My first Bing Ads campaign was a total flop! Here's why.
  • Bing, Bang, Bounce: My Experience With Bing Ads

    June 25, 2016

    My first Bing Ads campaign

    Why can’t you replicate your Google AdWords campaign on Bing’s ads platform?

    By Maureen McCabe

    Many small businesses invest in a Google AdWords campaign, but not many venture out into the world of Bing pay-per-click advertising. However, this could be a huge missed opportunity. Forty-five million users are using Bing as their search engine every day, and they represent a large segment of the population – and potential customers – that you simply aren’t reaching. Did you know that 14% of all Canadian searches are performed on Bing?

    I decided to give Bing PPC Ads a shot. Bing even has a convenient option to import campaigns directly from Google AdWords! I chose two of my best-performing ads from my AdWords campaign and uploaded them to the Bing platform, using the exact same text, keywords and targeting. I was really hoping that these would perform well, given their success on Google.

    I was dead wrong. I found that this little experiment was a complete waste of time and money. My Bing ads had resulted in a 99% bounce rate! These results led me to ask the question, “Why can’t you replicate your Google AdWords campaign on Bing’s ads platform and get the same results”? I began to look into it further.

    Bing Ads vs. Google Ads

    One of the first steps to understanding why Bing and Google ads perform differently is to look at how they function differently. Here are a few of the basic distinctions between the two ad platforms:

    • They display in different places. Bing ads will reach users on Bing, Yahoo and partner networks, while Google ads display on the Google Search Network and their partner websites.
    • Bing ads allow for longer ad copy – 71 characters over one line vs. Google’s two separate lines of 35 characters each.
    • Their budgets work differently – Bing allows you to set a monthly ad spend limit while Google budgets must be set on a daily basis.

    Why Didn’t my Bing Ads Perform?

    Diving deeper, I discovered a number of factors that may have contributed to the poor performance of my Bing campaign:

    1. An older audience. The Yahoo!/Bing Network tends to reach an older audience – over 75% of Bing searchers are aged 35 and older, and more likely to have children, based on their age.
    2. Not my target market. They tend to be more-so blue collar than white collar.  My target market is small- and mid-sized business owners.
    3. A less techsavvy audience. Eighty-seven percent of people who use Bing as their search engine are using Internet Explorer – the default search engine! From this, we might assume that these people don’t know how to, or choose not to download a different browser. So, it’s important to consider if your target audience is the average Bing user. If they are, wonderful! But I suspect that might not be the case when it comes to my own marketing business.
    4. Negative keywords are treated differently. In AdWords, if you choose the word “dogs” as a negative keyword, this will be treated as a broad match and your ad will not display for related terms like “toys for dogs” or “dog’s clothing.” However, if you add “dogs” as a negative keyword in Bing, it will be treated as a phrase match instead. Your ad will not show for “dogs,” but will still show for “dog’s clothing” and “toys for dogs.”
    5. Targeting options are very different. For example, the time zone settings in Bing reflect the time zone of the user, not of you and your business. Choosing 2 PM means that your ad will show at 2 PM in each individual time zone, not 2 PM just where you are.
    6. You must carefully review anything you upload from Google AdWords. While Bing makes it simple to import your Google ad campaigns, you must be sure to check for errors or inconsistencies. Check geotargeting, campaign settings, and look for any missing data that didn’t get imported.

    Overall, what I have learned is that if you are looking to dive into Bing Ads, you should do so independently. What may work for you on Google AdWords may not be effective on Bing, so take the time to create unique campaigns for each platform and discover what produces the best results for your business.

    Check out my other blog posts about Internet marketing tips:

    What is Remarketing? Part 1.
    Google Adwords, How Does Remarketing Work?
    Why Content Syndication is a Bad Idea

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