In this article we are going to explain the importance of shopping platforms in search engines such as Bing Shopping as well as give you a step-by-step guide of how to run a Bing Shopping campaign from scratch.
Why should we consider advertise in a shopping platform?
It is known that we humans are visual learners. Studies show that images are processed much faster than texts and that 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. When doing a search for a product within a search engine, it is easier to focus on those ads that have an image of the product itself rather than those text ads with lots of boring text.
Hence, the fact of having a clear image of the product, a title and a product description that match the user search, is highly attractive for a user and would make him/her more likely to click on our ads.
Moreover, we could run both a search and a product campaign at the same time which could give us more visibility and we could even appear more than once within the same user search.
Another reason to use a shopping platform is that can run in multiple devices such as the search engine. So we will be able to target users using desktop, tablets and mobile devices.
A last but not least reason to run shopping campaigns is the benefit of targeting control. By the use of labels you will be able to set priorities to those products with higher and lower ROI and by the use of filters you will be able to slip your product list into groups.
How do we start
- In order to create a merchant center for our shop we first need to validate our domain within the Bing Webmaster Tools http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster . There are three ways of doing that: 1- Place an XML file on your web server 2- Place a <meta> tag into the default page or 3- Add CNAME record to your DNS. We recommend to use the second or first option since both are very easy and fast to implement.
- Create a Bing Ads account and a Merchant Store. You will need to write down your Store name and a short description of your business. As well, when you put your Destination URL do not forget that this needs to match your destination URL in your Bing Webmasters Tools.
- Create or submit a product catalog. This one needs to be within .txt, compressed .txt or XML file format. If you do not have one, you need to create one with the following columns:
ID (Item unique identifier)
Title (Title of the Item)
Brand (Brand of the item)
Link (Direct URL of the item’s page on your website)
Price (Price of the item excluding tax and shipping)
Description (Item description)
Image link (URL of an image of the item)
As well, you have some optional attributes that if filled, will give more relevance to your ads and will make them gain better position on shopping ads
On the other hand, if you would like to import it from you product catalog, you could just press on Catalog feed file and choose one of the three options you have there. If you have a public catalog you should use the automatically download file from url option since this one allows an automatic 24 hour refresh otherwise, do not forget to refresh your feed regularly since it expires 30 days after the last update.
- Create a Bing Shopping Campaign. For setting up the structure of your shopping campaign we recommend that this lie under the same structure as your store. In order to do so, you could use the filters options to choose what the campaign will target.When setting up bids, our advice is to use the product group hierarchy. As well, do not forget to go through your campaign settings to select the time zone, your budget, the campaign priority as well as other advanced options. Within those options, campaign priority, is a very interesting setting since from here you can prioritize campaigns that include the same product. Regarding the filters, you can use up to 5 custom labels to segment your product cataloge. Each label can have more than one variable such as colours or gender. And remember; right now Bing Shopping is only targeting USA.
Therefore, for creating your first Bing Shopping campaign you will need to filter them by Brand, Condition, ID, Category, Product type or even Custom Label (up to 5 custom labels) or you could as well import your Google Shopping campaigns and
Campaigns optimization best practices
- Optimize your product feed by making sure the information offered is as accurate as possible by using relevant keywords in your product feed title as well as in your product description.
- Another recommendation is to use negative keywords in order to increase your CTR and target to relevant customers.
- Use high quality images as well as perform a/b testing in your promotional text.
- Utilize the campaign priority settings and apply larger budgets to those top-seller products.
- Remember that your feed expires every 30 days after the last upload. So do not forget to refresh and upload your feed regularly.
- Be aware that right now, it is only possible to add feeds with available items.
- There are some fields in required fields that are mandatory and therefore, if they are missing, this is going to prevent your ads from showing.
- If your products are not being showed and you do not know why, you can always check the catalog summary from the merchant and there you will find the amount of products ads rejected and why.
*Bing Shopping is currently available for USA and soon will be launched in the UK