Bing, PPC

Get more from Bing Ads PPC Campaigns

Microsoft’s, Bing Ads platform (formally Microsoft AdCenter) is a great source of increasing traffic to your site as part of your current paid online marketing campaigns, especially if you have a successful and extensive Google AdWords PPC Campaign running. You may have started to exhaust the maximum amount of conversions possible for your services, products or site in Google, so expanding to Bing which also includes Yahoo is an easy progression in generating more traffic.

Bing allows you to simply import campaigns from AdWords with its easy to use ‘Import from Google AdWords’ feature, so setting things up shouldn’t take long at all. The next stage should be to install the Bing Ads conversion script, a small piece of javascript to add to the markup of your thank you pages and order confirmation pages, similar to the script you should already have installed for Google AdWords. Once a campaign is imported, the tracking installed and your ad’s are running, a few things are clear to see, firstly the cost per conversion (CPA) will be much lower than on Google and secondly, the volume of impressions, clicks and conversions will be much lower.

Bing Ads Google AdWords campaign import feature

The reasoning for lower volumes is simply down to the market share of Bing and Yahoo which is much smaller than Google’s dominent share as can be seen here: The market share of Bing due to recent advertising campaigns has also been on the rise, with media, print and television advertising campaigns running in the UK for Microsoft products and services.

The point being, for little effort you have gained extra conversions that are cheaper than those in your Google campaigns (in most cases).

Tracking Bing Ads PPC Campaigns in Google Analytics

Despite tracking your conversions within the Bing Ads platform there is a slight issue with seeing the data correctly in Google Analytics, especially if you have a retail based web site and have Google Analytics Ecommerce Tracking installed. The basic issue is that Google Analytics will see natural and paid or cpc traffic from Bing as a single entity unless you tag up your Bing PPC campaigns.

This is where the Google Analytics URL Builder is a very useful tool, it will generate a query string that can be added to all of the destination URL’s of your Bing Ads PPC campaigns and is accessible online here:

The URL Builder should be used to tag up all of your marketing campaigns such as social networks, email marketing etc. and there are a few key things to remember:

  1. Be consistent and always tag up the source and medium in the same manner for example: ‘facebook’ should not also be tagged up as ‘face book’ as Google Analytics will see this as separate sources.
  2. Capitalisation can be used but should not as Google Analytics default sources and mediums are lower case. Also Analytics will see ‘facebook’ and ‘Facebook’ as separate sources, so again capitals and consistency matters!

For more information regarding the use of Google Analytics and utilising the URL Builder, then check out this more in depth article by Phil Wright:

An example of a generated query string can be seen below:


You can append the generated query string from the Google Analytics URL Builder that has been generated to each specific campaign with the ‘append’ feature in Bing Ads, or individually on a per ad basis. A final pointer, you should remember to copy the campaign names directly from your Google PPC campaigns into Bing and the generator for consistent tracking and performance analysis).

So what about Yahoo and Bing cpc being split out in your Google Analytics reports… In short you can’t split this data out, Yahoo will only be displayed as ‘yahoo / organic’ and your Bing Ads PPC campaigns will all fall under the ‘bing / cpc’ pot of data (including what is technically ‘yahoo / cpc’). The reason for this is that Bing Ads serves your display ads on both Yahoo and Bing’s network and is controlled from one platform, that does not allow you to run separate campaigns on each, so is not worth worrying about. If you have managed to correctly tag your campaigns, you should start seeing the data split in Google Analytics.

Google Analytics tracking traffic sources

As ever if you have any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Update: Bing Ads now has an ‘auto-tagging’ feature for destination URL’s, find out more, along with my guide on enabling it here: Bing Ads Destination URL Auto-Tagging.

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