If you’ve worked hard on becoming your company’s resident Google expert — learning a new platform like Bing can lead to stressful times. Bing’s a platform that, supposedly, takes up a fraction of the market share that’s dominated by Google. However, Bing does offer cheaper clicks and additional search volume. What’s more, with the release of Windows 10, Microsoft might just be edging a little closer to Google. So, it might be worth getting to grips with Bing as soon as you can — after you’ve finished reading this blog, for instance.
As with most PPC executives, I’ve learned how to manage Bing’s ads the hard way. While there is fair amount of similarity with Google, there are also a number of quirks that can make it a bit of a mental drain. So, to help you along the way to Bing ad mastery, here are a few nuggets of info that might just save you some precious time.
OK, how do I start?
Unless your aim is to only have a few campaigns with Bing-specific keyword research and targeting options, then the preferable option is to import your campaign data from Adwords. Why? Well, it automatically pulls in all the account structure in one go, and it also ensures that you won’t miss any keywords or text ads when replicating your campaigns. Simple.
Once imported from Adwords, you’ll need to think about making changes to your campaigns via three ways: using the Bing interface, importing again from Google, or importing from a file.
Using the Bing interface
The good news is that the Bing ads interface looks very like Adwords, so even though you will need to adapt to the new usability, all that Adwords interface knowledge is not lost here. It’s very similar so it shouldn’t take you long to get to grips with it.
Importing from Adwords
Often, the perfect time to import from Adwords is when you’re launching campaigns for the first time. However, you may want/need to import from Adwords more than once: if you’ve just completed a mass set of edits on Adwords, across multiple ad groups, for example. If we assume these edits are large enough that you’re not sure you can remember all those changes in the first place, then the logical solution is to import from Adwords. Beware though, there are a number of things you may need to address when importing from Adwords, and Search Engine Land has outlined some of them here.
Importing from csv
In contrast to the above, let’s imagine that you have just entered a “50% off sale period” and have already spent time working this into the ads on Adwords. However, you’ve also made Bing specific optimisations that you don’t want to overwrite with a full Google import. This dilemma is best solved by the ‘import from file’ function. Essentially, instead of overwriting all the budgets, bids, and targeting settings of Bing, you can publish a new set of ads in each respective ad group in one swift action.
Unfortunately, Analytics’ goals cannot be imported directly to Bing, so you will need to add a unique tracking code. Nearly all Bing newcomers will naturally focus on setting up their campaigns to then later realise they have no conversion data to work from. Remember the mentally draining aspect I mentioned? That’s an example.
Like myself, most will try tabbing between the Bing and Google Analytics interfaces in an attempt to marry their view across date ranges from campaign to keyword level; honestly, this is an absolute nightmare. I promised myself never to optimise blind again, and you shouldn’t either. So, Universal Event Tracking ( UET) is what you need to set up first in order to start seeing conversion data. Its not difficult, and Bing has a useful guide to help you.
Once set up, you can see what keywords are converting within the Bing interface (no more tabbing between screens needed), which makes optimising much more bearable.
Download the Bing Ads Editor
One of the current hot topics in the PPC world at the moment is the release of Bing’s Ads Editor (BAE) beta for Mac. The wait for the most requested feature in the community is finally over, and this news in itself is a hint as to how vital this tool is. Some experts had even wrote survival guides for Mac users on how to cope without it. BAE is a must for making changes on scale.
Multiple changes wizard
If you’ve used Adwords Editor before, you’ll be familiar with the handy function of being able to copy and paste between ad groups. Well, for some bizarre reason, Bing forces the user to pick one ad group at a time when pasting. So, to avoid wasting an unbelievable amount of time, it’s advisable to use the multiple changes wizard to speed things up. You will need to manually enter the relevant headings and text into each column, but this subsequently allows you to select all the campaigns and ad groups you want to populate. Handy.
While you should try not to waste time by creating ad campaigns from scratch, there are certainly tasks that pay to be patient with. Under the Tools tab in the Keyword Planner, for example, you will find a supply of keyword suggestions that may have not shown up in previous Google-based research. Have a look through them: you may uncover some goldust.
Similarly, the Search Term Report will give you data to aid in decisionmaking on what new keywords should be added and excluded. Whilst we’re on the topic of negative keywords actually, Search Engine Land pointed out that you must be careful when importing negative keyword lists from Adwords. Bing will convert all broad matches to phrase match — classic Bing.
I’m a great advocate of learning by doing — it’s often the most complete way to master a new platform in paid advertising, but this quick set of tips will hopefully make life slightly less stressful for you. If you’re having a spot of trouble though, bung over an email and we can have a chat about it.