Peter Haubold

Insights Manager
BLOG POSTS

Calling All PPC Data Geeks: The Bing Ads Market Sizing Dashboard is Now Available (US Only)

Agencies, resellers and small businesses dependent on radius targeting have long asked us for local insights that could help them improve concentrated ad efforts.

Imagine knowing exactly how many impressions and clicks your business in Seattle is getting, or your click-through rate for locations in New York, and even costs per click from searchers in just the Manhattan area. What if you could also compare those numbers to volume in Chicago? With such a holistic view of the market landscape by geography, you could be one savvy, efficient advertiser for all of your locations!

We're happy to announce that Bing Ads now provides this level of data; all you have to do to get it is download the Market Sizing Dashboard from our Agency Hub and open the Excel file. Then pick one of the seven reports from the top menu. Data is currently available for the months of January through June 2014 and will be refreshed quarterly.

To get started, pick one of the reports from the top menu.

Month-Over-Month (MoM) KPIs

This report provides a six month view for basic key performance indicators (KPIs): impressions, clicks, cost per click (CPC) and click-through rate (CTR). Use the controls in the left navigation pane to select a preferred Designated Market Area (DMA), vertical and sub-vertical.

In the screen shot below, the blue line represents the selected DMA and the red line shows national numbers for comparison.

                     

DMA CTR and CPC comparisons

These two reports compare multiple sub-verticals within one primary vertical.

In this example chart, we are looking at CTR values for different sub-verticals in the Retail vertical in the Houston area. You can also bring in multiple DMAs for easy comparison, as shown below, where we added Austin and Dallas to the report. The numbers of sub-verticals can be increased or reduced depending on your needs.

CTR can also be compared for any DMA against the national average from the main menu by choosing the DMA CTR vs. U.S. CTR report.

% of Clicks and % of Conversions vs. % of Population Comparison

These charts show the percentage of clicks (or conversions) within the selected DMA as compared to the population percentage for that DMA.

By adding population data from Nielsen Net Ratings, you can compare the percentage of clicks coming from a selected DMA vs. population size. The example below shows 2.09% of all people in the U.S. live in the Atlanta, GA metropolitan area. This number is reflected by the red line on the chart.

The blue bars show the actual click percentage (out of all Bing Ads clicks) for selected sub-verticals coming from this area. If the blue bar reaches above the red line, the click percentage is actually higher than the population percentage meaning we are seeing more clicks coming from this area than expected based on population size. Using these charts will help you make educated decisions on where to align your budget most effectively.

The same report is available for conversion percentage. However, for the conversion report we only included accounts where conversion tracking is enabled. For these two reports we recommend you use only one month of data and limit to one DMA.

Conversion Efficiency & Click Comparison by % of Population

This view combines market size, click and conversion rates in one view. Conversion rates line the vertical axis against the CTR on the bottom axis. The size of the bubble reflects the market population size.

 

In this example, New York is the biggest market with the most clicks, but metro areas like Chicago or San Francisco show better conversion efficiency.

Note: After selecting DMAs or verticals from the slicers you need to click “update chart” to see the refreshed visualization.

Executive Summary Report

If you are interested in raw numbers only, please go directly to the “Executive Summary” report. This summary shows you click-through and conversion rates vs. population percentage, CTR and CPC against the national average and additionally the sub-vertical within highest CTR, lowest CPC and highest conversion rate within the selected DMA.

Note: DMAs across all charts are based on Nielsen Net Ratings’ total population data, so some DMAs may include multiple cities, e.g. Dallas/Fort Worth or San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose. All other data are based on internal Bing Ads reporting based on geo-location of users.

We hope that by sharing these local insights we will help you further optimize your campaigns at a neighborhood level. For any questions or suggestions, please contact bingconnect@microsoft.com.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below or ping us on Twitter.

NOTE: The information contained in this blog post is intended for agencies and advertisers that are self-managed or supported by Microsoft.  If you are an agency or advertiser managed by Yahoo, the details therein may not be applicable, and you are encouraged to contact your Account Representative for more information.

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2014 World Soccer Championship Provides Huge Opportunities for Bing Ads Advertisers

Every four years, the world holds it breath for a few weeks. This is the time when the fate of nations is decided.  It’s the time when heroes are born, when battles of epic proportions unfold and tragedies larger than life are being written. It’s the time when 32 nations compete for sports’ biggest throne. This is world soccer championship time!

This year, the stage for the drama is set in Brazil, and with every day we are getting closer to kick-off on June 12, the global excitement is building up. Oh, there are stories we could tell – about the goal that wasn’t at Wembley '66, or the ‘Hand of God’ scoring in '86 – but this blog is about search advertising, so I won’t mention the bitter tears I cried as a six-year old in front of a black-and-white TV when my native country lost the final in London to the host nation.

Yes, advertisers have human feelings, too.

Instead, I will try to give you some perspective of the magnitude of this event and the opportunities coming with it.  111 million people followed Super Bowl 2014 on television, the biggest stage for America’s version of football. The world soccer championship, however, is the single greatest marketing tent pole on the planet: 3.2 billion people watched the games being played four years ago, 715 million for the final alone. (1) And don’t forget the huge crowds that will flock to public viewing events – whether it’s a million people expected to gather in front of the Brandenburg Gate to watch the games on giant screens or the overcrowded local pub, tears of joy or disappointment will mingle with endless streams of beer.

All these fans are willing to spend quite a bit of money on travel, sports gear, food and drinks, as well as upgrade their electronic devices to not a miss a single second when their home teams hit the turf. In fact, the projected increase of worldwide advertising growth partially fueled by the world soccer championship is at 6.5%. (2) The host nation Brazil alone will see a 27% e-commerce boost, totaling $16.6 billion in business. (3)

During the 2010 world soccer championship, sales for flat screen TVs in the UK were up 40-100%. Sports apparel boosted at 4% and, as cheering your team on makes you obviously hungry, Domino’s Pizza reported that sales were up 40%. (4) Arguably, the United States is not the biggest soccer nation on earth, however, with increased popularity of MLS and major sports channels starting to broadcast more and more national and international soccer, US interest is at an all-time high.

Bing Ads can help you, Dear Advertiser, get the most out of your campaigns in the weeks leading up and during the event. Here’s a breakdown by industry of what to expect:

TRAVEL
In the travel space, Brazil will be one of the hottest tickets of the year. Even fans that weren’t lucky enough to get one of the rare tickets will fly en masse to Brazil just to be close to the epicenter. In previous years summer travel searches peaked in early to mid-July. Expect earlier spikes this year and additional demand not only for South American destinations but also to cities that are known for throwing huge public viewing parties.



CONSUMER ELECTRONICS
Pre- and post-game analysis are as important for fans as the matches themselves. Smartphones and tablets will be in high demand to follow all the latest news around the clock on social networks and media outlets. And many of those that will watch the games from home are likely to upgrade to the latest technology. A similar trend could be seen for this year’s Super Bowl when searches for TV buys reached the highest peak since Cyber Monday.



APPAREL
Everyone selling soccer gear from jerseys to scarves and from flags to soccer balls and shoes should see increased traffic in the weeks ahead. Not only will a lot of younger kids being introduced to the games’ biggest stage, a lot of them want nothing more than to look like Messi or Ronaldo – or at least proudly wear their jerseys.

FOOD & BEVERAGES
Soccer fans are known for being thirsty. Well, hungry, too, as watching three games per day in the first round can burn a lot of calories. Bars, pubs and restaurants with TV screens can easily attract fans with special offers during the games. Take-out food for a quick snack during half-time will also be very popular. A lot of small businesses get very creative when infected with soccer fever. I heard of a German bakery that sold tons of so-called “World Cup” rolls and cakes with a soccer player on top – made out of sugar in 2010.

HOW TO PREPARE
Regardless which industry you fall under, the tips below should help you get ready. And ready you should get immediately, as the opening game is less than two months away.

  • Expand your keyword list with world soccer championship related terms. In the UK in May 2010, nearly 5% of all searches contained the words “World Cup”, while searches for ”World Cup 2010 dates” began to increase at the beginning of April and continued momentum. (5)
  • Bids should be adjusted to show your ads in top positions; the pitch won't be the only place where competition will be fierce!
  • Promote your business with world soccer championship specific discounts and offers. Be careful with the wording though, as FIFA, the world soccer organization, can be very strict around their trademark terms, “World Cup” being one of them. You may need to speak to the event in more neutral terms when drafting your ads.
  • Mobile devices will play a key role -- if you have not yet set up a mobile website, there’s still time to do so. But even if you don’t have a mobile site or app, a lot of world soccer championship related searches will be done over the phone. Local businesses will benefit from adding Call Extensions and Location Extensions.  Check out our solutions for mobile here.  
  • Speaking of extensions: Sitelink Extensions are a must-have, both on the PC and mobile screens. Resulting in up to 15% higher CTR, Sitelinks help take your potential customers to the most relevant site on your page.

For more information on world soccer championship trends and advertiser opportunities, click on the image below to download the full infographic.

If you want to learn more about Bing Ads’ offerings and advertising strategies for the 2014 world soccer championship, please see our detailed playbook below, which will likely answer all your questions.

The only answer we don’t have yet is who will win? Only time will tell!
Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave them below or ping us on Twitter.
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(1)    Adweek: Brazil's World Cup Is a Marketer's Dream, but Also a Potential Nightmare; October 7, 2013

(2)    Magna Global: 2013

(3)    Brazilian E-Commerce Association; 2014

(4)    The Guardian: ”World Cup 2010: business winners and losers”; July 13, 2010

(5)    Lakestar McCann,: 1”Five per cent of internet searches relate to World Cup 2010 as UK goes football mad”; June 2010

(6)    Microsoft internal data; May 2013

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Back-to-School Trends: Before Hitting the Books Students (and Parents) Shop

Decreasing Back-to-School Spending Means Increased Online Activity in 2013

School-bound students and their parents will be studying up before heading out to shop for their back-to-school needs this year. They’re in pursuit of deals and are searching online for them.

Combined back-to school and back-to-college spending will reach $72.5 billion, according to the annual survey results just released by the National Retail Federation. (1) This is a slight decrease from last year’s record spending season. Advertisers will need to compete more fiercely for the consumer’s dollar this year, meaning your Bing Ads campaign will play an even more important role.

Turning to the Internet to save money, 36.6% of back-to-school shoppers plan to do more comparative online shopping (1). Online back-to-school shoppers are expected to spend $896 – 41% more than all shoppers – on clothing and shoes, electronics and computer-related items as well as school supplies. (2)

Online back-to-school shoppers are also early in the hunt for best deals this year. More than one third start shopping two months before school begins – compared with just 23% of all shoppers. (2) Large retailers reacted accordingly: Walmart set the tone by launching a special back-to-school website on June 1.

This chart from the National Retail Federation shows how 2013 fits in the larger picture (1):

 

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Seasonality

The back-to-school shopping season is a busy one for retailers – second only to Christmas. Shopping typically kicks off in July, reaching its highest point in the middle of the month, then it levels off a bit before falling sharply at the end of August.

But the timing of these purchases varies by category. Office supplies peak earlier and decrease by the time school starts, but interest in apparel continues even after the school year begins as students see what their peers are wearing. (3)

 

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Let’s take a look how seasonality affects small businesses by comparing some actual trends in Bing Ads.

Clothing, traditionally one of the strongest categories during back-to-school and college season, saw an increase in cost-per-click in August over July both last and this year, yet 2013 CPCs in July are slightly below those of 2012. For consumer electronics it’s the opposite: June costs per click were below 2012 values, but July saw higher CPCs, likely caused by advertisers striving to be early in the game and bidding for top positions.

The story of note for our advertisers is that in both categories, click-through rates in 2013 have been above 2012 values so far, marking a 45% increase for clothing and 42% for electronics. (4)

 

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Deals are the big deal

More than 80% of back-to-school shoppers said economic conditions are changing their spending habits (1). Consequently the hunt for deals and savings is on. To capture those browsing consumers, use smart keywords and copy that convey trendiness, value, and exclusivity (like free shipping, limited-time offers). Shoppers are looking for more than backpacks and jeans; they’re searching for deals on electronics, shoes, sporting goods, and even food and beverages. A list of popular search terms reveals that students not only want to look good in new clothes for school, they (and their budget-conscious parents) want the best deals on those purchases. Last year saw a significant growth in back-to-school searches containing the word “cheap” and combinations with “deals” or “coupons.” (5)

Optimization Tips:

With the back-to-school season already in full swing, these time-tested tactics can help you grab your share of online shopping traffic. If you need personalized help, simply contact our search experts at searchaz@microsoft.com.

  • Expand your keyword list to include all relevant products that you offer. Students can be very brand-conscious, so be sure to bid on your brand name and any common misspellings of it.
  • Place competitive bids. Typically ads in positions 1 to 3 get the most click volume and highest click-through rate (CTR).
  • Use the free Bing Ads Intelligence toolto research average bids and get historical data for impressions and clicks. It can also be used to research new keywords.
  • Bid on all match types. Exact match typically has higher CTRs and is often less expensive than broad match. For broad match, we recommend implementing broad match modifierto better control when your ad appears.
  • With the season’s peak predicted for August, now is the time to create seasonal ad copyand include incentives. Small businesses often have a distinctive advantage against major retail chains when mentioning local and personal service. Increase your incentives and discounts as you get closer to the school start date. Searches for deals or coupons are especially popular.
  • To drive traffic directly to your store try Bing Ads’ enhanced location extensions with clickable directions. Sitelinksare a great way to increase click-through rates and conversions.
  • Be prepared to adjust your budget to manage increased traffic into early September. Apparel sales continue through the month.
  • Create separate content and mobile campaigns. This allows for better tracking and gives you flexibility to adjust your bids. Content campaignscan be highly targeted over time by excluding URLs where your ads underperform.
  • Test and refine. Analyzing your datais the key to a successful campaign. Have Bing Ads reports sent to your inbox for easy monitoring. If you don’t have a lot of time to dig into reporting, have at least a weekly keyword report sent to you and use it to examine and adjust your bids. Optimize for keywords in low position, those with a low CTR, or those with a low quality score. Additionally, the search query performance report offers valuable insights into the keywords that potential customers are searching for.Geographic and demographic targetingcan be very powerful, especially for small businesses. The better you know your audience – and target it – the more successful you will be.
  • For more insights how to leverage big data please proceed to this articleby Bing Search Evangelist John Gagnon on Search Engine Watch.

 

Resources:

(1) NRF 2013 press release: http://www.nrf.com/modules.php?name=News&op=viewlive&sp_id=1626

(2) blog.shop.org: Targeting the online back-to-school shopper; July 18, 2013

(3) Experian Back-to-school webinar (June 5, 2013): http://www.experian.com/marketing-services/webcast-back-to-school-maketing.html

(4) Bing Ads internal data, based on small business advertisers

(5) Infographic: http://www.experian.com/blogs/marketing-forward/2012/07/26/back-to-school-is-big-business-for-marketers/

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Housing Market on the Rise: Optimization Tips for Real Estate Advertisers

Late in May CNN released breaking news of data that appeared to put the housing and financial crises in the rear view mirror. One report showed that U.S. home prices posted their strongest gains since 2007. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller national index, prices rose 10.2% in the first quarter of 2013.

Just as the collapse of the US housing market had global implications, so will its recovery. Currently real estate market conditions remain weak in much of Europe. Spain and Ireland continued to post large year-on-year real price declines through the final months of 2012, though in the case of the latter, the pace of deterioration finally appears to be slowing. French property prices also posted modest declines through year-end. Yet several other European markets, including the UK and Sweden, showed signs of stabilization in late 2012. Switzerland continues to report strong, steady house price appreciation, supported by rock bottom mortgage rates. German property markets remain firm. After over a decade of steady declines, German home prices rose for a third year in a row in 2012. (1)

No matter your market, the internet has become the most important source for home buyers. In the US, for example, 75% of home buyers in 2011 used the internet frequently to search for homes.

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With most homes typically selling during the warmer summer months, advertisers in the real estate business should optimize their campaigns now, especially as mortgage rates remain low and loans and monetary incentives are becoming more available for home buyers.

Below are a few recommendations designed to help you maximize your success with Bing Ads. You can also just send us an email at searchaz@microsoft.com  and we’ll help you to get your campaigns in shape.

Keywords:

An analysis of keywords used by successful real estate advertisers shows a diverse portfolio including brand, sales, and rental as well as localized terms.

Brand terms:Less experienced advertisers often neglect their own brand, assuming they appear on top of the organic listings anyway. Not true: An internal Microsoft study found a 30% lift in brand awareness when a brand name appears in both organic and paid search results (2). And you also don’t want your main competitor being the one bidding on your brand.

Sales & Rental terms: A large portion of clicks is generated by keywords that are combined with either sales or rental terms, for example 2 bedroom apartment for rent or 2 bedroom apartment for sale. This is the area where to invest time to build out a robust list of keywords which include all possible variations.

Generic terms: Generic terms such as just “homes,” “apartments,” or “real estate” are great for driving volume but obviously have low CTR. They can be very powerful, though, when used in a targeted state or metro area campaign to reach the right audience in the right place. To ensure you do not exclude people in other areas with a high purchase intent, we recommend setting the advanced location options as shown below:

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Localized terms: Most of the larger advertisers run national as well as localized campaigns. The keyword “condos” alone can drive a lot of traffic to your site but generate low conversions. “Seattle condo” or “condo in Seattle” is much more precise. Creating localized terms is time consuming but rewarding. Combine your seed term (e.g. 2 bedroom apartment) with a specific state, city, neighborhood, or zip code. Check out our sample keyword list with a built-in tool to expand your keywords by location.

Foreclosure terms: Although fewer homes in foreclosure are available now, still combine your keywords with the term “foreclosure." Buying a house is typically the biggest investment people make in their lives, and houses in foreclosure sell much cheaper. You can attract a significant part of the audience by including these terms.

Bidding and Seasonality:

In real estate, buying patterns change with weather patterns. If you use localized campaigns, you can adjust your bidding for each US state to align with the peak times for each real estate marketplace (3):

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Placing a competitive bid is equally important as making a qualified offer. Highest click volume and best CTR typically come from ads in the mainline, meaning those ads that appear right above the organic results.

Bid on all match types. If you bid only on broad, adding exact and phrase can greatly improve your CTR, often at lower costs per click. We recommend the bid for exact match be slightly higher than for other match types.

Ad copy:

Real estate agents know that location matters as the value of a home is determined to a large extent by geography. For paid search, location matters, too. Your ad performs very differently by position. A recent search engine marketing study showed that 85% of clicks happen in the mainline location and only 13% in the sidebar location. (4)

Dynamic text is a must-have for advertisers in the real estate business. Since many searches are tied to a location, you want to see that location reflected in the ad copy.

Landing page:

Bing Ads can help you drive more traffic to your website, but the road to conversions happens on your website. Below is a list of features home buyers found particularly useful when using real estate websites. The more your website’s technology is equipped to fulfill these expectations, the more successful your campaign will be.

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(1) http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/global-real-estate-market-000000829.html

(2) Microsoft internal study: The Intersection of Paid & Organic Search

(3) http://www.housingwire.com/rewired/2013/01/29/trulia-reveals-best-home-searching-season

(4) http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2215868/53-of-Organic-Search-Clicks-Go-to-First-Link-Study

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Father’s Day 2013: Lots of Opportunities for Online Marketers

Valentine’s and Mother’s Day are in the books, and now it is time to think of Dad. With Father’s Day approaching quickly this June 16th, advertisers across various industries have a unique opportunity to market their products and services. In 2012, Father’s day spending reached $12.7 billion and 2013 might even be bigger, as the number of people intending to spend more than the previous year has grown steadily since 2007.

Special outings - for example, a trip to the golf course - a visit to a sports event or dinner at a restaurant were the most popular gift category,with $2.3 billion being spent last year. Electronics, apparel and gift cards also belonged to the most popular gifts, followed by sporting goods and books and music. (1)

Fathers Day Spending by Category

The number of shoppers who went online to purchase gifts was at 28.4% last year, up from 22.1% on 2011.(1) That’s why the Yahoo! Bing Network audience with its high purchase intent (the majority having spent more than $7,500 online within the last 6 months) becomes a very important target for any marketer offering presents for Father’s Day.

To prepare for the expected surge of traffic across search engines, optimizing your account in May is crucial. Online research begins about 1 month to 3 weeks before Father’s day with the following purchase trends (2):

  • 30% two weeks prior
  • 28% one week prior
  • 12% last minute

To help small businesses to get the most out of your Bing Ads campaign we collected a few tips on what to look for when preparing your account for Father’s Day.

1. Keywords

  • Create a dedicated Father’s Day campaign to catch the attention of undecided shoppers. In 2012, searches for the keyword “Father’s Day” and “Father’s Day Gifts” grew continuously since mid-May with a big spike in the last week before the event. On Father’s Day itself the number of searches jumped up by 72% compared to the day before. (3) This indicates that small businesses can drive a lot of potential shoppers to physical stores until the very last minute. Suggested keywords can be found here.
  • Bid on all match types ideally with the highest bid on exact. This is important because exact match typically delivers at higher CTR with lower costs per click.
  • Place competitive bids for your most important keywords. You want the associated ads to show in the mainline (the ads above the organic listings) where click volume is much higher.

Searches for Fathers Day and Gifts

2: Ad Copy

  • Highlight free shipping, discounts and coupons.
  • Promote shipping options such as guaranteed delivery for last minute gift shopping.
  • Consider instant deals as 40% of shoppers indicate an intent to shop daily deals.
  • Use all the new Bing Ads features such as sitelink extensions to link to specific pages on your website and location extensions to display your business address and phone number.

3: Targeting

  • More than one-quarter of those who own a tablet (25.2%) said last year they used their tablet to make a Father's Day purchase. Overall, more than half (54.6%) of tablet owners used their device to research products and compare prices, redeem coupons and look up retailers' information such as store hours and location. (1) Bing Ads offers a variety of targeting options including device targeting to refine your campaigns

Advanced Targeting Options

  • Incremental bidding offers an additional opportunity to reach your preferred audience by increasing bids for specifically targeted customers. Here’s an example illustration of how it works:

fathers day bidThe easiest way of course is to let us do the work. Simply send us an email at searchaz@microsoft.com and we’ll optimize your account on your behalf. Our search experts are more than happy to help.

Another simple way is to export your already-optimized campaigns from another search engine. Just use “Import from Google AdWords” from the main menu in Bing Ads and follow the instructions.

Thanks,

Peter

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(1) National Retail Federation: Dads Finally Getting Their Due This Father’s Day, According to NRF Survey; June 2012

(2) Pricegrabber 2012 Father’s Day Shopping Survey; June 2012

(3) Bing Ads internal data; May to June 2012

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Mother's Day Shoppers Go Online - Optimize With Bing Ads Tools and Tips

There are about 2 billion mothers on our planet, so it is no surprise that Mother’s Day is considered the second biggest gifting holiday of the year. US consumers spent an average of $152.50 dollars last year on Mother’s Day, 8 percent more than in 2011. The combined spending reached $18.6 billion (1), and there is optimism that 2013 will see even bigger numbers.

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According to the National Retail Foundation’s 2012 survey, special meals and/or outings, clothing, electronics and flowers were amongst the most popular gifts. Two-thirds (66.4%) of consumers bought flowers, spending a total of $2.2 billion, and nearly one-third (32.8%) spent $1.6 billion on clothing and accessories. Those buying electronics (12.7%) spent another $1.6 billion on tablets, digital cameras and more, and over half (54.3%) of all celebrants invited mom to a nice dinner or brunch, spending collectively $3.4 billion.  Additionally, $1.8 billion was spent on gift cards and $1.3 billion on personal services such as a trip to a day spa. (1)

For advertisers using search engines to promote their products, it is good news that in 2012 a quarter of shoppers bought their gifts online (an increase over 2011). This year, Mother’s Day will again create many opportunities to connect millions of consumers across the Yahoo! Bing Network with advertisers offering the perfect gift.

Consequently, search marketers should begin optimizing their campaigns in mid-April and conclude testing by April 28thto capitalize on the optimal online buying window. Based on a selection of popular Mother’s Day keywords, we saw search activity starting to increase within the first few days of May 2012, with significant growth in the week leading into Mother’s Day. (2)

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This mirrors industry analysis from last year showing that online research begins about one month before Mother’s Day with the following purchase breakdown: 30 percent of consumers indicate they will buy a gift one week before the big day, 27 percent two weeks prior, and 18 percent in just the last 48 hours before Mother’s Day. (3)

On the Yahoo! Bing Network this behavior was reflected in higher click-through rates as we got closer to Mother’s Day 2012. In most verticals, cost-per-click remained at or below a moderate $0.40, with the only exception being the highly competitive “Flowers & Gifts” category, which climbed all through May right up to Mother’s Day. To find recent performance data for your keywords, leverage our Excel-based BING ADS INTELLIGENCE tool available on our tool downloads site.

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Because of the narrow sales window, timing is crucial for a successful Mother’s Day search campaign and we recommend you:

  • Ramp up campaigns in mid-April to capture early searches.
  • Refine campaigns for traffic spikes one and two weeks prior to Mother’s Day.
  • Promote e-delivery and guaranteed delivery the week of Mother’s Day.
  • Promote gift card redemption the first two weeks after Mother’s Day for those who received gift cards as a gift.

Last, but not least, here are some tips around how to optimize your campaigns effectively:

1. Keywords

  • Bid on all match types ideally with the highest bid on exact.
  • Place competitive bids for your most important keywords. You want those to show in the mainline (position 1 through 4) where click volume is much higher.
  • Create a dedicated Mother’s day campaign to convert undecided shoppers into loyal customers. SUGGESTED KEYWORDS can be found here. In 2012 searches for the keyword “Mother’s Day Gifts” grew by almost 700% the Sunday before Mother’s day. (2)

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2. Ad Copy

  • Highlight free shipping, sales, discounts and promotions
  • Promote shipping options such as guaranteed delivery for last minute gift shopping
  • Men are primary targets, but consider targeting women for incremental buys for other close female relations such grand-mothers, aunts, and god-mothers
  • Your ads are becoming very powerful when integrating sitelink extensions. We’ve seen up to 25% higher CTR for retail clients and 10-20% CTR improvement over text ads (check out this video: Get More Clicks with Sitelink Extensions, and this blog post: Introducing Sitelink Extensions in Bing Ads for more information on what they are and how to use them to drive traffic). 
  • Location extensions additionally allow to show the address of your store plus a phone number to reach you

3. Mobile Devices

The percentage of consumers - especially in younger age groups using smart phones or tablets to research products and prices – who redeem coupons or engage in ‘show rooming’ will likely grow again this year. Below is a look at how they engaged last year (1):

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Take advantage of Bing Ads’ ability to target by device and set up specific campaigns for mobile devices only, and then optimize separately for PC and mobile.  For more targeting options and information, check out Bing Ads Targeting - Training.

If you are looking for MORE INSIGHTS download this PDF.  And if you need any help getting your account in perfect shape for Mother’s Day, please simply send us an email at searchaz@microsoft.com and we will do the optimization work for you.

Thank you!

Peter

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1) NRF.com: Gas Prices No Match When it Comes to Mom, According to NRF Survey; April 24, 2012

2) Bing Ads internal data; April-May 2012

3) prnewswire.com: Sixty-two Percent of Consumers Will Find the Perfect Mother's Day Gift for Less Than $100 This Year, According to PriceGrabber® Survey; April 23, 2012

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