Marius Hals

EMEA Insights Manager
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How the Rugby World Cup has Captured Bing's UK Audience

Rugby searches have increased dramatically on Bing in the UK as England host the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Year on year the number of rugby related searches on Bing have grown substantially in the UK from one international competition to the next.


Search volumes increased by 147% from the 6 Nations 2013 to the 6 Nations 2014 (data taken during the championship of the given year, Feb + March), and 399% from the 6 Nations 2013 to the 6 Nations 2015.

65% of these searches in the past 3 years took place on mobile.

UK searches have also been increasingly more specific. The past 2 years has seen a reduction in General Terms like ‘Rugby’ or ‘6 Nations’ in place of more detailed search queries.

This year, the year of the World Cup, the momentum on Bing’s rugby related searches didn’t stop following the recent 6 Nations. Search volumes in the UK grew by 80% from April to August (the month following 6 Nations to the month before the World Cup).  


59% of all rugby searches in these months years took place on mobile.

Searches relating to Tickets (up 240% in the given timeframe) and Latest Updates ( 249% in the same timeframe) led the charge.


Then came the World Cup…


With the Quarter Finals taken place this weekend, we look forward to seeing how Bing’s UK audience responds to the knock out stages!

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#InfoBites: Improve performance and save money with Quality Score

Understanding Quality Score and knowing how to improve it will not only improve your campaign performance, but could also save you money. So, what is Quality Score?


Let’s start with this question: Who is going to win this race?

It’s impossible to tell from the picture. We need more information on the swimmers; how are they performing now as the picture's being taken; how were they performing previously, and how are their competitors' performing? With this information we’re in a better position to determine the winner.

Replace the swimmers in the race with keywords in the marketplace and Quality Score is the answer to the same questions; how is your keyword performing now; how was your keyword performing historically; and how is the same keyword performing for your competitors? Quality Score is therefore a measure of your keyword's performance and competitiveness in the marketplace.

Quality Score looks at a number of factors from whether a keyword participates in an auction to the quality of the ad's website. It then produces a score between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the highest). Your Quality Score is updated daily, and is made up of 3 sub-scores.

In other words, the sub-scores measure the following:

  1. Expected Click Through Rate – The likelihood your Ad will be clicked & how your keyword competes against others targeting the same traffic.
  2. Ad Relevance – The relevance of the Search Query, to your Ad and your Landing Page.
  3. Landing Page Experience – The expected and actual customer experience when landing on your Website.


How is Quality Score calculated?


Each sub-score is marked as either ‘above average’, ‘average’, or ‘below average’. When the sub-scores are combined, they produce your Quality Score.  


Note: Where a Quality Score is below 6, your Ad has limited eligibility to serve.

Why is Quality Score important?


1. Improving your Quality Score can lower your Cost per Click (CPC) in a given Ad Position.

 How?   CPC is calculated as   Competitors Bid * Competitors Quality Score     

                                                                Your Quality Score

 So, the higher your Quality Score, the lower your CPC, or the less you spend per click in your ad position.


2. Improving your Quality Score can have a positive impact on the future performance of your keywords.

Remember, Quality Score looks back at historical performance. In the future, your Quality Score will look back at your performance today.


3. Quality Score sub-scores indicate where, when and how you can improve your overall performance.


If your Expected Click Through Rate is ‘average’ or ‘below average’:

a) Improve your impressions, clicks and CTR (by improving your Ad Copy, your bid, your Ad Position, or organising your campaigns);

b) Remove underperforming ads and keywords;

c) Add only relevant keywords;

d) Make your ad grab the attention of your audience

If your ad relevance is ‘average’ or ‘below average’:

a) Group related keywords and ads into their own ad group and create a unique landing page for the ad group;

b) Make sure your ad is relevant to the search query:

c) Give customers an overview of your products and services; 

d) Avoid keyword stuffing (too many keywords for the same landing page)


If your landing page experience is ‘average’ or ‘below average’:

a) Improve your website quality and make sure your landing page loads quickly;

b) Link your destination URL’s to the correct webpages;

c) Make sure your webpage content adheres to the Bing Ads editorial policies

d) Keep advertising links on your webpages to a minimum;

e) Use original in-depth content. 

3. Improving your Quality Score sub-scores can have a positive influence over your Ad Position

 While Quality Score is not used in determining Ad Rank, there is an indirect relationship between these two scores, where improving one can positively influence the other.

Quality Score is assigned to each keyword, but for easier visibility of your performance, we’ve also assigned a Quality Score to your Campaigns and Ad Group. These aren’t merely an average of all your keyword Quality Scores in that Campaign or Ad Group, but an impression weighted average, meaning the Quality Score appropriately reflects the bigger impact of your highest impression keywords.

Use these Campaign and Ad Group level Quality Scores to identify where your keywords are performing well, and where they could be more competitive. Then drilldown to use the individual sub-scores as action signals to improve your Quality Score.

For this, and more, find attached an ‘all you need to know’ one pager on Quality Score.


Check out other articles in the #InfoBites Series:

How Ad Position Can Impact Your Performance

Understanding Your Audience Can Help Improve Your Performance





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#InfoBites - Understanding Your Audience Can Help Improve Your Performance

Understanding the search behaviour of your audience can significantly improve your online advertising performance. To highlight and demonstrate some of the Bing Ads reporting capabilities currently at your disposal, we’ve taken a closer look at all audience behaviour (on PC, Tablet and Smartphones) in the UK market on Bing Ads from January to May (2015) to better establish when clicks are being generated, and when these clicks result in conversions.

How to read the graph: 15% of all clicks had taken place on a Monday, 14.5% on a Tuesday etc. 15.5% of all conversions had taken place on a Monday, 14.8% on a Tuesday etc.

Note the marginal lifts in both click and conversion activity from Sunday to Tuesday, and again on Thursday. But what if this reflected your audience? Your Return on Investment (ROI) could dramatically improve by increasing your bids on the days showing your marginal lifts, and you can find this out today. But first, let’s say you wanted to dig a little deeper and find out what devices are driving these trends.


PC clicks and conversions are higher during the working week, whereas Tablet clicks increase by 37% from Friday to Sunday with conversions increasing by 32% over the same period. Smartphones show a similar trend with clicks increasing by 19% from Friday to Sunday and conversions by 15%.


Additionally, you can identify the hours in which most of your ads have appeared, have been clicked and when your conversions had taken place. To demonstrate, we’ve again looked at all audience behaviour (on PC, Tablet and Smartphones) in the UK market on Bing Ads from January to May (2015), this time grouping into Weekdays and Weekends.

How to read the graph: Click % = The percentage of overall daily clicks per hour. Conversion % = The percentage of overall daily conversions per hour.

As previously stated, understanding your audience and knowing when to update your bids and budget during periods of increased activity can be a major contributor in maximising your ROI. For example, if your audience trends resembled the above two hourly graphs, you would note that on a weekday (first graph) although clicks start to fall in the evening, conversions rise, highlight the importance of having enough budget at the end of the day to benefit from these valuable conversions.

So how can you do this yourself?

1.   Open your Bing Ads Account and download a Performance Report with ‘Day of Week’ or ‘Hour of Day’ as the unit of time.


2.   From the output of your Performance Report, identify the days and times most suitable for bid boosting.


3.   Add bid adjustment in the Ad Schedule and monitor the progress.


Stay tuned for more insights in the #InfoBites Series.

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#InfoBites - How Ad Position can Impact Your Performance

For a successful online advertising campaign, your ads must appear in response to relevant search queries. But the placement of your ads on the results page can influence the extent of your success.

Mainline ads appear above -and often below- the organic search results (Labelled as 1-4 in the illustration below). Sidebar ads appear alongside organic search results (Labelled as 5-9).                             

To understand how your ad position can influence your success, we’ve taken a look at all ad positioning data in the UK market across PC, Tablet and Smartphones for Quarter 1 & 2 (2015) on the Bing Network.


Ads in Mainline 1 receive 67% of all clicks across all devices, while ads in Mainline 2 and 3 receive 18% and 7% respectively. Furthermore, CPC (Cost per Click) is lower in Mainline 1 (partially driven by brand names). Smartphones see an even higher click share in Mainline 1 with 77% of all clicks.  


What should your next steps be?

Get your ads serving in Mainline 1 to enjoy a higher click share and lower CPC.



Since Ad Position is determined by both Bid and CTR (Click Through Rate):

1)      Ensure your bids are highly competitive – Increase the bid if necessary

2)      Ensure your keywords are highly relevant – This positively impacts CTR

3)      Download the Bing Ads Intelligence Tool ( and use the Auction Insights to regularly assess your performance, and that of your competitors – a change in competitors’ bidding strategy or CTR may impact your Ad Position.

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