Bing Ads to Combine All Device Targeting on March 23: Are You Ready?

Bing Ads is releasing an upgrade called “Unified Device Targeting,” or UDT, to their advertising management tool on March 23, 2015. Now, all campaigns will target all devices by default: desktops, tablet, and mobile devices. However, it’s still very easy to adjust your bids to increase impressions on one device or another.

“We made the decision to combine device targeting based on the feedback of a large portion of our customers,” said Anna Hughes, senior product marketing manager for Bing Ads Mobile and Local. “They told us that it would save valuable time and effort in managing their search campaigns if device targeting options were similar across the major search platforms. This also allows advertisers to automatically benefit from the 30 percent of queries that come from mobile searches across the Yahoo Bing Network.”

Previously, it was possible to target the different devices separately or in combinations. The search platform trend has been to integrate all device targeting into one campaign, with Google AdWords releasing a similar update, Enhanced Campaigns, in July of 2013. This update caused confusion minimally, and at times was overly complicated; the upgrade documentation was a 21-page manual.

Impact to Advertisers

Advertisers only need to make changes to their current campaigns if they have multiple instances of the same campaign that target smartphones in one instance and desktops/tablets separately in another instance. These will need to be combined into one campaign.

Assess Current Targeting

First, start by assessing the current campaign to determine how the campaigns are being targeted to devices. An easy way to get a snapshot of this information is in the settings tab, looking at “devices.” If you don’t see devices, use the “columns” menu to add it.

bing-device-screenshot

Action Plan Summary for Migration

  • There are a few different scenarios of campaign targeting and action items for each. Determine what technical action needs to be taken before March 23.
  • Use this opportunity to review the mobile strategy and how to facilitate this audience’s interaction with the brand. For example, considerations include mobile shopping, physical locations and directions, click to call, etc.
  • Evaluate keywords to determine if they should contain shorter terms, geographical locations, or shopping themes.
  • Review ad copy and create mobile versions with messaging that supports mobile goals, includes a mobile call-to-action, and includes ad extensions like call extensions and location extensions.
  • A mobile-friendly landing page that matches strategy and ad copy will be critical. Many advertisers use responsive design where the website detects the visitor’s screen size and orientation and changes the layout accordingly making a mobile-friendly site easier.

It is important to note that in Bing Ads all campaigns will automatically be opted in to receive traffic from all devices. This could cause minor inefficiencies for advertisers who are not aware or proactive in optimizing for the UDT migration. The Bing Ads blog is the best resource and contains details on what advertisers can expect and how to maximize opportunities to expand their PPC advertising program.

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