2013 is shaping up to be quite the year already. From my corner of the search marketing industry, there’s been the important news that both Bing and Yahoo continued to gain U.S. market share in December, and I can taste the momentum from our partnership with Facebook. I’m eager to see how the new Graph Search and Bing social integration rolls out and what means for marketers over the next few months.
Considering this is my first piece on Search Engine Watch I asked myself, should I start off going 110 percent search nerd with three actionable share of voice optimizations? Or should I take a moment to introduce myself, a Bing Ads Evangelist, sprinkling in a few nuggets of SEM wisdom?
So What Does an Evangelist Do?
In my role at Microsoft, I get to spend a lot of time helping create and optimize paid search strategies for the largest SEM advertisers to the smallest businesses. I sit down with customers to understand their business and help them better use search advertising to drive their business to its fullest potential.
It’s my job to be a “search nerd” and I love it!
This year I’ll be writing about not just Bing Ads, but search and PPC as a whole. And I’ll work hard to translate fun (I really do think this is fun) topics like optimization using quality score, statistical significance, and long-tail account management into plain language.
3 Hot 2012 Bing Ads Features You Should Use in 2013
Bing Ads’ New Year’s resolution is to keep innovating, adding new features and making our tools easier to use. But as I reflect on 2012’s rapid pace releasing many new features, there are three everyone should be using in 2013.
1. Google Import & Sync, a Great Time Saver
In a few minutes you can easily import your Google AdWords account into Bing Ads without bulksheets so you can capitalize on the hard work you’ve already done in AdWords.
- You can customize what to import or more importantly what to leave out of the sync. For example, bids and budgets, so you can have different bids for each engine.
- If you add keywords and change bids in AdWords, the next time you use our campaign import feature we can detect the changes for you.
- For campaign import, my favorite timesaving features is the find and replace function which works well for destinations URLs. For example: find and replace “source=Google” with “source=BingAds”.
Now your time saved can be spent adding keywords or analyzing opportunities, you know activities that actually drive your business forward. We want to save you time. Expect more from us here in 2013.
2. Use New Ad Formats to Drive Click Volume:
Sitelink extensions were one of the most requested ad features in 2012, and now they’re available. But don’t miss other ad format and ad improvements Bing has made to help you improve your click volume and even offline conversions. Make sure they’re on your checklist ASAP.
- Sitelink Extensions. Take up more space on your best keywords, improve your click-through rate (CTR), and drive deeper engagement with potential customers. Found on the new Ad Extensions tab in the UI.
- Longer Ad Titles. These can increase the CTR for your ads if they appear on the mainline. The best part is you don’t have to enable this feature, Bing looks for punctuation in your ad description and then simply rearrange your existing ad to boost performance.
- Location Extensions. Quickly add a phone number to drive calls and add business address to drive foot traffic. Adding location extension are found in campaign settings.
- Merchant Ratings. Bing currently works with PriceGrabber.com, ResellerRatings.com, and BizRate.com to display merchant ratings for businesses with 10 or more reviews and an average rating of 4.0+ on 5.0 scale.
We’re seeing volume increases due to the combination of these new ad formats and changes. Your competitors are either using these features, or will be shortly – don’t fall behind.
3. Share of Voice to Unlock Click Volume
Bing has been working really hard to provide more actionable auction insights. Share of Voice report in Bing Ads in a gold mine of insight.
You can get keyword level insights on how many times your ad didn’t show because your bid was below the minimum (lost to bid) or where your need to focus on negative keywords (lost to rank & keyword relevance) among other tactics to improve CTR.
Here’s a quick action guide for the Share of Voice report:
And with that, cheers to a great 2013!
This is just the beginning of the conversation. If you have something specific you want to discuss with regards to Bing Ads or any other aspect of search throughout the year, please comment below and I’ll happily see if I can help!