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5 Reasons to Use the Bing Ads Performance Grader (Free Bing Ads Help)

Not sure how well your Bing Ads campaigns are really performing?

Need hard data to justify increased ad spend in your Bing Ads campaigns?

Missing actionable insights that show you exactly which areas of your Bing Ads campaigns need to be improved?

Want to see how your time and effort in Bing Ads is paying off?

Would you like to prove that you know Bing Ads better than anyone else on your team?

Any and all of these are great reasons to use the Bing Ads Performance Grader to get a free, instant report on your Bing Ads account and see how your PPC metrics stack up against best practices.

How the Bing Ads Performance Grader Works

WordStream's Bing Ads Performance Grader is a free tool to help Bing Ads advertisers better understand how well their campaigns are performing and whether their efforts are aligned with PPC best practices. The Bing Ads Performance Grader uses a proprietary grading algorithm based on more than 60 different factors, including ad spend data, Quality Score, ranking, impressions and other variables.

Your Bing Ads Performance Grader report includes an overall grade as well as individual grades in ten key areas of pay-per-click management:

Wasted Spend - Are you making proper use of negative keywords? Or are you wasting hundreds, even thousands of dollars per month on irrelevant keywords that never convert?

Quality Score - Are your campaigns Microsoft-approved? High Quality Scores have a major impact on your ROI, improving your rankings and lowering your costs.

Impression Share - How often do your ads appear as a result of relevant search queries? Increased impression share can improve exposure and multiply your lead generation results.

Click-Through Rate (CTR) - CTR is a measure of how many clicks your ads get as a percentage of impressions, and therefore of how targeted your ads are. If your CTR is low, you may be losing ground to competing advertisers, and your Quality Scores will suffer.

Account Activity - To maintain Bing Ads performance, you need to spend active time in your account. How often are you making small changes that could make a big difference?

Long-Tail Keyword Optimization - Are you utilizing longer, more targeted keywords in your campaigns? If not, you're missing opportunities to grab high-intent, low-cost traffic.

Ad Text Optimization - Are you writing enough Bing text ads to get strong performance in terms of impressions, clicks, CTR and ad ranking? Are your ads keyword-optimized?

Landing Page Optimization – How relevant are your landing pages? Do your landing pages offer an intuitive user experience? Both of these factors are crucial to the success of a Bing Ads campaign. Find out if your landing pages are helping – or hurting – your efforts.

Mobile Advertising - With mobile traffic growing at 200% each year, it's crucial to stay on top of mobile PPC best practices like call extensions, sitelinks, and mobile-optimized text ads.

PPC Best Practices - Are you adhering to the proven best practices that PPC experts follow to ensure optimal Bing Ads performance?

By using the Bing Ads Performance Grader, you'll learn how well you're really doing in each of these important areas, as well as how you could improve your performance, driving more leads and sales at lower costs.

Microsoft Bing Ads Best Practices

In addition to a full report of your current Bing Ads account performance, you'll get actionable tips on how you can improve your score. These best practices for Bing Ads account management include:

  • Filtering out wasteful, irrelevant clicks and non-converting traffic with negative keywords
  • Maximizing keyword relevance across your campaigns for higher Quality Scores
  • Raising click-through rates with strong keyword, text ad, and ad group targeting and organization
  • Practicing regular, active account management and optimization
  • Expanding and refining your campaigns with long-tail keyword research
  • Testing multiple text ads to optimize CTR, conversion rate and cost per conversion
  • Creating unique, targeted, well-designed landing pages for each ad group
  • Making use of Bing Ads’ unique keyword matching options and other settings that improve targeting
  • Leveraging mobile PPC features like call extensions and sitelinks to improve conversions

Are you following these all-important best practices in your own Bing Ads campaigns? Or do you only think you are? Don’t leave your paid search success to chance – get the data you need to make informed decisions about your Bing Ads campaigns.

What is Bing Ads?

Bing Ads is Microsoft's pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform that enables business to create ad campaigns on Microsoft, MSN and Yahoo! properties.

Bing Ads uses a paid search advertising model, in which users bid on the keywords they want to have trigger their advertisements. Your Bing ads are then displayed alongside search results on Bing and Microsoft’s partner network when someone uses one of your keywords in their search query.

The prevalence of your advertisements appearing depends on which keywords and match types you select. WordStream offers a number of free keyword tools that can assist in your PPC keyword research, as well as informative, free white papers on topics such as Bing Ads match types.

While a number of factors determine a successful Bing Ads campaign, much can be achieved by focusing on:

Relevance - Crafting relevant Bing Ads keyword lists, tight Bing Ads keyword groups, and proper ad text.

Quality Score - Microsoft's rating of the quality and relevance of your keywords and PPC campaigns. Although there are many different factors that play a role in how Bing Ads’ Quality Score algorithm is calculated, three of the most important are:

  • Keyword relevance
  • Landing page relevance
  • Landing page user experience

Bing Ads vs. AdWords: How Do Microsoft Bing Ads and Google AdWords Differ?

Although both Bing Ads and Google AdWords function in similar ways, there are distinct differences between the two paid search platforms. The most significant difference between Bing Ads and Google AdWords is the search networks throughout which advertisers’ ads can appear.

Bing Ads leverages the power of the Yahoo! Bing Network, effectively allowing your ads to appear alongside relevant searches on two different search engines. In addition, Yahoo! Bing Network partner sites also display Bing Ads, thus allowing you to expand your potential reach.

Bing Ads makes it easy for AdWords advertisers to import AdWords campaigns directly into Bing Ads, reducing the time necessary to set up and optimize imported campaigns. However, Bing Ads handles some keyword match types slightly differently from AdWords. For example, Bing Ads does not support broad matching for negative keywords, and this type of keyword match changes to a phrase match when imported from AdWords.

Another key difference between Bing Ads and Google AdWords is how Quality Score is calculated, and how this formula is used. Although algorithmic specifics are proprietary to both platforms, some elements of Bing Ads’ Quality Score calculation are based on a gradient, meaning that performing poorly in one area may not have as severe an impact on overall Quality Score as it might in Google AdWords. Another interesting fact to be aware of is that Quality Score is not a determining factor in Ad Rank in Bing Ads – think of it as a window into your account performance, rather than part of the algorithm that determines where your ads are placed.

Can I Do Pay-Per-Click Advertising By Myself?

Anyone with a website and credit card can do pay-per-click advertising on Bing Ads. However, we've found that most advertisers are not well-informed on how to create an effective advertising campaign to drive paid clicks to real business leads. That's why we created the Bing Ads Performance Grader - a free tool that breaks down the technical aspects of PPC so you know which parts of your Bing Ads account to improve.

What Is a Good Quality Score in Bing Ads?

Microsoft's Bing Ads Quality Score is a grading system that judges your ads and gives you a "score." Having a good Bing Ads Quality Score is essential to a successful Bing Ads campaign.

Microsoft's quality rating has a powerful influence over the cost-effectiveness of your paid search campaigns, making it essential to have a good Quality Score in Bing Ads. Having a high Quality Score is a tremendous benefit to your Bing Ads campaign, as it provides you with:

  • Lower costs - Microsoft rewards advertisers with high Quality Scores by lowering their cost per click (CPC), which can subsequently lower your cost per conversion.
  • More exposure - When you have high Quality Scores, your ads will display more often and in better positions. You can get more exposure, more clicks, and more conversions without having to raise your bids.

Your Bing Ads Quality Score is determined by several factors:

  • Keyword relevance
  • Landing page relevance
  • The user experience of your landing pages
  • Relevance of ad copy to the keyword
  • Relevance of the ad to its corresponding landing page
  • The ad's click-through rate (CTR)
  • Historical account performance

A higher Quality Score equates to more impressions at lower costs, lowering your cost per click and cost per action.

Having a high Quality Score is key, but it can often be difficult to manage the varying factors that contribute to Quality Score single handedly. WordStream offers easy-to-use and expertly engineered PPC management software that is specifically designed to improve your Bing Ads Quality Score.

What Is a Good Click-Through Rate (CTR) on Bing Ads?

Click-through rate (CTR) measures the percentage of clicks advertisers receive on their ads per the number of impressions. "Impressions" refers to how often your ad is viewed-if your ad has a lot of impressions but no clicks, you will have a low CTR, which generally reduces the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Click-through rate is important because it affects your Quality Score, making a high CTR an essential component of a profitable Bing Ads campaign.

Bing Ads and other search marketing platforms offer pricing discounts for ads that have high relevance, providing searchers with the ads they want to find. Bing Ads gives high Quality Scores to advertisers with high Bing Ads click-through rates. In sum:

  • High click-through rates lead to high Quality Scores.
  • High Quality Scores allow you to improve or maintain ad position for lower costs.

What Are Negative Keywords in Bing Ads?

Negative keywords serve as essential building blocks in establishing a successful keyword list.

Adding a negative keyword to your Bing Ads ad group or campaign ensures that your ad will not appear for search queries containing that term. Using negative keywords in your Bing Ads campaign is beneficial because they reduce clicks on irrelevant or low commercial intent terms which don't convert, reducing wasted ad spend.

Bing Ads and other search marketing platforms offer pricing discounts for ads that have high relevance, providing searchers with the ads they want to find. Bing Ads gives high Quality Scores to advertisers with high Bing Ads click-through rates. In sum:

  • Filter Out Unwanted Ads - Creating a negative keyword ensures that your ad doesn't show for that particular term.
  • Allow You to Reach the Most Appropriate Audience - By ensuring that only relevant queries trigger your ad, you are more likely to reach an audience that is likely to convert.
  • Reduce Cost per Click and Increase ROI - Don't waste money on unwanted impressions and clicks from irrelevant searches that won't convert to sales. Using negative keywords helps put a stop to wasted spend.

Discovering Negative Keywords

Finding negative keywords and adding them to your account can be a difficult and tedious process. Digging through Bing Ads search query reports is a slow, redundant process, and Bing Ads limits how much query data is visible to advertisers.

WordStream offers an innovative, free negative keyword tool that makes finding negative keywords easy. It's also a proactive method of negative keyword discovery, enabling you to weed irrelevant keywords out of your campaigns before they can cost you a cent.

To learn more about how to use negative keywords, read our free white paper on negative keywords.

What Makes a Good Landing Page for Bing Ads?

Having a well-crafted landing page is a major component of a good Bing Ads Quality Score. From the moment a prospective customer reaches your landing page, everything should be tailored to helping the customer find what they are searching for and assist them towards a conversion.

A successful landing page requires a number of different elements:

  • Keyword Segmentation - Different types of keywords should take visitors to different landing pages with their own customized offers.
  • Navigability - Users should be able to easily find what they are looking for and move around your site.
  • Compelling Offer - If your ad references special products, have those products be front and center on the landing page. You should give visitors a reason to stay.
  • Focused Page Content - Optimize each landing page by authoring page content around groups of relevant, narrowly focused keywords.

The better the landing page, the more conversions you are likely to achieve. Expertly designed landing pages have a powerful impact on both SEO and PPC marketing campaigns.

Organic Search Benefits: Keyword-relevant content results in higher rankings in the SERPs for the keywords you're targeting, bringing more visibility and more traffic.

Pay-Per-Click Benefits: Keyword-specific Bing Ads landing pages are much more likely to earn strong Quality Scores and high conversion rates, as the landing pages will be more aligned with the searcher's intent.

While a better optimized landing page will help increase conversion rates, depending on what you are trying to persuade visitors to do, what constitutes a "good" conversion rate will vary.

A "good" conversion rate depends on what the desired conversion is. Conversion rates will tend to be higher if visitors are asked to sign up with a simple form to receive something free. If visitors have to fill out a lengthy survey or provide credit card information, conversion rates will be lower. While conversions can range from 0-50%, 2% is quite common.

Using the Bing Ads Grader

The Bing Ads Performance Grader provides clarity and understanding to the difficult and confusing elements of Bing Ads management. Because Bing Ads can be complex, it can often be difficult to determine where you are losing money in your campaign.

The Bing Ads Performance Grader gives you a fast, free, and easy-to-understand audit of your Bing Ads campaign, showing where and how to improve your PPC campaign in order to maximize profits.

The Bing Ads Performance Grader can be used in numerous ways:

New to Online Marketing? Learn where to focus your efforts as you begin in Bing Ads, ensuring a profitable and efficient campaign.

Are You an Experienced Bing Ads Advertiser? The Bing Ads Performance Grader provides a thorough and comprehensive report on your Bing Ads campaigns, bringing your attention to where you can improve results and save money.

Does an Agency Manage Your Bing Ads Account? Use the Performance Grader as a free auditing tool to see how well your agency is working for you.

Are You an Agency that Manages Bing Ads Accounts for Clients? Use the Bing Ads Performance Grader to explain and illustrate your work to clients in a format that can be easily understood.

Try out our free Bing Ads Performance Grader, and let us unlock the secret of Bing Ads for you.

Want to Know How to Improve Your Bing Ads Grader Score?

Looking to improve your Bing Ads score? Check out these tips from John Gagnon, Microsoft’s Bing Ads Evangelist:

“What we look at when dealing with Quality Score is, first and foremost, it’s a measure to help you prioritize campaigns and do some optimization, but the biggest component of it is going to be your keyword relevance; your click-through rate,” says Gagnon. “And that click-through rate is your click-through rate relative to your competitors – NOT your actual click-through rate. Let’s say you’re in position 8, your click-through rate is going to be .5, that could be amazing. That could get you [a] really great Quality [Score], even though you’re in position 8. That click-through rate, adjusted by position and other small geographic differences as well as many, many other factors, but that’s the key component of [Bing Ads’] Quality Score.”

Where can I learn more about Bing Ads?

The following are a few valuable resources worth researching:

The Official Bing Ads Site

Bing Ads articles on Search Engine Journal

Articles on PPC marketing at Search Engine Watch

Bing paid search resources at Search Engine Land