Bing Product Ads {facepalm} Not Exactly Like AdWords Product Ads

By Scott Garrett | May 29, 2014
More Articles by Scott

Bing Ads is not Google AdWords. Bing Ads will never be Google AdWords. When it comes to ease of use and features available to advertisers, Google AdWords is the latest smartphone while Bing is a flip-phone. That being said, Bing Ads still represents a great opportunity for advertisers to run ads on a platform that to my experience has lower competition, lower CPC, and sometimes higher ROI than AdWords. I mean, Bing might be a flip-phone, but Jack Bauer still saved the country in  24 hours with only a flip-phone.

Jack Bauer on Bing Product Ads


Before I get even more sidetracked, let me say that this post was originally supposed to be about my initial reactions to the performance of Bing Product Ads, which were released out of beta in late March. I would have loved to tell you that compared to PLAs (product listing ads), now Shopping campaigns, on AdWords that Bing Product Ads have lower CPC and higher ROI. Unfortunately, I cannot say that, as I am still waiting to launch Bing Product Ads.

For your reference here are what product ads (highlighted in red box) look like on Bing:

Bing Product Ads

As you can see these ads contain the products’ titles, prices, and lovely images. This is great, as it makes the ad stand out much more on the search results page compared to a standard text ad, leading to a higher clickthrough rate (CTR) and often lower CPC. Therefore, if your ecommerce store runs PPC ads using product ads on search engines, this is a no-brainer. Ecommerce clients of mine have seen fantastic results when it comes to implementing a new PPC advertising strategy that involves using these rich product ads.

The Issue

I am still waiting to launch Bing Product Ads because of technical reasons that in my opinion should not exist. The hold-up is due to errors that I encounter when I try to upload a client’s product catalogue feed (list of all the products that you want to advertise via product ads and their given attributes such as: title, price, description, and product image) to Bing Ads via Bing’s Merchant Center. Currently, my client’s product catalogue is optimized for the Google Merchant Center, which feeds into Google AdWords to create product listing ads on Google search. Unfortunately, Bing’s Merchant Center has different requirements when it comes to the technical aspects of the product feed that is forcing me and my client to create a separate product catalogue just for Bing’s merchant center. This process can be quite time-consuming when your catalogue contains thousands or tens of thousands of products.

We of course had go through this exercise of creating a product catalogue for Google, but one would think that since Google’s PLAs have been running for almost a year, that Bing (newer to the paid listing ads game) would just copy Google’s catalogue requirements to make the transition as seamless as possible. I say that, because most advertisers view Bing Ads as supplemental to AdWords and not in place of. Therefore, Bing Ads should assume that advertisers running PLAs on AdWords would more or less be their target audience for running product ads on Bing. To Bing’s credit, though, they did come out with some great material on their website to make creating product ads look quite easy, but as you have already read, my experience has been quite different.

Be Nice Now

Picard on Bing Product AdsI hope I am not coming across as too critical of Bing, but sometimes I just sit back and ask, “Why Bing {facepalm}?” I do look forward to the day that I will launch my client’s product ads on Bing, and though I am certain they will not bring in the volume of sales that Google’s PLAs do, I am sure they will still prove to be quite profitable.

What has your experience been with Bing Product Ads? Comment below and follow me @ScottGarrett89.

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