To maximize online advertising reach, leveraging both Google and Bing engines is key. Having coverage on search and shopping in both engines diversifies your brand’s audience reach, increases online sales, and improves product/brand awareness. While being in both engines is important, treating these engines the same in terms of campaign structure, bid management, and budgeting could yield less than favorable results. The interfaces are built different and the engines’ audience demographics are different. Therefore, these platforms should be managed with that in mind.
Why You Shouldn’t Treat Bing Shopping the Same as Google Shopping
With the rollout of Bing Shopping campaigns in July of 2015 and the ease of importing campaigns directly from Google, many advertisers are increasing their reach in Bing. If you are anything like me, you’ve learned through iterations of Google shopping campaign optimization and feed management, and you have a thorough and targeted campaign structure in Google that you’ve imported into Bing. While on the surface this seems like a win, there may be some drawbacks to running this granularly targeted campaign in Bing right out of the gate. Just as you wouldn’t bid on keywords the same across engines, you shouldn’t treat product bidding for shopping the same either.
A structure in Bing broken out to target bids by product ID that you previously had been using in Google may be too granular initially. First, the Bing audience is different than Google’s audience. 1 in 3 PC searches is powered by Bing Network, including Yahoo, Bing, AOL and partner sites. Further, Bing Network drives 167 million unique searches a month, with 56 million being exclusive to Bing searches. (comScore qSearch) Given those numbers, products that perform well on Google may not have the same interest amongst Bing users.
Second, when the campaign is segmented to the product ID level, collecting data to make decisions may take longer. Within the first 4-6 weeks of launching a Bing Shopping campaign, getting insights at the product category level is key to building bidding and budget strategies. If you don’t gain insights at the product category level you could be missing the big picture strategy for long-term success. For example, if you have 20 products in a product group, breaking them out to bid individually on each product ID spreads the data very thin, as each product collects its own data set. If you started with an ad group bid for all of the products in that group together, your data would populate at a faster rate. Then, you could use that collected data to determine the best way to segment and optimize that product category.
If you don’t gain insights at the product category level you could be missing the big picture strategy for long-term success. For example, if you have 20 products in a product group, breaking them out to bid individually on each product ID spreads the data very thin, as each product collects its own data set. If you started with an ad group bid for all of the products in that group together, your data would populate at a faster rate. Then, you could use that collected data to determine the best way to segment and optimize that product category.
In the visual below, there are two examples of similar campaigns. On the left is an example where bids are set at the individual product level. On the right, bids are set at the product group level. In my experience, the structure on the right proved to be more successful for my accounts. I took the bids up one level from what I was doing in Google. I let all of the ankle boots run in one ad group with the same bid and collected data. Once I had a few weeks of data, I was able to see which products were performing and which were not. I could then break out the ankle boots into multiple ad groups to set bids differently and control negative coverage.
Within the Bing UI, you can easily pull partition and dimension reports that provide great insights on the performance of your shopping campaigns. Specifically within the dimensions tab, you can review item ID performance vs Brand performance, for example, to see how each product within a Brand is performing. The brand as a whole may not be driving high returns, but if a few products are doing well, you can break those products out and bid on them separately.
Whether you’re new to Bing Shopping or experiencing lower than anticipated performance, consider the structure of your account as an opportunity to improve performance, especially if you’re treating Bing Shopping the same as Google Shopping. Remember the audiences are different. Leverage the reporting and insights available within the Bing User Interface to help guide your decisions.
Did you like this post? Let us know why (or why not) in the comments. In the meantime, check out our blog CMO-Friendly, CFO-Approved: The Direct Path Approach to Paid Search to discover how to move customers from impression to sale as quickly as possible.