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!