Bing Ads PPC goal series: 4 tips to increase walk-ins

bing ads ppc goalHave you ever watched those baking competition shows where the hopeful contestants say that if they win, they'll use the prize money to open up their very own shop? For most of those small business owners, they're making their cakes, cupcakes and doughnuts out of their own kitchens at home. Sales are based primarily on word-of-mouth and, for the more marketing savvy, advertising for catering services.

To have a brick-and-mortar storefront is a dream for many entrepreneurs who aren't standing on firm enough ground to quit their day jobs just yet, so if you're at the point where you've got a physical location where customers can visit you, you should absolutely be taking advantage of every opportunity you have to drive potential customers through your doors. Given how ubiquitous smartphones are now -- nearly 2/3 of Americans have them -- being able to reach people who are looking for the products and services you offer at exactly the right moment when they're searching for businesses like yours is crucial.

Here are some quick tips to bring people to your store using Bing Ads:

1.) Use Location Extensions in your ad. Showing your potential customers that you're local through displaying your address and a link to directions is a sure fire way to get their attention when they're researching online for a store to visit in person.

2.) Target your local customers. This may be a no-brainer for anyone that sells exclusively to a local clientele, but for others that serve both local customers as well as offer shipping to other locations, it might not be as obvious. If the latter describes you, consider setting up a campaign specifically to drive in-store traffic with tight targeting only on your immediate vicinity. If you have more than one location, create a separate campaign for each and keep an eye on what works best so you can duplicate the most effective keywords and ad copies to your different audiences.

3.) Create key phrases that marry your top keywords with your location. This is especially important for businesses that thrive on tourism; many of your potential customers will be searching for local resources from an area that's not local. For example, my husband and I do a lot of traveling for concerts... if the destination is a kid-friendly one, we'll bring our 3 boys along for the trip and will do some research on things we'd like to have nearby the concert venue. We're currently planning a road trip in July and I've already searched on phrases like "family friendly restaurants Bend OR" and "hotel pool Les Schwab Ampitheater Bend OR."

4.) Use Sitelink Extensions to highlight a map or store locator on your web site. If your web site is equipped with features like these that shine a spotlight on your local appeal, make sure you're making them obvious in your ads by adding them in your Sitelink Extensions.

For more information on how to drive more in-store traffic with Bing Ads, check out the page of the same name here in the "Solutions" section of the Bing Ads site.

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Changes to Approved Limited messaging in Bing Ads

In the past, Approved Limited error messaging has been a source of confusion for some advertisers; what does it really mean to say that a given ad's or keyword's delivery status is "Approved Limited"? Approved Limited may actually be good news. It means your item is already approved in at least one of your targeted markets. If you're not already familiar with this Bing Ads policy status, check out David Salper's post, Approved Limited in Bing Ads: The Editor, the UI and You.

Why, exactly, does this “Approved Limited” status cause confusion to some users? We have heard feedback that sometimes "Approved Limited" error messages appear for ads and keywords for countries/markets that were not selected. While this was a pain point for many of you, we're happy to announce that it won't be from now on!

The status quo

Prior to this update, an advertiser would create an ad and would target a particular market, such as the UK. Even though our advertiser opts-in to only one market (UK), Bing Ads would display error messages for countries like the US and Canada, which was not explicitly targeted. This behavior was seen in both the Bing Ads UI as well as in Bing Ads Editor:

The Bing Ads UI

bing ads approved limited

Bing Ads Editor

bing ads approved limited

From now on

After this update, BingAds will show editorial error messages only for those markets to which the advertiser has explicitly targeted. For example, if the advertiser has opted-in to UK alone, and if there are editorial rejections for UK, the advertiser will be seeing rejections in Bing Ads UI and Bing Ads Editor. In the below examples, since the gambling ad was approved in UK (which was the only market the advertiser has opted-in to), the ad is shown as approved.

The Bing Ads UI

bing ads approved limited

Bing Ads Editor

bing ads approved limited

We hope that with this confusion cleared up, you'll be able to spend more time optimizing your campaigns and less time on wild goose chases to solve error messages that might not be the red flags they appear to be. 

Have you seen these changes in Bing Ads or Bing Ads editor? What do you think? Are you facing any other issue while using Bing Ads? If you have any feature requests for other changes you'd like us to make, please submit them (or vote on them, if they've already been logged) at our feature suggestion forum.

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Questions about our partnership with Yahoo? #AskBingAds

ask bing adsIf you’ve been paying attention to the latest developments in search industry news, you probably heard that some updates have been made to the way Microsoft and Yahoo work together to provide relevant search results to users, as well as high quality traffic to advertisers.

Although there’s been quite a bit of advertising industry coverage on this topic, you may feel as though you have some questions that are still unanswered. If that’s the case, we'd like to help bridge that gap by inviting you to send us your questions about our partnership with Yahoo via Twitter with the hash tag, #AskBingAds. As always, we're happy to take questions on other topics too, but with this hash tag, we're particularly interested in getting a pulse on what aspects of the updates to our partnership with Yahoo might need some clarity for you, our advertisers.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

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Editorial series: Tips for advertisers promoting software

Over the course of a couple of blog posts, we hope to give you some useful editorial insights that will help you create successful campaigns that fly through the editorial approval process and lead to some great campaign results (and happy searchers too). In this post, I will explain some elements by which advertisers who wish to promote software must comply.


1. Ensure your ads are relevant

Both advertisers and consumers benefit when they have positive experiences with Bing Ads. Advertisers can contribute to searchers having a good experience with their ads by ensuring:

  • Ads do not mislead
  • Ads are highly relevant to the product, services or information presented on your landing page (or general content). For example: when your ad implies a certain product is for sale the landing page must offer the sale of that specific product.


2. Provide a “positive download experience”

To create a positive download experience advertisers must avoid:

  • Content designed to circumvent spam filters.
  • Scaring the user into believing something is wrong with their computer that needs fixing.
  • Being unclear as to the origin and scope of the download.
  • Making it difficult or confusing to remove the software or program.
  • Use software bundling technology, where accompanying products may present a risk, or are flagged by malware or fraud filters.


To sum it up: a good experience with your company starts with great ad at ad-level followed by a relevant landing page rounded off by a proper download experience.

The title, ad copy text and display URL – What is allowed and what is not?

There are three key areas to pay attention to when promoting software. As guidelines are so much easier to understand when looking at examples, we thought we’d give you some relating to the title, the ad text and the display URL:

Display URL:

Scenario: Contoso is a freely available, downloadable internet browser created by a well-known technology company. Nod Publishers, a third-party provider of software products, is promoting the download of Contoso from its own website.

The URL of a. is allowed, while that of b. is prohibited:

a.       Allowed:

b.       Disallowed: 

The latter (b.) is prohibited as it can serve to mislead users into believing they are being directed to the brand owner’s site and not that of a third party, upon detection this would result in a penalty being applied to the offending advertiser.

Please review the Bing Ads policy on URL formatting to ensure your ad is fully compliant.

Ad Text:

The ad text should be an exact and fair description of what is on offer and should not mislead (stating “100% free” or “free” when the product is not).

Scenario: Contoso Editor is a premium product available on a paid subscription on the homepage of Contoso. They also have some affiliates who promote the product, with a list of those affiliates available on their website. Therefore, when Nod Publishers, a third-party provider of software products – and not included in the affiliate list – promotes Contoso Editor as “100% Free”, while in reality offering only a trial version, editorial deems this to be misleading per example a., while b. is deemed compliant if they actually offer a “Trial Version”.

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