The shape of Bing to come – updates and predictions
Everyone working with online marketing is aware of the presence of Bing Ads, and as a responsible PPC professional you have probably recommended a client at some point to import existing AdWords campaigns to Bing to possibly try to achieve cheaper cost per clicks and CPAs. Poor Bing, constantly being looked upon as the “little brother” of PPC, where successful AdWords campaigns often gets dumped with no further optimisation work often being done. But might there be any change coming up on the Bing horizon to alter this view? I would say yes, and no.
The feeling is that although Bing keeps adding functionality to their platform most of the updates are intended to mimic something that AdWords has already done. This week Bing will start phasing out the support of device targeting. Since AdWords stopped supporting this function (with the introduction of “enhanced campaigns”) Bing kept this option alive, to the joy of a lot of PPC marketers. While AdWords recently launched a revamp of AdWords Editor, the new version of Bing Editor is now available (which features a new updated look, much like a certain rival).
Personally I think it is a bit of a shame to see that more and more of the functions that actually made Bing stand out are disappearing. While I do understand that Bing probably feel that the battle against Google is lost, and that the best thing to do is to mimic it as much as possible to make it more appealing to simply import AdWords campaigns, it leaves marketers with less options in terms of functionality.
So, is it enough just to import your AdWords campaigns and hope for the best if you want to give Bing a go? As always with PPC the more time you have to spend on tweaking something the better. One thing to consider is that competition on Bing is generally is lower. This means that you can usually afford to bid higher on broader, more generic keywords. Yes, importing campaigns from AdWords is a really useful option that Bing offers, but time should be spent on researching competition before launching your Bing campaigns.
But there is something that could provide Bing with a much needed lifeline, the answer is Shopping/Product Listing campaigns. Bing already introduced this in the US last year with some promising initial results, but sadly there is no date for a possible launch in Europe (although I believe it is very likely to happen at some point soon). The success of the PLA campaign format since launched by Google have been enormous and online retailers simply cannot afford not to have a presence. If Bing can tap into this frenzy in Europe I believe that it is likely that we will be spending much more time in Bing shortly, as European retailers will want to have a Bing presence. And yes, they do let you import your Google Shopping campaigns into Bing… It should be remembered though that Bing traditionally have had a bigger share of the US PPC cake than in Europe, so we will have to wait and see how they value their European presence.
So, even though Bing are likely to keep copying AdWords success stories, PLAs might be a big deal and make Bing presence a necessity rather than something optional. Thinking more long term, Bing Ads are in need of their own successful PPC concept if they want to have a bigger slice of the PPC market.