Bing Shop ‘til You Drop

By Hailee Sosnowski in Digital Marketing on August 14th, 2017

digital advertising

We recently had the opportunity to attend a Bing Shopping Bootcamp hosted by the experts themselves. After spending the day immersed in all things Shopping, we’re full of tips and tricks bound to make our campaigns much more successful. Instead of keeping this knowledge to ourselves, we’re here to provide a quick and easy intro into the world of Bing Shopping — a “Bing Shopping for Dummies,” if you would.

But before we begin, let’s take a step back and answer a vital question: What is Bing Shopping? Bing Shopping campaigns allow advertisers to organize, manage, bid and report on Product Ads — the image ads featuring a product name, price and brand that are displayed on the right-hand side of the Bing SERP.

Bing Serp, Search, Digital Advertising, Advertising Agency

We’ve all heard the saying a picture is worth a thousand words — and it rings true here — oftentimes seeing products rather than just reading about them really does make all the difference. But do advertisers have to choose between traditional text ads and product ads? Of course not! Text ads and products ads are eligible to run side-by-side, allowing for the best of both worlds.

Now that we know what Bing Shopping is, let’s dive into how it works. First things first, link your website to Bing Ads Merchant Center and claim your domain. Next, to officially enter the Product Ad auction, you’ll have to upload a product feed — which is a spreadsheet featuring a title, brand, URL, price, description, image, etc. for each product to the Bing Merchant Center. Think of the Bing Merchant Center as your store and the product feed as your catalog.

However, before submitting your feed, it’s crucial to keep a few things in mind:

  • Make sure that all information is accurate. For example, check for duplicate IDs, incorrect pricing and inaccurate formatting, such as a missing dollar sign.
  • Optimize each product title with highly relevant keywords and descriptors. With only 35 available characters, ensure the most important information comes first, including product and brand name.
  • Make sure all titles are unique by mentioning differentiating factors such as color and size. If multiple products share the same name, only one will show.
  • Use each product description to your advantage. While searchers won’t see descriptions, Bing will, so ensure descriptions match the product landing page and are free of errors, such as HTML tags or duplicate words.
  • Double check URLs as they must link directly to the product being advertised. Additionally, any broken links will automatically be rejected.
  • Use high quality, professional images.
  • Utilize the product type and category fields to help Bing better understand how your products should be sorted. Product type is your internal taxonomy, while category refers to Bing’s unique categorization.
  • Take advantage of custom labels in order to group products however you deem fit. For example, top sellers, sale items, new products, etc.
  • Update your feed as often as necessary to accommodate URL changes, new products, discontinued items, etc. Advertisers operating under a set it and forget it mentality will ultimately pay the price with inefficient campaigns.

With your product feed locked and loaded, you’re ready to create Shopping campaigns in the Bing Ads UI. As a best practice, structure them similarly to your Paid Search campaigns. Specifically, start with campaigns that mirror the structure of your website, focusing on the high level categories of products sold. Next, create ad groups by segmenting products as much as possible. For example, in a campaign titled “Women’s Shoes” you might have the following ad groups: Boots, Heels, Sandals. Within each ad group specify product groups, such as best sellers, sale items and new products.

However, keep in mind that Shopping campaigns and traditional Paid Search campaigns are not created equal. For instance, instead of matching to keywords, Shopping campaign searches match back to items included in a product feed. Therefore, advertisers must bid on products, not keywords. Additionally, ads are automatically created from the data included in a product feed, which is why it’s crucial to ensure that feeds are as up-to-date and error-free as possible.

Now for the last piece of this Bing Shopping puzzle, it’s time to set your bids. You can do so at the campaign, ad group or product group level depending on which level of granularity you prefer. However, keep in mind that the more granular your bids, the better control you’ll have over each product, which will ultimately lead to increased efficiency. For example, it would be wise to bid more aggressively on top-selling products than those that aren’t as highly desired. If you set a blanket bid at the campaign level, every product within your feed will receive the same bid regardless of if it makes sense in terms of efficiency.

And there you have it, an intro into the world of Bing Shopping. From claiming your domain to setting bids — and everything in between — we’ve officially covered the basics. While we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of the intricacies of Shopping, by taking the steps above you’ll be well on your way to launching successful campaigns.

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