bing ads leonidas kaplan

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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.

Bingads device targeting

Bing Ads Comprehensive Device Targeting

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.

Bulk-Location Uploading

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.

Adwords bulk-location uploader

Adwords' insane targeting & bulk location upload

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.

 

Bingads day-parting

Bing Ads Day-parting

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:

Bingads Broad Match English Keyword Targeting

Bing Ads Broad Match English Keyword Targeting

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

Cheers

Leonidas

Quote For Your Cojones

It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project. ~ Napoleon Hill 

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21 Comments

  1. Great research Leonidas. Glad to hear there is at least a little positive. While 8% is only a fraction of Google’s dominance, it’s a wonder that such a large company wouldn’t invest in their advertising platform further. I mean, I am guessing that ad dollars is the largest way that the website makes it’s money?

    I realize Microsoft & Yahoo have other online revenue drivers, but you would think they would invest in this heavier to make it a more popular platform.

    Anyway, thanks for the update – sounds like you’ve put in a lot of elbow grease lol…

    Randy

    • Thanks for the 1-up Randall 🙂

      I think most of their ad-revenue probably comes from selling display placements to big brands.

      To bid on Bing Ads display, you need to drop $5000/month minimum, and your results may be break-even at best (as most display advertisers find).

      Anyways, I think I’ve reached the furthest corners of the Bing self-serve platform for now.

      Let me know if you get some crazy success with the platform.

      Cheers Randall

  2. Hi nice points I been running a few pay per call campaigns on bing the first one is a drug rehab I have had about 23 calls cost for the calls was just under 15 bucks but no conversion plus the advertiser is a scammer as most of my calls have been getting disconnected and in the same second same city rung back but nothing has converted 🙁 My second pay per call campaign is personal injury it been running for a month now no clicks at all… I have set the bids to around 3.00 bucks got tons of impressions ad position is around 1.2 or 2 some even higher 3 I think but no calls bing network is nothing compared to Google adwords system what it took me months to spend on bing it would take a single afternoon to spend on adwords………

    • I agree, Bing is limited in traffic. Once they implement click-2-call on their mobile platform, maybe they will be have some use, but at the moment… Bing is severely lacking (with respect to ppcall).

  3. I have run some bing ads. I just started one an hour ago actually. It seems a lot of traffic to my site is from south America… Seems weird to me, but the traffic comes fast! You can tell instantly when the ads go live. But they certainly don’t send quality traffic imo. Thanks for the article

    • Heyhey, You might want to check your settings for “Advanced Location Options”.

      Set it to: “Show ads to people in your target location” only.

    • Bingads just received a couple upgrades. Although I’ve never had much success with adsense. $25/mo at most with a single site and 8,000 hits of generic traffic.

    • You need to point to A website, but you don’t need your own.

      I recommend getting your own though. Dudamobile is a good start.

  4. I have just spent the last few days banging my head against the wall trying to get some useful information from Bing Ads support staff in Europe. Their support used to be excellent, now it is awful. Thier knowledge of their product is very low. I read somewhere that their support has been outsourced to some company in Germany. Defo going back to Google now.

    • I agree, their ‘deep’-knowledge of their own Self-serve Bing Ads platform can be lacking at times. But Bing Ads is a huge platform, and it has many different elements that require learning. If one of the support staff doesn’t know, then their techies will send you some info.

      I recommend Bing Ads for their lack of competition.

    • I agree, Bing Ads staff don’t have a ‘deep’-level understanding of their own self-serve platform. But they usually answer the question within a day, if it’s really deep.

      I recommend bing Ads for their lack of keyword competition. Lots of potential.

  5. great article leonidas. also nice interview with ringrevenue. as far as adwords and pay per call, since they butchered the system recently, have you still been able to have good success there?
    thanks,
    david

    • Hey David,

      Enhanced campaigns still produce great success. You will still get the occasional desktop clicks, but 99% of my traffic is mobile click-2-call.

      And profitable 🙂

  6. Hey Leonidas,

    I know many, or at least some of these issues have been resolved, but one thing I’ve found to be challenging is that even when you select for your ad to only be linked to your phone number, unlike on Google how your ad title shows “Call: 888-123-4567”, on Bing, the title shows, well, your title. I feel that when people see this normal text title, they will think that clicking on it will take them to a website. I have noticed my conversion rate on bing is MUCH lower, which I assume is mainly due to this reason. Have you had this problem in your own campaigns on bingads, and have you found anything to overcome it? Thanks!

    • Hey Jesse, this has been an issue with bing click-2-call only for a while. Unfortunately, there is not solid way around it. You can try a script which is click-2-call (available in the premiumposts).

      But you cannot overcome this issue completely. Hopefully your costs are low enough to justify the clicks.

    • Hey Joseph,

      A buddy of mine was able to get bing up to 2k/day profit with pay per call.

      Any campaigns that are successful in Adwords, I simply replicate into bing Ads.

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