By Will Collier

We're all guilty of wearing our AdWords blinkers from time to time, but here's a few good reasons to broaden your search horizons and give Bing a shot.

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Everyone likes an underdog

For a long time now AdWords has been the mainstay pay per click platform for everyone from agencies to global conglomerates to DIY PPCers. However as Katy wrote about back in March, the competitive landscape is changing and you cannot afford to disregard other search engine advertising.

As I sat at my desk last week playing with Bing's cheeky new advertising tool Bing it On (which coincidentally told me Bing was my preferred search engine) I realised that for searchers, Bing is actually pretty good. From an advertiser's perspective, Bing Ads may be still very much in its chrysalis but there's a few features which hint at Bing's true potential.

Click quality

AdWords looks after your money well and is pretty good at spotting invalid clicks (from robots, unloaded pages, foul play etc) but Bing Ads takes it one step further. With Bing we can see "low quality clicks" – those that "exhibit characteristics of unclear commercial intent, and patterns of unusual activity".

Using this anonymous client as an example, campaign 2 is worrying as nearly 80% of impressions and 20% of clicks are low quality. This campaign could either be running ads which are misleading or reaching inappropriate people, or it could be a very competitive area where costs are being accrued from foul play. On the other side, Bing can get it wrong; campaign 1 is showing that despite 6.4% of clicks being deemed low quality, they contribute to 30% of overall conversions!

Search partner reporting

Like on AdWords, Bing and Yahoo also allow you to show your adverts on a huge group of websites which use their search function – the Search Partner Network. In AdWords this is a straight opt in/out choice but it's not quite as black and white as that in reality. Just as a particular keyword or ad headline works well in a campaign, certain search partner websites may work better than others.

The best thing about this feature is you can break it down all the way to Ad Group level!

Search partner exclusions

With Search Partner performance report, Bing gives you the ability to exclude individual publishers. This is great if you don't want to appear on certain sites (large retailers, inappropriate sites etc) or if you work to a very strict KPI. You can filter out any Search Partners who don't meet your requirements and then exclude their URLs from your advertising. Go to the affected campaign settings and find the tool under "advanced settings":

Ad group level ad rotation, ad scheduling, location targeting

Bid adjustments for time, date, location and devices have been around for some time and are great ways to optimise your accounts. The problem you can have with AdWords here is that if you discover an ad group performs differently to others or you want to give it its own bid adjustments, you have to separate out that ad group into its own campaign (the only exception being for device targeting). This isn't always a bad thing,- some things need to be kept separate, but for minor differences and when you want to keep a tidy account, this can be a pain.

Bing are making headway on the search scene, offering the flexibility that others can't. With their quick response to feedback and these handy tools, there's no excuse not to start advertising on Bing already!

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