Bing announced the roll-out of Universal Device Targeting (UDT) on Tuesday, along with details of the latest updates to the Bing Ads platform.I had the pleasure of attending the Bing Ads latest ad formats and device targeting capabilities webinar chaired by Katrina Morris (Bing Ads Program Manager) and Joseph Bergin (Bing Ads Technical Support).

Katrina works as a Release and Supportability Program Manager, helping toenable pilots and releases in the EMEA markets. Her main focus is to ensure the Bing Ads releases meet your needs and requirements, and that you have the features you need to succeed in search.

Joseph works as a Technical Support Engineer (TSE) on the Bing Ads Support Team based in Dublin. His main focus is campaign and ad delivery covering Bing Ads Editor, API, campaign creation and management, and answering questions like “Where is my ad?” or “How can I get more clicks?”. If you have had such questions you may already have “met” him or his colleagues on-line. Joseph likes nothing better than setting up a call with a customer and helping them out in real time.

The webinar kicked off with the confirmation that Bing consolidated desktop, tablet and mobile targeting into one interface at the end of March, UDT. Were were advised of the three main reasons for this move:

  1. Simplicity: less complicated user interface
  2. Reduced friction: structural similarity across SEM platforms make it easier to manage across campaigns. Easier to copy over from AdWords accounts
  3. Controls: introduced table and mobile bid adjustments

The changes brought in are designed to help with copying campaigns over from Google AdWords, to ensure that similarity in terms of platform usability and features remains whilst boasting some additional features not yet available in Google AdWords:

Why not -100 percent bid adjustments for tablet traffic? – Bing Ads and industry sources report tablet conversions to be consistently within 15-20 percent of desktop/laptop (“traditional”) conversions.* Given that PC and tablet campaigns perform very similarly, allowing for bid adjustments to span from -20 percent to +300 percent should give advertisers the controls they need to maintain their campaign return on investment (ROI).

In short, Bing Ads have moved to make the campaign structure parallel that of Google AdWords, reducing account management overheads. Bing were quick to inform that they have not and do not want to be seen as merely copying Google, they have also enabled bid modifiers for tablet which is currently unavailable in Google AdWords.

To be able to apply modifiers to tablet and mobile independently is fantastic; much of the client data we analysed post-call showed clear splits between these mobile devices in terms of conversions. Another great addition to the Bing Ads platform is the option to include {if mobile} URLs and the option for mobile preference (detailed further down this post).

So, taking UDT into account, what are the three things we should now be actioning off of the back-end of this update?

Top of the class

Boost the winners, dump the losers. If you previously utilised separate mobile and desktop campaigns you may need to look to update the keywords used as they may now be duplicated post UDT update. These need to be removed. Clearly you will need to keep those that have the highest CTR/CR.

  • Review your account and identify any campaigns targeting the same keywords
  • Move duplicates to higher-performing campaigns and delete or pause the lower performers
  • Consider creating “top performer” campaigns for more aggressive bidding/bid adjustments

“The most critical action that you can take: Review and combine campaigns targeting the same keyword” – Bing

The image below shows an example of how you may look to consolidate campaigns 1 and 2 with the keyword for ‘Lilies’ into a single campaign.

With the PC/tablet keyword having a quality score of 9, you would keep this keyword and add a bid modifier of -25% bid modify for mobile as the bid was 25% less than that on desktop and tablet.

Bid Wisely

Bing advised that they generally see that mobile bids are around 30% cheaper than desktop, so if you are not targeting mobile, review your strategy. Note here though that this will vary by vertical, but in general mobile now seems to be an opportunity worth exploring. Experiment with the modifiers!

If you have legacy campaigns that are not opted in for mobile, think again. If your site is mobile friendly then not bidding for mobile may in-fact be harming your overall goal.

Test different combinations of bids and bid adjustments to find your key mobile ROI.

Think about your overall budget, with additional mobile traffic you will need additional budget to take into account the increased traffic volume. Note that any changes to your desktop bid in the example above will make changes to the mobile and tablet bids due to the bid modifiers in-place, so you may then need to adjust the modifiers accordingly.

Modifiers can be set up at campaign and ad group level; note though that any modifiers set-up at adg roup level will override those set up at campaign level.


Tell potential customers that you are ‘mobile-first’.

  • Use keywords and ad text like ‘mobile’ and ‘smartphone’ where possible. “Order now from your mobile” for example
  • If you have a mobile-specific URL, be sure to use it…
  • Utilise mobile-friendly ad extensions such as location, call and app

“Conversion rates for smartphone shoppers on mobile-optimised sites is 160% higher than on non-optimised sites” – Bing

If an ad group has both mobile-preferred and regular ads, only mobile-preferred ads serve on mobile devices, and only regular ads serve on PCs and tablets. Don’t forget to set up mobile-only ads, this will ensure that you can deliver your desired message to searchers rather than potentially losing that message when not all ad text is displayed on a mobile device from a non-mobile preferred ad.

Make sure as well that you have both mobile preferred and non-mobile preferred extensions set up correctly to ensure they are displayed on the correct device type. Note: mobile preference cannot be set at the adgroup level. If all sitelinks in an ad group are set to ‘mobile preferred’ some may be displayed on tablet/PC if there are no other sitelinks available to use.

As mentioned above, if you have a mobile site ensure that you utilise the {if mobile} destination URL query string so that you direct mobile users to your mobile optimised site. For example {}.

What is up-and-coming with Bing Ads?

 Recent Updates (Within past 3 months)

  • Unified device targeting (UDT)
  • Bing Ads Editor 10.7 – new improvements to allow edits of synced keywords, improved download logic and improved radius target management
  • Annotation launches – 3rd party data is added, including Twitter icon to your ads across Europe along with other annotations including Top Ads which is already deployed in Germany
  • Bing ads home tabs – allowing you to gain a quick snapshots and trends in account performance

 Mid term Updates (3-6 months)

  • App extensions – Allow for driving app downloads through an extension format and also includes dynamic OS detection to ensure corrects aps are displayed for each OS type
  • Search Remarketing (Pilot) – Bing are currently piloting first stage of their re-targeting product which includes audience bid boosting
  • Image Ads – New rich ad format. New extension format that will allow for up-to 3 hi-res images to be applied to your top ads to provide greater real-estate on your mainline ads
  • Campaign planner – Will allow for vertical trends and competitor trends analyses for key metrics

 Longer term (6+ months)

  • Microsoft Login Change – Migration completed for Bing Ads login to the Microsoft Account ID which will become mandatory later this year we are told with an aim to improve account security
  • New ad extensions – Form Extension with calendar input, allow users to input formats such as date, email or postcode and link directly with booking/reservations engine. Call-out extensions to showcase business USPs
  • Schedule extensions – Allow for more precise control over ad investments with start/end dates/times

So, taking all the above in, what’s recommended to act on now?

  • Upgrade to enhanced sitelinks to allow for richer extension content, particularly for brand campaigns to gain great real-estate on the SERPs
  • Review your device targeting; if you are targeting mobile separately at the moment, look at structure and combine your campaigns
  • Ensure that mobile sitelinks are set-up and ads are selected for mobile preference
  • Once combined, look to ad in mobile/tablet bid modifiers
  • Get ready for search re-marketing (RLSA as we know from Google AdWords), deploy UET (universal Event Tracking) directly into your site or via your chosen tag manager partner (The full features of UET will not be usable, but in it will be good to analyse in the short term in light of the greater benefit when search re-marketing rolls out later this year)
  • And finally, check out the new richer insights and auction insights, bid landscape, opportunities tab, and top mover reports to help you capitalise and make well informed decisions for your investment with Bing ads

There looks to be a lot of new features on the way and it seems Bing Ads may one day indeed be a serious contender to Google dominance in the marketplace. Watch this space…



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