There’s no denying it, Bing Ads has been on a roll in the last few months, delivering a number of new innovations in its interface, improving infrastructure and working hard to give the market an offering compatible with Google Ads.
Given that advertisers have traditionally invested first in Google Ads and then in Bing Ads, one of the challenges that Bing Ads faces is educating its user base on the platform. When advertisers spend 80% of their time in Google Ads, it’s easy to miss some of the fantastic features and functionality that Bing Ads has to offer.
1. Search Partner Performance
A key performance distinction between Bing Ads and Google Ads is that Bing offers clear visibility into search partner performance and allows advertisers to control this investment, by offering a ‘placement’ type report in which you are able to evaluate the performance of search partner sites with the Publisher Performance Report.
2. Search Partner Exclusion
Once you have identified the sites that are not relevant in your Search Partner Performance report, you can then block up to 500 sites at the campaign and ad group levels.
3. Segment Search Partner Network Campaigns
A tremendously valuable feature is the ability to segment Search Partner campaigns, so that search partners can be targeted outside the traditional search campaigns. This is offered at the ad group level and allows avg. bid CPCs to be controlled. There are three targeting options available, allowing for a secure test environment for search partners, rather than simply opting them into the search campaigns:
- Default: Bing & Yahoo! + Search Partners
- Bing & Yahoo! Search ONLY
- Bing & Yahoo! Search Partners ONLY
4. Conversion Multiple Pixel Duration Periods
In a perfect world, conversion pixel duration period would be fully customizable; though Bing Ads offers the next best thing outside of the fixed Google Ads limited 30-day cookie window. In Bing Ads, it’s possible to select a pixel based on a 7-, 15-, 30- or 45-day window. This gives businesses some measure of control in being able to set up their cookie window to match their business model and sales cycle.
5. Quality Score Reporting
In the SEM world, there continues to be a great deal of focus on Quality Score and Bing Ads offers transparency to this metric. Rather than Quality Score being this nebulous quality measure, Bing Ads takes the approach that advertisers can use Quality Score to determine where there is opportunity for improvement in their account. One way of facilitating this is through Quality Score reporting which can be done by day, at campaign, ad group or keyword performance level. This is a great way to be able to diagnose account issues and match Quality Score drops to dates of specific actions taken.
6. Negative Keyword Conflict Report All campaign managers have at one point or another been guilty of over-zealous negative keyword insertion, wherein the negative keywords are then doing more harm than good in an account. As a campaign matures and business needs or products evolve, important queries may change and visibility into negative keyword overlap is required. Bing Ads offers this through its reporting interface where it is possible to pull a Negative Keyword Conflict Report.
7. Ad Group Level Settings
Bing Ads offers certain key settings at an ad group level, rather than just at the campaign level. Geographic, day parting and ad rotation settings can all be set at the ad group level. This allows for a measure of flexibility not afforded in Google Ads, where all these key settings are controlled at the campaign level. Imagine you want to run certain ads during the day through call center hours and another set of ads in the evening. Instead of creating multiple campaigns, you can control ad rotation at the ad group level. This is great for advertisers who may want to control messaging, at different times of the day, in potentially different locations, all without having to duplicate campaigns.
8. Time Zone at Campaign Level
This is my absolute favorite setting. In North America, whether an advertiser is based in the US or Canada, there are multiple time zones and having the flexibility to control this setting at the campaign level is invaluable. In Google Ads, this is set at the Account Level and worse still, it cannot be adjusted. Imagine someone makes a mistake and sets a PST client at an EST time zone. This impacts all day parting and time metrics.
If you don’t understand my jubilation, try working out what time 8am on a Friday is in multiple time zones, from Australia, through Europe and Asia, all relative to EST. Then, we can talk!
9. Transparency & Control in an Enhanced Campaigns World
Finally, their commitment to allowing advertisers to control their device targeting by not implementing a forced device opt-in, similar to Google’s enhanced campaigns, is a major plus for advertisers. It may also be the nudge that some advertisers needed to give Bing Ads a try!
Marta Turek is a Group Manager in Performance Media at Mediative, a digital marketing company providing performance services and access to media platforms. We assist organizations in significantly enhancing their digital presence to influence prospects and move them from awareness to purchase.