Launching a new search advertising campaign requires a lot of research and planning. How do you know what to bid? How much traffic should you expect from a specific keyword? Bing Ads has tools to help you strategize appropriate bids, estimate the change a bid estimate would make on your campaign’s traffic, and understand your actual cost.
After reading this training, you will understand how to:
The heart of online advertising is matching relevant ads with potential customers. Bids are just one of several factors that affect your ad’s position. Along with bids, keyword relevance and quality score are critical variables that determine ad rank. However, fully understanding PPC bidding is important because it’s possible to overpay for performance when trying to display your ad in the mainline (A) and sidebar (B) locations.
When creating your bids, keep in mind:
Bid landscape helps estimate the affect a bid change will have on your campaign. Bid landscape provides a range of bids for a keyword, along with the estimated impressions and clicks those bids might bring for that keyword. If you see a bid that gives the performance you’re looking for, you can then change your bid within Bid landscape.
Bid landscape is only available if there is sufficient impression and click data for your keywords. If there is data available, a small graph will appear next to each of your bids on the Keywords or Ad groups tabs. To view the Bid landscape estimates:
On the Keywords or Ad groups tab, click on the graph icon next to the current bid you want to review. To change your bid, select an option from the Bid column or enter an amount in Other bid and click Save.
At the ad group level, you can choose to change all of your keyword bids or you can update only your ad group bid and leave your individual keyword bids unchanged.
Your bid strategy setting tells Bing Ads how you want to manage your bids. Whichever bid strategy you use, Bing Ads will always respect your budget limit. Currently, there are five bid strategy options: Manual, Enhanced CPC, Maximize Clicks, Maximize Conversions, and Target CPA.
Comparing bid strategies:
Do I set bids myself?
Do I need conversion tracking?
Can I use a third-party bid management tool?
Manual CPC (cost per click): You set your ad group and keyword bids, and Bing Ads uses these bids every time. This is every campaign's default bid strategy. To switch the default Manual CPC strategy to Enhanced CPC, click Settings tab from the Campaign page. Under Bid strategy, choose Enhanced CPC: Adjust my bid to get more conversions.
Enhanced CPC (cost per click): You set your ad group and keyword bids, and Bing Ads automatically adjusts your bids in real time to increase your chances for a conversion. Your bid will go up to 30% higher on searches that are more likely to convert and up to 100% lower on searches less likely to convert. (This change will be applied after you set your bid adjustments.)
Maximize Clicks: Bing Ads automatically sets your bids in real time to get as many clicks as possible within your budget. If you want greater control over your bids while using Maximize Clicks, you can also set a maximum CPC (cost per click). This is an optional limit you can set to make sure that Bing Ads never pays more than a certain amount for each individual click.
Bing Ads can save you time by automatically making changes to your campaigns based on criteria you define. These are called automated rules. Although your campaign will always require some monitoring, you can automate many tasks. Here are a few examples of how advertisers are using Bing Ads automated rules and bids to help them manage their campaigns.
Read more about Ways to use automated rules and how to create them.
The bid amount is deducted from your campaign budget each time your ad is clicked. The actual cost for each keyword or placement varies depending on the following:
Your bid on a keyword or placement. Your keyword or placement bid is the maximum amount you can be charged when your ad is clicked. Learn more about PPC bidding in Set your campaign budget and bid amounts.
Incremental bids to target customers by time of day, gender, or other targeting criteria. When one or more of your target criteria is met and your ad is clicked, you also pay the amount of your corresponding incremental bids. Thus incremental bids can increase the cost of your default and custom bids. Learn about targeting and incremental bids in How to target my customers by adjusting my bids.
You can view estimated bid suggestions and how to adjust those bids to meet your performance goals seamlessly in your keywords grid. You can also get additional keyword delivery status insights for effective optimization.
Inline opportunities is a feature in the Bing Ads Web UI that estimates how much you would have to bid for your ad to show up on the front page, mainline and best position.
In your Campaigns page, click the Keywords tab, and then the Columns icon on the right side of the tool bar to customize the insights you want to see in your keywords grid. From here, use the Modify columns link and add these three bid estimation columns (Est. first page bid, Est. mainline bid, and Est. best position bid) and click “Apply.” By clicking the Save this set of columns checkbox, you can rename and save this view including inline opportunities for easy access in the future.
The estimated bids to reach first page, mainline and best position for each of your keywords will then be located directly in your keywords grid. Here you can see how to update your bid for your position goal. Also, for example, if you find a “below first page bid” alert under the Delivery column, simply scroll over to see what you should bid for the first page.*
The key is that for a first page bid suggestion, we take into consideration a reasonable amount of impressions you can get aside from the average position. You may get a good average position with a very low bid on a small fraction of impressions. This could be due to a couple of reasons:
Since we consider a reasonable amount of impressions to determine a bid suggestion, the bid suggestion can be higher than your current bid setting. Therefore, even if your current bid may be winning a small amount of traffic on a good position there may still be an opportunity to gain more traffic.
Not only can you see the estimated bid suggestions for a particular keyword right there in your grid, but you can learn how to best to change the bid by clicking the icon under your Current bid value to instantly view its bid landscape as well.
It’s important to remember that estimation is based on all auction data from the previous seven days. For example, if your keyword bid is $0.50 U.S. dollars, estimation shows you how your $0.50 U.S. dollar bid would have performed based on data from the last seven days. For comparison purposes, if you change your bid to $1 U.S. dollar, you’ll see what your results would have been with a $1 U.S. dollar bid. Although the estimation does not predict future performance of bids, looking at hypothetical bids in relation to real data can give you valuable insight into trends and probable results.
You can use the Geographic report to find out how your ads are doing in different locations, which can help you decide where to focus more of your advertising efforts. With the “Location type” and “Most specific location” columns, you can view which location type – “Physical location” or “Location of interest” – that was used to serve your ads.
Read more about how to read the report and understand the data.
To create a Geographic report, click Reports. If not already expanded, click Standard reports. Click Targeting, and then click Geographic. Select the unit of time (Show (unit of time)), Date range, and the download Format you want.
Optionally, you can do one or more of the following:
Click Run to run the report, or Download to download the report as a CSV or TSV file.
Note: You can also create a Geographical location report from the Dimensions tab. On the Campaigns pages, click the Dimensions tab, and then next to Show, click Geographical location.
After using the PPC estimator, and seeing the estimates related to keyword performances and cost, you might wonder why you are seeing certain figures. Here are some reasons that can impact how your traffic estimates display.
To get more clicks and impressions, try adjusting your PPC bidding strategy and increasing your daily budget. By increasing your budget, your ads may get more clicks and impressions. You can also try to lower bid, as it might reduce the average amount you pay when your ad gets clicked and help your budget go further to get more clicks.
If you see a dash “-“ instead of a number in the Avg. Position column, our PPC traffic estimator determined that your ad will likely not get any impressions. Historical ad performance for your ad and other ads using similar keywords are used to calculate the average position. Usually, you’ll see a dash when different factors like your bid or click-through rates aren’t sufficient to earn an ad position. Try to adjust your PPC bidding strategy and increase your bid amount to get an average position estimate.
As an advertiser, you want your ad to display at or near the top of the search results page. Optimal keyword bids are critical for achieving a high rank while not overpaying. Bing Ads provides tools that allow you to analyze estimated results, develop a CPC strategy and apply informed keyword bids. As you work with your bidding strategy, remember these key points:
Thanks for reading this training on bidding and traffic estimation. Continue your training or take the Bing Ads Accredited Professional exam to become accredited.
Please note all features in this training may not be available in your market.