Paid Search

5 Bing PPC Optimization Tips for the Holidays

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As an eCommerce retailer headed into the 2012 holiday season be prepared for some added work in the paid search department as competition for market share heats up.  It’s easy to overlook Bing when most of your time is spent managing Google.  Here are 5 quick action items for eCommerce retailers to optimize Bing paid search accounts for the holidays.

1.  AOV ANALYSIS

Average order values can vary by marketing channel so why not segment your data to look at just how much clicks from Bing are worth.  Many times I’ve found that a particular channel like Bing can bring in higher average order values or higher conversion rates.  I once heard Bing users are proven to have higher median incomes.  I don’t know if that quote is true or not but I suggest segmenting your data to find out for yourself.  If you find you have higher average order values from Bing PPC traffic you can get more aggressive with your CPCs.  A quick and easy way to adjust bids in bulk is to apply an advanced filter in Bing Ads Editor, find keywords that are profitable and increase the bids based on average position.  For example, any profitable keywords with an average position of greater than 2.5 could get a 15% CPC increase to ensure you maintain good position.  Of course there are lots of other ways to optimize but when time is an issue I suggest bulk editing.

2.  ADD OR UPDATE SITELINKS

Site links are known to drive higher CTR’s and Bing site links were introduced a while back.  Google recently announced that Adwords managers should update all site links to direct to traffic to unique destination urls.  Gone are the days of using the extra screen real estate as room for more value adds or CTA’s while sending the traffic to the same URL.  If you haven’t updated your site links head over to Adwords and make the switch.  While you’re at it update or add site links in Bing.  I haven’t seen an instance yet in which site links done correctly haven’t yielded better account performance & ROI.

3. REFRESH YOUR KEYWORDS

It’s a common known fact Bing gets less PPC attention than Google and rightfully so.  Now is a good time to check your ad groups and keywords in Adwords and make sure everything is copied over to Bing.  Don’t forget to double check your negatives while you’re there because this can be an area that gets overlooked as well.  I prefer to use Bing Ads Editor sync feature.  It’s definitely been improved over time and it even has options that allow you to append utm tracking parameters to your destination URL’s during import.

 4.  CHECK YOUR BUDGETS

The holidays bring increased traffic and sometimes this can inadvertently cause our budgets to cap out on campaigns that are performing well.  Analyze your campaigns and consider increasing budgets on campaigns that have solid ROI.  The last thing you want is to miss out on sales because you capped your budget.

5.  CHECK YOUR DEVICE TARGETING

With the big uptick in smart phone and tablet shopping it makes sense to segment your campaigns by device.  If you haven’t done so already now is when you will get your best return on effort.  Also remember Bing has tablets as a separate device target so even if you don’t have a separate campaign for tablets you should probably enable it with your desktop campaigns.  Tablet users behave a lot like desktop users and with the increased conversion rates of the holidays coming it makes sense to turn tablet traffic on to at least analyze your data post holidays.

I’d love to hear what other tips you have to spruce up your ppc accounts before the holidays.  Does anyone get benefits from segmenting tablets into their own campaign?  I’d be interested to know.  How about the Bing AOV Analysis, does anyone see higher AOV’s here?  Leave a comment to carry on the discussion!

 

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James Scaggs is the Director of Marketing for e-commerce apparel companies Ties.com and Scarves.com. When he’s not working, you may find him enjoying a fine glass of bourbon, while going on about how to improve conversion rates or make things more user friendly. Catch up with him on Twitter @jamesscaggs or on Google Plus.
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