Bing Shopping UK now in beta testing

November 21st, 2015

Ok, so you’re an ecommerce outfit based in the UK and you’ve already got Google Shopping campaigns set up and working? Yes?

No?? Surely not? Google Shopping campaigns are an absolute must have! If you haven’t set them up give us a call and we’ll manage it all for you - that’s all there is to say on that one. Get it sorted.

Right, well back to what I wanted to talk about and that’s the Bing PPC version of shopping campaigns - yes, it’s been available in the US for a while now, but only recently has it opened up to the UK and Australia.

AdClix Online Marketing is always looking to keep at the forefront of new developments in PPC, so we were keen to get one of our clients Teddy Bear Friends onto Bing Shopping asap. Bing search engine doesn’t get anywhere near the traffic of Google but it’s important to cover all the bases and you don’t want to be missing out on traffic that you would normally expect to come your way with a presence on the UK’s 2nd most important search facility.

Simple stuff really, just re-use the Google Shopping feed and import the campaigns from Google. Done!

Or so we thought. It wasn’t that easy. Funnily enough the campaigns have imported well, but the feed has created some issues. I’ll go through a few of them here:

Firstly, getting set up is not so simple. The interface is different in that Bing doesn’t have a separate merchant center - it’s all part of their Bing Ads system. Is it better? Not so sure. Google does have issues with it’s Google Merchant Center but I like the separation and the ability to check individual product information - something not currently available in Bing.

Bing allows you to re-download the feed as it has imported from your end - it shows how your feed may have caused issues, such as unrecognised / illegal characters, and resulted in products being rejected, but I’d like to see the individual product information in future iterations of Bing Merchant Center.

We finally got the products listed having had a number of issues with speech marks and characters that Google had always allowed. Early on, we realised we had to separate the 2 systems so we now have a separate feed for Bing which is similar to Google but not exactly the same - we didn’t want to break the Google feed that had been working fine for ages. The key was to get it live and then go from there.

So, after many fruitless daily uploads - and the manual ones not seeming to make any difference - we finally got products listed. And I wrote this light-hearted blog post highlighting some of the reasons why a few products had been rejected. Well, everything done then apart from a few rogue issues that over time generally get sorted - similar to brand name issues when uploading Google feeds.

Or so I thought. Now I’ve been searching on Bing to test to see if the product ads are showing and nothing is coming up so thought perhaps it’s a waiting game for Bing to process and get its system working… early days and all that. I’ve tested a number of searches across many different retail product groups and very few are showing product ads anyways, so maybe it wasn’t just me who wasn’t getting shown any product ads.

Hmmm, well, I thought I’d have a quick look to see how many impressions and clicks the ads were getting. Checking in Bing Ads it’s big fat 0s all the way down bar 1 impression! Not good.

So what’s gone wrong? All products rejected, then approved, then rejected! My product descriptions which had been fine, have now been split on commas. What! This is so annoying, I do understand there are always gremlins in any system but I would have thought some of the basic stuff would have been ironed out by now, having been used in the US for some considerable time.

So, just be wary. Get everything done as you would with Google but don’t expect results just yet. I think this one’s going to be a work in progress. Watch this space…

Want to get a Bing Shopping feed but don’t know where to start - let AdClix do the work.

Do You Have a Mobile Friendly Website?

October 16th, 2015

I briefly visited the Business & Technology Show at Aintree on Wednesday and met with Bernard Rose - owner of bernardrosephotography.co.uk who was also on the lookout for new business but in a different sphere.

Bernard was interested in making his website work better on mobile internet technology. Although it’s not an ecommerce website where it is imperative that you are mobile optimised, it is always a good idea if the website is bringing in business that it is optimised as over 50% of traffic is now mobile. A figure that is likely to grow and grow in the near future with the growth of mobile usage amongst young people leading the surge.

The website itself was nothing much to write home about, but being close to it, Bernard was proud of his efforts. Unfortunately the images were slow loading and could easily be optimised to about 20% of their current file sizes. Since speed is becoming a key SEO ranking factor, simple stuff like optimising images is an absolute must to retain good search engine rankings for the future. And speed is definitely more important when viewing on a mobile when you’re out and about, than on a desktop or laptop at home when connected to broadband.

I told him it would likely be possible to retain the essence of his business website with a relatively simple redesign that would allow users to view images and text without zooming and where they could browse more quickly and easily.

What will it cost?

Of course, as with all business decisions it all comes down to cost. What will it cost to convert to a mobile friendly website? Will I get that back and how soon?

However, actually the question should be, and always for business decisions should be, what is the opportunity cost of not converting your website to work on a mobile?. What will it cost you, if you don’t make the change?

Do you need a website redesign to work on mobile. If you’re interested in working with me, get in touch.

FSB Training on Tap at The Hop Vine

July 8th, 2015

FSB Training on TapFSB The Voice
A warm welcome was extended from The Hop Vine in Burscough to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Training on Tap event on 7 July 2015 presented by Kevin O’Sullivan of adclix.co.uk.

Make your website earn money using Pay Per Click online advertising was aimed at business owners in the West Lancashire area and a good turnout filled the pub’s piano bar.

They were coming along to find out the key ingredients to make an advertising campaign work on the major search engines and were given a detailed account on how to:

- Extend your business reach through Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising
- Learn how to Target Customers Better and Lower Your Costs
- Set up campaigns to Get More Clicks for Less Money
- Learn how to Write Ads that will Sell Your Business

A variety of local business types were represented including retailers, computer repair shops, accounting, legal and financial services, property developers, health and education providers, cafe owners and more, all seeking to find how they could utilise Google Adwords to build their business.

As a member of the FSB, AdClix Paid Search Advertising offered its services free of charge for this training event and hopes to run similar sessions in the future. AdClix also offer bespoke training for companies in-house. Contact us to see what we can do for your business.

Get your business started in Google AdWords

July 8th, 2015

Hi from AdClix Paid Search Advertising. I’ll be blogging about Google AdWords and the industry as a whole but what I’m going to do is aim it at the small business community.

Small business owners represent a huge part of the modern workforce and we need them getting listed on the major search engines and at reasonable cost. Too often they don’t have the budget to afford dedicated personnel or to hire a top agency. They’re looking for low-cost solutions but high performance results and we know how difficult that is to obtain.

So in this very short first post, I’m going to give small business owners looking to get started themselves a brief piece of advice. KISS - Keep it Simple Stupid. I first picked up this motto some years ago and whenever I think of a new business or product name, website address, or similar I always run this mantra through my head. If I can’t give a website address over the phone without having to spell it out, i.e. something hyphen else hyphen mis-spelt word . com, then it’s a fail. Our name adclix.co.uk could fall into this category but fortunately it passes as it’s short enough.

So, what do I mean by KISS? Well, what I mean is that as a small business owner you cannot possibly learn all there is to know about Google AdWords - there’s just too much stuff! So, you need to identify 1 or 2 parts of your business that are highly profitable and can be grown while maintaining profits, and focus your efforts on these. Get your website landing pages finely tuned, get your adverts working for you, get your bids and day-parting down to a fine art, and only then once you’ve mastered that little section attempt to expand into the other less profitable areas of your business.

Initially your costs will be high. As a new starter you won’t have any analytics to back your company up and Google will place you lower than your established competitors, plus you’ll make mistakes on the way, all adding to costs. The one upside is that when you do convert your first sales these will at least bring in good revenue, even if you’ve eaten up the profit margins advertising them!

By starting with your top products - and especially those that are unique to you thus minimising direct competition - you should expect reasonable conversion rates from the off. These will feedback good signals, i.e. better click-through rates and conversion rates, to Google, improving your quality score and ad rank. This will in turn lead to you gaining ground on your established competitors, and consequently lower your costs per click, and ultimately lower costs per conversion.

So now you have an account that’s started off on the right foot, you can think about the next part of your business to promote. You may even see new avenues to direct your business that you hadn’t ever considered using the keyword research base you’ve built up. Take a look at the customer search queries during the initial phase (Keywords > Details > Search terms > All) - as well as adding those search queries as [exact match] and placing ones that don’t apply in your -negatives lists, are there any standout areas that you don’t currently do business in but think you could?