Nancy McCord - Guest Blogger


Like AdWords Enhanced Campaigns? Here’s How To “Enhance” Your Bing Ads Program

As a Google AdWords Certified Partner and Bing Ads Accredited Professional, I am very familiar with both platforms and the benefits and differences of each. This article will show you how to “Bing Up” and enhance your Bing Ads campaigns to mimic some of the functionality available in Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns.

Google AdWords has recently rolled out Enhanced Campaigns and will be migrating all AdWords advertisers into their new program by mid-June. If you have embraced AdWords Enhanced Campaigns early and like it, here’s how you can “Enhance” your Bing Ads campaigns.

First, one important difference between AdWords and Bing Ads, if you had previously segregated your mobile campaigns out from your desktop and tablet campaigns you can still continue to do so with Bing Ads. Google AdWords did away with this option in Enhanced Campaigns.

Second, you can tweak your Bing Ads settings to provide much of the same functionality as Google AdWords Enhanced campaigns with a few savvy setting updates. Remember, in Bing Ads you have some of the same, but also improved functionality, as you can set your targeting at the campaign level or ad group level. In Google AdWords you only set targeting at the campaign level.

How to “Enhance” Your Bing Ads Program

For this example I am only going to mention how to “Enhance” settings at the campaign level, but you can follow these same steps at the ad group level as well, overriding any campaign settings.
Let’s get started!

1. Click the campaign name from the campaign summary page and then click settings. Go to locations and open the selector by clicking the arrow. Tick the radio button next to “Selected cities, metro areas, states/provinces, and countries/regions”.

2. Use the “browse” or “research” tab underneath “Selected cities, metro areas, states/provinces, and countries/regions” to find the locations you want to add. Click to add your state or city name. Make sure to click to include that location and it will appear in the field just above in the “show your ads in these locations”. Make sure to change your incremental bid as you desire for these newly added locations.
I will typically bid higher incrementally as I near the location to my client’s business. For example, my default bid may be at the US level, I may bid +10% for the state location, and I may bid +25% more for the city location. If you prefer you can bid by radius by selecting the radio button “near a business or other location”, but be aware you will only be able to set one radius location not multiple locations as in AdWords Enhanced Campaigns.

3. Just underneath the “Locations” section you will find “Targeting Options”, click to see your options in this section and review where you may want to consider adding additional incremental bids. Select days, hours, gender, and age. You can leave your bid at the default of +0% or bid up your selection up to +100% of your default bid. AdWords does not offer the ability to target age or gender at this time for search campaigns unlike Bing Ads.

4. In “Targeting” underneath the demographics options you can select which devices to show your ads on; desktops, mobile devices with full Internet browsers, and tablets. AdWords Enhanced Campaigns will only allow you to bid up or down on the mobile setting at the campaign level, but Bing Ads continued to allow you full control and even the ability to create a separate campaign or ad group to target advertising uniquely for mobile devices, tablets, or desktops.

Although you cannot adjust bids incrementally by device in this screen, by setting up separate ad groups or campaigns and targeting different devices you have full bid control. It is easy to create “mirror” campaigns or ad groups by using Bing Ads Editor and the copy and paste function. Then, just set your device targeting uniquely as you desire and bid accordingly in your default CPC or keyword bid.
For many advertisers the ability to continue to segregate out advertising programs that target mobile only and desktop and tablets together separately will be worth the time to look carefully at advertising on Bing Ads if you are not already advertising there.

5. Make sure to create a smaller version text ad for mobile. Remember typically that even smartphones won’t be able to show all the allowed 70 characters of the description. I will typically use 40 to 45 characters out of the 70 available for best display on a smartphone, especially if I am creating ad text for a mobile only ad group or campaign.

6. At the campaign level click “ad extensions” and then make sure to add in your website sitelinks. Just click create and add up to 10 links for each campaign. Although you cannot select which to show on mobile, keep character count for the description in mind and keep your link title short yet descriptive. In the future Bing Ads will have call extension, but for now the U.S. does not have this option available.

Although there continue to be some differences between Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns and Bing Ads you can tweak your Bing Ads program to mimic some of the same functionality that you may like in the new AdWords Enhanced Campaigns and you get to keep the functionality in Bing Ads that you have lost in AdWords in regards to separate device targeting.

Thank you,


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Tips from a Bing Ads Pro: PPC is Here to Stay

I had a pay-per-click (PPC) client ask me the other day, “When will my SEO kick in from my newly designed website so I can wean myself off sponsored ads?” First, just to clarify, we did not design the site, and second, we had not been performing any type of web visibility services for this client. My first question to him was, “Where did the content come from for your entire 2,000 store products?” To that he stated that he had copied and pasted the content into his own store shopping cart from his manufacturers’ information on the Web.

To dig deeper, he and I selected one page on his site and ran the product content through Copyscape Premium. This online tool showed us that 46 other websites had the same exact content or very close variations of it. Sadly, I told him that until his content was unique, the reality was that he would have to promote his products using pay-per-click services as he would not be able to place his website in the unpaid search results.

imageIn today’s business climate around search engines, unique content and a unique position in your marketplace is key to being a candidate for improved organic search placement. If the content in your online store is not unique, there is absolutely no reason to pay a blog writer, or an SEO firm for that matter, to improve position without first correcting the issue that is the biggest obstacle to success – duplicate content.

It sounds so easy to just write your own content for each store product, but from experience I know that word-smithing a page to have it pass as unique and using a tool like Copyscape Premium to verify its uniqueness is a time consuming process.

If you are in a similar situation, it’s time to take a hard look at your own website and know where your content came from before you purchase any website visibility improvement services. The money that you may have considered spending for blog posts, website code optimization, and link promotion may be better spent on PPC advertising.

When it comes to selecting a platform for your pay-per-click advertising endeavors I would like to point out that the Bing Ads platform is a great place to invest your PPC dollars to grow your business. As both a Google AdWords Certified Partner and a Bing Ads Accredited Professional I work on both platforms for a wide variety of clients in diverse business sectors. It is not uncommon for a company to have nearly the same number of lead conversions from advertising efforts on Bing Ads as on Google AdWords, but the big difference is the lower cost-per-click price I typically see on the Bing Ads platform. Additionally, the Display Network on Bing Ads is made up of quality Microsoft and Yahoo owned properties.

If you need website exposure using Pay per Click, the value proposition of using Bing Ads as your platform, or in addition to AdWords, definitely deserves strong consideration and is one that I recommend to my PPC clients for good market penetration and strong lead generation.

About the Author

Nancy McCord is the founder and President of McCord Web Services LLC which provides Bing Ads account set up and management. Since 2001, Nancy McCord has developed a reputation as an expert on how businesses can promote their services on the Web using pay per click services. You can visit Nancy and her firm at Connect with her @mccordweb on Twitter, in the Bing Ads LinkedIn Group, +Nancy McCord at Google+, and on Facebook.

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Structuring Your Account to Use Dynamic Text – Tips from a Bing Ads Pro

It is a known fact that using dynamic text in your ad program will increase the click through rate and may even increase conversions. A crucial step for success is to properly structure your Bing Ads account to make dynamic text work for you. More often than not, a haphazard use of dynamic text may actually increase impressions without an increase in clicks and can potentially lower your program’s click through rate (CTR). By carefully structuring your account to use dynamic text properly you can increase CTR and improve conversions all at the same time.

Here’s what I do when using dynamic text in a Bing Ads account for best results:

  1. I typically do not add dynamic text insertion ad groups until I have an idea of keywords that generate leads in an account. I wait to set up a dynamic text ad group as it does take time both in creating a keyword list that is workable and time to create ad text that makes sense with the dynamic word or phrase insertion. I want to know what will be workable before I invest the time in set up. Plus, by waiting, I can pick specific high performance keywords or create break out programs based on past performance. I will typically do dynamic text programs in the first thirty days of account creation.
  2. I usually create small ad groups with a very small list of broad and phrase matched keywords when I am creating a program where I will use dynamic text insertion. Sometimes, my program may have only 10 to 20 keywords as I am doing testing. If I am promoting products for a florist, I would not use general keywords such as roses or daffodils, but rather “buy roses”; “buy daffodils” as my keywords and even variations in the same ad group with “purchase” and “order” in addition to “buy”. I may use broad match or just start out with phrase match keywords. The actual match types I will use will be based on what has happened in the rest of the account based on ad spend per day, cost per click, and number of impressions.
  3. I am very careful in crafting my ad text so that when the dynamic keyword or phrase is inserted it makes sense to a reader. This is why my keyword trigger lists are small and concise and include a desired reader action such as buy, order, or purchase in the phrase. I will not duplicate these action words in my ad text; rather let the keyword phrase contain them.
  4. Bing Ads has recently added some nice new capitalization options that you may not be aware of when it comes to dynamic text use. Here are some examples that now allow you to have total control over how your dynamic text appears in your ad’s title and description. Using the keyword phrase buy roses as an example:
    • {KeyWord} translates into Buy Roses (note the caps on B and R)
    • {keyword} translates into buy roses (note all lower case)
    • {Keyword} translates into Buy roses (note the caps on the B and lower case on the r)
    • There are even options for All Caps where appropriate based on how you capitalize the keyword contained within the brackets. For all examples, please visit the ‘How to use dynamic text to insert keywords in ads’ article to see all examples and uses.
    • Did you know that Bing Ads allows you to use one keyword in an ad that is all caps? So my dynamic text for Buy ROSES would be installed in the account as {KeyWORD:Buy ROSES}. Note the all caps on the word I want to be in all caps in the ad text. If I wanted BUY Roses, I would enter in {KEYWord:BUY Roses} instead. Be aware that excessive use of capitalization is not allowed. Check the editorial style guidelines here.
  5. Where possible, but not always, I use {param1} insertion for unique URLs by keyword, and sometimes even {param2} and {param3} for promotional discount text by item. Read more about how to use the different forms of dynamic text here.
  6. I always include default text when I am doing dynamic text insertion. For a keyword, use this format: {KeyWord:Buy Roses} note the colon with no space and then the default text capitalized the way I want it to appear. Bing Ads will automatically show your default ad text when you exceed your character count with a keyword phrase you had wanted inserted.

I have personally found that the click through rate is higher on ads where I am using dynamic text insertion and in many cases the conversion rate will be higher as well. If you haven’t tried using dynamic text in your Bing Ads program, now’s the time to do a little testing by creating a small ad group. Use your top converting keywords crafted into meaningful phrases for your program to test if you can boost conversions even more by using keyword and phrase insertion. Remember Bing Ads will bold this special text item when it is inserted into your ad when your phrase matches a search query - drawing the reader’s eye right to your ad!

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Using Broad Match Modifiers in Bing Ads – Tips from a Bing Ads Pro

Nancy McCord is the founder and President of McCord Web Services LLC which provides Bing Ads account set up and management. Since 2001, Nancy McCord has developed a reputation as an expert on how businesses can promote their services on the Web using pay per click services. You can visit Nancy and her firm at Connect with her @mccordweb on Twitter and on Facebook - Simone

Bing Ads has recently added a new keyword match type and I routinely use this new match type called “broad match modifier” in nearly all of my client campaigns. Here’s why and how you can use it too to help your client programs be more fruitful in regards to lead conversion.

Broad Match Modifyer  - The benefits of broad match with more control

What Does a Broad Match Modifier Look Like?

First, a broad match modifier looks different than other keywords and keyword phrases you would routinely use in your account. Any word that must appear in a user’s search query phrase, to have your client’s ads shown, is preceded by a +. Here’s one example. Let’s say I am promoting chimney cleaning services for a client who only services Gaithersburg, Maryland residents, one of my search phrases using a broad match modifier might look like this: +chimney +cleaning +Gaithersburg.

Why Consider Using a Broad Match Modifier versus Regular Broad Match

  1. You get greater control on when your ad shows when you are using a broad match modifier than with regular broad match keywords.

  2. You can choose which words in your query should be exact matches with a query. Consider this example cleaning +chimney +Gaithersburg. Note how cleaning does not have a + in front. Bing Ads could potentially show cleaning synonyms like sweeping or clean with my other broad match modifier specifications.

  3. Where broad match keywords may generate too many impressions or ring up an ad spend bill, broad match modifiers focus activity on keywords you consider important to generating lead conversions.

  4. Using broad match modifiers on location specific programs for local businesses help to refine searches. This is especially true if you are testing a location specific campaign but with statewide targeting; if you suspect an Internet Service provider of returning a different user location that would be outside of your targeted area.

Top Tips and Troubleshooting

Here are some of my top tips when it comes to using broad match modifiers.

  1. If your client is selling in a specific state, city, or county area try using your top one or two keywords with a location name as a broad match modifier keyword. This is particularly helpful if you are targeting a Nielsen metro area but your client does not service the full area. By using a broad match modifier keyword phrase that includes a location you will filter impressions to show ads to potential customers that have a greater possibility of becoming buyers.

  2. Remember when you are using radius targeting for your campaign, you will typically not need to add location specific keywords. Broad match modifiers may be best used in larger areas such as metro regions and state campaigns.

  3. Broad match modifiers will limit your impression traffic. Usually I will run multiple campaigns in one region with a variety of match types. For example, I may use a state or region level campaign with only broad match modifiers as a break out program with location specific keywords at the same time I am running a campaign with broad and phrase match keywords using with a 20 mile radius setting.

  4. For ecommerce stores, on the top categories and products, I like to use broad match modifier keywords that include +price, +purchase, +quote, +bid, +purchase, and/or +find.

  5. It is not unusual for me to create multiple ad groups for a client with one ad group being only broad match modifier keywords as a test to identify where the traffic is so I can build on the successes of a program.

  6. If your impression numbers are high and your click through rate is low, look carefully at your modifiers, you may need to remove one like +reviews or +price and focus mainly on +buy or +purchase.

  7. Make sure as you review your reports on keyword activity and that you still work to create an exhaustive list of negative keywords. The Search Query Performance report is a great one to run and review as you identify which keywords are generating the most impressions but not conversions in your account. In this report look for areas you don’t service and informational how to type queries that you want to try to filter out using negative keywords. This report may actually also give you some additional ideas for new broad match modifier keywords.

Try It You Might Just Like It

It is not hard to try out broad match modifiers in your client’s campaign. If you are just getting started and you don’t have any broad match keywords in your client account and are only using phrase and exact match types, try adding broad match modifiers for your top keywords in your account for the last 30 days. For your top keywords, add variations such as +buy, +price, +shop, +purchase to qualify your targeted market even further.

Although broad match modifiers won’t always replace broad match keywords or negative keywords that you will want to put in your account, I consider them a wonderful bridge between full broad match and phrase match; giving me an opportunity for more impressions and click activity as I refine what works to generate leads for a client’s account.




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