Lucy Wang


Dominate the Offense with Mainline Bids

In search advertising, having your ads in a top position is critical to success. If your ads are stuck on the sidelines, there are changes you can make to move them into better positions and get higher click-through rates. Our internal study shows that 90% of the clicks come from mainline ads. If you’re wondering how much of a bid increase you need for your ads to score more clicks, Bing Ads’ Opportunities page is here to help you achieve more with confidence.

How much should you bid to move the needle?

When you visit the Opportunities page (or click on the inline opportunities in the Campaign grid), you’ll see first page, mainline and best position bid recommendations specific to your campaigns. With a few clicks, you can view the suggestions and their impacts and update your bids.

Let’s take a look at how bidding on these positions will help you drive better performance and build smarter connections.

For a mere 5% bid adjustment, you can make an noticeable impact

Want to make a big impact with small bid adjustments? Look for opportunities to move your ads to the first page or mainline by increasing your bids by small amounts.

If your ads aren’t serving on the first page, first page opportunities can help you get better placement and more clicks. We found that advertisers can expect a 5.5% increase in click volume on average when they increase their bids by 5% to serve on the first page. 1 The expected click increase varies by industry, with Financial Services & Insurance on the low end with an expected 3.6% increase and with Retail on the high end with an expected 7.1% increase. Want to know what the expected click increase is for your industry for increasing your bids 5% to move your ads to the first page? Check out the chart below.

If your ads are showing on the first page sidebar, you’ll position your ads for more clicks by moving them to the mainline. If an advertiser increases their bids by 5% to serve on the mainline, we found an expected click increase of 5% to 8%, depending on the industry. While the average click increase is 6.7%, Retail shows an expected click increase of 8.5%. The chart below presents the expected click increases by industry for increasing your bids by 5% to show in the mainline.

Want even more clicks? Move your ads to the mainline 

Here is why. As mentioned, we found that 90% of clicks occur in the mainline and that mainline ads have a click-through rate (CTR) that’s 13 times higher than sidebar ads. If you have the budget, then you’ll maximize your click volume by serving your ads on the mainline.

The click volume and CTR of mainline ads vary by industry. We found that 96% of Travel clicks and 95% of Financial Services & Insurance clicks occur in the mainline, whereas the Mainline grabbed 88% of Retail clicks. What’s more mainline Travel ads have a CTR that’s 25 times higher than sidebar ads, showing how valuable the mainline positions are to Travel advertisers.

See our mainline bidding presentation below to get a breakdown of click volume and CTR by industry for Automotive, Career & Education, CPG, Financial Services & Insurance, Retail, Tech & Telco, and Travel advertisers.

Other considerations to help your ads be more visible

In addition to opportunities to increase keyword bids to move your ads to a better position, the Opportunities page can also help you:

  •        Lower your bids
  •        Add new keywords
  •        Add broad match versions
  •        Increase campaign budgets

We encourage you to check the Opportunities page often. There might be times when you don’t have any opportunities listed, but on your next visit you will have several. We are constantly analyzing your account performance and marketplace dynamics in order to identify new opportunities for you.

To learn more about Bing Ads Opportunities, visit the Help Center.

Connect with us

As always, Bing Ads cares about your ROI, instead of blindly asking you to spend more. We’re working hard to develop technologies to help you make the best use of your budget. Stay tuned.

We welcome your thoughts and feedback, please let us know what you think by pinging us on Twitter or by sharing your thoughts in our Feature Suggestion Forum.

Note: Your opportunities and performance estimation of those opportunities is refreshed based on your latest account performance. We will also be offering new types of opportunities in the future.


[1] Bing Ads Internal Analysis, Jan 2016, US only, All Devices. Industry categorization: based on internal Bing Ads account categorization.

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Are You Ready for the Last Dash for Tax Season? Ask Me about Financial Services Search Strategies

I’m Lucy Wang, Senior Vertical Marketing Lead of Financial Services with Bing Ads. While Financial Services industry had certainly met its challenges in the past few years, it is now enjoying a major comeback. I would like to share some useful tactics to take your search campaigns to the next level in the next Ask an Expert in the Bing Ads LinkedIn group.

By way of introduction, you may want to know a bit about me. I started out as a product manager, building E-Commerce and M-Commerce products for 13 years. In the last 7 years, I divided my time between SEO and SEM in the Financial and Travel industries, helping advertisers reach their optimal share of wallet organically and acquisitively. I particularly like Financials because of its human connection – it’s not buying a product, rather, planning our lives. I’ve witnessed the unique challenges financial marketers face: regulation, brand trust and scammers, to name a few. Let me help you navigate through the maze and get to the right audience.

And… did I mention we’re in tax season now?  Jump in with your questions, let’s get the “Ask an Expert” started! I’m sure we’ll learn from each other! I’ll be in the Bing Ads LinkedIn group from Monday the 31st of March until April 4th.

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Make Tax Season a Time to Connect with Customers on the Yahoo Bing Network

For most people, tax time now means a lot of extra time spent online. They use the digital world to research tax information, hunt for tax-related resources, and file taxes. In fact, some 131.1 million tax returns were submitted electronically in 2012, with four out of five returns filed in that manner.

That means tax season creates a base of potential customers that is actively seeking information and assistance with taxes. If you’re in a business that can help these customers, then advertising on the Yahoo Bing Network is a great way to reach our distinct, high-value audience.

Best time to target your customers

Our research reveals several trends that can help you target search advertising to capture the most tax-related customers. Typically, we see two peaks in the tax season. The first comes shortly after people receive W2s and is dominated by searchers for brand-name tax software, with “accountants” being another common term.

Later, around mid-February, those searches taper off and are replaced by more common searchers for terms such as “IRS” and “Refunds,” as people begin to anticipate receiving money back.

So, early searchers are more serious about actual help with their taxes, and advertisers should respond accordingly. Later in the season, advertisers that are more retail-oriented might consider ways to tap into the “spend” impulse of people anticipating a refund. Which, by the way, is not insubstantial – the average tax refund is close to $3,000, reports the IRS.

Source:  Microsoft internal data, 2013

Capture the market

To ensure the best campaign results, try the following:

  • Test ad copy early in January (before the first peak) and run with the best performing ads. Remember to use dynamic insertions in your ads and have a clear call to action.  Refer to page 13 of our US Search Trends in Financial Service report to view see specific ad copy recommendations.
  • Add Call and Sitelink Extensions to your ads, enabling customers to reach you with just an additional click, or send them to specific pages on your web site.
  • Include tax-related keywords to your keyword lists; consider using broad match to send more searchers your way who may be searching for related information but don’t use the exact wording you anticipate.
  • Long Ad Titles can help drive more clicks on top position (i.e. mainline) search ads, improving overall ad performance. Advertisers in beta testing saw a 12 percent average increase in click-through rate (CTR).
  • Have a mobile strategy, perhaps targeting tablets and smartphones specifically. Increasingly, people use these devices for many of their searches especially when they’re on the go.


A valuable audience

Not only can Bing deliver 1 million tax-related searchers not found on Google[1] -- as well as 2 million total paid clicks[2] --our audience is 8% more likely than Google’s to have bought personal finance/tax software online.[3] They’re also more likely to have searched for tax-related information online.[4]

Plus, our overall audience simply offers more. The Yahoo Bing Network audience spends 23 percent more than the average online population and it out-spends Google users by 6 percent.[5] Overall, Yahoo Bing Network users comprise an audience of 163 million searchers that don’t use Google, giving us a 29% search share.

Taxes may be inevitable, but with the Yahoo Bing Network, so can a boost to a tax-related business.

Thanks for reading,

Lucy Wang

Senior Vertical Manager

[1] comScore Search Categories Report (custom), US, March 2013.

[2] comScore Search Categories Report (custom), US, March 2013.

[3] comScore Plan Metrix, US September 2012

[4] comScore Plan Metrix, US September 2012

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Tips for Reaching a High Quality Travel Audience Across Devices

Microsoft has many touch points into diverse user groups around the world. Travel opportunities arise from this global ecosystem of assets, creating new experiences for both consumers and advertisers.  Bing and Bing Ads represent the incredible breadth of assets available to advertisers, including the audience found on Yahoo and Microsoft sites.  

Through mobile innovation, the Yahoo Bing Network continues to help travel suppliers and online travel agencies (OTAs) alike reach the unique, lucrative and distinct travel audience residing exclusively within Microsoft platform of applications, services and devices.

For more on insights specific to the travel industry, review the presentation I just gave at the EyeforTravel Event in Chicago:


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Build Your Travel Success Story on the Yahoo! Bing Network

Summertime is right around the corner and it’s time for travelers to start planning for that inspirational summer vacation. Be it snorkeling in Maui or an adventure to Gatorland in Orlando, the Yahoo! Bing Network sits at the pivotal point in consumer journey to help travel advertisers capture the right audience.

Bing Ads Travel Audience

For many advertisers, the Yahoo! Bing Network is already known as a “must buy,” with 47.3 million unique total searchers and 30% search share in the search market place. However, in the travel category, do you know that 12 million travel searchers on Yahoo! Bing are exclusive, which means they didn’t conduct travel queries on Google[1]? That is net new audience you could capture from the network.

Now when you look at the past purchase behaviors of the Yahoo! Bing Network travel audience below, it is evident that searchers here are likely to translate into potential customers for your travel business. This audience is more likely than the average Internet population to reserve rental cars, buy airline tickets and book vacation packages[2]. Now, let’s take a look at the PPC cost of this valuable audience. In a recently released AdGooroo report,[3]travel CPCs on the Yahoo! Bing Network were noted at 30% lower than the industrial average!

image [4]

Take Advantage of the Yahoo! Bing Network and Build a Success Story

How do advertisers take advantage of this opportunity? Start by creating a search campaign within Bing Ads now, leveraging various time-saving tools. Let the network work hard for you!

In a recent case studyconducted with Smart Destinations, a travel company that helps travelers save money and skip lines at top attractions in nine US cities, SEM Manager Katie Angeloni mentioned that, “If businesses are already advertising on Google, it’s absolutely essential to advertise on the Yahoo! Bing Network too.”

“Our average cost per click with Bing Ads is trending 50% lower while the conversion rate is on

par with all of our other channels,” Angeloni says. “It’s good that we can rely on Bing Ads for a lower CPC while at the same time delivering high-quality traffic.” THAT is a great story – quality leads at a great price. clip_image004[3]

Summer holiday season is on the horizon, so now is the time to dream big. Brush up those best practices and go after your well-deserved audience!


[1]ComScore, YBN quarterly category report, Dec 2012.

[2]comScore. Plan Site Metrix Audience Profile, Feb 2013.

[3] ADGOOROO: Yahoo! Bing PPC Performance Metrics Q3 2012

[4] Chart source: CPC: AdGooroo Q3 2012; % more likely than Internet Population to: comScore Plan Site Metrix Audience Profile Feb 13; Search Share: comScore: YBN Quarterly category report, Dec 2012.

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