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Bing Product Ads: Early Returns

  |  June 20, 2014   |  Comments

Just a few months after the launch of Bing Ads' Product Ads, a look at things to watch out for and consider when setting up your own accounts.

Yep, in case you didn't know, Bing Ads officially launched Product Ads in March of 2014. (Gosh, now I feel like John Oliver of Last Week Tonight.) I've not only tested these new ad units on a couple of clients of our own, but also interrogated some friends in the industry to fill in some of the gaps since it's so new still. Here's a quick hit list of things to watch out for, consider, and well, chuckle at, when starting your own Bing Ads PA accounts.


Starting Bing Ads PAs

Setup is fairly easy and very similar to Google Shopping: you'll need a product feed and required attributes are almost identical, right down to the provision of three unique attributes around Groups, Labels, and Redirect. Now, the new Google Shopping campaigns are replacing those with Custom Labels and retiring them later this year, but they're alive and well in Bing Ads.

Be sure to:

  • Send a clean feed, well optimized
  • Add those obvious negative keywords (don't go overboard)
  • Utilize the "all products" target and make it the lowest bid
  • Utilize bidding by product target
  • Annotate in GA or your analytics platform when it goes live

Watch out for:

  • Making sure your site is crawlable by Bingbot as you do need to have Bing Webmaster Tools to claim your URL to set up your store.
  • Tagging your destination URLs or else organic gets a great spike.
  • 24-48 hours for feed approval and for it to run.
  • Disapproved items can be head-smackingly annoying (since they're most likely a purse with coin slots, not a slot machine. Or the color "nude," not an actual nude person.)


  • Getting those disapproved items out of purgatory is difficult without a rep.
  • There is an average position metric in the user interface, but it doesn't actually mean anything. Ignore it. 
  • Keep a general structure and don't build out a massive or complicated campaigns/ad groups. That'll make it more trouble to manage than it's worth. 

Neat stuff:

  • Bing Ad's Merchant Center is IN the Bing Ads interface; you do not have to login to another platform.
  • Test feed submission tool.
  • Some verticals are 20 percent or greater in terms of impressions share of Google Shopping. Others are less great at 3 to 4 percent.
  • Rich Captions. Use this feature for free traffic in the Bing SERPs. But don't start it at the same time as PLAs. There's no way to see the click/impression rate for Rich Captions yet.


We're all definitely still taking the bubble wrap off this ad unit and in the experimenting phase. Is it worth trying?


Just keep it simple and keep an eye on it. On average, we're seeing lower cost-per-clicks (CPCs) (than Google Shopping), inline CPAs, less maintenance, and a positive return on investment (ROI) all around, the only downside being overall volume in comparison to Google Shopping.


Elizabeth Marsten

Elizabeth Marsten is the director of PPC at CommerceHub in Seattle, Washington, where she oversees the PPC advertising practice with concentrations in Google AdWords & Shopping, Bing Ads, and Facebook. She is the is the co-author of All in One Web Marketing Reference for Dummies (Wiley Publishing), as well as PPC courses on Lynda.com.

See her SlideShare presentations from speaking at MozCon, SMX Advanced, East and West, PPC Hero Con, Searchfest, and State of Search or find her on Twitter.

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