Arshad Kunju

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Bing Ads and You: Reference Context to Improve Landing Page Relevance and User Experience

Purchase JourneyIn my last post, I provided an overview of how to better guide your customers through their purchase journey and shared optimization tips to help you better engage the same customers with Bing Ads along the way. To review, there are five phases in the consumer purchase journey:

  1. Awareness: Becoming interested in a product.
  2. Research: Researching the product to learn more.
  3. Confirmation: Deciding whether to purchase the product.
  4. Shopping: Comparing offers or evaluating competing products.
  5. Purchase: Making a decision and purchasing the product.

Today, I would like to look at how you can generate more campaign optimization insights by providing your customer’s with context on their purchase journey. By definition, context means the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs. In search advertising, context means Where and When the searches take place via Whatkeywords and devices. As consumers have different needs in different phases of their purchase journey, the context of their searches could be different.

Below is a real example of my colleague’s recent purchase of a golf vacation. After he read several articles describing Oregon as a trendy destination for golfing, he became interested in taking a golf trip to Oregon and started his consumer purchase journey:

Purchase Journey Description and Keywords

Insights & Tips

  • Insight: As the consumer moves through the purchase journey, search terms tend to get longer and more specific.

o Tip: Adopt broad match or broad match modifier to stay within your customers’ search journey while using the Search Query Report to grow your keyword list.

  • Insight: Searchers have a specific intent in each stage of the journey and they demand more details as they go. In the early stages the intent is more informational to discover a topic. In the final stages the intent is more transactional to complete a task.

o Tip: Prominently present the right information on landing pages geared towards each purchase phase to reduce bounce rate. This is much more effective than providing all of the information on a general page, which forces the searcher to look for specific content.

  • Insight: Searchers may use different devices throughout their purchase journey.

o Tip: Adopt responsive web design to provide a consistent landing page user experiences for different devices. A study conducted by Compuware found 34% consumers would likely visit your competitor’s website after having a bad user experience on yours.

o Tip: Use the Bing Ads’ Advanced Targeting Options to guide customers in different phases of their purchase journey to the right landing pages with relevant information and desired user experiences.

By providing relevant content and good user experiences, you will become a good companion during your customer’s purchase journey. You will become a trustworthy friend to your customers and they will come to you directly if similar needs occur.

Accordingly a study conducted by Compete, 90% of converting consumers began their purchase journey directly on a vendor’s website. So while it might take a while for you to master audience context to optimize your campaigns, your efforts will go a very long way towards improving conversions. Bing Ads will provide feedback on how you’re doing via Quality Score in every step of the way.

To us, You are Bing Ads.

Arshad

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Bing Ads and You: How to Help Your Customers Throughout the Purchase Journey

In my last post, “Improve Your ROI Through Better Landing Page Relevance and User Experience,” I pointed out two key behaviors that search users exhibit after they arrive at your website:

  1. Locate information– people want to consume the information right away; they don’t want any obstructions. 
  2. Judge information – once located, people will assess whether the information is relevant and addresses their intent.

In order to have a deeper discussion of landing page relevance and user experience, I am creating a series of posts that provides an inclusive view of landing page optimization through:

  1. Understanding the Consumer Purchase Journey – what customers are looking for in each phrase of the journey.
  2. Analyzing Key Contexts of the Consumer Purchase Journey – how the journey starts, when and where different phrases take place, and how to develop your landing pages to closely engage with potential customers in every step along the way.
  3. Reviewing Emerging Trends of the Consumer Purchase Journey – study new technology’s influence on the purchase journey and how to prepare your landing pages for those new trends.

Consumer’s Needs in Each Phase and What You Need to Do

Bing Ads_Consumer Purchase Journey

Phase I. AWARENESS

Consumers become aware and are interested in a topic. In this phase, good search user experience is a critical component in nurturing your potential customers’ positive image of your brand, products and offers.

Example: After reading golf publications and visiting travel web sites, many golfers noticed Oregon has become a trendy destination for golf vacations.

To Do: 

  1. Present your products and offers on your own websites, on industry leading on-line and off-line media channels to secure a share of customers’ mind.
  2. Provide a high-level value proposition across a broader range of media to inspire consumers to learn more about your products and offers. 

Phase II. RESEARCH

Consumers research their interested topic to collect more information.  In this phase, relevance is a critical component in nurturing customers’ positive image of your brand, products and offers.

Phase III. CONFIRMATION

Consumers decide whether or not to pursue the specific interest.

Example: Those who are aware of the new golf vacation trend will start searching for more information about Oregon golf vacations and will expect to find Oregon golf vacations-related information directly from advertisers’ websites.  They will make go or no-go decisions based upon their studies.

To Do:

  1. Establish your authority during your customers’ purchase journey: go beyond duplicating the general product descriptions from their manufacturers, specify the unique features and value of the products to provide insights that make them stand out from the competition.
  2. Help them remember your information: present references in a trustworthy and story-telling way (example: Infographic: The Power of Bing Ads). As pointed out in an on-line business best practices handbook published by Hubspot: 90% of information transmitted to our brains is visual and visuals are processed 60K times faster in the brain than text, with many websites are leveraging graphics and pictures to deliver more memorable information.

Phase IV. SHOPPING

Consumers compare the offers after deciding to purchase.

Phase V. PURCHASE

Shoppers will make the purchase decisions after comparing the offers and establishing trust with the vendor. Seamlessly connecting value proposition pages with purchase transition pages is the key. As Hubspot’s study also calls out: keeping relevant, focused information on a single page can increase conversion by 55%.

Example: Those deciding to take a golf vacation in Oregon will start comparing Oregon golf vacation packages from all trustworthy vendors and will make their purchase decision from offers they find more appealing, usually it all comes down to value versus cost.

To Do:

  1. Design your campaigns to present your unique offers individually from both a value and cost perspective to engage different types of shoppers.
  2. Present your unique offers consistently throughout your ad copies and landing pages to set the right expectation for your user’s experience.

Understanding your customers’ purchase journey can help you broaden your customer base and be a good companion on their journey, and can also help increase your return on investment (ROI).

In the next post, we will take a closer look at how consumers initiate the purchase journey, where and when they conduct searches (and on which devices) during the different phrases of their journey.

Bing Ads is actively enhancing our campaign quality mechanism to leverage audience intelligence that will provide more actionable feedback via Quality Score and Share of Voice.  Our goal is to help you gain more traffic and earn a higher ROI.

To us, You are Bing Ads.

Arshad Kunju and Ping Jen

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Bing Ads and You: Improve Your ROI Through Better Landing Page Relevance and User Experience

What is the difference between Landing Page Relevance and Landing Page User Experience?  Why do you need to constantly improve both of them?  In this post, I’ll answer these two questions but first, let me explain via example. When search users enter “golf vacations” and arrive at landing pages, two activities immediately take place:

  1. Locate information– searchers want to consume the information right away
  2. Judge information – once located, searchers will assess whether the information addresses their intent

You only can successfully convert each visitor into a lifelong customer by helping them quickly locate relevant information.  Some advertisers only properly address one of these activities and, as a result, lose many opportunities to grow their business.

Using the same example, some landing pages ask searchers to enter a phone number or email address before showing golf vacation information, which generates a poor user experience. Some landing pages show a long list of various vacation packages unrelated to golfing, resulting in poor relevance.

It’s not always obvious whether your landing page is optimized toward this end. That’s why the Yahoo! Bing Network helps you track your Landing Page Relevance and Landing Page User Experience at the keyword level as well as at the ad group and campaign level. Use these tools and insights to ensure that your landing page offers the best user experience and relevance for visitors.

Here are some additional examples you can use to improve your landing page’s relevance to customers and their overall experience to begin strengthening your ROI as a result:

  • Present sufficient relevant information above the fold line of your landing pages, the rule of thumb is 50% of content shown above the fold line should directly engage with searchers’ intent.

Bing Ads Quality Score

  • Present your unique offers in a direct and concise fashion. Please note: 3rdparty ads are not unique offers, search users expect a direct answer from you.
  • Do not redirect site visitors unexpectedly to unrelated domains.
  • As a recent industry analysis shows, tablet and smartphones generated more than 20% of clicks and it’s growing with rapid speed; engaging with a mobile audience with mobile oriented websites/landing pages is becoming a must.  Many advertisers have designed their landing pages to auto-size for various traffic sources; if you haven’t done it, you can assess how critical this task is for your business by adjusting the screen to a size of a smartphone or tablet screen to see how visitors presently interact with and experience your landing pages.

Q1 Growth by Device

  • Keep these things in mind when assessing the user experience of your websites and landing pages for mobile traffic:
    • Users interact with smartphones and tablets by dragging and tapping. More space is needed between different commands to facilitate this user experience.
    • Users can hold smartphones and tablets vertically or horizontally (i.e. in portrait or landscape orientation) to consume information. You need to check both presentations.
      • Example: Adjust browser’s size to evaluate your landing page user experience on mobile device.

 

Mobile optimized landing page

  • A research study conducted by Constant Contact for mobile traffic shows:
    • 92% of consumershave searched for a restaurant through a web browser in the last six months.
    • 80% of consumersthink it’s important to see a menu before they dine at a restaurant.
    • 75% of consumers say they often choose a restaurant to dine at based on those search results.

As mobile traffic rises, it’s very important to display your business’s address, phone number, services/pricing, and promotions prominently on the landing page, enabling potential customers to access and assess them with ease (this is applicable to all advertisers, not just those in restaurant business!).

Thank you!

Arshad

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Bing Ads and You: How the Editorial Review Process Works

The Bing Ads platform was designed to include a review process to ensure that all PPC campaigns adhere to the Bing Ads editorial guidelines. This editorial review process helps to ensure a positive, mutually beneficial environment.

In the spirit of fostering open communications, I’d like to share the best practices of creating quality campaigns:

1. Creating Accounts

In Bing Ads, thousands of accounts are created daily and we conduct rigorous background checks before serving ads for those accounts.  To understand these background checks, consider how credit scores are generated by individuals’ financial history and activities across all paths.  As time goes on, individuals who have a higher credit score experience less paperwork or wait time in conducting financial activities, such as opening a line of credit account.  This is similar in the PPC advertising world. We have been streamlining the on-boarding process and your diligent work of building a strong credit score will enable Bing Ads to expedite your account creation.

2. Creating Campaigns

After your account passes checks and is activated, Bing Ads then validates whether your campaigns comply with Bing Ads Relevance and Quality Guidelines.  The most frequent mistakes we witness are:

  • Violating trademark policy.  In North America, competitors are not allowed to use another competitor’s trademark in their ad copy, including ad text that uses a dynamically inserted keyword. 
  • Ad copies with explicitly obscene or violent adult content.  For additional information on the adult marketplace, please check out our new blog, Adult Advertising Exposed: An Editorial Perspective.
  • Bidding on high-risk terms, such gambling and pharmaceutical terms.  Due to the risk and legality associated with these verticals, advertisers must take extra caution to ensure that they follow exact guidelines to comply with these sensitive policies. 

After campaign validation is complete, we communicate the result via the Delivery column on the Keywords Tab:

Keyword Delivery

The result could be:

  • Eligible: Bing Ads is ready to serve this keyword and its ad.

  • Approved Limited: The ad or keyword is eligible for delivery in some, but not all, countries. To determine which country/countries your keyword has been disapproved in, click on the arrow to the right of the keyword.  This will expand for you to view the disapproval reason and the market in which the disapproval has occurred.

  • Pending Editorial Review: If content is sent for further review, your ads and keywords will show as ‘pending’ in the UI until a final decision has been made. The items will either be approved or rejected within 48 hours.  We are aware that some of you may have experienced longer-than-normal wait times during the last few months, Bing Ads has been actively addressing this deficiency.  If you experience wait time longer than 48 hours please contact Support at 1-800-518-5689.

  • Disapproved:

    • If you receive, this delivery result, here are some tips to help you fix the issue.

    • If you disagree with the disapproval decision, you can submit an inline appeal with one easy click in the user interface (UI).  This simplified petitioning process allows you to submit multiple appeals at once. However, consider grouping your requests as appropriate to expedite the process.    Bing Ads will manually assess your appeals within 48 hours. If your keywords and ads are found to be compliant, they will be automatically approved.

Arshad_Editorial_Disapprovals

3. Growing Campaigns

After a campaign goes live, we share performance feedback with you via Quality Score.

To help you further understand the editorial process, we’ve recently launched the Bing Ads Editorial Insights website to answer your editorial related questions.

Thanks for being a great partner in building a high-quality marketplace. To us, You are Bing Ads.

Arshad

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