wrong expectations. Google will command the lion’s share of most portfolios simply because they monetize their SERPs better. (Bing is dipping their toes in PLA, but their ad inventory does not come near the breadth of Google’s and the products displayed show they have some work to do on their algo.)

    I think a better way for many advertisers will be to look at what Bing comprises as a percent of your branded search, as those campaigns are often parallel between engines and bid to gain the most possible traffic. This should be a purer indicator of what your results should/could be in nonbranded search.

  • Guest

    Assuming market share numbers will be indicative of portfolio makeup will likely set wrong expectations. Google will command the lion’s share of most portfolios simply because they monetize their SERPs better. (Bing is dipping their toes in PLA, but their ad inventory does not come near the breadth of Google’s and the products displayed show they have some work to do on their algo.)

    I think a better way for many advertisers will be to look at what Bing comprises as a percent of your branded search, as those campaigns are often parallel between engines and bid to gain the most possible traffic. This should be a purer indicator of what your results should/could be in nonbranded search.

  • http://www.kinseystreet.com Robert Coats

    I have yet to see real world analytics data that was anywhere close to comscore’s “search share” reports. Ever. In real world results, Google’s search share is around 90% (even higher in some niches). That is why PPC budgets are focused on AdWords.

    The lowest search share I have ever seen for Google was with a client based in Redmond, WA, the heart of Microsoft, and even his site had a search share of 74% for Google. The bulk of his clientele? Micosofties.

 

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