Copywriting

Pimp My PPC Ad, Bing Edition! Get More Awesome in Your Bing Text Ads

By Elisa Gabbert March 07, 2012 Posted In: Copywriting Comments: 7

It’s baaaaaack! And by “it,” I don’t mean Poltergeist, I mean Pimp Your PPC Ad, a regular  irregular feature in which I scan the SERPs for lousy text ads and give them the Pimp My Ride treatment. (For those of you who were born, I don’t know, last year, Pimp My Ride was an MTV show that ran between 2004 and 2007.)

For previous editions, see:

Let’s get starting, shall we?

Lesson #1: Use Capital Letters (Properly)

I’m pretty sure Google automatically applies initial caps (i.e., title case) to your headline, because I’ve never seen an ad that looked like this in Google (yes, these look just like Google ads, but I assure you, they’re from Bing):

Bing Text Ad

These ads were served in response to the search query “organizer.” See how the headline isn’t capitalized? I’m just going to come right out and say it: That looks really sloppy and unprofessional. Did you know that adding a symbol (like TM, see the first ad in the image above) can increase your click-through rate (CTR)? Capitalization can make a big difference too. One company found that capitalized ads “almost always outperform ads that are not capitalized” – but, interestingly, they also found that it’s better not to capitalize small, unimportant words like “to” and “in.”

Note: You can control the capitalization when using dynamic keyword insertion, but I believe this only applies to the main text of the ad in AdWords – like I said, I’ve never seen a headline in AdWords that wasn’t initial-capped. I think Google has figured out that capitalized headlines perform better, so they apply this rule across the board (more clicks = more billionz for them).

P.S. Do you really think anyone is looking for maid service when searching on “organization”? That is a really weird term to bid on and I can’t imagine they’re getting good results with that…

Lesson #2: Watch Your “Line Breaks”

Line breaks: Where PPC meets poetry! The below ad, like a sloppy poem, has infelicitous line breaks:

Bing PPC Ad

Most people are going to try to read the first line as a complete thought. “Shipping & Packaging Supplies Low”? That doesn’t make any sense. “Low” goes with the first word in the second line, “Prices.” The phrase “Low Prices” should have been kept together, as a unit – it’s much easier to read that way. Don’t make people think too hard!

Of course, the other MAJOR thing wrong with this ad is that it’s not relevant to my search query, which was “laptop bags.” Negative keywords, people! Know them, use them, love them.

Lesson #3: Don’t Bid Like a Player

It seems that Bing aggressively matches queries with local results, even when there’s no strong indication that the search query is locally driven. For example, look at these results for the search query “kitchen sinks”:

text ad

The very first result is for a local plumber – but I’d be willing to bet that 99% of people searching for “kitchen sinks” want to buy a kitchen sink or look at pictures of kitchen sinks or maybe learn how kitchen sinks work. I don’t think it’s what you’d search for if you needed a plumber, though possibly some people start to type “kitchen sink clog” or something like that and just give up early. In any case, the #1 ad doesn’t even include the words “kitchen” or “sink”! The headline is “faucets.”

What is going on here? My guess is this plumbing company bid its way into the top position (and it has Bing’s local favoritism on its side), because this text ad is most definitely not the most relevant result. That means they’re paying out the nose for whatever clicks they get, and I’m sure damn few of those clicks result in conversions. With PPC, you should be ranking based on relevance to the query, not high-roller bids. With all the money you save on clicks, you could buy a bottle of Cristal!

That’s it for this episode of Pimp Your PPC Ad! See you next time.

AdWords Performance Grader




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Comments

Thursday March 08, 2012

Tim Lester (not verified) Said:

Line breaks get me also especially in Bing/Yahoo. Bing/Yahoo auto formats my ads to take out some caps also. I think a few these issues are created by Bing/Yahoo themselves by not listening to customer suggestions.

Friday March 09, 2012

Elisa Gabbert Said:

Oh wow, they actually remove your capitalization? That is terrible.

Friday April 13, 2012

Wayne Tasker (not verified) Said:

Elisa

I think you are being a bit harsh on some of these ads..

Often they are put up by the actul tradesmen who have got a free coupon or something and just list. an ad to see what happens.

You have some good value content ..Its interesting to see the BING THING so much emphasis is put on Google

Well Done

 

Friday April 13, 2012

Elisa Gabbert Said:

Well, that's kind of the point ... it's easy to make costly mistakes in PPC. I just pointing out some ways to make the average ad better, with a little humor. :)

Thursday June 14, 2012

Scott (not verified) Said:

Was looking for some help with using bing ads and stumbled on your blog.

I thought it was going to be a painful read especially after going through google adwords but it was very easy to read and made me laugh at points.

Thanks for the help :) :)

Thursday June 14, 2012

Elisa Gabbert Said:

Why thank you!

Friday June 29, 2012

Buy Articles (not verified) Said:

I tried bing, and didnt get many results for long, basically im just trickling in traffic. I had someone look and the told me to split up the ads and test more. Sounds like alot of tweaking is invloved with running a really good ppc campaign, Ill continue and see what happends

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