Quite a few of my students have been experiencing snags with the Bing PPC ad approval process, so I thought I'd share what my journey was like when I started and maybe this will help others.
Seasoned Bing'ers wont find much of use here, but anyone who hasn't or cant be bothered to read the rather convoluted rules governing Bing ads might get some tips...
Firstly I should tell you that when I first started running Ads on Bing, everything went along well and I got great traffic for a full 3 WEEKS or so before suddenly everything ground to a halt (probably because it can take that long for their approvers to get around to new campaigns). So be warned, just because a new campaign is flying along, it doesn't mean that its all ok and approved!
Also I should say that if your traffic suddenly stops due to an account freeze - its not the end, you can get it unlocked - BUT when you contact support, you wont be directly dealing with the person or persons tasked with approving your account/changes etc, but an intermediary who acts as a go-between. This can make it a long painful process, so its far better to just not get a block in the first place. So with that in mind, here's the do's and don'ts based on my experience when I was a newbie (and I admit - no I didn't read all the rules before I dived in):
1. Display URLs - Those of us with marketing wrinkles and grey hairs will remember a time when we could post ads all over the place with whatever display URL we wanted to match our keywords and products etc. Well, not on this platform! Basically, you don't need to put the entire destination URL in the display but the top level domain that you display must match the top level domain of the FINAL landing site that the punter reaches.
2. Affiliate Links - Now you CAN link directly to an affiliate offer but there are some heavy-duty restrictions (and yes, I know, list-building, I'll come to that later):
Exit Pops from your affiliate offer page - NO. No way, no how, no no no. If your affiliate product doesn't offer a landing page alternative with no exit-pops, ask them to provide one. If they wont go to that short length for you - promote something else in that niche.3. Relevance - this is a bigger deal than it appears at first - I got caught out with this a fair bit when I started and finding out about it from the Bing support guys was like pulling teeth. Basically, there has to be a high degree of relevance across the ad copy, the keywords you're bidding on and the content on the destination page. So if you're chasing a high-converting keyword, its got to be very evident on your sales page. If you chuck hundreds of keywords in your list and they don't have a good visibility in your stuff, they pick you up on it. (IMPORTANT - this can come from adding new keywords that Bing themselves recommend through the 'Opportunities' tab - be warned and be vigilant - keep an eye on them as much as they are keeping an eye on you!)
Auto-play videos - again that's a big no from Bing. Once again, get a non auto-playing version from the product provider or promote their competitor instead if they wont play ball.
N.B. I had quite a few 'good' campaigns in my list when the brakes went on, but if some are falling foul of the rules, all of them get stopped until all of them are meeting the requirements again. Once I had ALL of my ads in shape and approved, the traffic flowed again straight away.
Now as I said, seasoned Bing'ers will be rolling their eyes as I've said nothing that they don't already know, but hopefully this has been of some use to some of you. You CAN make good money on Bing - the competition is lighter than other platforms and you can get really cheap clicks BUT save yourself the pain that others have gone through and stick yourself well and truly within the parameters that they have put there.
(I really don't need to mention that what you SHOULD be doing is sending your Bing clicks to a squeeze page to grow your list and massage their buying bone before they hit the product do I? ..... Good, I didn't think I'd need to mention that )
All the best with your Bing'ing everyone!