Increase Bing Ads ROI With These 5 Automated Rules
June 4, 2015
Earlier this week, Bing Ads announced the launch of automated rules. We gave you the facts on the update yesterday. Today, I’m going to cover five ways to increase ROI on the platform by using the new automated rules feature.
1) Pause Keywords Performing Outside of CPA Goals
It’s easy to let keywords perform outside of goal for a while before you catch it. Even if it’s just a few days, think of what that could add up to over the year. If you caught every keyword as soon as it hit a threshold for being “too expensive” you could save a lot of cash!
To set this scenario up, you want to view keyword rules and then click “Pause keywords when…”
If you need help getting a good sense of what you should set the parameters here, take a look at the last 30 days of performance. What’s your average CPA? If you have a goal, how do the numbers compare to the goal? Are you trying to be more strict to that goal even at the cost of volume, or is volume more important? These are all items you will need to determine. I’ll walk through an example!
My account’s average CPA is $159.86 for the last 30 days. Our goals are set by YoY performance, and the goal is to improve YoY. Last year, our CPA for the past 30 days was only $60.67, but we have gained an additional 5 conversions over last year. Over all of our platforms, this account is having a lag in conversions that needs improvement, but we’re not having issues meeting the monthly budget. Therefore, it’s most important to increase conversions without increasing costs. With this in mind, I’ll want to pause keywords spending too much without converting and keywords converting at high costs. I’m going to set up two rules for this:
When I hit “preview”, it doesn’t apply to any current keywords, but it’s good to know this won’t ever be an issue!
Once I hit “preview”, I saw this would apply to one keyword, which spent $240.13 in the last 30 days without converting. That’s $240.13 in wasted spend I won’t waste in the next 30 days!
2) Pause Ad Groups When Spending Without Converting
Sometimes shifts and changes happen that cause your account to go bonkers. Once, I had an account that went absolutely nuts overnight because an article went viral about a subject matter similar to my client’s product. This led to a LOT of spend from people clicking without reading the ad and then bouncing immediately. It’s a good safety net to set automated rules up to ensure this never happens.
Take a look at the average daily spend on your ad groups, or just what you’re comfortable spending without getting a conversion in return on the ad group level. You may want to break this up by campaign if ad groups by campaign vary greatly in spend. Also, keep in mind what time you’re setting it to run and what amount of data you want. For instance, you may want to select half of what you’d expect it to spend a day as the spend threshold without conversions if you have it running at noon using that same day’s data. It really depends on how tight your budgets are. For my purposes, I’m going to use the previous day’s data to run in the morning on the next day.
I hit preview and didn’t see any ad groups breaking this rule at the moment, which is great! This is just a safety net rule that will save me money if something ever goes bonkers. Just make sure to set a realistic cost threshold. How much could an ad group spend without converting before you’d pause it? Again, feel free to segment this rule to be different for each campaign if this number varies greatly.
3) Increase Bids When CPA Is Below Goal and Average Position Is Low
This is a keyword-level automated rule that will increase conversions for you. You want to increase average positions on a keyword if it’s sitting low on the page and performing below your CPA goals. This, theoretically, should increase clicks/impressions, hopefully at the same time conversion rate, so only the CPC increases. This scenario increases your CPA a bit, but you’re still at or under goal and have more conversions. This may not work out perfectly for you, so keep an eye on this rule closely and tweak as needed.
You’ll want to put thought into how much to increase bids by, max CPC, how often this rule runs, and what the look-back date range is. For me, I chose something small so that I have plenty of time to wrangle any changes that didn’t work out well and mitigate risks – I chose 5% increases. I don’t care about the max CPC as long as the other requirements are met. Then, I decided to change weekly and look-back weekly. I don’t think choosing different time lengths for these is a great idea, personally.
I didn’t have any keywords matching this rule set when I hit preview, which is totally fine! I just changed bids last week, so I’m pretty on top of these things. However, now I don’t even need to worry.
4) Pause Promotional Ads The Moment Sales End
I really can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen ads with sales, promotions, or seasonal language that should have been paused-off already. This mistake makes you look like an idiot and makes users really crabby when they can’t get the promised sale or promotion anymore. But, I get it, you are busy and forget things. Life happens. However, you kind of don’t have an excuse anymore. You can just create a rule the moment you upload these ads to pause them when it’s time!
Just set up a “when” line for each text that will signify the specific sale, promotion, or season. I just did an example for Father’s Day here since that’s coming up soon. I always set them up to pause the day of the holiday when it’s a holiday, since no one is getting shipping fast enough for the day of, but that could be different if it’s a service or subscription and not a product. Use your judgement!
5) Increase Bids On Keywords Falling Off The First Page
This is a rule I think a lot of people don’t really think of when considering ROI. However, there’s always a lot of keywords falling between the cracks. They aren’t spending enough to get included in bid changes, so they just kind of hang out…If you’re not giving them a chance by positioning them where they could actually get clicks, it’s kind of a waste.
I chose a CPC increase percentage that’s low enough to not cause a disaster and a cost threshold that I would consider low enough to fall off my radar on bid changes. I chose an average position I considered pretty egregious at 5 and higher. I also decided to do this monthly to really give them a chance to perform. I thought weekly would be too often, and might just keep jacking bids up and cause a disaster. But, this is your preference based on how much data you get weekly.
I had 7 keywords matching for this rule when I hit preview! Obviously they WERE falling through the cracks…thanks, automated rules!
Automated rules are AWESOME, but really only as awesome as you make them. If you’re not using them in AdWords either, you can set up these same rules there. If you have any that are rocking it over there, get them in Bing Ads ASAP! Just remember to change parameters for the difference in performance between the platforms. I think these can be a huge time saver as well as a way to increase ROI, which could let you focus on bigger items on your to-do list. It’s a win-win-win! Don’t let bad results or experience turn you off from them, either. They’re basically robots doing your bidding, so don’t blame them. Just change the rule!
Do you have any awesome rules? Share them with me (and the entire PPC world…) below!
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