If you use Bing Ads, you may have noticed a new feature – Call Extensions- which Google AdWords has supported for quite some time now. This is an important feature for any business that relies on phone calls for sales and leads.
Bing’s new call extensions are very similar to Google’s, allowing advertisers to associate a phone number with their ads. To set them up, go to your Campaigns tab in Bing Ads and click on ad extensions.
Click on the Call Extensions link and follow the prompts to add your phone number. You’ll be able to select a specific campaign to associate a phone number with, as well if you’d like to show your phone number on all devices or on smartphones only.
You can choose to show both your website and the phone number or only show the phone number on mobile devices. I prefer giving people the option to decide if they should call you versus click on your website.
If you choose to use Bing’s forwarding number, you’ll be charged $1 for calls to this forwarding number.
adCenter recently launched ad extensions to enable advertisers to show their business contact info with the ad. It’s an easy and quick way to ensure your ads stand out. To enable it, go to your campaign settings, and under the advanced settings section, you should see an Ad Extensions option. Make sure that you select to display your address and phone number, and you are all set.
Before you’ll be able to take advantage of this option, you’ll need to add a business location by clicking Manage your business locations on the Campaigns tab.
Microsoft adCenter just lauched advanced negative match, a feature AdWords has had for a long time now, to help advertisers better prequalify traffic. Now you can set Phrase and Exact Match negative keywords in your adCenter campaigns for even greater precision in filtering unwanted search traffic. Previously, adCenter only allowed Negative Broad. For more information about negative keywords as well as how to use them, please see this post on negative keyword best practices.
Another new feature you may want to check out is their insights into keyword conflicts. Use the new Negative Keyword Conflicts report to learn if you have set any negative keywords that are same as your actual keywords. The report can help resolve any conflicts and help improve performance. It can also helo explain why some of your perfectly relevant keywords have not been getting any impressions.
adCenter recently increased their negative keyword limits to ‘thousands.’ This is great news for those who have been optimizing their campaigns in preparation for the Yahoo search marketing and adCenter merger. Previously, advertisers were able to only add less than a 150 negative keywords. To start taking advantage of the new system capability, go to your campaign or ad group settings and add new exclusions.
Unfortunately, unlike with AdWords, in adCenter negative keywords still cannot be assigned a match type. If you’re curious about when you might want to assign different match types to your negatives, and want to read more about negative keywords, see my post on negative keyword best practices.
Yahoo and Microsoft announced their new paid search editorial guidelines that will begin in early August. The new guidelines are part of the alliance between Yahoo and MS (see previous blog post). Make sure you review the new content restrictions and policies and see if you’re impacted. If content policies do not apply to you, still read through the ad content and style policies to ensure you’re ready for the transition.
Microsoft and Yahoo announced earlier this year that they’re forming an alliance by uniting their search advertising platforms. The alliance will make both companies more competitive with the current leader in online advertising, Google AdWords. Advertisers will reportedly benefit from greater reach, better technology, more resources freed up for innovation, and improved customer support.
What does this mean for current advertisers? Microsoft adCenter will be the platform for search campaigns for both companies and those using Yahoo will need to transition their ad campaigns over to adCenter. The transition is planned to take place before the 2010 holiday season, but it may be delayed until 2011. Advertisers should prepare by learning more about the upcoming changes. You may need to shorten your ads, expand keywords, and check your bids. Start making changes now, so you experience a smooth transition!
I, for one, am very excited about using only one platform and am looking forward to a more unified experience. More importantly, I am hopefully that this alliance will make Yahoo and Microsoft better source of qualified traffic, as both have been struggling to keep up with Google. The reality is that most of my clients get the bulk of their traffic and leads from Google, plus the AdWords platform provides far more advanced options and features. Getting some real competition in the PPC world can only mean good things for advertisers and agencies.