Bing Ads and you: How to plan a successful PPC campaign

In the last post in the Bing Ads and You series, we went over collecting audience insights to anchor your marketing plan. Today, we will again leverage MaternaLIFT’s case study to illustrate how to plan a successful search engine marketing (SEM) campaign. Bing Ads teamed up with Kelly Malm, Digital Marketing Strategist and owner of Digital Conflux to develop a campaign proposal for MaternaLIFT. 

The following insights summarize what we've learned from Kelly while crafting the plan.

1. The ultimate goal of any marketing campaign is converting prospects into lifetime customers. Keep this top of mind then next time you create an SEM campaign proposal for your clients.  

To create a campaign proposal for MaternaLIFT, we studied the business’s web analytics data to assess our paid search channel’s contribution to its total visitor volume, estimate the additional paid search traffic generated by the campaign and what the long-term impact on other visitor channels may be as a result.

bing ads plan successful campaign

We also leveraged MaternaLIFT’s web analytics data to assess how visitors react to different landing pages and focused on those with the highest visitor engagement (lower bounce rate, higher pages/session and session duration) to craft our proposal.

bing ads plan successful campaign

2.  SEM is all about having a measurable outcome.  Don’t rush the process of carefully defining your goals and success metrics, a critical feature of a promising campaign proposal.

For MaternaLIFT, we took the following steps to create performance metrics:

1.       Identify web events contributing to MaternaLIFT’s business objectives and list conversion trackers we will deploy.

2.       Assign value to each type of conversions based upon MaternaLIFT’s input - different activities contribute different values to your business (e.g. scheduling an appointment has higher value than signing up for newsletter), assign proper value for each type of conversions enable business to properly measure return on ads spend.

3.       Specify the process to validate whether conversion trackers are work correctly to avoid looking a compass not pointing north   


3.  Study your client’s business structure to recommend the optimal campaign structure for that business in your proposal.  

Mirroring your SEM campaign structure with your client’s business structure will enable you to apply business information unique to that merchant into the SEM campaign, making it easier to coordinate online and offline marketing down the road. We leveraged the following charts to help MaternaLIFT’s understand a traditional SEM campaign structure and best practices before brainstorming on how we will reflect its business structure on its new SEM campaign.

bing ads plan successful campaign 

bing ads plan successful campaign

bing ads plan successful campaign

With your search engine marketing plan’s relatively short shelf life (given the accelerated pace of new products and a constantly changing marketplace dynamic), it’s more important than ever to regularly review and update that plan.

Through this project we've learned that there's a steep learning curve on how to grow a business and how to develop a campaign; this blog post series aims to help busy merchants like you learn more about the foundation of digital advertising.

Until next time,


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Bing Ads PPC goal series: Tips to help drive more conversions

bing ads conversionsYou’re here for a reason. If you’ve invested the time, effort and funds into advertising online, you want to make sure that those precious resources aren’t going to waste; you want a decent return on your investment. No doubt you’re keeping an eye on your clicks, but what about your conversions?

What is a conversion?

A conversion is the ultimate purpose of your campaign; it is as you define it. Do you want to make sales? Then for you, a conversion would be a customer clicking on the “Submit order” button after following your online check out process. Are you trying to drive sign-ups for your newsletter? Then for you, a conversion would be when a new reader clicks “Submit” after entering their email address to subscribe. No matter what you consider a conversion to be, it’s a crucial metric in any online advertising strategy.

Clicks vs. Conversions

Clicks tell you that your ad was compelling enough and your keywords relevant enough to entice a user to click through to visit your site. A conversion tells you that your web site content was relevant and compelling enough to earn that user’s attention, time or money. Clicks tell you that your ads are doing well, conversions tell you that your ability to “sell” your product on your web site is effective. The more conversions you earn, the better your return on your advertising investment will be.

Here are 3 tips for improving your campaigns’ conversions:

Focus on what works. If you have campaigns that are bringing in the results you want, allocate more of your budget to those campaigns and increase bids on your top-converting terms to ensure they stay competitive.

Implement/increase accelerated budgets. If you’re using the standard budget (default), your ads may be spread out evenly throughout the day, but you also might be missing out on searches happening when your ads aren’t showing. An accelerated budget shows your ad as many times as possible throughout the day for eligible searches, which is helpful when you’re talking about a campaign that’s converting really well.

Relevance is key. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and then take a look at every aspect of your website as it relates to your campaign. Do your chosen keywords and ads tightly align to the landing pages you’re sending users to? Are the terms you’ve chosen the industry standard descriptors that someone would most likely use to find your products/services? If you’re not sure where to start, try reviewing your Quality Score to see which areas are most in need of attention.

How do I track conversions with Bing Ads?

Glad you asked! You can track conversions in your Bing Ads campaigns by implementing Universal Event Tracking (UET). While I could go into the specifics on that here, to do so would really be re-inventing the wheel; everything you need to know about UET is right there on the page you'll land on after clicking that link. That said, if you haven't set up UET yet and you'd like to be able to start tracking your conversions, there are resources on that page that will explain what it is, how it works, what you can track with it and how to get started.

For more information and additional resource on improving your conversions, visit the Get more conversions page here on the Bing Ads site.

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International opportunity: Reach new customers by targeting Canada

Now is the right time to consider a cross-border strategy into Canada if you haven’t already done so. Canada, just north of the United States, should be a natural extension for any advertiser already advertising in the U.S.  In fact, 75% of all Canadians live within 100 miles of the US-Canadian border.  Since the 2008 global recession, Canada has posted the strongest growth among the G7 countries, and the World Economic Forum ranked Canada as the world’s most stable economy for the sixth consecutive year. Many companies view Canada as a natural extension to their customer acquisition efforts, and more insights can be found in our white paper, Cross-Border E-Commerce in Canada.

Besides the US, Canada is the largest trading partner with the United Kingdom.

bing ads canada

According to McKinsey Global Institute1, there are five “global flows” of trade that connect the world economy across borders, they are: Goods, Services, Finance, People, and Data and communication. These flows provide actionable insights to companies looking to increase revenue:

  • Internet traffic increased by 18 times in the last 7 years, which makes up 1/5 of all Internet traffic
  • 35% of all goods cross borders—that’s 1 out of every 3 products
  • 90% of commercial sellers on eBay export to other countries.  25% of these sellers are  small businesses
  • Accenture2 estimates that retailers can grow their bottom line by up to 25% if they sold both online and cross-border


There is an opportunity to harness the changing attitude of consumers and businesses who are increasingly indifferent to where their goods are shipped from. Canada is ranked 8th on the McKinsey Global Institute Connectedness Index, which measures 131 countries across all five flows of trade. Canada’s flow value—its cross-border revenue activity both in and out of the country—is nearly $1.4B USD, which makes it a great economy to target for cross-border efforts.

If you're ready to get started with new campaigns targeted to Canadian audiences, be sure to check out the Location Targeting page here on the Bing Ads site.

Thanks for reading,



1 McKinsey Global Institute, Global flows in a digital age

2 Accenture, European Cross-border E-commerce

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Bing Ads and You: Using Facebook Audience Insights to improve your CTR

When was the last time you even made eye contact with the salesperson at your favorite retail outlet, who could only manage to say “Hello,” as you walked briskly past? What if that salesperson already knew what you were looking for and could bring you right to it?  Would they have you at "Hello"? 

Having that audience intelligence before your customers even make eye contact with your ad on their screen is the first and most critical step to running a successful campaign.  As illustrated in the opening post of this Bing Ads and You series, knowing your customer better than the competition is the difference between a campaign that rocks and one that flops. 

Today, I will dive further into Audience, the cornerstone of our Marketing Development Cycle, leveraging MaternaLIFT’s case study to reveal techniques and best practices that will help have your customers engaged with the first, “Hello!”  

Key elements of the Marketing Development Cycle

bing ads marketing

While working with Kevin and Jessica at MaternaLIFT to identify their customers and develop a customer profile, we interviewed them to collect their customer engagement experiences. We used Campaign Planner within Bing Ads to study related customers' activities across the Yahoo Bing Network and we teamed up with social media expert, Dayna Moon, Sr. Director of Social Media at 3Q Digital to extract audience insights from MaternaLIFT’s Facebook account. 

Here is what this experience taught us, and how the campaign performed as a result:

1. Study customer activities with Bing Ads Campaign Planner

Bing Ads Campaign Planner helps you analyze potential customers’ activities on the Yahoo Bing Network and assess the competition in engaging with that audience. More importantly, Campaign Planner presents seasonal trends in a convenient daily/weekly/monthly/annual format to help you seize the moment and benchmark your campaign performance.

Using Bing Ads Campaign Planner to collect dynamic insightsbing ads campaign planner

2. Apply audience insights from Facebook to Bing Ads campaigns

In Facebook, you can collect audience insights from two activities:

1.) Facebook users interact with your Facebook page. By going through the Insights/People menu on your Facebook page, you can get general information, such as gender distribution, age range, prevalent locations and languages.

Audience insights from your Facebook page

bing ads facebook data

2.) Facebook users visited your website. Create a custom audience and select it from the Audience Insights menu.

How to collect audience insights on those visited your website/web page(s)

bing ads facebook data

Integrating the information from Campaign Planner and Facebook Audience Insights, you get a deeper view of your potential customers: not just who they are, but which ones are more likely to purchase your products during a certain season. 

For MaternaLIFT, a company selling an innovative maternity support product, Campaign Planner helps them confirm that there are relatively little seasonal changes for maternity products, but that some US states have a higher demand than others, and most related searches are conducted on a PC.

Likewise, Facebook’s audience insights helps them identify the age range of potential customers, confirm which city/state have the highest interest for their product and their purchasing behavior.  

MaternaLIFT tailored their Bing Ads campaign settings with the insights learned from both tools, and as a result, observed a 30% lift in CTR! 

Transferring Facebook audience insights into your Bing Ads campaign settings

bing ads facebook data

bing ads facebook data

Until Next Time

Remember: audience intelligence anchors a successful advertising campaign; having a deeper understanding of your customers helps you develop an actionable marketing plan that promotes your value proposition with highly relevant content.  In the next article for Bing Ads and You, we'll discuss how to develop such a marketing plan.

Meanwhile, feel free to drop me a note if you have a question on building audience insights that will make customers say, “You had me at hello!

Happy Advertising,

Ping Jen

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