Bing Ads Offers 2 Types of Scheduling for Ad Extensions
Many digital marketers look at Bing Ads as the ugly stepsister of Google AdWords. The discussion of Bing vs Google ads, which platform is better, and what benefits each platform has, has been going on for years. The only thing everyone seems to agree on is that Bing is slightly behind Google when it comes to rolling out new features.
However, with Bing’s new addition of time scheduling for ad extensions, they may have offered something that Google can learn from. Although Google AdWords offers ad extension scheduling right now, they don’t offer customization by users time zones that Bing recently introduced.
Ad Extension Scheduling: What is it?
Something that many digital marketers overlook is the scheduling feature of ad extensions. We all know you can set up certain campaigns to turn on and off based on the dates in AdWords and Bing. But did you know you can do the same thing for ad extensions? And that with ad extension scheduling you not only have the option to choose the hours that your extensions show, but also the dates that each extension will run?
Imagine that if you’re having a huge sale on your website and you want everyone who sees any of your search ads to know about it. You can now let customers know through the addition of a “sitelink” or “callout” extension. Using extensions to notify users of new sales or deals is a great way to avoid dragging down your account’s quality scores with the addition of entirely new campaigns that only run for a small amount of time. This allows the introduction of 1-day sales or promo codes that only work for a few days.
For those of you who are thinking to yourself, what language is this chick speaking right now? Follow these links to learn all about ad extensions and all the variations offered:
Got it, but that’s old news. What’s changing?
Times. Times are a changin’. But really, Bing is now offering digital marketers two choices on times for ad extension scheduling. We now have the choice to show ad extensions on a time schedule based on the account settings or on the user’s time zone.
As it stands now, within AdWords, ad extension scheduling is set based of the account’s location time zone, which can be found in the account’s settings under preferences. In other words, a call extension set up in AdWords to run during your store hours of 8 AM to 5 PM EST would actually be running 7 AM to 4 PM CT and 5 AM – 3 PM PT. Assuming this campaign’s purpose is to get people to call your store with only one location that takes calls, then this is exactly what you want. Although the hours are wonky for those living in the Central or Pacific time zones, calling outside of those times would result in no one being at your office to answer the phone. So it’s no big deal that all your ads are molded to the store locations time zone.
Up until recently Bing ran all of its ad extensions in the user’s time zone. This meant that a call extension set up from 8 am to 5 pm EST would run 8 AM to 5 PM in CT, PT, and MT as well. Unfortunately, this would cause problems since your store is only in one location within the EST time zone.
However, unlike AdWords which only has one option for ad and ad extension scheduling, Bing is allowing the choice to run ads and extensions based off the account location, or to run ads based on the time zone each user is in, which is the default setting within Bing Ads.
Do You Have Any Examples to Put That Into Context?
Of course! Let’s say you are a national chain with store locations that are open from 8am-10pm across the country. In this case you are going to want Bing showing “Store Locator” or even “Call” extensions in the user’s time zone. In this case you would keep Bing’s automatic settings as they are.
On the other hand, what if you are a small, locally owned clothing boutique that has a national campaign running? As a small boutique your company doesn’t use a 3rd party call center and you aren’t hiring employees to work around the clock answering customers questions via phone calls while the rest of your neighborhood is sleeping. If this is the case, you want to choose the times that correlate with your account settings, not the users. For AdWords extensions this would be the default scheduling. Within Bing, you would want to select the “Location of your account” option when setting up the days and hours to run your call extensions.
For a bigger picture example let’s look at something that affects many ecommerce stores such as sales. Sales surrounding holidays, 1-Day flash sales, etc. typically end at midnight in the user’s timezone. For these types of sales, being able to reach users with a Bing Campaign that is set up nationally is awesome because rather than setting up 4 different campaigns for the US timezones, Bing automatically adjusts the time zone to the users time. Even better news, now you also have the option to promote this sale as a “sitelink” or “call-out” extension on all of the national campaigns in your account! You can select the exact times and the exact dates you want all of your extensions to run ahead of time.
There are benefits and drawbacks to each of these time zone settings. Depending on your business you may be more aligned with one method of time for ad scheduling as compared to the other. The good news is, with Bing you now have the option to choose!
Go ahead and exercise your right to pick the time zone. Hopefully Google AdWords will begin offering additional time zone targeting choices as well. If you have a client call and your client tells you about a special flash sale they are going to run 2 months from now, jump into Bing and set up your extensions before you forget and while you have free time. Make sure you pick the start and end dates as well as the target hours by user’s location. All of these new settings will make your life so much easier.
If you don’t have a use for ad scheduling extensions now, just put all this new knowledge on the back burner and pull it out again when you start working on an account in the future where time zone changes do matter.