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: http://searchengineland.com/bing-rises-above-17-search-market-share-as-google-slips-comscore-159746. 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: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en-GB.

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: http://transparence.co.uk/index.php/2012/01/19/google-analytics-tagging-campaigns-to-help-you-make-decisions/.

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

?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=MyCampaign1

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.


10 Responses

  1. Jawad Latif
    September 25, 2013

    Very useful post but the issue which I am facing hasn’t been discussed here.

    I am tracking my BingAds campaign in Google Analytics. All ads have proper query strings (I have checked this many times). Ecommerece section of Google Analytics is not tracking my all conversions. I can see 4 conversions in my BingAds tracking but in Google Analytics there are only 3. One is missing. What can be the reason.

    This is happening very often. After every 2,3 days, i observe few missing conversions in Analytics.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Porter
      September 26, 2013

      Are you looking at unique sales or transactions within Google Analytic Ecommerce Tracking Reporting?

      Also it may be the case that a visitor converted (last interaction source) was not Bing, but there initial click was from your Bing Ads campaign, dropped a cookie and obviously has been attributed to that source.

      One final thing that may be happening is that the transaction complete page has been refreshed, but this shouldn’t cause a duplication.

      Reply
  2. Steven M Fuller
    January 10, 2015

    I have enabled bing ads auto tagging , and Am wondering what I need to do with in gooogle analytics in order for the new campaign data from bing to show in google analytics . Please can you tell Me what I am missing . and is there a way to connect the bing account to ga like I do with adwords ?

    Reply
  3. Kathleen Kearns
    April 9, 2015

    Thank you for the very clear article. I installed the Bing Ads conversion script, and it is working. So I am tracking the conversions within the Bing interface. As you point out the issue I am having is in Google Analytics. I want to track the Bing PPC and SEO separately. In AdWords I used the auto tagging feature. My question is that I thought the UTM auto tagging in Bing and that needed to be unchecked when the UET was added or it would double count the conversions. Is that true? Even if it is true, the way you are describing adding the UTM code generated through the Google Analytics platform would avoid the double counting in Bing?
    Thanks!
    Kathleen

    Reply
    • Porter
      May 9, 2015

      Hi Kathleen, Bing Ads now has an auto tagging feature, once enabled you will not require any generated Analytics tracking on your destination URL’s. Keep an eye out on my blog as a post detailing Bing Ads auto tagging is about to go live.

      Reply
  4. Rob Watts
    May 19, 2015

    Strangely, the number of sessions GA is tracking as having come from Bing CPC have mysteriously declined to almost nothing in the past few weeks and I have no idea why.

    Would it be worth manually tagging all my URLs to see if it starts to track again?

    There is nothing significant that I have changed that may suggest why this has happened.

    Reply
  5. julian reiche
    July 23, 2015

    Just a heads up to not use analytics to track bing cpc, you won’t have a comparable attribution model to the “last adwords click” model.

    Reply
    • Porter
      October 23, 2015

      Surely you would be using respective Google AdWords and Bing Ads conversion scripts to track cpc?

      Reply

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