How to Pitch Bing Like a Champion

By , Senior Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

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PPC Hero’s February series will be focused on arming you, the PPC account manager, with all the necessary ammunition to make a strong argument for adding new focus areas in your paid search campaigns to your client. That client can be your direct supervisor or executives if you’re managing in-house, or a client in the traditional sense if you’re working in an agency on several accounts. We’ll cover a range of topics from current focus expansions (CRO, Brand bidding, Video ads) to adding engines (Bing, Twitter, Facebook), so if you’re preparing for an account expansion pitch – this series is for you!

Ah, Bing. Love it or hate it, it can be an invaluable platform for any account manager looking to get the most out of his or her PPC budget. In all honesty, making sure a client has a Bing account launched is right up there for me with a Remarketing campaign on the list of “The Lowest of Low-Hanging PPC Fruit”.

However, there are still a few holdouts out there in the wilderness. Holdouts that, due to skepticism, perception, or past experience, are waiting to hear the right argument that’ll get them on board.

Hopefully, I can oblige.

 

  • It’s Easy to Set Up

I don’t know if you’ve looked recently, but a lot of work has been put in to making sure that the Bing campaign upload/importation process is as painless as possible. There is, literally, a giant button now on the main interface that says “Import from Google AdWords”. Not even lying.

The "Import from Google AdWords" button in the Bing interface.

Guys, I think I can import my campaigns from Google AdWords.

The actual import process is fairly straightforward. Clicking on that link brings you to a page where you can enter in your AdWords login, select your account and all relevant campaigns, and ferry them over. You’ll have to be a little selective on the campaigns you choose – a bulk import is likely to bring over some irrelevant display campaigns. In addition, be sure to double-check device and location targeting settings – that’s not a Bing-specific tip, it’s just common sense.

You’ll also get the opportunity to Find and Replace Google-specific elements of your ad copy. For me, that usually means refreshing my URL tags to properly identify traffic coming from Bing.

But even if you don’t want to use the Import wizard, the manual upload process via the (still Windows-only) Bing Desktop Editor is very similar to that of Google. The account structure mechanics are almost identical, save for a few minor differences – namely that they have, instead of Description Lines 1 and 2, one bulk “Ad text” field allowing a total of 71 characters. That’s a problem easily solved through the use of the Concatenate function.

 

  • They Act Like They Want Your Business

This evidence is anecdotal, but I would charitably categorize my interactions with AdWords team members of late as “bored” and/or “indifferent”. Admittedly, part of that issue may be on me. But if you’re in the habit of battling chronic ad disapproval issues, getting a straight answer about what is actually wrong and, more importantly, what you can do to fix it can be an exercise in severe frustration.

Conversely, my interactions with the Bing team as of late have been very productive. I’ve been working with an account team that brings a solutions-oriented mindset to my (and my client’s) problems. Having a long-term representative on hand who’s willing to provide direct answers and follow up on issue resolution is rare – but Bing has been batting close to a thousand on that front.

 

  • The Performance is Comparable to Google

A caveat: not really comparable from a volume standpoint. Just wanted to make that clear. But by importing the work you’ve already done in AdWords, you can get enormous returns for very little time invested. Instead of empty promises, though, I’ll back this up with some data:

  • In December of 2012, one of our newest clients had yet to launch a Bing account. Their lead total for this month was 172 leads generated solely in AdWords.
  • In December of 2013, with regular bid maintenance, ad copy tests, and account expansion imported from AdWords, this client generated 207 total leads from Bing. All this, for less than they had spent on Google the year prior. To be fair, their AdWords account generated 407 total leads – but 33% of their total lead volume now comes from Bing at only 80% of the Cost Per Conversion.

The data backs up some trends we’ve observed with Bing. It has a lower Average Cost Per Click ($1.74 in Bing Search versus $1.76 in Google Search) and a higher Conversion Rate (3.04% in Bing Search versus 2.82% in Google Search). But why is that so?

1. There’s less competition due to fewer advertisers on Bing, leading to a lower Average Cost Per Click. So if you’re one of those advertisers, it’s a good idea to get in sooner rather than later. Enjoy the lower click costs while they last!

2. Bing has a different audience – it’s the default Search Engine on the default Web Browser on the default Operating System. Sorry, Linux folks – business are still pretty heavily entrenched in Windows, and that means the less tech-savvy users are going to be making use of Internet Explorer while they browse (and make purchasing decisions) at work.

That *should* make for a pretty compelling case, I think.

If you’re not already online with Bing Ads, it’s probably a good time to start. If you can think of some reasons I missed, share them in the comments! If you’ve got some drawbacks and helpful tips (like avoiding the horrendous Search Partner lead quality), share those too. If you’re worried about keeping up to date with Bing Ads Best Practices, well, I know a guy for that. Thanks for reading!

 

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  • Keith K

    Eric, this is a great article about the benefits of Bing. I recently read a couple of studies that the older demographic (users over the age 45) actually prefers Bing over other search engines. Have you read anything that supports this theory too? If this is the case and your product/service targets the senior market you should be definitively be advertising on Bing so you do not miss out on any conversion/lead opportunities.

    • EricCouch

      I’ve not read anything official, or academic, if you prefer. Just some general impressions of the Bing audience that line up with what I’ve experienced in my work with that platform.

      For B2C, if you have a product emphasizing the senior market then Bing can be a huge advantage for you. In B2B, depending on the industry, it can have the same impact – decision makers, C-level or otherwise are most likely going to be over the age of 45.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Jorge Bravo.

    Hi Eric.
    Nice article.
    I might suppose that these numbers are based in the american market.
    Would it work in the same way for European or Asian markets?

    • EricCouch

      You’re correct – those are for the North American market. In my experience, the numbers are skewed a bit differently overseas. For instance, Bing AU targeting is pretty limited – they’re more accustomed to a service like Yahoo!7, which has it’s own advertising independent of Bing.

      It’s still worth an experiment, but definitely temper your expectations there.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Stephen Reilly

      The figures in the UK and Ireland are somewhat similar despite Google being even more dominant this side of the pond.

      Bing and Yahoo probably only have about 10-15% of the search market here but you can still generate up to 30% of your leads by simply copying your Adwords account over (largely due to the lack of competition leading to a greater impression share). If you have the patience to deal with Bing on a daily basis results might be better.

  • Tony Roche

    Hi Eric,
    Thanks for the timely article. A client of ours is anxious to get live after seeing the conversion rates on Bing for organic terms – as they are ranking very well for generic terms as well as brand.
    The import wizard sounds ideal for porting the existing adwords account into Bing. I am wondering, is there a similar process once the account is live, to import the optimisations, adcopy, and account expansion changes etc. in from Adwords?
    I would be concerned that I would end up duplicating work to maintain both engine accounts – as Google has approx 95% share of the market in my country.

    • EricCouch

      You should be able to make use of import wizard for your work in AdWords without too many issues – but when it comes to expansion, ad copy, and bids, I go with a manual upload.

      It’s not too difficult to change an AdWords-ready upload sheet to a Bing-ready one (just some find/replace, concatenation, and a few column title changes), and your bids should be independent of AdWords anyway.

      Thanks for reading!

      • http://www.radical.ie/ Tony R

        Thanks Eric – I plan to complete a few main structural changes in AdWords first, and as you say, use the manual upload going forward.

        • EricCouch

          Great! Let us know how it goes!

  • Ren

    Hi Eric,
    I have two questions: I am curious if Bing handles International campaigns in Europe and South America as well as Google? And I’ve heard that Bing incentivizes signed in users by clicking results from their engines… is this true, and if so, how I be wasting money on clicks from people just trying to earn gift cards to Starbucks?

    • EricCouch

      To my knowledge (which may be outdated now), Bing allows you to advertise to the following countries in those two markets:

      Europe: Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

      South America: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela.

      Whether or not the campaigns will be as effective as Google is up in the air. Previous comScore research suggests that Google has roughly 90% of the search market in Latin America.

      As for the Rewards program – that’s only partially correct. The user would have to install the Bing bar, but credits come when people *search* on Bing, not just when they click on an ad. Whether or not it’s a cause of wasted spend is definitely a more complex question, and one I’d have to think about.

      My gut feeling is that the incentive program is for people to just use the service in general, and *shouldn’t* be a major concern – but again, only a gut feeling.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Jeff

    Eric,

    Would you feel that long tail keywords would work better on bing than they would on Google? Being that it has an older demographic, I think that the users have a tendency to put in more detailed searches than that of Google?

    • EricCouch

      Not sure – it’s an interesting theory, but I haven’t read any studies that would suggest that as the case re: older demographics and long tail keywords. I’d be interested in the results of a test like that, though!

  • http://ppccampaigngenerator.com/ Jarad Collier

    Wow Eric, you mark my comment as Spam because you’re too afraid to tell the truth about Bing Ads? I’ve officially lost respect for the ethics of PPC Hero.

    • EricCouch

      Jarad – not sure what you’re talking about. I didn’t flag any comments, and we certainly encourage discussion of all kinds here. Might’ve accidentally tripped a flag automatically? I’ll look in to the issue!

    • http://www.hanapinmarketing.com PPC Hero

      Hi Jarad,

      Our apologies! Your previous comment was caught in our automatic spam filter (certain things will trigger it, such as comment length), and therefore it went unposted and unmoderated. I apologize for any confusion — for future reference, post authors are not responsible for moderating comments (only responding to them), and 90% of the time a comment doesn’t appear, it’s because the comment is awaiting moderation. In this case, your comment fell into the 10% of the time that a comment might be automatically blocked without human revision.

      Once again, sorry about the confusion, and your comment is now visible in the thread. Thank you for reading!

  • http://www.intelligentppc.com Michael Madew

    It’s a different story in the UK, Bing seems to be much more popular in the US. Having said that I’ve been using BingAds since MSN AdCenter Beta, and they’ve always been far more helpful than Adwords.

  • Aleks

    Hi, guys!

    I’m wondering, did anyone had serious problems with Bing targeting?

    I’m getting really bad quality traffic. I’m targeting only Canada and bidding + 300% on it, and still I’m getting at least 30% of traffic from 3rd world countries… Sometimes as much as 50-60%!!

    I’ve tried to exclude all the bad countries that I see in my tracking system, but it didn’t work very well – more different countries started appearing + there are countries that cannot be excluded at all, like Iran (although I get a lot of traffic from it).

    I’ve tried many different things, but I still get lots of mixed traffic..

    I’m advertising on their content network..

    Any suggestions?

    Best wishes,
    Aleks

    • EricCouch

      Hey Aleks, great question!

      My initial guess is to double-check the ad distribution and location targeting settings at the Ad Group level. The “targeting in vs. targeting about” distinction can be overridden there, and you can still inadvertently target search (and Bing search partners) pretty easily if you don’t look closely at the network targeting.

      Also, you’ll want to be sure that you’re using the “Content” keyword match type, too.

      Thanks, and let us know how it goes!

      • Aleks

        Hi, Eric!

        Thank you very much for suggestion!

        Maybe that’s the problem.. I’m not using “content” keyword match type.

        Will also check my ad groups.

        Will let you know if the problem will be solved!

        Best wishes,
        Aleks

        • Aleks

          Looks like the problem still persists.. I’ve started receiving traffic and first 6 clicks all came from weird countries, so I’ve turned it off for now..

          Could it be the problem with low bids? (so they send me low quality traffic because of that)? I bid the same amount for all several hundred keywords, from Bing Ads Editor..

          Should I still bid in Ad Groups for Search? (or leave it at 0.05?)

          • EricCouch

            It doesn’t sound like a bid issue to me – it’s still targeting. However, without account access I couldn’t tell you anything more specific to your situation. You’ll definitely want to connect with the help service!

          • Aleks

            Okay, I see..

            Thank you for suggestions, Eric!