Tips

Register now for a free Bing Ads Connect event near you

bing ads connectIf you're in the search marketing industry and are located in the metro regions of Chicago, Seattle or Los Angeles, you won't want to miss out on this opportunity to attend a free Bing Ads Connect event coming to your area next month.

If you haven't heard of Bing Ads Connect, these are hands-on, workshop format events where you'll get expert help and valuable insights to make your Bing Ads campaigns the best they can be. At a Bing Ads Connect event, you will...

  • Learn about new search marketing resources
  • Talk to experts about growing search advertising opportunities
  • See a sneak peek of upcoming Bing Ads enhancements
  • Gain skills to fine-tune your Bing Ads campaigns
  • Get 1:1 support in creating and optimizing your account
  • Earn your Bing Ads Accreditation

 

These events are free of charge, but space is limited, so reserve your spot now to avoid getting shut out! Here are the registration links by location so you can learn more about where the event is being held, who will be there and what the day's agenda will look like:

Register here for Chicago, IL on Friday, June 5th.

Register here for Redmond, WA on Wednesday, June 10th.

Register here for Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, June 17th.

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Reach local customers with Bing Places for Business

When it comes to gaining exposure for your business online, you want to make sure you're leaving no stone unturned. Now that reaching mobile customers has become more important than ever, having a strong online presence is especially true for businesses with a physical location that could benefit from being visible to those who're looking for what you have to offer while on-the-go.

You've got your PPC campaign up and running with your most relevant keywords and most eye-catching copy, but have you claimed your Bing Places for Business listing yet?

If you're not familiar with Bing Places for Business is, it's a free service that helps connect businesses with their local customers. For example, as I mentioned in my last blog post, my husband and I are in the midst of summer vacation planning.  Given that our usual dog sitter isn't going to be in town when we're going to be away, one of the loose ends we need to tie up is to locate a dog boarding facility close to home.

To keep my search local, I enter the query, "dog boarding redmond wa"... this is what I see:

bing places for business

Many local businesses will show up regardless of whether the business owner has claimed the listing or not -- not all will, in some cases, you may have to add your business. Those that claim their listings can include helpful information like hours of operation, photos, services offered and more. Because Bing Places for Business is free, there's no reason not to tell the best possible story about your business when it shows up in local results like these. For example, without even clicking on any of these listings to see which ones have more info and which don't, I can already tell that Canine Behavior Center is worth looking at just based on the number of Yelp reviews alone, better yet that the majority of them are positive.

It's small details like that that can make or break a sale, so if you haven't already claimed your Bing Places for Business listing, there's no time like the present!

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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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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.

Download

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:          http://www.nodpublishers.com/contoso

b.       Disallowed:     contoso.nodpublishers.com 

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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