As the old idiom goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Considering the limited number of words you can use in your online ads, the ability to add in a picture is a pretty big deal. Bing seems to agree and they’ve now given advertisers the opportunity to attach images to their ads in the form of “Image Extensions”.
Why Add Images?
Adding an image to your ad will enable you to capture more attention from potential visitors, give them a better idea of what to expect when they visit your site, and expand the overall size of your ads on the search results page. More attention means more potential for traffic, and better user perception means a potentially more informed user that may be more likely to convert.
In addition to the visual impact, these images can also be used to convey discounts or special offers that might get lost as a user breezes past a text ad.
Create Your Image Extension
Creating these extensions is actually quite easy once you have one prepared to Bing’s specifications. First, you’ll want to navigate to a campaign or ad group within your Bing Ads account. Once there, you’ll click the “Ad Extensions” tab.
Click the “View” dropdown and select “Image Extensions”.
Once you’ve reached the image extensions page, clicking “Create Ad extension” will open up the interface that allows you to create and apply the extensions for your ads. At first, the interface will be empty because you haven’t created any extensions yet. You can fix that by clicking “+Create new Image Extension”.
You’ll be able to add display text to your image (which will appear when a user hovers their mouse over the image), specify a description, and even set a custom destination URL.
After you’ve created the extension, you can add it to your ads at either the campaign or the ad group level.
Follow The Rules
It is, of course, in Bing’s best interest to avoid turning their result pages into a confusing mess of irrelevant or questionable images. As such, they’ve provided a handy (and lengthy) set of policies. Some of these policies are subject to editorial whims, such as the restriction on using “images, wording or phrases included solely to generate user’s attention and increase click through”. Others are much more clear-cut, such as the clear prohibition on animated GIFs. Familiarizing yourself with the rules should help you avoid the frustration of having your image extensions rejected.
As with all ad enhancements, your mileage may vary. If you decide to take advantage of image extensions, track your results and keep optimizing to make sure you’re getting the most out of your online ads.