There has been a lot of talk about AdWords lately. Google has been releasing new extensions such as review and site link descriptions. Of course the other big topic is the imminent rollover into enhanced campaigns. You can find out more about that all over the blogosphere and get ready with our PPC Hero enhanced campaign tool kit. Back to the topic though, Bing has introduced some great features in the last month. Let’s check them out.

Change History Graph

The change history graph is one of my favorite new features that Bing is working on. Something I have thought about often and the topic of many discussions around the office, “what are the actual results of my changes?”

This problem is two fold. It is easy to unknowingly fall into a loop where you do the same actions over and over. Think of cutting the budget on a campaign due to poor performance. The campaign’s performance increases and you then say “wow this is doing pretty well. I should increase the budget” only to run into poor performance once again and cut budgets, all while knowing in the past that higher budgets meant higher CPA’s without many extra conversions.

The second issue is with a lack of tracking makes it difficult to tell what changes matter. This is especially for those who are making consistent changes. Of course you can get clever and take change history logs along with performance logs and compare the spreadsheets, but it is easy to let these multistage analyses slide when your time is limited.

Bing now makes it easy to track the impact of changes without maintaining your own spreadsheets or log files. Once you have this feature in your account, go to the change history as you normally would and you will see the graphs.

Until is fully released the best way to do something similar to the change history graph is recording your daily metrics manually or with a script and keep a column on the spreadsheet with the changes you made. Unfortunately you have to enter each change but it can be revealing once you plot everything on a graph.

Keyword Distribution Graph

The keyword distribution graphs are an amazing addition to the Bing interface. Rather than pull this data from custom scripts or a pivot table, Bing shows you right in the keyword panel. Using this data, advertisers can see how clicks, impressions, conversions, CPA, and more are distributed across the account’s keywords.  A little bonus being that the sliders next to each graph filter the keywords in the keyword list below.

This visual representation is a powerful and intuitive way to filter the keywords in an account without resorting to multiple steps that remove you from the interface. It’s all right there in front of you. Visualization features are often found in other types of dashboards but seem under represented in PPC, I’m glad to see the Bing step up and bring something new to the table.

Directions from extensions

Directions are a cool feature for businesses with a physical location. Bing ads will automatically include a directions extension based off of your location. Using this, searchers can get directions to a business in one step through the ad. This is also provides some useful utility as it provides clear offline impact for PPC ads.

What’s Next?

Bing is definitely making moves in the PPC world. If you tried Bing in the past but haven’t kept up with it, now is the perfect time to dive back in. While they don’t always have the same volume traffic that Google has, the product is getting better and better. I’m looking forward to see which direction they go in, offering advertisers a top tier platform.