Simone Schuurer

International Content Marketing / Social Media Manager
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Launched: Bing Ads Platform Health Updates

We’re always thinking of ways to make your working life easier, which is why we’ve launched Bing Ads Platform Health Blog: http://status.bingads.com/

We hope nothing ever goes wrong but when something does we’d like you to know what’s happening, give you updates, workarounds if available and give you the green light when all is back to normal.

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Example of a Bing Ads platform update

How it works:

The main Platform Health Blog page at http://status.bingads.com/ shows a status icon, which will turn orange when Bing Ads is impacted by an issue, and red if there is an outage and green when an issue has been resolved. The details of the issue will appear below, including the time it started, which parts of Bing Ads are affected, and any known workarounds. We’ll post regular updates as our engineering team investigates and resolves the issue. Once it’s fixed, we’ll keep showing the post on the main page for 24 hours. After that, you can see it in our “Older Issues” archive. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed to automatically see a notification in your browser or RSS reader when a new post appears.

Please visit http://status.bingads.com/ to see our latest updates, sign up to the RSS feed or follow us on Twitter.

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Get the Latest Optimization Strategy and Excel Advice in our next Ask an Expert

The wife of our next ‘Ask an Expert’ host recently tweeted ‘I married someone who loves to watch #Excel videos on a Friday night for fun’. We do sympathize. This obsessive interest in Excel spells well however for those that want to know about optimization strategy and Excel but prefer to spend their Friday nights in a somewhat more lighthearted manner.

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Get your optimization strategy and Excel advice straight from our expert

From Monday July 14 to Friday July 18 Excel lover, Bing Ads evangelist and industry blogger John Gagnon will be in our LinkedIn group to share tips but more importantly to answer questions you may have. We say: a great chance to get some bespoke time saving tips to make your already busy professional day run a bit more efficiently.

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Our next Ask an Expert host: John Gagnon

About this month’s expert:

John Gagnon has been working at Bing Ads before it was called Bing Ads and sees it as part of his job to know the depths of features and relay that information in such way you can use it to increase the ROI of your PPC campaigns. In the past John also worked for Google AdWords so he understand both tool sets well. To get a flavour of the kind of knowledge he can help you with have a look at his posts on Search Engine Watch and ClicKZ.

In John’s words ‘Experts stay experts by learning every day’ so even if you consider yourself a fairly savvy expert on optimisation techniques ad Excel join in to see if there’s anything new to be learned.

How does an Ask an Expert work?

The concept is simple: the discussion starts on Monday the 14th in our LinkedIn group from which you can leave questions and comments in the discussion and John will try to answer/advice. Apart from asking questions you can join in to read tips and see what others like to know – sharing of own best practices and tips is also very welcome. If you aren’t part of the group yet why not join now?

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Sign Up for Our Free European Travel Webinar on June 4th

Update: If you have missed the European Travel Webinar you can listen to a recording of it here.

This summer those in the travel industry (or looking after travel PPC accounts) have plenty to look forward to. Not only will they benefit from the usual peak in travel searches but the World Cup will add a whole new dynamic too!

We have a wealth of insights and tips to help you make the most of your PPC opportunities which we’ll be sharing in a free webinar you can sign up to today:

Webinar details:

  • Register here for our free Bing Ads travel webinar, and achieve your goals on the Yahoo Bing Network this summer:
  • Date: 4th June
  • Time: 10am GMT

During this webinar our experts will cover:

  • Key travel insights & European trends
  • Best practices for advertising during the World Cup
  • Top optimisations tips
  • Live Q&A

In the meantime, make sure to check out our blog posts “Optimising your Paid Travel Campaigns to Search Seasonality”! Various market specific versions can be found here: UK DE FR ES .

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Get Your Bing Ads Editor Questions Answered on LinkedIn

From May 19-23 (next Monday to Friday) we’ll be hosting a new Ask an Expert in our Bing Ads Linked group and the expert and host is no-one less than our Bing Ads Editor specialist Senior Program Manager Ping Jen.

What is the Bing Ads Editor?

The Bing Ads Editor -in a nutshell- is a free tool which you can use on- or offline to:

  1. Sync your PPC campaigns and accounts make changes or additions offline, and then upload your revisions with one click.
  2. Easily make edits: edit ads, ad groups, and thousands of keywords at once.
  3. Create and import campaigns with ease: You can define an ad group, create text ads, select keywords, and preview final ad copy. You can even import your account data from other search engines directly into Bing Ads Editor.
  4. Get performance alerts: Adjust your campaign according to automatic alerts that notify you about key performance behaviours and status changes to budgets, ad groups, and keywords.
  5. Research new keywords: Discover new keywords and add them to your account using the keyword research tools.

 

What is an Ask an Expert?

In an Ask an Expert someone at Bing Ads that is particularly knowledgeable about a certain topic is sharing tips on their matter of expertise, but most of all they make themselves available to help you and answer any questions you may have. They do this in our LinkedIn group. Besides relying on the experts we rely on you to ask questions and share opinions.

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To make you familiar with our expert we asked Bing Ads Editor specialist Ping a few questions to give you an idea about who he is and what knowledge you can draw on in the Ask an Expert:

Ping, what is your professional background?

‘I have more than 10 years’ experience in serving patients and developing databases in the healthcare industry where I learned everyone needs help and everyone can help, ones getting help usual become big helps. I joined Microsoft Bing Ads in 2009 to establish an optimization product line which includes quality score and bid recommendations.

In 2013 I moved to the Bing Ads Editor team with the goal to make the editor easier to use and faster. I wrote the Bing Ads Editor Diary series to share my learnings along the way. Today I’m still dedicated to the Bing Ads Editor and really have a passion to address advertisers’ end-to-end needs in SEM management.’

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What are your takeaways from working on SEM business for the past 5 years?

‘Once wrote an post ( Marketing Lessons From Moneyball ) to pivot my learnings through this movie:

  • In baseball the goal shouldn’t to be to buy plays, but buy runs
  • In advertising, the goal shouldn’t to show your products, but show you know customers
  • In products development, the goal shouldn’t to build more features, but deliver a better result.’

What do you think are the strong points of the Bing Ads Editor?

‘It enables users to easily migrate campaigns from other marketplaces to Bing Ads.’

Is there functionality you think advertisers underuse or are not aware off which would help them be more efficient?

‘The editor started providing an advanced extension data management function since version 10.1 to help power users manage a large amount of extensions via Excel with ease.  In a nutshell, this helps to leverage newly established ID and Parent ID columns to associate individual extensions with multiple campaigns/ad group tables.’

Can our LinkedIn group members expect any special scoops from you in the Ask an Expert?

‘We will discuss the next version of Bing Ads Editorwhich is in a beta pilot with selected users right now. The next version of Editor will provide enhanced targeting and a sync management function and additional bulk editing tools to increase users’ productivity at Bing Ads.’

Join the Bing Ads Editor Ask an Expert for news on the editor and to get advice and tips from Ping

‘To make sure you can follow or participate in the Ask an Expert join the Bing Ads LinkedIn group (if you haven’t done so already).’

Finally..

Should you be out next week you can also catch Ping on the golf course! ‘Golf is my favourite sport, I made many life-time friends at Philadelphia FDR Golf Course, Cincinnati Glenview Golf Course and Bellevue Golf Course where I used to play weekly. Through golf, I learned there are no perfect shots, and there are great shots and good shots.  Good shots score pars to get by, great shots get you wins if you can pull them off.  On or off golf courses, I see many play good shots to stay in the game until the competitions made great shots to claim the victory.  Bing Ads Editor Team strives to win, come partnering with us to call the shots and read the greens. Together, we will pull this big one off!’

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Learn about Ad Extensions and Smart Search at the Adobe’s Digital Marketing Conference

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Learn about Ad Extensions and Smart Search at the Adobe’s Digital Marketing Conference

Marketing in a digital world is increasingly complex, but savvy marketers now have more opportunities than ever before to successfully reach consumers and deliver results.

At Adobe Summit EMEA 2014 (May 14-15 in London) you’ll learn from the marketing leaders who are driving innovation in measuring across channels, creating and managing the consumer profile, and enabling consistent, highly personalised experiences that lead to conversions.

Learn all about ad extensions, call extensions with Skype and Windows 8.1 Smart Search

The Yahoo Bing Network will at the Adobe Summit to share recent research on ad extension performance on Bing Ads, including how ad extensions improve user engagement, improve your campaign performance and compound to drive even stronger results when you combine different ad extensions in the same ad. They’ll share popular optimisation tactics for driving a successful extensions strategy. Finally, they’ll be previewing the new, reinvented ad format available through Windows 8.1 Smart Search, and the new Skype integration for call extensions. 

Where to find our speakers and the Yahoo Bing Network Stand?

You can find out all about the above by attending the presentation by the EMEA Product Marketing Director for Bing Ads Tor Crockatt (@searchtor) and by talking to our team on the Yahoo Bing Network stand (stand 7 in the community pavilion)

clip_image004The session can be found on the event site under the Digital Advertising Track

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We’d love to see you in person next week! Can’t make it? Follow our social channels to get some of the highlights!

View the conference map

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PPC Back to Basics – Get Started with Conversion Tracking

What is conversion tracking?

Anyone investing in advertising usually wants to know the effectiveness of their advertising efforts. When you advertise using pay per click, you can obviously measure the clicks, however, clicks are not the last action performed by your visitors. Visitors might purchase some items from your website after they have viewed or clicked on the ad. Conversion tracking answers the question of how many views or clicks result in an actual purchase, sign-up/registration, lead, viewing of a key page, or some other valuable actions.

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Conversion tracking – what did people do after they clicked on your ad?

How does conversion tracking work in Bing Ads?

When a potential customer clicks your ad and navigates to your website, a cookie is placed on that person's computer and records that click. If the same person then completes a transaction (e.g., makes a purchase, signs up for an account), conversion tracking retrieves the stored information from the cookie and records the conversion – this is called conversion tracking. Conversion analytics provides data about conversions, like visitor behavior on your website leading up to a conversion.  

Can I set up conversion tracking for my campaign?

Sure, however:

  • Cookies must be enabled on your site visitors' computers. Many computer users disable cookies, and conversion tracking does not work for these visitors.
  • The campaign or account (if using campaign analytics) must be active.

How do I set conversion tracking up?

  • Go to the ‘campaigns’ tab >
  • Click on ‘manage your analytics settings’ (in the left bottom corner of your screen) >
  • Click on your account drop down menu >
  • Choose an account >
  • You’ll then see a section under your account drop down which looks as follows:

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For you to be able to track the customer behavior you obviously must define what that behavior is. For example, you can track how many people click on your ad for example actually:

  • Make a purchase
  • Sign up for a newsletter
  • Create an account
  • Access a list of products on your webpage

This is called goal setting.

Here it gets potentially a little confusing if you’re just starting out in PPC so before you start, so let us explain:

The information you get around the goal you set can be tailored – this is done by creating steps within the goal. You have to have at least one step in your goal (the conversion step which is the moment your visitor takes action) but you can add more:

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The steps your (conversion) goal can consist of

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The way goal setting looks in the Bing Ads UI

The next piece of information you’ll see to set up is revenue and cost tracking– this allows you to track how much money you make for each conversion. If you are not interested in this, just tick ‘none’.

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Revenue and cost tracking for conversion steps as it looks in the Bing Ads UI

You can track two things in this section – revenue you are making or costs related to conversions.

This is how you set this section up:

Revenue to track:

  1. If you earn the same amount for each conversion, such as a website registration fee, select Constant. In the Valuebox, enter the amount you collect per conversion (do not use currency symbols).
  2. If you earn a variable amount for each conversion, such as a sales total, select Variable.

The revenue totals based on these options will appear in your conversion tracking performance reports.

Cost to track:

You can also track the following costs per conversion:

  • Non-advertising related costs:Expenses that are related to transactions, such as credit card processing fees.
  • Tax:Sales taxes that you collect on transactions, for reporting and payment to taxing authorities.
  • Shipping: Costs that are related to delivery of items to customers.

Finally you can determine for how long you would like to track a user is the number of days you track a customer prior to a conversion (the conversion period):

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After making your selections, click “save and generate code” to create the tracking code.

  • Tracking code: Under “tracking code”, pick one of your steps from the drop-down menu >
  • The unique tracking code for this step appears in the window >
  • Click the “copy code” button >
  • Next, open the page you want to track, and paste the tracking code >
  • After copying and pasting the code for each step, click “close”. Your goals appear in the Goals table.  You can create up to six conversion goals per account >
  • After you enable conversion tracking, you'll paste the tracking code that was generated into the related webpage on your site. “Paste” the tracking code between the <body> and </body> tags on each webpage that you want to track, immediately above the </body> tag. For example:

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Once all is set up and running you can start looking at the data as a reward for your efforts ;)

You can find the following Campaign Analytics reports on the reports page under the report drop down:

  • Conversion reports that provide data on impressions, clicks, conversions, and revenue. Conversion reports reveal whether ad campaigns are meeting sales and revenue goals.
  • Goals reports that help track visitor behavior on your website between clicking your ad and reaching your conversion goal. 
  • Traffic sources reports that provide conversion and goal data by sources of traffic to your website.
  • Segments reports that provide data by geographic and demographic attributes.
  • Tactics and channels reports that provide data by custom report dimension.

Three Things you could now do:

  1. Interested to track visitor activity on your website and find out if they continue to do what you hope, such as buy something? - Try set up your first conversion tracking.
  2. Have a look at the reports you can then pull that help you gauge campaign performance and optimize existing and future campaigns.
  3. Optimize your ROI with the reports that show costs and revenue associated with conversion tracking.

 Other posts in the PPC Back to Basic series:

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