This search agency, of course!
Update: We’re pleased to announce that Direct Online Marketing™ is one of just 17 search agencies worldwide to be named a
Microsoft Advertising Preferred Agency Bing Ads Preferred Agency through their Accredited Professionals program. This is the equivalent of the Google AdWords Certified Partner program – a distinction we also hold. You can read more about our PPC certifications here if you’re curious.
While they had already made the announcement about switching their PPC platform name from Microsoft Advertising to Bing Ads, they just made the switch live throughout their site on the 9th.
Doctors prefer Camel cigarettes…okay maybe this isn’t the best analogy.
Of course this announcement is an excuse for a little chest-puffing, but it’s also an excuse to talk a little about some of the changes
Microsoft adCenter Bing Ads has made in the last couple months to improve their platform. We discuss these on these on our twitter feeds (the company’s and mine) and facebook, but they’ve gotten a little bit of the short shrift here on Found. Let’s correct that.
Bing Ads Background
As you probably already know,
Microsoft adCenter Bing Ads is the paid search platform that serves up PPCads on bing, Yahoo!, and other sites within their search network. Yes, even though they’re branding as Bing, they’re still serving on Yahoo!, too. They also offer some display advertising through a separate platform that they’re now calling Microsoft Advertising.
According to comScore’s latest numbers, Google sites account for almost exactly 2/3 of core searches within the US. Microsoft and Yahoo! sites combine for 28.7%. That translates to about 43% of the volume you get from Google. In practice, generally, you’ll probably not see quite that much volume in comparison if you were to run AdWords and adCenter campaigns full bore on the same keywords. But there’s enough volume there that in many cases, adCenter can perform roughly the same as AdWords. Sometimes better, sometimes worse, sometimes about the same.
Generally, if you’re going to run on AdWords, you should probably be running on
adCenter Bing Ads, too, unless budget or time resources dictate otherwise. And in some cases of really small budgets, adCenter might be better than AdWords for you with less competition to fight against.
Here are some of items we found to have some significance:
- Even ad rotation at the ad group level. In general, rotation is the best way to go, as opposed to optimized rotation. When search engines optimize, they only optimize to what makes them more money (clicks) – not necessarily what makes you more money (conversions). You might remember we were somewhat displeased when Google took away ad rotation as an option, though they partially backtracked after an uproar.
- IP Exclusion. In other words, when you find out your competitors’ IP addresses, you can block those. Part of the reason they did this was because many advertising – including many of our clients – were getting really spammy traffic from their search network. The solution for many of us was just to turn off the search network completely. This was one part of an effort to address the problem and not turn off advertisers forever to that additional source of
revenue for themadditional traffic.
- Reporting features fixed for account managers. This one doesn’t make much of a difference to self-advertisers, but holy cow is it great for us. We could not get placements and search queries before directly in the UI under our search manager accounts through our master agency account.
- Agency enablement. Same as above – doesn’t make any difference to self-advertisers, but the ability to port accounts around among agencies is a TON easier now for both the agency and the client.
- Ad groups can now have 50 ads each. You don’t want to run that many actively at the same time, but that can be helpful with your rotation schedule.
- Domain site exclusions for search partners was revamped, allowing you to block out 2,000 sites per campaign or ad group – a 4x increase. This was done for the same reason as noted in the IP blocking above.
- Broad Match Modifier (BMM). Hooray! Their equivalent of Google AdWords’ modified broad match, a major improvement when Google introduced the concept (much earlier) and took everyone beyond just broad, phrase, and exact match types. Total winner.
- More transparency in Quality Score breakdown, especially with landing page and keyword relevance factors. Data becomes more useful in analyzing lost impression share data. Speaking of lagging behind AdWords, adCenter offered this information up first and AdWords quickly announced its own upgraded transparency just a few days later.
- Major improvements to adCenter Desktop. Although it still doesn’t work with some computer frameworks, forcing users with those computers to get their IT folks to jump through a lot of hoops to make it compatible.
Bottom line – if you haven’t tried
adCenter Bing Ads for paid search in awhile (or ever), now’s a great time to give it a(nother) shot.