Bing Ads for Mac Users: A Survival Guide

bing-b-logo-1200.jpg-900x506By now it’s no secret that managing a Bing Ads account on a Mac isn’t the easiest thing in the world. For years now, a section of the PPC industry has been emphatically asking for a desktop editor for Bing Ads that’s compatible with Mac. With more than double the votes of the next suggestion, it’s obvious this is a fiercely desired tool. Despite Bing’s work to listen to advertiser suggestions to improve their platform, it’s clear there’s a bit more going on here than simple compatibility issues.

With no end in sight, it’s become obvious that to be a Mac user and manage your Bing Ads account, you’re going to have to stop holding your breath for a desktop editor. With that in mind, I want so share my best tips for managing Bing Ads without the use of an editor.

Google AdWords Import Function

No editor for Bing? Fine. I’ll take advantage of the editor I have been given access to. Whenever I’m looking to build new campaigns, import new keywords, or even start an account from scratch in both channels (Google and Bing), I always start by building my campaigns efficiently in AdWords Editor, then uploading them into Bing using the Google Import function.

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The step-by step-process is very simple and easy to follow. For new account pieces, I highly recommend using this function. That being said, there are some hiccups and best practices to keep in mind. Some of these pieces are intermittent problems, others are consistent, so it’s very important you always review your imported changes before setting them live.

Network Targeting Hiccup

On more than one occasion of importing campaigns from Google, I’ve found that my Search Network only campaigns will be set to Search and Content networks in Bing Ads. Unfortunately, this is not something you can review during the import process so it’s imperative you run through the high level settings of your newly imported campaigns once they’re finished. Even more of a headache, this targeting option (while it lives at the campaign level in Google) lives at the ad group level in Bing Ads, so depending on your number of ad groups, you could be in for a large number of changes immediately after import.

Location Targeting Hiccup

For some reason, some locations aren’t communicated well from Google to Bing. Even more unfortunate is that when this happens, the targeted location in Bing is defaulted to All Locations. So, you know, the whole world. Luckily, this setting is managed at the campaign level so it can be adjusted with more speed than the network targeting issue, but it’s still something to be aware of so you don’t blow through your entire budget in an hour.

Best Practice

Although the Google import function has settings to import New or Updated changes to your account, it’s usually not a best practice to use this function to simply keep your Bing Ads account in lockstep with your Google account. Each channel has very different audiences and can perform very differently. I would suggest using the import feature to bring in new builds, but then optimize your accounts separately off their own performance data.

Import From File

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Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 8.01.49 AMThe second option in the Import Campaigns tab is “Import from file.” Although you can import new builds in this fashion, I’ve found this feature is best used for bulk management of your current Bing campaigns. Simply filter your Bing Ads interface view to show what you’re wanting to update, (keywords, ad copy, etc.) then export to a file.

From there, you can easily make your changes in the file and then reimport them using the Import from file function. This is helpful for adjusting bids, pausing or activating large groups of keywords, and updating large scale ad copy tests.

For updating existing ads, it’s important you keep the Ad ID column saved in your file so the platform knows you want to update the ad with that ID number. You can also easily delete that column to allow you to import a brand new set of ads into those campaigns/ad groups. I loved this for updating promos during holiday season. I simply filtered for the old promo, exported the selected ads to a file, deleted the Ad ID column, changed my promos, then re-uploaded.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 8.05.50 AM*Note: If you’re having trouble uploading your changes from file, try saving the doc as a Windows Comma Separated file type then try again. Hat tip to Kirk Williams on this one.*

Make Friends

Whether it’s your new junior employee, a coworker, or a family friend who has a PC you can occasionally borrow, sometimes it might just be easier to have someone else make your large scale changes in the account. Unless you come armed with some sort of gift certificate, I wouldn’t suggest using these people all the time, but in a crunch, they can really help out.

Additionally, don’t be hesitant to take advantage of your Bing Ads rep. I’ve found nearly all Bing Ads reps are more than happy to help once they realize the position us Mac users are in, and they can get changes taken care of quicker than most people. Again, I only really suggest using these guys in big situations (finding all your campaigns are set to target Search & Content networks, etc.) but I’ve always had a good experience asking for their help.

How do you best manage your Bing Ads account while also using a Mac? Share with us in the comments!