Posts in PPC Pay Per Click

An Introduction to the Three Biggest Pay Per Click Platforms

 

Pay Per Click has completely transformed the way that people advertise on the web. This is a new form of advertising for what is a very different medium – a very more interactive medium – than television or magazine.

PPC stands for ‘Pay Per Click’. What this means for advertisers is that they are only paying for each click. If their ad isn’t successful and no one clicks on it, then you don’t pay anything at all. That can actually mean free exposure sometimes!

A bidding system comes into play whenever an advert is shown and that means that the cost of each click will depend on the amount of competition – again this is good news because it means that some advertisers will be getting nearly free visitors when there isn’t much competition.

At the same time though, because they can set their own ‘maximum bid’ for each click, this means that advertisers can decide precisely how much they are willing to pay for any new visitor. By keeping this lower than the amount they earn per visitor, they can nearly guarantee they will make a profit from those efforts.

Also important though is targeting and this is where the differences between the different PPC platforms really start to come into effect. Read on and we’ll take a look at the three big choices when it comes to starting a new PPC campaign.

Google Ads

By far the biggest PPC network is Google Ads. When you pay for adverts on Google Ads, they will appear on the ‘SERPs’ or the ‘Search Engine Results Pages’. Thus, you need to start by first choosing a keyword that you want to target. If you are selling hats for example then, you might choose to target the keyword ‘Buy Hats Online’. Of course, it’s important to think carefully about your keywords to ensure they don’t have too much competition.

Google is the biggest search engine means that you’ll gain access to most visitors – but you’ll also pay the most due to the other advertisers.

Bing Ads

Bing Ads is a very similar system but for Bing instead of Google. Bing is, of course, the big search engine from Microsoft which accounts for 20% of the market share and an additional 10% through Yahoo!. This is not a small amount.

More importantly, Bing has less competition, meaning that you’ll end up paying less. Specifically, you’ll pay 33.5% less, which is again a big deal. Bing also has a lot of powerful tools for targeting the right users.

Facebook Ads

Finally, Facebook Ads work the same but appear on Facebook based on the information that users give Facebook about them. This can include age, sex, and location but also things like hobbies and interests or even job title!

Another big benefit of Facebook Ads is that you can create more media-rich options that have images or even short videos. Likewise, you have the option to choose ‘CPA’ which means ‘Cost Per Action’ and only charges if someone signs up to your mailing list.

Advanced Bing Ads

There are numerous advanced bing ads features and options you can tweak in order to get the very most out of your ads and these can make a big difference to your campaigns and your profits.

For example…

Negative Keywords

Negative keywords allow you to add keywords you want to ensure don’t bring up your ads. Normally, Bing and Google will show your ads based on very similar keywords (though Google does this more than Bing) meaning that if your keyword is ‘Fitness Books’, you might find your ad showing up on ‘Free Fitness Books’.

The only problem? Someone searching for a free fitness book probably doesn’t want to pay $20 for a fitness book! So in this case, it would be pertinent to make ‘Free’ a negative keyword so that people looking for free things are excluded from your campaign.

Dynamic Keywords

Dynamic keyword insertion allows you to automatically insert your keywords into your ad’s title or text. This means that, for example, you could make it so that people find whatever product they searched for ‘for sale’. If they search ‘Hats’, then you might show them ‘Buy Hats Online’.

Advanced Bing Ads

Ad Extensions

Another neat feature of Bing is the ability to add ‘Ad Extensions’. This will allow you to ad things like links to your site, locations on a map or a ‘click to call’ button. An ad extension means for example that you could get your customers to call you right from the Bing search results on their mobile. The site link is used to link people into deeper pages of your site – such as specific item listings in your store for example.

Target Customers

Targeting allows you to even more specifically target the type of person you want to for your ads. By clicking ‘Advanced Targeting Options’, you’ll be given the option to select your viewers by their genders and ages (based on their Microsoft accounts), by the device they’re on (if you’re selling an app, you may want to target mobile devices) and by schedule.

The schedule is important because it means you can avoid wasting money by showing ads at 3 am in your local area. This also means you can get even sneakier and for example show ads only later in the evening. As it gets later and we become more tired, we actually become more impulsive and thus more likely to click ‘buy’ on an advert!

Setting Up Goals

For example, you can use Bing Ads to set up goals and then see how customers are interacting with those goals. You may recall that we discussed goals earlier in the context of Google Analytics. We also discussed how you could use these to identify the best keywords for your ad campaigns.

Well, once you have your ad campaign set up, you can actually integrate your ads directly with your goals. This is a MUCH more valuable metric than simply your average CTR (click-through rates), although that is still a useful measure. To set up goals, go to your campaigns and then click ‘Shared Library’. Then click ‘Goals’ from the left-hand menu and ‘Create Goal’.

You’ll be given some straightforward on-screen instructions to follow and you can then assign a ‘tag name’ and ‘tag description’ for the goal which will help you to track it. Simply click to save your goal and you’ll then be given your ‘Bing Ads Tag’ which you’ll need to put on your goal page. This will likely mean putting the goal on your checkout page, on a ‘thank you page’ or perhaps on a page you want people to see.

You can do this by clicking ‘View Tag Script’, copying and pasting the script and then pasting it somewhere on the appropriate page. Once you’ve done this, you’ll then be able to see how your ads are performing in terms of helping you to get the results you’re looking for – i.e. sales.

This, in turn, will allow you to see which ads you should be spending more or less on and whether or not you’re actually getting ROI from them. This will eventually allow you to calculate a specific CPA or ‘Cost Per Action’ which means you are finding out more precisely how much it is costing you to make sales or get subscribers.

More Tracking and Metrics

You’ll also be able to do a lot more tracking for your ads and looking around the dashboard will help you to find all kinds of useful options. For example, you’ll be able to find your ‘Quality Score’ for your ads by looking at the campaigns page. This gives you a score from 0-10 that will show you how your ad is performing. You’ll learn how high your CTR is compared with other CTRs for similar campaigns targeting the same traffic.

Anything about 7 is considered ‘very competitive’. 6 is competitive and anything below is ‘underperforming’. If you have a blank dash where your score should be, it means that Bing doesn’t yet have enough information.  Based on the success of your ads, you can then head over to ‘Bid Adjustments’ which does what it says on the tin and allows you to tweak your ads so that you are paying more or less per click.

Advanced Bing Ads

Why SEO for Bing Matters

So now you know how to run a Bing ads campaign and you know why you should be running a Bing ads campaign more important. But this doesn’t mean you’re done with Bing. Not by a long shot – because you can still get more out of it by thinking about SEO as well. SEO for Bing has all the same benefits over SEO for Google that Bing Ads does over AdWords.

That means:

  • Less competition
  • Slightly different market
  • 20-30% of the market share

And a lot of those people will know all these things and still not do anything about it.

Which might leave you asking why not?

Well, there is one more thing to consider here; and that’s just how different Google and Bing really are. Because the assumption is that you can probably focus on SEO for Google and then rest assured that you’ll gain more exposure on Bing too. So you can put your time and effort into the biggest search engine and know that it’s probably helping out on Bing too.

As Google still has the bigger market share, that should still be the priority. It just doesn’t make sense turn it on its head. So does that argument hold water? Just how different are Google and Bing anyway? Well, it’s certainly true that a lot of your SEO practices are going to remain the same on Google and Bing.

Both Google and Bing have the same end goal. That end goal is to supply their users with beautifully made, high-quality content. Thus they will use similar means to achieve these ends. Both look for sites with lots of backlinks, both as a way to find them and as a way to learn what they’re about and whether they’re held in high regard.

Likewise, both will analyze the text on a site and look for the use of keywords. Thus, writing content and building links are both activities that you should be doing no matter which search engine you have on your sites.
But there are certainly some differences too.

So here is the thing: you don’t have to ‘focus’ on Bing at all. No one is asking you to ditch your efforts on Google, that wouldn’t be a smart business move. But if you understand how Bing works, then you can do a little of both. You can add in a few techniques that you know will help your Bing ranking, or you can occasionally write a post for Bing. This is just stuff that you should know.

So let’s make sure you know it…

An Introduction to SEO

Before we look at SEO for Bing specifically, it makes sense to first look at SEO generally. Just what is SEO, how does it work and what does it involve from a marketing perspective? Essentially, SEO means that you’re building your site up to show up in search results (the aforementioned SERPs). This is what we call an ‘organic result’ – it gets the same overall effect as targeting a specific keyword with a Bing Ad, except you aren’t paying for it.

Of course, this also makes it less guaranteed in that it might not work – SEO is a lengthy process that is based a fair bit on luck! Essentially, SEO is performed by adding lots of great content to your website so that Google and Bing can identify the topic of your site and know which searches to show your links for.

This content needs to be well written so that it will look better ‘quality’ than content from other sites. At the same time, it should use subtly inserted keywords throughout the text, the headers, and the HTML tags so that the search engines can index it for the keyword you’re targeting. Don’t overdo this though or you’ll get penalized.

Meanwhile, you should also think about using subtle. The other main ingredient for a successful campaign is your backlinks profile. This refers to all the links all around the wide web that are pointing at your site. These are good for you because Google and Bing consider them references – if a big site is willing to link to you, then it suggests that you must be a serious site in your own right.

This is another reason it’s important to write high-quality content and it’s a reason that you need to think about the quality of your links as much as the quantity. At the same time, having inbound links is important because it helps Google and Bing to find you in the first place. Both search engines use ‘robots’ (small scripts) that search the web by following links. Once you’re indexed, you’ll be checked regularly. Until then though, you’re relying on links!

Why Bing Ads and SEO Are a Match Made in Heaven

Combining PPC with SEO is a match made in heaven for a number of reasons. For starters, gaining more traffic for your site is always going to increase your visibility in the SERPs organically because it will mean more people see your site and hopefully share it with others – thereby linking to you.

This then improves your organic backlinks profile and helps you to climb the ranks. At the same time, using PPC allows you to ‘test out’ a particular keyword and see how it is likely to work for you and bring in more customers (or not). This then can show you which keywords are worth putting in the work to try and rank organically for.

Likewise, this also works in reverse as we discussed earlier – you can see how your organic results are working for you and which ones are helping you to get actual customers. Then from there, you can see which keywords are worth spending money on! You can also use a combination of both PPC and SEO in order to cover a wider spread of keywords, thereby bringing more people to your site!

Getting Started With Bing Ads

So now you know precisely what Bing Ads is, why it matters and how it works. You also know how to create a PPC campaign generally and you know how to select the right keywords etc.

What’s left?

Oh yes, actually getting started and creating some ad campaigns!
And with that in mind, let’s launch straight into setting up some campaigns and doing a tour around Bing’s options and tools.

Before we get started, I am going to assume that you have set up a Bing Ads account by clicking here (you can use your existing Microsoft account).

Advanced Bing Ads

Importing Google AdWords Campaigns

Here’s the good news – if you already have a Google AdWords campaign set up, then getting that campaign to work on Bing is as simple as importing it from there to your site. Doing this is easy. First, head over to the link on the far right that reads ‘Import Campaigns’.

Now click ‘Sign in to Google’ and then enter your name and password. On the next page, you’ll be given the opportunity to select the AdWords campaigns that you want to import. Choose them and then click ‘Continue’. Now, under Bing Ads Account & Import Options, you’ll just need to add a few more settings that are unique to Bing.

That means:

  • Choosing the Bing Ads account you want to import to
  • Choosing the right time zone (remember that Bing allows more flexibility in this department)
  • Choosing the appropriate options under ‘What to Import’
  • Choosing the options you want for your bids and budget

Now just click import and you’re done!

Remember we said earlier that the best way to handle Bing Ads was to use them on top of a Google AdWords campaign. This is why it makes a lot of sense to simply import an existing AdWords campaign into your Bing account. It couldn’t be simpler!

Setting Up a New Campaign

But if you don’t have a Google AdWords campaign or you want to try something different on Bing (this is a good place to experiment with different strategies!), then you’ll want to click ‘Campaigns’ and then ‘Create a Campaign’.
Now you can choose between ‘Search & Content Campaigns’ which will display regular search ads, or ‘Product Ad Campaigns’ which will show products with images in your search ads.

You’ll be asked to give your campaign a name, to select your timezone, to set your budget (which can be daily, weekly, monthly etc.), to choose a location and to set a language. You can also choose whether you want to show your ads in all locations, or whether you want to show your ads only in specific locations.

You can also target people searching for information about your location from elsewhere – for instance, that might be someone looking up hotels or amenities in an area they intend to visit! Now you’ll have to write your ads. To do this, you choose your type of ad and then give it a headline.

Remember what we discussed earlier – this headline is not designed to get the maximum number of clicks but rather to get the right kind of clicks. You’ll then want to write your ad text, which will let you use a little more detail. Underneath this will be your display URL and destination URL. You might choose a root domain for your display URL if your destination URL uses a long permalink.

  • Headlines are 25 characters
  • Ad text is 71 characters

On the next page is where you’ll be given the option to choose your keywords, set keyword bids and then verify ‘activation’ (meaning you set the method of payment and also click that you want the ads to go live). Refer to the last chapter for more on selecting the right keywords.

On the next page, you’ll be able to choose your bid for each keyword. So you might decide that some keywords are worth more to you than others. This is very good news because it means you can pay very little for those more obscure keywords that would only get you a few clicks but that likely wouldn’t be very expensive due to a lack of competition.

Managing and Tracking Campaigns

The (more) good news is that you can tweak and manage your campaign subsequently after it has gone live as you would expect. This means that you can see how it is performing and then see how they are working for you. You’ll be able to find some more advanced settings here too, such as negative keywords and dynamic keywords.

For now, though, we want to focus on the other most important aspect of running your Bing Ads campaigns – which is tracking the success of your adverts! In this case, that is going to mean looking at how your ads are performing for you. And there are some really great advanced features here that actually go a bit and above what you would have access to with AdWords.

Advanced Bing Ads

Creating a Great PPC Campaign

As you can see then, PPC works a little bit different from ‘traditional’ advertising in magazines and on TV. You are no longer paying for a single advert and nor are you paying for exposure. Instead, you are paying directly for clicks and that means you need to think about things a little differently.

The first concept to make sure you understand is that your aim is not necessarily to get as many clicks as possible. Traditional advertising campaigns will often focus on doing anything they can to get attention and encourage clicks. But seeing as you’re paying for each click, you can actually reduce the amount you’re paying in total by reducing the number of clicks you get.

Your objective is not to get as many people as possible to your website.

Your objective is to get as many customers as possible to your website.

In other words, you need to get traffic that is going to convert and you actually want to dissuade all other people from clicking on your ads wherever possible.

If you pay for 100 clicks and 99 of those pay for your product, then you can consider that a highly effective marketing campaign. Conversely, if you pay for 2,000 clicks and 300 of those people buy – it’s actually not been as successful because you will have spent more.

PPC and Your Business Model – Selecting Your Budget

What this essentially tells us is that the bottom line is by far the best way to gauge your success. A good PPC campaign is not one that gets seen a lot, not one that gets clicked a lot…

A good PPC campaign is one that EARNS a lot!

That means it is impossible to separate your PPC strategy from your general business model. And it makes it very important to think about your budget, your costs, and your profit margins whenever you set up a campaign.

So start by thinking about the profits for whatever it is you’re selling from your site. If you’re selling lots of products, this might mean working out an average profit you make from those products. Otherwise, if you’re linking to a ‘sales page’ and predominantly selling just one product, then it will mean thinking about how much you make from that one item.

First, that means calculating your CoGS – this is ‘cost of goods sold’ and it tells you how much it costs you to make each of your products. Let’s say that you sell phone cases – this will mean paying for the materials, the manufacturing, the delivery, and the storage. Then you have to minus these overheads from the amount you charge for each item.

What you’re left with is your profit margin. The great thing about digital products like ebooks or online courses (which is what a lot of website owners sell), is that you have zero overheads and that means that you’ll make 100% profit on each sale. An ebook that you sell for $30 will give you a $30 profit.

That said, ebooks appeal to a smaller audience when compared with physical items and thereby you can expect to have a smaller conversion rate. Which is the next point…

So here, you need to calculate how many visitors on average buy your products from you. This means looking at your ‘conversion rate’. If you have 1,000 visitors a day and on sale, then that means you have a .1% conversion rate. If you make 10 sales for every 1,000, then that means that you now have a 1% conversion rate.

This can then tell you how much you’re earning in a day. For example, if you have 1,000 visitors a day, a 1% conversion rate and a product that earns you $20, then you will earn $20. That also means that you can work out how much you are going to be able to earn if you increase your visitors.

If you could double your visitors, you should make $20 on average. If you can multiply them by ten, then you should make $200 on average. More importantly for your Bing Ads though, this also tells you how much each visitor is worth to you. If 1,000 visitors = $30, then that means that each visitor is worth 3cents.

Learning Your Figures

3cents isn’t a lot of money and that’s why it is so important that you think about this before you create an advertising campaign. Because if you were to go ahead with these numbers and start paying $1 per click, you’d end up losing a lot of money!

Working out your numbers first is what will allow you to ensure you’re making a good profit. But what you might find, is that you need to tweak some things before you get started. For instance, you can increase the asking price for your products and thereby increase your profits to 5cents or 10cents.

Better yet, you should focus on improving your conversion rates by improving the quality/desirability of your product and by improving your persuasive writing so that people who land on your site will be overcome with the powerful desire to buy your products!

If you can do this, then maybe you’ll be able to increase your conversion rate to 5%, thereby increasing the value of each customer by five times that amount. Now comes the good part: if you set your CPC to this number – the amount that each visitor is worth to you then you literally cannot fail.

Your clicks will now result in profits and the more you raise your budget, the more profit you’ll make. You are spending less per click than each visitor is worth to you!

Designing Your Ads

Except that isn’t quite how this is going to work. Because actually (here comes the good part), it’s going to work better than that! That’s because the people currently on your website are all people who got there through… well, all kinds of different means. These are people who found you on social media, who typed your address in by accident, who found you on Google, who was recommended by a friend. And that means they’re going to be variable targeted.

Some of those people will have zero interest in your products. And that is why it is so important that you think about targeting the right kind of user in your adverts. And that’s also why we’re not trying to simply get as many visitors as possible. As mentioned, it’s actually more important that we get lots of the right users and that we put off people who aren’t likely to want to buy.

Your objective then is to make sure that the way you design your ads is only going to appeal to potential customers.

That means that your text shouldn’t read:

‘Click Here for the AMAZING Secret to Losing Weight!’

Rather, it should read:

‘Click Here for a $30 Ebook that Will Make You Lose Weight FAST!’

Or

‘The Secret to Weight Loss, Just $30!’

What this then does is to prevent anyone not looking to spend money from clicking your ad. We don’t want those people because they are costing us money. But someone who knows the price up-front and is still willing to click is very likely to want your book. Assuming you can then convince them that your product is what they’re looking for and is good value for money, you’ll be able to walk away with a sale.

Now think about how much higher conversion rates will be for people who clicked this ad, versus people who just stumbled onto your site.

Choosing Your Keywords

You can further target your customers by placing your adverts on the right keywords and key phrases. This is a BIG part of PPC campaigns and it’s very much worth doing your research here. Again, you need to make sure that your keywords are the things that the right people are going to be searching for.

At the same time though, you also need to keep your competition low so that the average CPC will be as low as possible. If you try and rank for ‘Hotels’ then you’re going to be going up again thousands of other businesses, some of which will have near-infinite resources.

How do you like the sounds of competing with Expedia, Airbnb, Hotels.com and the rest? They can afford to offer $1, $2 or $5 per click and you just won’t be able to keep up. But use a keyword that is popular but not overpopulated  like ‘Quirky Hotel Santa Monica’ or ‘Romantic Getaway in Bournemouth’ and you’re going to be paying less and targeting a more specific type of customer (meaning you can use a more specific and tailored landing page for them, focused on the area and the type of experience!).

How do you find a keyword that is popular, directly targeted but not overcrowded? Simple: you use Bing’s own ‘Keyword Tool’ which can be found here: http://www.bing.com/toolbox/keywords. This will let you search different keywords and will then show you the number of people searching for that term in the date range you specify. You can look at how many times a term appeared in search over the last 6 months for example.

If something came up 50,000 times, then that’s a fairly good keyword that will potentially be able to grab you up to 50,000 visitors. But if the search term came up 100 times, then it’s a lot less useful to you! Note that Google also has a keyword tool called its ‘Keyword Planner’.

You can use this in just the same way as you would use Bing’s own keyword tool and it doesn’t really matter that it’s from Google – people tend to search the same things on both engines.

You can find this one here: https://adwords.google.co.uk/KeywordPlanner.

Finally, another tip is to look at your site metrics and identify who is currently coming to your website. If you have Google Analytics set up correctly, then you’ll be able to find out which visitors are buying from you and what they typed in in order to get there.

In other words, it might be that certain search terms result in more sales (‘goals’ in Google parlance) and you can then decide to target that keyword with your Google and Bing Ads.

Customer Lifetime Value and Watching Metrics

Finally, another mitigating factor is the small matter of ‘CLV’. Customer Lifetime Value refers to the fact that just because a visitor doesn’t put down their cash right away, that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth anything to you. In fact, if they sign up for your mailing list and then become life-long fans, they could ultimately end up being worth more to you!

For this reason, the only way to really be sure if your Bing Ads are working for you is to watch your metrics very closely. This means looking at how many visitors you are getting, where they are coming from and how your sales increase as you spend. The more data you track, the more profitable any PPC campaign will be.

How Bing Ads (And PPC) Work

At the most basic level, Bing Ads work like Google AdWords. So if you’re familiar with the concept of PPC in general, you can probably skip over some of this article.

Essentially, PPC ads are ‘Pay Per Click’ ads. That means that you will literally be paying per click – paying for each person who clicks on one of your adverts. The reason that this is such good news is that you will never pay anything for a campaign that was a complete failure. If you create an advertising campaign for Bing and not one person looks at it, then it will cost you literally nothing.

What this also means is that you can precisely calculate the cost of each visitor to your site. This is important because you can then use that information to calculate how much each customer is worth and thereby start making very accurate projections about your earnings/identifying the best ways to spend your money.

Advanced Bing Ads

So the next logical question is how much you’re going to spend on each click. And the good news is that you get to choose this. You get to choose your maximum spend and you also get to choose your budget for the day.

First, you define your CPC or ‘Cost Per Click’ which is going to be the maximum amount of money you are willing to spend for each new visitor. You’ll probably want to keep this fairly low – the most that brands will generally tend to spend is up to $2 but even that is unusual. Generally, though, you’ll want to set this a bit lower and your average will probably come in around 10-20cents.

The next thing to do is to set your daily budget. Once the accumulated clicks you’ve received reach this amount, they will then stop and you won’t spend any more money. So in theory, if you set your CPC to 20 cents and you set your daily spend to $20, that should mean you get 100 visits to your site for that amount.

But things get a little more complicated seeing as you don’t tend to spend the full amount of your CPC. That’s because there’s a bidding system that takes place which means you’ll offer to spend a lot less. The way this works is simple: if there are two or more adverts both competing for the same space on Bing, then they will enter into a ‘bidding war’.

The ad with the highest CPC will be the one that wins and gets shown but the owner of that Ad will only be charged the minimum amount that it needed to win. The easiest way to understand this is to think of it just like eBay – on eBay, you can set your maximum bid but you’ll only end up paying $1 more than the next highest bidder.

The same is true with most PPC campaigns and that’s why you end up spending 33.5% less on Bing vs Google – because the lower amount of competition means that your CPC won’t be as likely to get driven up. And of course, you also need to consider that your ads will be shown a lot to people who don’t click.

You don’t pay anything for these ads but that doesn’t mean they’re worthless to you because you’ll still be getting exposure and you’ll still be building your brand!

Targeting

The other thing that most PPC ad networks have in common is the ability to ‘target’ a specific demographic. This means that you can identify who your ‘buyer persona’ is and profile your ideal customer and from there, then target that person specifically with your adverts.

The way you do this with both Bing Ads and Google AdWords is by targeting search terms. When you pay for these ads, you are literally putting your adverts on the SERPs relating to particular search terms. You do this by choosing a keyword, or ‘keyphrase’, which is going to be the thing that you want people to search for in order to find your site.

So for example, if you were selling a hat, your ‘keyphrase’ would probably be ‘buy a hat online’ or ‘cheap hats’ etc. This is now a targeted ad because it lets you advertise specifically to people who are looking to buy the thing you have. That means they will fit within your target audience and actually, this makes them ‘qualified leads’.

Another way this might work is by going the slightly longer-term route and focussing on search terms related to interests. You might have a site where you blog about fitness for example and sell supplements and training clothing. In this case, your keyword might be ‘how to lose weight’ or ‘fitness articles’.

A good keyword is going to be one that is both popular with your specific target audience and that is not overly competitive. We’ll look at this in more detail in the subsequent articles.

Facebook Ads

Rounding out the ‘holy trinity’ of PPC networks is Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads is similar to Google AdWords or Bing Ads in terms of being PPC but the difference is in where the ads are shown and how they are targeted. As you might have guessed, Facebook Ads are shown on Facebook and will appear in the home feed and sidebars while you are browsing.

These then show ads that are once again targeted to the person using Facebook but the way this differs is that the ads are targeted based on information that the user has given Facebook – information such as their age, their sex, their marital status, their location, and even their hobbies and interests.

This allows you to even more precisely target the right person but not necessarily at the right time when they’re looking for products. When someone is browsing Facebook to catch up with their friends, they’re more likely to just be frustrated to see adverts popping up.

With all this in mind, Facebook Ads is another useful platform to add to your campaign in conjunction with Bing and Google AdWords – just make sure you’re using the right ads for the right location!

Advanced Bing Ads

Your Master Guide to SEO for Bing

SEO for Bing is a little bit like that slightly slow friend that you had in school who didn’t really understand jokes. Or to put it another way: as an AI, Bing is probably somewhere on the spectrum. Yes, taking things too literally is one of the most common criticisms leveled at Bing and that’s because it has a tendency to simply look for exact matches in the content.

Point #1 – Bing Likes to Take Things Literally

If you search for ‘I like to eat steak’, then Bing will look for websites that have that phrase or something similar somewhere in their text:

On the other hand, Google just looks for content about steak and about people who like to eat steak:

In this way, Google shows a little more understanding and has more ability to read between the lines. Not that this is always a good thing mind. Sometimes Google’s second-guessing can actually be a bit irritating and can lead to results that aren’t directly related to what you’re looking for. If you ask a question for instance, then Bing will be more likely to break up a page where someone else has asked that same question. And this can be very useful!

But what it means for you, is that it’s still worth using some keywords. Whereas Google is much more about ‘latent semantic indexing’ and writing ‘around the subject’, perhaps using some long-tail keywords – Bing will still reward you for including the basic keywords you’re trying to rank for. So try and do a little of both.

You’ll want to use a slightly lower link density than you used to if you want to avoid being penalized for spamming by Google but you should still include some keywords in there for Bing!

Point #2 – User Engagement Matters

Something that Google and Bing can agree on is that user engagement matters. Except Bing is even more explicit about this if anything and has even coined a phrase to describe it the activity they want to avoid: pogo sticking.
There will be none of this, thank you very much!

Pogo sticking is when a website jumps from one result, clicks back and then clicks on another. This is what they want to avoid so if you want Bing to love you, you need to prevent your visitors from wanting to click back. This means you need to grab attention early on and it means that you need to think about your page speed, your design etc.

Point #3 – And So Do Click Through Rates

Another similar factor that Bing also takes seriously is CTR – Click Through Rate. In other words, how many people click on your link. So if they keep showing your website in their SERPs but no one ever clicks on it, then this suggests that your site doesn’t look very interesting. All it’s doing is cluttering up the page and taking up space that another site could make better use of!

This is quite a clever way for Bing to check that the results coming up are relevant – or that they seem relevant in the eyes of its visitors. This is interesting because it’s not something that Google talks about a lot. And improving your CTR is going to involve a rather different process compared with the SEO practices you’re probably used to! What improves CTR?

Many things but of course the title and meta description are going to be right up there. Think about what will be interesting for someone who is searching for the keyphrase that you’re trying to rank for. Make sure that there is a direct connection here and have all the signals pointing to the same topic.

And learn how to write engaging titles and descriptions!

Point #4 – Social Signals Are Big on Bing

There is some debate still as to the role of social signals on Google, even now. We know for a fact that getting +1s on Google+ will improve your Google ranking but whether the same is true for Facebook Likes is less certain. And if Facebook was central to Google’s strategy, then you might ask why BuzzFeed isn’t the number one result for every search.

But Bing has gone on record as saying that social signals do matter to them and this means that you should definitely include social media marketing as a big part of your marketing strategy.

Point #5 – Crawl Depth

Going back to your site content and keywords for a moment, it’s also interesting to consider the difference in crawl depth for Google versus Bing. Reportedly, Bing only crawls around the first 100kb of a web page, unlike Google which will read your whole site.

This then means that you should aim to include your keywords more heavily in the first portion of your content compared with the rest. And actually, this makes a lot of sense for Google too – for different reasons. Google actually looks at certain key points within your content as being more important as indicators than others.

The first paragraph is one section that is given extra importance, as is the last paragraph and as are the headings.
And by increasing the keyword density in the first paragraph, you can send the right signals to Bing without getting too spammy with keywords for Google. Everyone wins!

This also introduces some other interesting points though too. For instance, a lot of people will rely on sitemaps in order to help search engines index their site. This is one page that links to every other page on that domain – and it means that once the sitemap is indexed, Google knows where to find all future content you add.

But this won’t work for Bing if it’s only reading the top segment of the page!

If you want a sitemap to work for Bing, then you need to ensure that you put the pages you most want to be found right at the top. And if you’re adding new content, then you want to make sure that new content goes at the top of any list, rather than at the bottom.

Point #6 – Respect Your Elder (Content)

Bing believes in golden oldies. In other words, it believes that an older domain is likely more authoritative than a newer domain. So if you have a page that has been around for a long time, you’ll find that it gradually climbs up the rankings.

This is one thing that has personally always put me off about Bing. Most of the research I do requires up-to-date and current answers and that means I can’t make do with posts from 2012. When I search on Bing, I’m often left wondering if anything I’m reading is relevant anymore.

This is personal preference though. As far as SEO goes, it’s actually a good thing.

Why? Because it means that Google is going to like fresh content and Bing will give it some love as it starts to fade.
But do bear in mind that both Bing and Google prefer older domains. And Now for Some Rapid Fire Differences…
Of course, there are way more differences than we have space to go into in detail, so let’s take a look at some rapid-fire differences to finish off.

  • Bing likes keyword domains more, Google prefers brand-name domain
  • Bing takes site authority very important – it likes editorial content, older domains, and established organizations
  • PageRank is less relevant for Google these days – it has never been relevant for Google
  • Bing likes content to closely linked to a site homepage and it likes breadcrumbs

Another thing to take some time to learn about is Bing’s ‘Spam Filter’. This is how Bing decides whether or not to penalize sites that show up on its SERPs, so you need to make sure that you observe the rules Bing recommends.
This means:

• Being careful about your outbound links – only link to clean sites

• Don’t trade links

• Use Bing’s Webmaster Tools to find out if your site has been blocked

That’s right! Bing has a ‘Webmaster Tools’ just like Google does and it’s just as useful/invaluable for marketers. You can find this at www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster.

Bing SEO – The Next Steps

The Alan Parson’s Project sang, ‘where do we go from here?’. Now you have lots of information about why Bing SEO matters, how it works and how it is different from Google. But you also know that you need to keep on focussing on Google. So what’s the best way to proceed?

Well, exactly as we said earlier.

For the most part, you’re not going to do anything that different. But you may want to consider including a few more keywords in your opening paragraphs. Maybe you show a little more love to your legacy content. Perhaps you reorganize your sitemap. Oh and definitely think about your titles, your meta descriptions and how these factors will impact on your CTR.

And in doing all that, you’ll be throwing Bing the occasional bone that will help you to succeed a little bit more on the second biggest search engine in the world. This will help you start tapping into that 30% market share that little bit more and hopefully improving your number of visitors.

And if the Googlepocalypse ever does come, at least you’ll have a backup site that will still be bringing you fresh visitors and helping you to run your business. And then everyone else will find themselves wishing that they’d paid just a little more attention to old number 2!

And one last thing! Why not go and take a look at your current rankings on Bing right now. If you haven’t looked before then it might surprise you just how similar, or different, the results are!