New Bing Conversion Tracking

Hey everyone, if you've been using Bing Ads PPC for any time and (hopefully) have set up conversion tracking so you know what you're spending is working, the last thing on your mind is having to do this all again.  But you're going to have to, because Bing is updating how they track conversions.  

Basically, instead of having to drop the conversion code on a certain page of the site that's a conversion, they are moving to dropping the code on all pages.  Then in Bing you tell it what pages you want to track as conversions.  Its called Universal Event Tracking.  It can track both static URLs and events as goals.  Full writeup from Bing here:

Note:  As far as I can tell this can be implemented in Google Tag Manager (GTM) too.  Just remember in your custom html tag to click the Support document.write checkbox when creating the tag.


Bing Product Ads Campaigns Setup in Plain English

Google has done quite well with their Shopping Campaigns and now Bing has introduced their Product Ads campaign.  It pulls from your data feed and allows people to see your products (and hopefully buy) them on Bing.

There is alot of documentation on the actual setting up of the data feed so you can get your products in Bing Shopping.  Here are links to the videos:

However, their setup of the actual campaign leaves alot to be desired.  They do have a video on this, so go to this link (, get confused and come back to this post ; ).  So this post is on how to set things up better than just dumping everything in a big bucket of products.  Hopefully this will explain things in a language that is hopefully more understandable than Bing’s help section, which I found confusing.

Benefits:   Its good to segment out your products.  For example if you sell shoes, you may separate mens shoes, womens shoes, etc.  Then you can go back and see if each segment is performing and bid up/down, change ad text etc. etc. depending.  

Once you get your feed up and running:  You can leave it as a big bucket of all your items.  BUt its better to think it through and set it up, breaking it down in a way that makes sense to you so that you can see how things are performing and adjust over time.  Below is how to do this.  Bing’s Product Ads Campaigns’ terminology is confusing.  So in the steps below, Bings confusing terms are in bold, explained in plain language along with info and strategy.

Top Level:  Your Bing Account

Next Level:  Product Ad Campaign

In Product Ad Campaign:  AKA:  Choose what feed you want to pull from.

Next Level:  Ad groups

In Ad Groups:  

Product Targets:  AKA:  Choose group of products you want to show in each ad group.

Product Ads:  AKA:  Create ad for each ad group.

How to set things up

1.  Create a Product Ad campaign:  Video here:

2.  Create a Product Extension: .  This basically tells the campaign which data feed to use for this campaign.  If you only have one store and one feed, this is what you’ll use.  If you have more than one store or feed you’ll need to decide.  


  • Created at the campaign level

  • Each campaign can use only 1 product extension (or feed).  AKA you can only use one feed per campaign.  But you can use the same feed in more than one campaign if you want.  

  • You can set up filters to tell Bing what types of products you want to show in your campaign by using the Filtered Products instead of All Products.  However, if you do this at the campaign level, all the ad groups you make will follow this filter.  

Strategy:  A better strategy might be to use All Products and then create ad groups and then in each ad group use filters.  More on this later.

So Product Extensions in plain English =choose your data feed.  

3.  Create a ad group(s) in your Product ad campaign.  

Strategy:  You might name it something you want to segment out so you can track how it does vs. other products.  Think through what you offer and create a few ad groups first and name them accordingly.  For example if you sold smartphones it might be:   Ad group #1- Apple Iphones Ad group #2- Samsung Smartphones, etc.  

4.  For each ad group create a Product Target:  A Product Target is basically a grouping of your products.  You define the group by Brand, Product Type, etc.  So click on your ad group then click on Product Targets>Create Product Target.  Choose Filtered products.  Depending on what product you want to show in this ad group, choose from the drop down Brand, Product Type etc.  


  • These are created at the ad group level.  

  • You might have to try a few times to get that green check and Matching Products Found.

  • You can set your bid up or down depending on perhaps how profitable/important the items are to your business.  

  • Remember to first create the ad groups and name them in a way that makes sense to you, then create the Product Targets for each group.

  • Its possible that your filters may not match your products.  If this is the case either update your filters or your product catalog so that they do.


From our example above, if we wanted to show Apple iPhone products in our Apple iPhone ad group, we might select from the dropdown Brand and type in Apple, click apply.  Bing will search your feed and if it matches you’ll see the green check and Matching Products found.  Repeat for your other ad groups you created, segmenting out your items in a way that will make sense to you later so you can see how they do.  

So Product Targets in plain English = Choose which group of products to show in each of your ad groups.

5.  Create a Product Ad:  A Product ad is some ad text that can make your ad stand out from the crowd.   To do this:  In your ad group click Create Ad.  Ad type:   Product Ad.  In the Promotional Text area, write some good ad copy that will make the user click on your ad.  Click save.


  • Any promotional text will apply to all products in the ad group.  

  • Promo text is limited to 45 characters.

  • Promo text has the same editorial policies as regular text ads.


  • Make sure your promo text applies to the ad group.  For example, if you’ve created an ad group targeting iPhone cases, your promo text might be:  “Quality iPhone Cases in All Colors”.

  • Use your promo text to highlight unique offers (Free Shipping) etc.  

So Product Ads in plain English = Ad text that may show with you ads.  

Overall Notes with Bonuses:

1.  You don’t have to do any of the above.  Product ads pulls info from your feed to generate the image, price, brand.  You can leave everything in a big bucket if you want.  You don’t have to create promotional text, etc.

2.  Before you the above steps, think through how you want to segment your products.  Do it in a way so that at a glance you can see what’s doing the best, what’s not.

3.  After time has passed, check your performance.  You may want to big higher for really awesome performing products.  Bid lower for others, create new segments etc.  

Be sure to create one Product Target that targets all products, to make sure you don’t leave anything out.  

4.  Find your reports in the Reports tab to see performance.  


Search Term:  What queries are people using to find your products.  Find negative keywords here.  

Product Target:  Which products are performing the best?

Offer Reports:  What offers are working best?

5.  Get creative:  Are your product seasonal?  Brand specific.   Break them up for maximum results.

Bonus!  Bing Product ads doesn’t have you bid on keywords, like search campaigns.  However, it DOES support negative keywords.  So, you can drop in as many negatives that you want.  For example if you sell garden hose, but not garden hose reels, you can add the keyword “reel” or “reels” or both as a negative.  This will make your campaign perform better and you also won’t pay for clicks for things you don’t sell.

Bonus #2:  Make more than one Product Ad Promotion in each Ad Group.  In this way you can see which does best and improve over time.

Hopefully the above will help to have you get the most of your Bing Products Ads campaigns.  What do you think?


How to Login to Bing Ads Using a Microsoft Account

For everyone who uses Bing Ads: 

 Just an update on Bing Ads login and what you need to do:

Bing Ads is changing how you log into their interface.  They're now requiring you to sign up for a Microsoft account to login.  Its kind of like how Google requires everyone to have a Google account to use Adwords.  If you already have a Microsoft account you use to login to your Bing Ads account (not a personal Microsoft account), great.  If not, you'll need to create one.  This is to replace the actual login for your Bing Ads account. 

To do this, you go to this page:

Sign in using your Bing Ads username and password.  It will then send you to a page where you will have the option to use an existing Microsoft Account or create a new one.  

Important:  If you already have a Microsoft or Live account that you want to use to logging into Bing Ads, use this if you like.  Don't double sign up using the live account you already use and create another Microsoft Account using your old Live account.

After signing up/in, get the email verification link and then login.  You should be all set and now be able to login to Bing Ads using the Microsoft Account you created.  

After you do this, go ahead and login and see if you can get access to the Bing Ads account and your campaigns.  If not, please let your Bing ads admin know what your Microsoft Account login email is and they can add you as a user if needed.  

Here is the page on this:

Big Changes from Google That Make PPC a Must

Google is 15 years old today, Sept 27th, 2013.  With the anniversary, they're announced some big changes that really make doing Paid Search crucial for you:

The 3 bullet points below are really important in this regard:

  •     Google has made a pretty big update to their search algorithm.  Article here.
  •     Super Important news:  Google is now no longer showing keyword data for any organic search keywords.  This is a pretty big deal.  Now SEOs can no longer know what keywords bought people to a site, what keywords converted best, etc. What this means:  Paid Search (PPC) becomes huge.  The only way to get this very valuable data is by doing PPC and getting the data from that.  Full article here.  Another article and reactions here.
  •     Great Report for Showing PPC's effectiveness:  Clients often wonder about Paid Search:  Is it cannibalizing my organic listings?  How much does it really help my overall bottom line?  (In a nutshell:  Its crucial.)  They may feel they want to cut back on PPC but don't realize how integral it is to their business profits across the board.  The guys at Resolution Media (one of the biggest PPC agencies in the U.S., really know their stuff) put together a great report.  Article with .pdf report here.

Bottom line on Google's changes: 

It really hurts traditional SEOs:

1.  If all they track is keywords only and not KPIs- sales, leads etc.  Keyword data from organic simply no longer exists.

2.  They keep taking data away from SEOs as the years go on.  This will only continue.  Why?  They don't want anyone to be able to "game" the system:   5 years ago you could buy links, get a keyword report and optimize your site, put a bunch of real or fake reviews up, and rank well.  No more.  They want to make it so hard to game the system people don't do it anymore, SEOs, regular businesses, etc.  

In a way, this makes sense.  Is your favorite restaurant the best because they did anything besides have awesome food and service?  Not likely.  They just have the best food and service, some advertising and alot of word of mouth.  This is the way Google wants the internet to be.  

Its Awesome for Paid Search Specialists.

1.  If a site wants better organic traffic, they need to do PPC to find the keywords they need to rank for. 

2.  Google loves it when people use PPC.  Google made over $50 billion last year from advertising, over 97% of their total revenue.  They're pulling out all the stops and adding more awesome features for advertisers each month with no end in sight.    

What do you think?  How will you handle the changes going forward.  Please leave a comment below...


How To Choose A Web Designer

Many Clients Want To Do Paid Search But, They Often Notice Something at the Same Time:

What is it?  Well, they're about to budget money for paid search and someone to create and manage their campaigns and notice the website they are going to be sending that traffic they're paying for is just not up to par.   It either needs a refresh or its just kind of outdated.   

In fact, there has been instances where the site needs that total redesign, and we'll recommend this before starting paid search for them.  We don't want to see them wasting money sending people to a site that is confusing or outdated and the visitor not being able to complete the goals we agreed upon because of this.  Once they get this done, then we can help them.

Note:  We don't do web design, just PPC, conversion tracking and web analytics.  But we know a bunch of good people we can recommend to create a website that not only looks great but is easy for your potential clients to find what they're looking for.  Then you'll get the most return on investment for the money you pay for Paid Search.

With all the above in mind, if you do decide to get a new website, the info below will be a big help in finding someone who will do a good job.  We hope it helps! 

Choosing the Right Web Designer:

A Crucial Step

Were do you start?  To choose a web designer, please read the following:

Here are a few popular and common ways businesses get their websites built:

  • Designing the site yourself (unless your a web designer)
  • Having your cousin, friend, etc. design it for you.
  • Having a company do a "free" site for you as an add on.
  • Paying alot for a company to built a site for you.

The best illustration on why its so important to hire a web designer:

How much did you pay for your car or business vehicle?  $5000.00?  $10,000.00?, $20,000 +? 

You likely knew that its a no brainer to spend the money on a reliable vehicle, especially if you use it for work.  You make money with it.

Your website is your "vehicle" to get you more sales, leads and more.  Yet many people cut corners and skimp when having one built.  In a word:  Don't.  Spend the money for a pro to build you a clean, simple, professional looking site that is both easy to navigate, easy to update and search engine friendly.  You'll be glad you did. 

But who should you choose as your web designer?  You've probably heard of horror stories of people dropping $5000-10,000 and getting a bad looking site.  The truth is you don't have to spend a ton for a great looking, great functioning site.

We recommend getting a referral.  Check the site designers website out, check their portfolio out and see if it matches with what look you're going for.

Ask us:  We know of a number of designers that are professional and build sites you will be proud of.

One final question:  What questions should you ask a web designer to make sure you're getting a professional?  Below is an article from Entreprenuer Magazine on this very subject.   Print it out and bring it with you.

5 Questions to Ask Your Web Developer

If you want your site to work--and keep working--consider these factors before you build it.

Entrepreneur Magazine

Jennifer Shaheen | July 30, 2009


Building a website can be a lot like putting together a jigsaw puzzle--sometimes the picture looks good, but when you look closely, pieces are in the wrong places. A website might function, but as soon as you make a change or an update, the picture falls apart.

How do you avoid hiring a designer or developer that builds a website like this? Here are some questions you can ask and some feedback to help you understand their answers.

1. What web standards do they follow?

This is a great question that will fluster someone who doesn't have standards. What are web standards? This is the way of designing and coding a website that allows the website to grow with technology and the web visitor. This means using clean code and technologies like:

  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): a simple mechanism for adding style like fonts, colors, and spacing to web pages
  • XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language): a markup language that has the same depth of expression as HTML, but also conforms to XML syntax
  • ECMA Scripts: the standard version of JavaScript used on most web browsers.

You don't have to know how to write the languages; you just have to know what the standards are to understand the answer.

A simple way to help you connect to this question is to remember that people online don't all use the same web browser or operating system. Designing and developing to standards gives your website the ability to look and function the way it should on different platforms.

2. Do they design for SEO best practices?

It's no secret today that everyone wants a website that can be found on search engines. Implementing search engine optimization may not be what you want your designer or developer to do for you; however, how your site is designed or coded can affect your strategy when you are ready. When you interview developers, this is a great question to ask and see if the person you're interviewing is familiar with how to code to meet SEO standards. Here are a few items that affect SEO best practices:

  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): Designing a website to meet SEO best practices means using style sheets to cut down on the amount of code on your web page. Search engines like text, not code.
  • Script files: When you use dynamic items on your site like image galleries or mouse-over menus, usually these are created through JavaScript. To follow proper SEO standards, script files should be created for pages instead of having the script on your web page.
  • Web page content: Your text or content should be on the page as much as possible this can even include your website navigation. There are ways to make text visually appealing without having the designer put it inside an image. Images that contain words are not picked up as content by search engines.

If SEO is a strategy you are considering down the line, it's a good idea to make sure your site will be built with this strategy in mind.

3. How do they plan for change or growth?

One of the most stressful lessons learned is that the website you built yesterday will not allow you to grow tomorrow. Being told you have to start over is one of those statements every business owner can't bear to hear. Before you begin, ask the question, "Does the technology you're using allow me to grow or add additional functions?" You may even want to take this further and think about tools you'd want to add down the line. You can also ask designers or developers to provide you with a brief list of tools they have already integrated with sites like yours. This allows you not only the opportunity to see if they are knowledgeable, but also whether they're supportive in providing you with ideas.

4. How do they test their work?

As I mentioned above, not all of your consumers use the same technology. But to ensure things are operating the way they should or displaying correctly, web developer need to test their work. This issue might seem trivial, but you'd be surprised how many firms only test for one web browser. I recommend you ask specifically what web browsers and versions they test for during the development process. If you're building an online community, social or e-commerce website, testing is an important part of your success. Secure payment gateways need to be tested in a real environment. Be sure to get the specifics of what your firm considers to be part of a test phase and what it's being held accountable for after the website has gone live.

5. How do they handle support requests?

After a website has officially launched inevitably there will be a problem--it's technology; it happens. The question you want to know before you put pen to contract is how does your new firm handle support or bugs--technical hiccups with the website? Every firm will approach this differently, so pay close attention to how it phrase its response and commitment.

Building a website depending on the functions you need can be a lot like putting a puzzle together. The key to success is finding the right firm who understands the pieces that need to come together for your business.

Jennifer Shaheen, the e-marketing and Technology Therapist, has more than 10 years experience working with small- to mid-sized businesses on their e-marketing and web development needs. You can learn more about her by visiting her web site,

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