Handy guide: Marketing with Bing Ads

Google may be the first search engine you turn to for late night questions (like, what do you call a group of turtles?) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM.) But Bing Ads shouldn’t be dismissed! While I adore Pay per click (PPC) Google AdWords (as seen in my previous blog ‘A Guide to Google AdWords: The Dos and Don’ts’), Bing Ads is another fantastic online advertising tool and must-do within your search marketing strategy.

The SEM underdog must be embraced! The vast majority of the time, marketers find Bing Ads to offer a much lower Cost per Click (CPC) compared to AdWords. When it comes to budgeting, this is surely pretty irresistible.

Here’s my handy guide to this perhaps-lesser-known-beast-of-a-marketing-tool.

What’s Bing Ads anyhow?

Bing Ads provides PPC advertising. It is an online auction – much like Google AdWords. Apparently, Bing Ads “powers one in four United Kingdom searches and delivers 918 million searches every month”! So it’s certainly worth considering. Your Bing Ads can appear on Bing, Yahoo and MSN search results.

How do I get my Bing Ads seen?

Your ad position depends on certain criteria – again, much like AdWords! As you will be bidding in this online auction against others, and there’s only so much space physically on Bing and its affiliates, you need to up your game to rank. Criteria includes not only how your bid compares to others, but also how relevant it is to the searches and how strongly your ad has performed in the past. This is where A/B testing can come in handy.

Bing Ads – Setting up & all that jazz

Setting up Bing Ads isn’t as daunting as it may seem! Go to the homepage, hit create account and follow the massively self-explanatory details, including inputting your contact details and business name. You then have the enticing option of importing data from Google AdWords – so if you have this all set up, you’re going to hit the ground running!

But you can also start afresh and create a new Bing Ads campaign, and input ad groups and keywords from a blank canvas: a marketer’s dream, or nightmare, depending on your workload!

Of course, why you’re looking to enter the exciting Bing Ads auction is extremely important when setting up campaign. You can choose from the following business goals:

Marketer setting up a Bing Ads campaign

Once you’ve honed in your focus goal, the fun begins with setting up your Bing Ads campaign. And much like AdWords, the set up is really transparent. Simply name your campaign, set your budget and location targeting and define who should see your ads. Simples!

Ad groups and keywords

Alike AdWords, here campaigns are made of ad groups, while ad groups consist of sets of ads and keywords. If you need a little inspiration setting up ad groups and keywords, Bing Ads kindly offers help! At this stage of campaign creation, you can get ideas for ad groups and keyword ideas by typing in your website URL or defining your product/service.

Bing Ads then presents suggested keywords, and displays how many times people search on it every month. You’ll also find out the average CPC and, crucially for your budget, how competitive the keyword is. Super helpful! Here’s an example below after a keyword search of women’s dresses:

Marketer getting ad group and keyword suggestions through Bing Ads

Creating Bing Ads-ads

So you’ve created your ad groups. Now it’s time to actually create your Bing Ads-ads! And, as time will tell, set up ad extensions. The real fun begins. Firstly, ensure your ad text has a clear Call To Action (CTA). Here’s what the ad creation page looks like:

Marketer creating a text ad in Bing Ads

The content of your Bing Ads needs to target your audience and be compelling enough for people to actually click through to your website. Of course, that’s the ultimate aim! Your Click Through Rate (CTR) is paramount, and it all begins with your ad copy and how enticing it appears to search engine searchers. This includes using relevant keywords within the ad, being specific with your product/service and including the price of your product/service (if it’s competitive and worthy of mentioning!).

You’ve created your first ad in your ad group and you’re feeling pretty productive. But it doesn’t stop there! Each ad group in Bing Ads can contain 100 wonderful ads. Bing Ads displays these is an even rotation – so why not create a few different ads and monitoring their performances to see which copy works best? A small edit of your ad Titles could make all the difference.

Successful ads:

Are specific and relevant.

Target your audience using their language and lingo.

Are compelling and make people click!

Are truthful and not misleading.

Are good enough to drive traffic to your website!

Ad extensions

Fancy beefing up your Bing Ads? Ad extensions are the bee’s knees. They do just that – extend your add. They add more detail to your ads. They can improve your CTR. They’re worth considering and playing around with. Sitelink Extensions, Callout Extentions, Structured Snippet Extensions, Location Extensions, App Extensions, Call Extensions and Review Extensions are all on offer. Bing Ads explains what they are really simply. Find the best extensions for your business and ads and apply! Like with AdWords, ad extensions are totally free to add too.

Bing Ads Budget and bids

The last step in creating your campaign is finalising your budget for the keywords you’ve chosen. Again, the Bing Ads set up page is wonderfully concise and you can play around with your budget settings smoothly. Here’s what you’re presented with:

Marketer setting up budget and bids for a Bing Ads marketing campaign

It’s important you amend your budget and bids accurately. But the great thing about Bing Ads, is that if you reach your daily limit for a campaign, all the ad groups inside are paused – so you won’t continue to pay.

Reviewing your Bing Ads campaigns

Once your campaign(s) are set up and running (this is assuming you’ve successfully set up a payment method!) Bing Ads displays your progress fantastically. An overview of all your campaigns can be found, including all the ad groups and keywords you’ve set up. The Reports tab is also a super tool. This is where you can set up customised performance reports and check out their CTR and conversion rates for your ads.

The Opportunities tab is also a great tool, aimed to help you improve your campaigns. Bing Ads Opportunities gives you super helpful suggestions on how to rock your campaigns – from the addition of new keywords to increasing your bid for better visibility.

So why use Bing Ads?

 I truly believe it’s worth delving into the exciting world of Bing Ads, whether you’re a beginner at PPC advertising or AdWords veteran! It is a big juicy chunk of the search marketplace and can, if utilised correctly, drive leads and result in more sales in a cost-effective way. For some, it’s far cheaper than using AdWords, and more successful as a result. It’s great on desktop and mobile too – opening up your ads to a whole lotta people across many devices! 

Pretty simple to set up and manage with a fantastic chance of ROI? Bing Ads is a fabulous tool – to either use in place of AdWords, or running at the same time – all depending on your budget! It’s a must-try addition to your digital marketing strategy.

Do you use Bing Ads? Would you recommend the advertising tool? 🙂

Bethany Wash

Storyteller. Digital marketer. Blogger. Social media enthusiast. Off the clock, an avid reader, cat mum, flautist and cocktail lover flitting between Bristol and Cornwall.

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