Bing continues to roll out new features that help SEM managers more closely manage their campaigns. We have had complete aesthetic overhauls, updates to Campaign Planner, and new mobile/tablet targeting options. As Google continues to take more and more flexibility and targeting options away from its users, Bing has taken the opposite approach, providing more options for its end user.
Speaking of more flexibility, late last week, Bing introduced new targeting features that provide additional granularity and flexibility for your SEM efforts. With many of Bing’s customers being businesses that serve a specific geographic area or have unique business hours, this update can help boost results and eliminate wasted spend on non-relevant customer.
The more granular SEM managers can get, the better. While you still cannot manage your ad scheduling down to the minute, Bing will now allow you to set up your scheduling based on 15-minute intervals. This type of extra flexibility can be great for small to medium-sized business that have specific hours of operation. For example, if you happen to run a daily lunch special, hoping to target users searching from where to order lunch from, you can now turn this promotion of at 1:15 p.m. vs. 1 p.m. While this is not a ground-breaking feature, the extra granularity can provide certain users a leg up.
ZIP Code Targeting and Exclusion
Within the U.S., Bing Ads users will now be able to target at the ZIP code level. One of the most frequently used targeting options for AdWords, this update should be a greatly appreciated by SEM managers. With targeting options like this, you can have the ability to overlay your SEM efforts to similar ZIP codes you currently target via direct mail or display advertising. Another great factor is that you will also be able to exclude target ZIP codes from within your target audience.
Better Radius Targeting
Radius targeting is frequently utilized by small and medium-sized businesses who provide onsite service and are often only willing to travel within a certain area near their location. Specifically, Bing Ads will now let you target down to one mile or one kilometer. You also will have the ability to combine radius targeting with other targeting options such as city or ZIP code.
Better Backend Data and User Experience
One major update that users will not see if the fact that Bing has invested capital in determining the location of a searcher. In the past, search engines like Google and Bing have leveraged IP addresses of server centers. This often caused users to appear as if they were searching from certain locations while actually in different geographic areas. With the growth of mobile search, it is great to see both engines investing in improving geo-targeting.
You will also notice that the interface for geotargeting has been updated, providing a more seamless experience when dealing with location settings. One of the most frustrating things with Bing’s old setup was having to change campaign targeting one campaign at a time. This process will now be easier to do across multiple campaigns.
What This Means for You
Bing continues to provide more features to SEM managers that can help provide better results. Its main competitor, Google, continues to go in the opposite direction, most recently launching the close variants debacle. All of the new features, targeting, and reporting options are great for the SEM industry, but until their market share rises, budgets will continue to be allocated toward Google.