Piyush Naik

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Significant Improvements to Location Targeting and Ad Scheduling in Bing Ads

As an advertiser, it's important that your ads are shown to the right audience, in the right place, at the right time. Given that targeting controls help you do exactly that, it’s not surprising that targeting improvements are top-of-mind for most advertisers.

Over the last year, we have had an active dialogue with you, our Bing Ads customers, on the importance of having accurate, flexible and fine-grained targeting controls that help turn your conceived campaigns into reality. We have been listening, and have built a comprehensive set of targeting improvements that address your essential needs, with a particular emphasis on location targeting.

These improvements include...

1. Ad Scheduling in 15 minute increments

The wait is over! You can now target any day of the week and time window combination down to 15 minute increments, with the ability to set bid adjustments for these groupings. What’s more, your existing day/time targets, if any, are now seamlessly mapped into the new model.

New ad scheduling options

2. Zip Code Targeting and Exclusion

Located under Location Settings, you can now target and exclude at the zip code level (currently US only) via the web interface, Bing Ads Editor or the API. With this change, we have also increased the number of location targets per campaign and ad group to 10,000. Go ahead and give it a test!

3. Radius Targeting Improvements

When it comes to targeting local audiences, accuracy and flexibility crucial, which makes radius targeting an attractive option. To improve accuracy, flexibility and the overall customer experience, radius targeting offers the ability to target a more precise geographical area. Specifically, you can target down to one mile or one kilometer, and can also combine a location target (e.g. city or zip codes) with a radius target in the same campaign or ad group. More details on these improvements can be found in our July blog post.

4. New Geo Location Report

We recently launched a new Geo Location Report, which provides an intuitive view of locations where impressions occurred. In conjunction with the old Geo Location Report, this helps you determine whether to expand your targeting to reach the interested audience OR narrow it down. Check out our blog post from May for more details on how to use this report.

New Geo Location Report with Location Type

 5. User Experience Improvements for Location Targeting

Improved map control in the web interface visually outlines the area your campaign and ad group is targeting or excluding, helping you to quickly validate the targeted region for the campaign.

It’s especially important to have a clear view into targeting settings when dealing with a large number of campaigns. To streamline this experience, we redesigned the targeting experience in Bing Ads Editor so that all of your settings are visible at a glance in the new Targeting tab.

Read more about this and other targeting user interface improvements in our Bing Ads Editor blog post.

New Targeting tab in Bing Ads Editor

6. Intent Only Targeting

We have added an advanced location targeting option which allows you to target campaigns or ad groups based on a user’s location intent (such as location in the query) versus a user’s physical location. For example, if you are a hotel owner in Dallas, you can select this option to serve your ads only to users searching for Dallas hotels, but not physically located in Dallas.

7. Enriched City level Targeting

In addition to the U.S., UK and France, we will soon be adding more city level locations in several countries that will allow the ability to target your audience at a more granular level. This will be rolled out in waves, so stay tuned for further updates.

A reminder to API users: these location targeting improvements are available through LocationTarget2 object, and 15 minute ad scheduling is available through DayTimeTarget object of V9 API. For more information on what this update means for you, please review this post on MSDN.

A Comprehensive Approach

In addition to these user-facing updates, there are also several improvements in the Bing Ads platform to improve location targeting. Most notably, we have made significant improvements in accurately detecting searcher’s location through various location signals. This will you help reach your target audience with greater precision.

These updates to our targeting feature set are not designed in isolation, but rather in a comprehensive and all-inclusive manner after listening to which improvements matter most to you. We certainly hope these updates will help you to be more productive in Bing Ads and in achieving your business goals.

We will continue to listen, so please keep the feedback coming on the Feature Suggestion Forum, Twitter, or any other avenues most convenient to you.

-Piyush Naik

Program Manager, Bing Ads

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Available Now: New and Improved Location Extensions from Bing Ads

Earlier this year we talked about upcoming improvements to our Location Extensions offering. We are happy to announce that these improvements are now available to all US advertisers. They will be available in all Bing Ads supported markets within next 2-3 weeks.

There has been a very positive response to these improvements. Advertisers have seen higher click-through rates in addition to benefiting from easier manageability and enhanced reporting.

Below are some of the new functionalities in Location Extensions that will further help your customers find you and connect with you more easily. You can also check out a quick video tour of the functionalities.

Click to Directions: Every time your ad is enhanced with location details, there will be a “Directions” link next to the business address, as shown in the image below. Searchers will now have the option to either click on the ad title or the directions link. In both cases the advertisers will be charged on a cost-per-click basis. Clicking on the ad title will direct searchers to the website and clicks on directions link will take them to either Bing or Yahoo maps page. There is no opt-in required to enable this.

Multiple Locations: Advertisers who have uploaded more than one location for a campaign may see their ads display with up to 2 locations. There is no opt in required and using the current location data Bing Ads will decide when to display one or multiple locations. Rules around maximum distance of 50 miles (or 80 km) from the searcher will remain in place. This improvement is being rolled out on all of our publishers over the next few weeks.

Click to call on Mobile devices: When a location extension has your business phone number provided with it, the phone number will be displayed with a “click-to call” on mobile devices. This greatly helps searchers to quickly connect with your business. Click to call will be charged on a cost-per-click basis.

Easy Setup and Import: Starting today Bing Ads advertisers can add Location Extensions using either the updated web UI, the Bing Ads Editor or the new APIs through the ad extensions interface. If you had already setup your locations through the earlier version of business locations, not to worry. Your locations have been seamlessly carried over to the new experience and they are continuing to serve. New Location Extensions API documentation can be found here. Note that as announced previously, we no longer support the earlier version of business locations API.

Advertisers will now be able to upload locations at the account level and associate them to campaigns of their choice. This setup change now allows you to import your campaigns and associated Location Extensions data from Google AdWords directly into Bing Ads, saving you considerable time and energy.

Detailed Reporting: In addition to the regular campaign reports, advertisers will now be able to view reporting at the Location Extension level. Reports will display spend and click data for clicks on the directions link and the data for each location can be viewed separately. In the web UI, you can access this from the ‘ad extensions’ tab as well as from the Reports tab.

We highly encourage you to take advantage of these features to reach your local audience more effectively. As always, we very much value your feedback. Feel free to drop us a note on your experience with new location extensions through your account manager or on this blog post or through Bing Ads feature suggestions forum.

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Enhancing Location Targeting with Search Query Location Intent

When it comes to selling your products or services, the location of your audience is likely a key consideration. After all, you only want to target users that can (or want to) take advantage of your offerings.

It’s not surprising then, that many advertisers consider Location Targeting the centerpiece of every campaign and ad group in Bing Ads.

Today, we are happy to introduce an enhancement to Location Targeting that will help you reach the most relevant searchers based on not only their physical location, but the locations in which they express interest in their search queries.

One reason search advertising is so effective is that the searcher is clearly expressing his/her intent in a particular business that you, as an advertiser can target (e.g., “Hardware stores”). Often times though, searchers also mention a location where they are looking for that business. (e.g., Hardware stores in Redmond, Washington). This location intent is very valuable as it helps you target users even if they are not physically located within the targeted area. For example, you as a hardware shop owner in Redmond may want to reach not only the users located in Redmond, but even those outside Redmond that are looking for your business in Redmond.

Starting now, you can reach users who may be searching for your business at a certain location even if they are physically not present there. Under the Advanced Location Options, you can choose the following option:

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Using the above settings in your campaign will target users who are physically located in Redmond, as well as those who expressed intent about Redmond even if they were located elsewhere.

Of course, not all businesses want to target users physically located outside their target area. For example, a strawberry farm owner in California might want to advertise a U-pick event to local residents only. They are not looking to sell strawberries outside, to a user in, say, Oregon, who may be looking to buy a box of California strawberries; Oregonians should not see their ad. They can achieve this by selecting the second option “Show ads to people in your targeted location”

Note that this targeting enhancement builds upon the existing capability which allowed you to target users worldwide based on the websites they are visiting. If you had already opted into that option, you will automatically start receiving traffic based on location intent in a user’s search query. If you would like to limit your traffic to the targeted location only, just select “Show ads to people in your targeted location.” In light of this new offering, we recommend that you review your Advanced Location options settings to make sure you are targeting just the right audience.

To help you see where your search traffic is coming from, we are also enhancing the Geographical Location Reportunder Targeting. This will help you understand where your target audience is located when they are matched based on the search query location. In the coming days, you will find new query location fields available in the report that will help you slice your traffic by query location, by physical location, or both.

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This enhancement is effective in the US market today and will be available in the rest of the supported markets within next few days. We look forward to your comments, questions and suggestions!

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