Dare Obasanjo

Group Program Manager, Bing Ads Applications and Developer Platform
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How Your Feedback is Shaping Bing Ads – December 2014 Edition

As you’re likely aware, the Bing Ads engineering team regularly reviews submissions from our Bing Ads Feature Suggestion Forum (aka User Forum) to keep current on the top areas that you, our customer, would like us to invest in to make your experience more productive and enjoyable. This is a follow up to our inaugural post reviewing our response to user suggestions a few months ago. In total we’ve addressed almost 900 votes since our last blog post.

In response to your feedback since this summer, the following outlines six additional updates we’ve made to various features including:

  • Improvements to Bing Ads Editor
  • Better location targeting and ad scheduling
  • Managing multiple accounts with large volumes of keywords and ads
  • Usability improvements in the web interface
  • Simplifying Campaign Analytics
  • More payment options

 

Improvements to Bing Ads Editor

The latest version of Bing Ads Editor has undergone various usability improvements, including the ability to locate negative keyword conflicts in order to eliminate duplication. 

Better Location Targeting and Ad Scheduling

Knowing how important it is to display the right ad to the right audience at the right time, we made significant improvements to location targeting and ad scheduling.

Managing Multiple Accounts with Large Volumes of Keywords and Ads

Both agencies and search engine marketers rely on our tools to offer efficiencies when managing multiple accounts and large populations of keywords and ads. As a result, we added an Accounts Summary page and Bulk Edit functionality in the web interface—enabling a more efficient workflow.

Usability Improvements in the Web Interface

If you spend a lot of time in the Bing Ads interface, you’ll notice that even a small change can yield a huge impact on productivity. We are always on the lookout for ways to boost efficiency and improve your experience, and below are a few of the requests we received and have addressed on this topic.

 

Simplifying Campaign Analytics

We recently announced Universal Event Tracking (UET)—replacing our previous Campaign Analytics solution—which provides increased functionality by offering a simple yet powerful tool to define and track goals (performance/conversion) that are important for your business.

More Payment Options

As part of our efforts to increase the set of payment options available, a major credit card provider was recently added.

 

If there are areas you’re interested in that are not listed above, you can view the list of Bing Ads Feature Suggestion Forum, vote on items you’d like to see improved  and/or suggest new features. To learn about our latest features, please visit our Bing Ads page.

Thanks again for all your great feedback, which continues to help shape and improve the Bing Ads interface. We appreciate each of your suggestions and look forward to sharing updates on additional product improvements in the coming months.

Dare Obasanjo

Group Program Manager, Bing Ads Applications and Developer Platform

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Tablet-Related Device Targeting Changes are Now Complete in Bing Ads

The previously announced device targeting changes to combine tablets and PCs into a single device target have now been completed. All existing and new campaigns that target PCs will also target tablets and vice versa.

In addition, the range of bid adjustments available when targeting tablets is now +300% to -20%. Any campaign or ad group that had a lower bid adjustment than the above range specified prior to the roll out has been adjusted to -20% as the bid adjustment. So for example, a campaign that had a -50% bid adjustment when targeting tablets prior to this change should now have its bid adjustment set to -20%. 

Later this month, we will provide more details on the second phase of our device targeting changes which will simplify mobile device targeting.

Additional information, FAQs, and best practices can also be found at the following locations:

 

If you have any questions about the recent or upcoming device targeting changes, please visit our Ask an Expert forum on Linked In October 6 – October 10. I will be available there to answer your questions regarding device targeting.

Join the Bing Ads group on Linked In to get notifications regarding the Ask an Expert Forum, and to stay up to date on all the latest from Bing Ads.

Dare Obasanjo

Group Program Manager, Bing Ads Applications and Developer Platform

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Tablet Related Device Targeting Changes in Bing Ads Begin Today

As mentioned in our June blog post, we are implementing a two-phased plan to simplify device targeting in Bing Ads. Since rolling out compatibility with Enhanced Campaigns, advertisers have told us that having both the enhanced campaigns model of bid modifiers and explicit device targeting added complexity to managing paid search campaigns in Bing Ads.

The first phase of the migration begins today. During this first phase, desktops and tablets will be combined into a single device targeting selection in the Bing Ads web and Bing Ads Editor UI. All campaign migrations (combining tablet and PC targeting) should be completed by October 3rd.

Starting today, you will see the following interface when looking at the device target settings for your campaigns.

Figure 1: Device target settings in Bing Ads web interface

Figure 2: Device target settings in Bing Ads Editor

 

As shown in the screenshots above, although we will combine PCs and tablets into a single device target, you will still have the option to adjust your tablet bids. Historically, the industry has seen about a 15% - 20% difference in performance between tablet devices and desktop PCs. To ensure you will have the flexibility to manage the performance differences between tablets and desktops, the allowable bid modifier on tablet devices will range from +300% to -20%.

Please Note: as part of the migration, any current bid modifiers that fall outside of these new ranges will be updated to fall within the new range. If you have applied bid modifiers to your tablet campaigns, please review to ensure that your bid adjustments are within the allowable ranges.

The table below outlines the impact of phase one migrations on campaigns with various device targeting settings, as well as recommended actions for advertisers whose campaigns fall into these different scenarios.

Additional information, FAQs, and best practices can also be found at the following locations:

 

Please also mark your calendars for our Ask an Expert forum on Linked In October 6 – October 10. I will be available there to answer your questions regarding device targeting. Join the Bing Ads group on Linked In to get notifications regarding the Ask an Expert Forum, and to stay up to date on all the latest from Bing Ads.

Dare Obasanjo

Group Program Manager, Bing Ads Applications and Developer Platform

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New in Bing Ads: View and Bulk Edit Up to 1 Million Keywords in the Web Interface

We frequently hear from our advertisers, especially those who manage accounts with lots of keywords that you would like the ability to do more in the web interface (UI). For example, you might often come to the web interface to check on account performance and then may need to go Bing Ads Editor or another tool to make changes based on data you just reviewed. Sound familiar?

Jumping back and forth is time consuming and inefficient! Today, that all changes as we announce the arrival of bulk editing AND the ability to review accounts with up to 1 million keywords within the web UI, resulting in increased efficiency in managing your Bing Ad campaigns.

New Limits on the Web

In addition to reviewing accounts with up to 1 million keywords, you can also view up to 500,000 ads and up to 250,000 ad groups in the Keywords, Ads and Ad Group tabs each, respectively.

Keywords tab in web interface showing just over 1 million keywords

 

Bulk Editing

We understand the ability to view and filter items in your account is more valuable when you have the ability to make changes to these items at the same time. With the addition of bulk editing capabilities in the Bing Ads web interface, you can now make these changes in just a few clicks.

If you have ever had to increase bids for low performing keywords across your entire account or increase budget for all of your campaigns, you know how time consuming it can be. Not anymore! Located under the Edit Menu in the Keywords and Campaigns tabs, you can also preview the changes that will be applied.

These changes will run in the background, which means you can browse to other pages in the Bing Ads web interface. Last but not least, this feature is blazingly fast! Once your changes are applied, you’ll see an updated summary in the Bulk Edits tab, located in the navigation panel.

Here’s a short video demonstration of the advantages in using the new bulk editing feature.

Currently, you will be able to make the following bulk changes in web interface:

  1. Keywords
    1. Bids changes:
      • Set bids
      • Increase bids to estimated first page or top of page bid value
      • Increase or decrease bids by certain % or $ value

    2. Destination URL changes:
      • Set destination URL
      • Find and replace
      • Append text to URL
    3. Status changes:
      • Enable, pause or delete keywords across the entire account
  2. Campaigns
    1. Budget changes:
      • Set budget
      • Increase/decrease budget by certain % or $ value
    2. Status changes:
      • Enable, pause or delete campaigns across the entire account


We are working on supporting a number of other bulk operations for other entities like ads and ad groups as well. These will be coming soon, so stay tuned!

Dare Obasanjo
Group Program Manager, Bing Ads Applications and Developer Platform

 

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Unified Device Targeting in Bing Ads: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Next Month’s Changes

In June, we announced a set of changes to how device targeting will work in Bing Ads. The first of these changes will occur in September when desktops, laptops and tablets will be combined into a single device target. A direct consequence of this change is that any campaigns that only target desktops and laptops today will additionally begin targeting tablets and similarly, any campaigns that only target tablets will also target desktops and laptops.

As mentioned earlier, to ensure you, our advertisers, have the flexibility to manage the performance differences between tablets and desktops & laptops when this change is made in September, the allowable bid modifier on tablet devices will range from +300% to -20%. There will be no bid modifier on desktops and laptops.

Over the past few months, we’ve received a number of questions about this change and have thus composed this post to address the most frequently asked questions we’ve received.

Q: What is the best way to prepare for the combination of tablets, desktops and laptops as a single device target?

A: The first step is to ensure that if you have campaigns that are targeted to PCs and laptops that your sites are ready to handle tablet traffic and vice versa. You can take advantage of the {device} query parameter to serve different landing pages based on the searcher’s device type.

Secondly, if you have dedicated campaigns for each device type, it is recommended that you review and merge them into a single campaign that uses bid adjustments (also known as bid modifiers) to indicate how much you want to bid on each device type.

Q: How will this change impact the quality score and ranking of ads?

A: Quality score is based on the historical performance of an ad against a particular keyword. With this change, ads that were only showing for desktops and laptops or only for tablets may face increased competition from more participants in the auction. Any increases or decreases in quality score that occur following this change will be due to the performance of your ads against the specific keywords in this new combined marketplace.

Q: This change has the potential to create duplicate campaigns as previously separate tablet-only and desktop & laptop only targeted campaigns each get the other device type added as targets.  Will the campaigns end up competing with each other?

A: It is quite possible that you will end up in a situation where you have multiple bids for the same keyword across campaigns if you are not proactive about preparing your campaigns for this change. In this situation, your ads will compete against each other as the keyword with the best combination of bid and ad quality will be chosen to participate in the auction. Our recommendation is that you review all campaigns that target tablets separately from desktops and laptops, and mark them as targeting both of those options. If there are duplicates, we recommend choosing your better performing campaign as the primary and eliminating the redundant one.

Q: How will applying bid modifiers when targeting tablets devices impact other bid modifiers such as location-based bid modifiers?   

A: The following is excerpted from our documentation on How to target my customers by adjusting my bids.

If more than one of your target criterion is met and your ad is clicked, you pay for each of the bid adjustments that match (but not for those that don't match). For example, let's say you have set up the following bids and targeting:

  • Keyword bid = $3.00
  • Target location = Chicago, Bid adjustment = Bid + 20%
  • Target days = Saturday, Bid adjustment = Bid + 10%
  • Target device = Tablet, Bid adjustment = Bid - 20%

Given the above data, the potential maximum amount for your bid using the new method is as follows:

Q: On what date will this change occur in September?

A: The changes will roll out over three weeks starting in the 3rd week of September (the week starting September 15th). During this time the Bing Ads platform will introduce a single device target for desktops, laptops and tablets. Advertisers will see the change applied to their account when they sign in to the Bing Ads web interface. Once migrated, they will see a single device target for desktops, laptops and tablets in campaign and ad group settings. All customers should have this experience by October 3rd at the latest.

Q: What will be the impact of the device targeting changes to API users?

A: We have published an updated post on the Bing Ads API blog which details how users of the Bing Ads API should prepare for this change. A key thing to note is that after the change has been applied to an account, any attempts to create a device target of tablet for a campaign or ad group via the API will automatically have desktops & laptops added by the Bing Ads platform and vice versa.

Although this change will not result in a fatal error for API users, it is strongly recommended that you start treating tablets, desktops and laptops as a single device target in your applications and tools that interact with Bing Ads to prevent confusion once the change rolls out.

Q: What else should I do to prepare?

A: Here are some additional best practices to consider. Instead of focusing on just migrating existing campaigns, take the opportunity to optimize and revitalize your Bing Ads campaigns.

  • Review your tablet landing page or website: Fix usability problems that may keep your tablet audience from taking action.
  • Fix things that are keeping your ads from serving:
    • Budget. Make sure that you have enough budget to cover additional volume from tablet searchers. Use Bing Ads Intelligence or Campaign Tools to estimate how much additional volume to expect from tablets. Remember that if a campaign runs out of budget, your ads won’t be shown.
    • Bids. Experiment with bid modifiers, and make sure your bids aren’t too low. Using bid suggestions or accessing real bid data in Bing Ads Intelligence can help you set more competitive bids. Post-migration, be sure to review your bids and modify as needed.
    • Keywords.  Use Bing Ads Intelligence to identify opportunities to expand your keywords to cover tablet scenarios. Add or refine negative keywords to help capture more qualified traffic.  Fix disapproved keywords. Remove duplicate and poorly performing terms.
    • Targeting. Review your targeting options to ensure you’re targeting the locations, days, time of week, ages, genders and other factors that best describe your ideal customer.

Please click here for additional FAQs regarding Unified Device Targeting.

Dare Obasanjo

Group Program Manager, Bing Ads Applications and Developer Platform

 

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Bing Ads Gets a New Look and New Features for Improved Efficiency

As announced on the Bing Ads blog last week, the Bing Ads team is excited to unveil the latest overhaul of the Bing Ads web interface. The changes, which reflect the feedback of our customers, go far beyond just a new look. Not only has the site been redesigned to simplify navigation, a number of existing features have been revamped to make you more efficient including negative keywords, opportunities and change history.

Over the next few weeks, we will start rolling out our new look which will include the following improvements:

  1. Easier access to frequently used tools and links
  2. Shared libraries – lists of entities you can reuse across campaigns starting with shared negative keyword lists
  3. Multi-metric trend charts make it easy to view key campaign performance metrics at a glance
  4. More intuitive and actionable proposals in the Opportunities tab
  5. Overhauled Change History page, with undo functionality forthcoming

 

Roll out of these changes is effective today for a small set of users and will continue through to the end of the month when all users will see the new look for the Bing Ads UI upon sign-in.

Below are images showcasing the previous Bing Ads campaign summary page, compared to the new campaign summary page. 

 

Note, some features may show up sometime after an account gets the new look as we want to make sure everything is in order prior to rolling them out to all advertisers.

Easier access to frequently used tools and links

We have consolidated Bing Ads Tools options into an easy-to-access location. Instead of being directed to separate pages for various tools, now you can easily access EVERYTHING via one click on the Tools dropdown link…from any page. In addition, import options are also consolidated into one drop-down location.

Below are images showcasing the previous interface, followed by what it looks like now.

Before – old Bing Ads tools page

After – new Bing Ads tools drop-down

 

To allow for easier access and simplified navigation, we have also moved all links related to user accounts under the Gear icon, making it more consistent with modern web design patterns. It’s here that you can modify user settings, again, in one easy-to-access location. Specific links that have moved include Accounts and Billing, User Settings and Help.

To ensure you don’t feel lost, the first time you sign-in after getting the new look, pop-up notifications will indicate key places where navigational changes have occurred.  

Pop-up notification upon signing in

Gear icon drop-down menu

Shared libraries – starting with shared negative keyword lists

As part of this update, we will be introducing the concept of shared libraries. These will be libraries of entities such as negative keyword lists, which you can share across campaigns and ad groups. With shared negative keyword lists you will no longer have to maintain redundant negative keyword lists across campaigns, but instead will be able to create a single list that can be shared by two or more campaigns. We expect this to be a significant time saver for advertisers who leverage negative keywords today as part of their campaign optimization routine.

In addition, for advertisers who use the Bing Ads Editor, there will be substantial time savings in downloading your campaigns if you switch from managing negative keywords per campaign and ad group to using shared negative keyword lists.

Shared negative keyword libraries

Expect to hear more about shared negative keyword lists in the coming weeks.

Multi-metric trend charts make it easy to see key performance metrics at a glance

We understand the charts showing your campaign’s performance are a key tool in helping you understand how your campaigns are doing, and where you need to focus your efforts. To increase your productivity, we will be introducing the ability to compare up to six different metrics in the Trend Charts across Bing Ads.

We expect that the ability to compare different metrics along with mini-charts will go a long way in helping you get the most out of your paid search campaigns in Bing Ads.  You’ll be able to simultaneously see key performance indicators such as spend, clicks, impressions, conversion rate, and average CPC.

Trend graph comparing impressions to conversion rate along with 4 mini-charts

 

More intuitive and actionable proposals in the Opportunities tab

A common request we get from advertisers like you is—make it easier to manage campaigns by giving guidance on what keywords to bid on, how much to bid and what budgets are reasonable. To this end, we’ve redesigned the Opportunities page, pairing opportunities and their estimated impact together in a simple, single view.

Before – old Bing Ads Opportunities page

 

After – new Bing Ads Opportunities page

 

With this new view it’s clear where you have opportunities to improve a campaign and what we think the improvement will be if you accept our suggestions. Along with greatly improving the usefulness of the Opportunities tab, we have also elevated it to a top-level link to provide easier access to optimizing campaigns and keywords, resulting in higher ROI for customers.

There's more to come in the near future on the great improvements to this feature.

Overhauled change history page with undo functionality forthcoming

We are also thrilled to announce a major update to the Change History tool that we will be releasing shortly. The Bing Ads Change History tool provides an instant visual picture of how your changes impact campaign performance. By seeing your campaign statistics alongside the changes you've made across your campaigns, you can understand the recipe of success or, in some cases, an unexpected dip in your performance. While the existing UI does a great job of detailing the changes at the most granular level, it does require the user to spend additional time aggregating the changes in order to get a bigger picture. 

The grid in the redesigned Change History tab will now group the changes, making it easier for users to quickly navigate the grid and pull relevant data. Each row in the grid will contain changes made at the same time by a given user. Within each row, changes are further grouped by campaign, then by ad group. A new column labeled “Change” details the entity level changes. Next, we are introducing the capability to filter by user and also making the change type filter more visible by placing it right above the grid. In addition to all this, we continue to differentiate by overlaying the change history bubbles over the performance trend graphs. The change history bubbles provide an intuitive way to filter by time allowing the user to rapidly narrow down to the changes that made the most impact to the campaign performance.

Before – old change history tool

After – redesigned change history tool

But wait, there’s more! :)

In a future release, we will be letting you undo a subset of changes from right within the change history grid, thus allowing you to take action inline without navigating away to a different page (more on that later).

This is just the beginning -- we will certainly have more updates to share in the future as we continue to listen to your feedback, improve usability, offer more controls and insights, and further improve our navigational experience so it feels like a home for you, our advertisers. 

Comments? Questions? Feel free to leave them below or ping me on Twitter.

Dare Obasanjo

Group Program Manager, Bing Ads Applications and Developer Platform

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