Lisa Raehsler - Guest Blogger

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Unified Device Targeting: Optimizing your Bing Ads campaigns for mobile

Last week, we talked about What You Need to Know before Unified Device Targeting migration starts on March 23, 2015, and 5 Best Practices for Optimizing Campaigns. In this post, we’ll talk about ways to optimize campaigns for mobile search.

How to create a mobile ad strategy

If your website is mobile-friendly, here are some questions to help shape your mobile search strategy. Use these as a starting point, as you think about what you want your mobile search program to do for your business.

  • Will people be looking for a brick-and-mortar location? Consider location extensions to make sure that you’re easy to find.
  • Researching and purchasing products, or product price comparisons? Consider dynamic keyword insertion to feature popular products right in search results.
  • Making reservations? Use call extensions so that searchers can call you directly from search results.
  • Consuming content? Use mobile site links to help searchers find exactly what they’re looking for.

Keep in mind, mobile search drives multiple types of conversions, and key KPIs may vary across devices. Driving leads through calls, clicks on maps and directions, or tracking app installs may be key focus areas for advertisers, and should be considered when evaluating Bing Ads mobile search success.

Here’s an overview of steps to take before March 23 to prepare for additional mobile search traffic to your mobile site or landing page.

  1. Opt into “all devices.”
  2. Create and designate “mobile preferred” ads and at least one Desktop/Tablet optimized ad.
  3. Test various bid modifiers: start at +/-30%, track, and adjust to meet campaign goals.
  4. A good place to reference data is in your website analytics program to analyze the quality of mobile traffic from various sources.
  5. With fewer ad positions available on small mobile screens, aiming for first position is good idea.

 

Evaluate keywords

Use these tips to help evaluate your keyword portfolio to ensure that your ads show up when people are searching for you.

  • Remember that searches via mobile may be shorter and simpler.
  • Mobile searchers frequently include locations in their mobile queries, so include location-specific terms in your keywords, and use geo-targeting to maximize relevancy.
  • Test adding mobile-specific keywords to your campaigns. For instance, add “mobile” or “smartphone” to some of your top performing keywords.
  • Mobile shoppers compare products on the go, so be sure to incorporate products and product categories in your strategy. Dynamic keyword insertion is a great way to manage ad copy if you have lots of products.
  • Because shorter search queries may be less specific, anticipating negative keywords is crucial.
  • Review your website analytics and Bing Ads keyword research tools to see what search terms people use when they look for businesses or products like yours. Add those search terms to your portfolio, and review frequently to see how users respond.

 

Review ad copy

Ads should support your strategy and be targeted specifically to the mobile user. Remember smaller screen sizes mean that long ad copy may be truncated.

  • Make sure your headline contains the most relevant information based on the search terms mobile searchers use from your keyword analysis.
  • Review the information you gathered from your keyword research to determine which search terms are most popular and include those in your ad description.
  • Indicate your site is mobile friendly by showing your mobile-specific URL – such as yourwebsite.com/mobile – so searchers will expect a better browsing experience.
  • Use terms like “mobile” or “smartphone” in your ad copy so that searchers know that your landing page or website is optimized for mobile devices.

 

Landing pages

A mobile-friendly landing page that matches search terms and ad copy is critical to a good user experience. Remember the "rule of thumb" for navigating mobile websites: most users use their thumbs to navigate on smartphones. To see if your site is mobile-friendly, try navigating it using only your thumbs. If you can’t, then consider further optimization.

  • This can be something as simple as a way for the user to locate you, bulleted product information, or a shortened form to fill out.
  • Many advertisers use responsive design where the website detects the visitor's screen size and orientation and changes the layout accordingly - making a mobile friendly site easier to manage.
  • Keep the messaging short and concise and the navigation easy to click and scroll for small screens.
  • Always include a prominent call-to-action so users know what you want them to do on the page. For example, “Call now for a free quote."

 

Mobile-Friendly Ad Extensions

Think back to your mobile ad strategy. Opt in to relevant ad extensions to help you achieve your goals.

  1. Use call extensions which allow users to click-to-call immediately from their search results on their smartphones. Call extensions ONLY display on mobile devices, although phone numbers included in location extensions and call forwarding numbers will also be displayed on PC/tablet search results.
  2. Mobile Sitelinks include additional (short) text links below the ad that can help searchers find more specific site content. Keep these brief so they don’t get truncated on small screens.
  3. Location extensions include a business address and phone number directly in your ads, to help local searchers, who might be just around the corner, find your business.
  4. App Extensions will be generally available in early April, and are in pilot testing now. These extensions are only displayed on mobile devices. They will automatically detect the searcher’s device and operating system, and send them to the page for your app in the appropriate app store.

 

Searching from mobile phones has become the norm rather than the exception. The Unified Device Targeting enhancement will streamline the advertising campaign process, making it easier to reach multiple traffic sources with one campaign. 

Mobile Site Optimization Resources*

For Bing Ads mobile optimization resources, visit bingads.com/optimizemobile

Want to know more about responsive web design? Here are additional reads:

 

The following design testing tools can be helpful. They provide free evaluation for mobile readiness.

 

Listed below are companies that provide website services, in some cases offering automatic mobile optimization.

 

Questions? Comments? Leave them below, or ping me on Twitter.

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About the author

Lisa Raehsler is a search engine marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) strategist, nationally-recognized speaker, and columnist for industry leading publications. As the founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co., Lisa works with companies and agencies of all sizes to integrate PPC advertising into online media strategies for brand promotion, demand generation, and customer acquisition. Lisa has led strategy and management on hundreds of paid advertising accounts for search engines (Google AdWords and Bing Ads), mobile, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. Her experience spans seventeen years and includes working with national brands at agencies and at the enterprise level at Thomson Reuters.

Lisa has spoken about PPC, mobile, retargeting and many other online marketing topics in podcasts and webinars. She has also spoken at numerous leading industry conferences, including Pubcon, ClickZ Live, SES, OMS, MIMA, HeroConf, and SMX, as well as training events. Lisa also shares her expertise on digital marketing and paid search advertising as a columnist for ClickZ and Search Engine Watch. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRocksSEM.


* Microsoft does not endorse any of the third party tools and software listed here.

 

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Unified Device Targeting: 5 best practices for optimizing campaigns

Earlier this week, we talked about What You Need to Know before Unified Device Targeting migration starts on March 23, 2015. In this post, we’ll dig a bit deeper and look at best practices for merging and optimizing your campaigns before the migration starts.

1.    Assess device targeting settings for current campaigns

An easy way to get a snapshot of this information is to look at the “Devices” column in the settings tab. If you don’t see "Devices", use the “Columns” menu to add it.

 

 

2.    Look specifically for mobile preferred ads

To find this, in the “Ads” tab, add the column “Device preference”.  Specifying a mobile preference tells Bing Ads that you prefer to show an ad on mobile devices. If an ad group has both mobile-preferred and regular ads, only mobile-preferred ads serve on mobile devices, and only regular ads serve on desktops and tablets.

 

3.    Create a list or spreadsheet to outline top priority campaigns

Your top priority campaigns should fall into these three categories:

  1. Campaigns targeting only desktop/tablet, excluding smartphone
  2. Campaigns targeting only smartphones
  3. No action required for campaigns that are targeted to all devices BUT they may require optimization for mobile screens.

 

TIP: To exclude mobile from your campaigns by entering a -100% bid modifier. You may want to do this if your website does not properly support mobile traffic.

4.    Assess campaign structure and revise if needed

Once you’ve identified any campaigns that need to be merged, review your campaign organization and structure to ensure that bids and bid adjustments will work the way you expect once campaigns are merged.

Think about the kinds of performance reports you will want later. Are your campaigns structured so that you will be able to get the reports you need?

5.    How to combine campaigns

If you’ve found you have duplicate mobile and desktop campaigns, select a primary campaign and merge the two, using the better performing campaign as the new primary campaign.

  1. Opt into “all devices”. You can do this in bulk using the Bing Ads Editor (see my earlier post for instructions on bulk editing using Bing Ads Editor)
  2. Delete lowest performing ads, using only the best ads in the new primary campaign
  3. Designate “mobile preferred” ads and at least one Desktop/Tablet optimized ad per Ad Group
  4. Using historical data from your existing mobile and desktop campaigns, calculate the difference between your mobile CPCs and desktop CPCs, then set a mobile bid adjustment accordingly. Use this as a starting point, and adjust as you monitor campaign performance. Example: if your mobile CPCs are 30% lower than your PC/Tablet CPCs, apply a -30% bid adjustment to your mobile bid to maintain your effective CPC.
  5. Aim for similar ad rank achieved historically using bid adjustments. Use Bing Ads’ bidding and traffic estimation tools to help you determine the optimal bid to achieve your desired ad rank.
  6. Migrate keywords to primary campaigns and remove duplicates
  7. Check campaigns settings side-by-side for differences and re-set as appropriate

 

Following these steps will help you get the most out of your Bing Ads campaigns – now and after Unified Device Targeting migration. Be sure to check back on Monday, March 16, 2015 for the final installment in this series, Unified Device Targeting: Optimizing for Mobile.

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

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About the author

Lisa Raehsler is a search engine marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) strategist, nationally-recognized speaker, and columnist for industry leading publications. As the founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co., Lisa works with companies and agencies of all sizes to integrate PPC advertising into online media strategies for brand promotion, demand generation, and customer acquisition. Lisa has led strategy and management on hundreds of paid advertising accounts for search engines (Google AdWords and Bing Ads), mobile, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. Her experience spans seventeen years and includes working with national brands at agencies and at the enterprise level at Thomson Reuters.


Lisa has spoken about PPC, mobile, retargeting and many other online marketing topics in podcasts and webinars. She has also spoken at numerous leading industry conferences, including Pubcon, ClickZ Live, SES, OMS, MIMA, HeroConf, and SMX, as well as training events. Lisa also shares her expertise on digital marketing and paid search advertising as a columnist for ClickZ and Search Engine Watch. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRocksSEM.

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Unified Device Targeting: What you need to know before the March 23rd upgrade

Bing Ads is rolling out an upgrade to their advertising management tool on March 23, 2015. For advertisers, this means a more streamlined way to target searchers, regardless of where they are searching. Now, all campaigns will target all devices by default (hence the name of the upgrade: “Unified Device Targeting” or UDT). However, it’s still very easy to adjust your bids to increase impressions on one device or another.

Impact to advertisers

You only need to make changes to your current campaigns if you have multiple instances of the same campaign which target smartphones in one instance and PC/Tablets separately in another instance. These will need to be combined, see below for details.

While this will not affect most advertisers, we strongly encourage you to read the following information and review your campaigns ahead of the migration to ensure that you are ready.

What to expect

  • All existing campaigns will be opted in automatically to receive traffic from all devices.
  • If you have a campaign that currently targets all devices, you won’t be impacted. However, we encourage you to make sure your website looks good and functions as it should on the smaller smartphone screen.
  • Bids and bid adjustments won’t be changed during the migration.

 

The chart below outlines the current devices targeted, and the impact to each.

Important steps for you to take before migration begins

Merge affected campaigns

    • Evaluate and merge any campaigns that will be redundant after the UDT rollout. For example, if you have copied a desktop campaign to create a second mobile-only campaign, these campaigns will now need to be merged.
    • Maintain control and visibility of campaign performance. It may be difficult to determine later which ads were served, and how they performed, if campaigns are not merged. Make sure that your campaigns are structured properly so that Bid Adjustments work as you expect. Proper campaign structure is also critical to ensuring that you get the performance reports you need to optimize your campaigns later.
    • Avoid the potential pitfall of bidding against yourself. In the worst case scenario, if you do not merge your campaigns, you may actually wind up with duplicate campaigns competing against each other once targeting changes are made.

 

Make bidding adjustments

    • All bid adjustments use the desktop value as the primary or baseline bid. You no longer need to have separate bids for mobile and PC/Tablet. IMPORTANT: Changes to the desktop bid will affect bids on all devices.
    • Apply bid adjustments to target your desired device audience. Bid adjustments indicate that you are willing to pay more or less for clicks from searchers who meet your targeting criteria. They are represented as a percentage less than or greater than your primary bid. Selecting “increase by” means the (tablet or mobile) bid will be higher than desktop. Selecting “decrease by” means the (tablet or mobile) bid will be lower than the desktop by that percentage.
    • If you do not want your ad to reach mobile users at all, adjust your bid to -100% for mobile and you are essentially “opting out” of mobile.
    • Note, however, it is not possible to opt out of tablet serving. You can decrease your tablet bid by up to -20%.
    • Bid adjustments can be set at both the campaign and Ad Group level. Bid adjustments set at the Ad Group level will override bid adjustments set at the Campaign level. Because bid adjustments can be set at multiple levels, be sure that your campaigns are structured so that bid adjustments work the way you expect.

 

TIP: If you use Bing Ads Editor to manage your campaigns, you can make updates to multiple campaigns at the same time (“bulk updates”). After logging in to BAE, select the campaigns for which you want to change bid modifiers. Click “Additional Targeting” at the bottom of the page. Select “Device” on the left side of the screen, then check the “Smartphones and other mobile devices with full browsers” box. Enter the desired bid modifier. These changes will persist throughout the migration.

The chart below illustrates the adjustment ranges available.

Budgets

  • Once campaigns launch, you will want to evaluate the campaigns daily and adjust your budget accordingly until you find the optimal bid/bid adjustment combination for your campaigns.
  • If you originally had one campaign, you may want to increase the budget to make the most of mobile. If you had two campaigns that have merged, the two budgets should also be combined with any additional to boost traffic.

 

TIP: remember that mobile devices typically only display the top 2 ads. In order to ensure that your ads are seen by on-the-go searchers, remember to adjust your bids and budgets to secure one of those top 2 placements.

I hope these tips will help you prepare for the changes coming with Unified Device Targeting. If you have not experimented, or have only limited experience with mobile campaigns, use this time to test and learn. Be sure to check back later this week for tips on merging campaigns, and next week for best practices for mobile search campaigns.

Questions? Check out our FAQs. Comments? Leave them below, or you can ping Bing Ads on Twitter.

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About the author

Lisa Raehsler is a search engine marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) strategist, nationally-recognized speaker, and columnist for industry leading publications. As the founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co., Lisa works with companies and agencies of all sizes to integrate PPC advertising into online media strategies for brand promotion, demand generation, and customer acquisition. Lisa has led strategy and management on hundreds of paid advertising accounts for search engines (Google AdWords and Bing Ads), mobile, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. Her experience spans seventeen years and includes working with national brands at agencies and at the enterprise level at Thomson Reuters.

Lisa has spoken about PPC, mobile, retargeting and many other online marketing topics in podcasts and webinars. She has also spoken at numerous leading industry conferences, including Pubcon, ClickZ Live, SES, OMS, MIMA, HeroConf, and SMX, as well as training events. Lisa also shares her expertise on digital marketing and paid search advertising as a columnist for ClickZ and Search Engine Watch. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRocksSEM.

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