Dear Bing Ads, We Need to Talk
December 5, 2012
Dear Bing Ads,
We need to talk.
I’ve been working with you long enough now that I feel a certain level of familiarity with your systems and processes. So please understand that what I’m about to say comes from a place of respect and understanding.
And before we get into it, I don’t want to focus entirely on the negative. I have a lot of praise for you. Our Bing representative and her team is outstanding, and any issues I’ve had have been resolved quickly and professionally. I had one today even, and that was resolved in under an hour. You’ve been pretty good with this customer service thing, but I still have some issues. To wit:
Please give me a keyword report that makes me not tear my hair out.
One of my biggest accounts does almost half of its business in Bing, spending over $150,000 a month across various product verticals. Have you ever tried doing a round of bid changes utilizing your existing reports on an account that large? It makes me want to cry.
Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit. Every single time I go through the process of bid changes for this client, I’m met with the following issue staring at me right in the face:
It’s almost 2013, and PPC has been A Thing for a pretty long while now. I think that it might be helpful to throw some resources at resolving this issue. If your keyword limit is met almost every time you try to download a report, it’s time to consider a higher keyword limit.
Sidenote – Another thing you might want to throw some resources at resolving: a Mac desktop editor. It’s been the top most-requested feature for a while now; it would be an easy way for you to throw the Mac crowd a bone.
But that’s beside the point. Let’s get back to the many ways in which the keyword reporting crushes my soul.
In order to perform bid changes based out of the interface, I would have to download 44 (!), forty-four keyword reports on an individual campaign basis to get the kind of keyword data I’m looking for. I’ve found a small workaround lately that lets me get away with merely downloading ten or so, but that’s still six more reports than I’d have to download from AdWords just to do some rudimentary bid changes.
“But Couch,” you say, “what about the reporting center?”
I’ll admit, that’s part of the workaround I’ve mentioned. You see, you can generate all kinds of reports from the Reporting Center, including an account-wide Keyword Performance report. This would be a fantastic leg up on AdWords if not for two things:
1) It’s missing anything regarding Keyword Status.
This is a huge pain in the butt, and has been the cause of many a “duplicate keyword detected” upload error across the globe. Without any method of determining which keywords I’ve already paused, I’m just re-doing the same work every week, attempting to pause (or, god-forbid, accidentally un-pause) the same keywords because no differentiation is made for enabled or paused keywords. It seems like a simple enough thing to add, whether as an attribute column, or even as a filter.
2) Match Type statistics in the reporting center are sketchy at best.
Notice how there are two “Match type” qualities are highlighted? It’s a 50/50 shot whether or not either of those attributes have anything to do with the actual match type affiliated with the keywords in question.
Trying to work with either of them is like playing Russian roulette, except that here you just risk inadvertently adding 200 broad match keywords in to your account.
This situation is only exacerbated by the Bing Ads Help Center. Here’s the definition for Delivered Match Type:
“The match type—exact, phrase, or broad—actually used by Bing Ads to deliver an ad.”
Fairly straightforward – so that’s clearly not the one to use. But here’s the definition for Bid Match Type:
“The match type—broad, phrase, or exact—that you specified during ad creation for use with a keyword.”
Now, I may be crazy, but does that explanation make any sense whatsoever? In an informal poll of the PPC Hero offices, the top response to the phrase above (especially the ‘specified during ad creation’ part) is “What does that even mean?” I take full responsibility for my own cognitive failings, but that’s a terrible explanation if Bid Match Type is, in fact, regular old “Match Type”.
As it is, I’ve had to cobble together a Frankenstein’s Monster of an upload doc just to do a round of bid changes for this client. It comprises one Account-wide report containing tightly structured campaigns (including Match Types in the Ad Group title for easy correction), and several campaign-level keyword stat reports downloaded for the poorly structured campaigns we’ve inherited. A process that should take roughly an hour or two at most stretches on far beyond that. I know you can do better.
And a few more things:
3) You really have to ask us if we want conversion data included in the report?
Seriously? I’m adding this one in just because (and by request of one Sean Quadlin).
4) Special report segmentation can only be done one at a time.
This one comes straight from the AWB: “I could by geo data OR by search partner URL but not both, and this is par for the course. Any special segmentation has to be done alone, which is really frustrating.”
5) You can’t sort by destination URL on the Keyword List in the Bing Ads interface.
Just a humble request from the honourable British Sam Owen.
So really, all I’m saying is that you’re almost there. It’s just all these little things that add up to a less-than-stellar PPC management experience. Bing, I guarantee you that you’re not going to find anyone else here at PPC Hero more invested than I am in your ongoing success. I’m hoping that you take some of these suggestions (as well as those found on your own Feature Suggestion Forum) and make your service in to what we all know it could be.
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