So I've played around with BingAds for the last couple of months… Both within their Web-based, and desktop based UI's.
No Comparison Between Adwords & Bing Ads
Comparing Bing Ads vs. Adwords is too easy, and we all know Bing Ads has maybe 20% of the functionality and ease of Adwords.
I really don't understand why Microsoft won't make their advertising platform better for the marketers who want to give them money…
But aside from ranting, I'll tell you some thing's that I've found frustrating, broken, or missing within the Bing Ads platform.
Most of these are related to Pay-per-call, but some to mobile, and some to the entire platform itself.
Can't Target Carriers, Mobile Devices, Exclude Wifi
In the mobile game, many affiliates know that carrier traffic, and targeting by device is where the money is at. WiFi does not convert well for the advertisers when running mobile offers. When running pay-per-call on smartphone-traffic on Bing, 90% of your traffic is useless WiFi-traffic that does not click-2-call.
One thing I will mention is that, the new Google Enhanced campaigns are butchering functionality for mobile-targeting as well. A HUGE step backwards for marketers.
No Click-2-call functionality
A strict click-2-call search ad drives calls, and converts better. It's like looking into the yellow pages. You see the ad, you see a 10-15 brief word description, specific to your needs, and you call. I don't need to link to a website, or post an address if the business I'm advertising is National (aka. all of US and Canada).
You could run a click-2-call on smartphones with a link mobile link from Ringrevenue, but you still get useless WiFi-traffic, that doesn't generate calls.
Ok, this one is almost perfect in Adwords, but completely and utterly lacking in Bing. Let's say you are running a DUI lawyer PPcall campaign, and have a list of… 4000 Zip-codes, hyper-targeted to where the advertiser has lawyers.
Well, in Adwords, you simply upload a list (limited to 1000 zip-codes at a time), and voala! You have 4000 Zip-codes targeted in about 10 minutes.
In Bing Ads? You enter them in… 1… by… 1… manually… Not only that, you are limited to only 247 locations, per campaign. Well, most marketers would target by state, which still sucks, because you would need to enter (for example) 30 states, one by one.
You CAN upload 4000 zip-codes into Bing… but it's long and complicated, involves Adwords, and creating & managing 15+ campaigns, with 15*x Adgroups, and keywords.
Message me if you REALLY want to know, and maybe I will write up a guide.
So, bulk uploading locations in Bing Ads, is broken…
The Worst Day-parting known to Man
Ok, this one really get's to me. You have a campaign that only runs from 9am-5pm EST (typical rat-race hours). Well guess what… Here are the time-brackets you can advertise on in Bing Ads.
Based on this, you need to buy up 3 hours of useless time (7am-9am & 5pm-6pm).
You can get around this by switching your campaigns Time-zone to PST (9am EST = 7am PST), and another campaign for CST (5pm EST = 6pm CST). Confusing right?
Then do this again for weekend times… Bing Ads really sucks with day parting.
Crappy Keyword Targeting
“What language do your customers speak?” I select English. I get this:
In this case, I was targeting very broadly… but still in English. Those are clearly not.
Keyword Research Still Sucks
BingAds has a tool called BingAds Intelligence, which uses Excel, and can provide some interesting details on keyword volume, and such. Takes a bit of learning. But overall, most marketers use the Google keyword tool regardless, because it's still the best.
Updates & New Features Are Few and Far Between
I'm not sure if the Bing Ads team is limited in resources, or they simply deal with bigger clients and their self-serve platform is meaningless to them… But overall, I haven't read or heard about any upcoming major additions to Bing Ads. Nor has anything even evolutionary (let alone revolutionary), come out of Bing Ads recently. Looking forward to something though.
You can read their blog here: Bing Ads Blog
Some Hassle Removed By Bing Ads Editor
Just like the Adwords editor, the Bing Ads Editor does a couple neat tricks to speed up keyword, ad, adgroups, and campaign processing. This is a given when running campaigns of more than 100 keywords. I would use this to learn the platform in general. Yet, I'm still surprised you can't upload locations in bulk even in the editor.
On the PLUS Side!!
Because Bing Ads is so limited, many marketers avoid the self-serve platform. Thus, keywords can be dirt-cheap. I've paid ~0.20-$1 for College/university, or Car insurance terms due to low competition. Adwords, on the other hand, has a premium of x2-10 on those same keywords (over-saturation of competition).
Now, this is a HUGE plus. You get to show your ads to fresh eyes… ones not penetrated by Google's global advertising domination.
Do the cheap keywords out-balance the crappy feature list?
Well… that depends ultimately on your ROI.
Search volume on Bing/Yahoo is limited (I believe they only have 8% of the US mobile market, 30%+ of the US desktop market). But, the %ROI is good. I've pulled in 200% ROI with Bing Ads this month alone.
But that involved LOTS of reading involving hundreds of search queries, making a bazillion campaigns for a list of 10,000 cities, testing, optimizing, creating some more, rinse, repeat, etc etc.
Worth the effort
Quote For Your Cojones
It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project. ~ Napoleon Hill