The “Import from Google AdWords” feature within Bing Ads has proven to be a blessing to many a time-crunched PPC practitioner. However, its simplicity belies the fact that there are a few additional optimizations — some unique to Bing Ads — that could help ensure you’re getting the most ROAS (return on ad spends) from your campaigns.
Taking just a little more time to make a few extra tweaks can be absolutely worth it — not just for your bottom line, but also to avoid costly errors.
Here are five common mistakes when porting campaigns over:
1. Assuming “Time of Day Targeting” Works the Same Way As On Google
On AdWords, dayparting is based solely on the time zone specified by the advertiser (and can’t be changed) when setting up the account. Bing Ads’ ad scheduling is based on the location of the person viewing your ad.
This means if you set up your campaign to serve ads from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., it will show across the country — PST, CST or EST — between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. for the searcher, even if you meant 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. This is a handy feature, especially for accounts that span multiple time zones, as it helps avoid any calculation errors between time zones.
Be careful to adjust the ad scheduling settings from the newly imported campaigns to more accurately reflect the right times for your ads to show.
Here are some further optimization opportunities you have with Bing:
- Bing Ads allows for different campaigns to have different time zone settings.
- Ad scheduling can be controlled at both the campaign and group level.
2. Not Taking Advantage of Key Targeting Options
a. Demographic targeting within search:
Bing Ads offers demographic targeting within the search network, at both the campaign and ad group level, that allow you to set bid modifiers ranging from -90 percent to +900 percent, based on age and gender.
Find it under the advanced targeting options section in Settings:
b. Search partner targeting:
With the additional transparency into search partners provided by Bing Ads, it would be a mistake not to review search partner performance reports every few weeks after the import in order to weed out poor performers and save money.
Poor performers can be blocked via the website exclusions option under campaign settings.
c. Device targeting:
Unlike Google AdWords, Bing Ads provides control over tablets and smartphones separately, offering specific bid modifiers for each. Tablet modifiers range from -20 percent to +300 percent, while smartphone modifiers range from -90 percent to +300 percent.
Not taking advantage of these device targeting options could mean wasted ad spend.
3. Not Updating The Source In The URL Tracking Code
While it may seem perfectly obvious, it’s surprising how frequently something like this gets missed.
Chances are, the newly transferred destination URLs are tagged with AdWords-specific UTM code to allow your analytics tool to track those campaigns. If you don’t change the UTM code to reflect the new source, you can skew your analytics results and cause reporting inaccuracies.
There are a couple of easy ways to keep your attribution data accurate. First, at the time of the import, use the “Edit ad and keyword destination URLs” feature to update the tagging. Alternatively, as a catchall, enable the auto-tagging setting within your account with a simple click of the mouse. It’s truly something that takes less than 30 seconds to do.
Under the Accounts & Billing section, you’ll find the option to enable Auto-Tagging:
Then simply choose the “Replace all existing tags” option (or choose the option to append the tags as needed).
If you use another tagging system within your URLs, it’s still critical to make sure you manually update the source to reflect Bing Ads.
4. Not Fully Optimizing Your Ads
a. 71-character format checks:
The per-line limit in AdWords doesn’t exist in Bing Ads, which uses a longer 71-character limit. This means ads can look different from one to the other.
Following your import, preview some of your most important ads in different formats to ensure they still read well. It’s worth adding in some ad copy A/B tests, as well, to find the messaging that fits this slightly different format.
b. Sitelink extensions functionality:
While in AdWords, each Sitelink must have a unique URL, Bing Ads poses no such restrictions. If you have a landing page that converts like a dream, you could still link to it via the different Sitelinks (provided they all made sense and had the relevant information on the page).
Thus, you could enjoy both the extra real estate in the SERPs and a high conversion rate.
5. Not Reviewing Your Negative Keyword Lists
While AdWords allows broad match negative keywords, Bing Ads does not. The negative broad match keywords imported will have been automatically converted to phrase match.
This could mean that you’ll need to expand these lists further to cover some of the keywords that would have been blocked by a broad match negative in AdWords. It’s worth keeping an eye on the search terms report to check and see if you need to add negative keywords as phrase or exact match.
The Negative Keyword Conflict report would be handy to run in the days following an import, in order to ensure that all is in proper working order and no valuable terms are getting blocked.
Go Forth And Import
The subtle nuances between the two platforms can make quite a difference to advertising performance. Getting started on the right foot removes a lot of risk and ensures your Bing Ads campaigns are well supported.
Have you found other strategies or tactics that have helped make your import from Google AdWords more successful? Please do share in the comments below.