Last week Bing announced the release of the Bing Ads Campaign Planner. The apparent intent of this new feature is to help businesses kick-start their paid search campaigns through free, easily accessible keyword research data. The typical model for keyword research involves suggestions based on a list you provide or a link to your landing page. The Campaign Planner approaches the process from the other side, providing a list of verticals you can dig into for keyword ideas.
The interface is very straightforward, with a search bar and list of verticals along the left-hand side to get you started. Once you’ve searched for or drilled down to your desired vertical, you’ll be presented with summary data for the vertical. If you’ve chosen a particularly broad vertical, you’ll also get a list of products that you can use to get even more granular data.
Once you’ve reached the deepest level available, you’ll have the option of looking at further data, including information on competitors and individual keywords.
This is valuable information for advertisers, and is usually something you’d find from a third party vendor. You can export any of these reports or save the product categories as favorites to build a research portfolio. Having a list of high-traffic keywords at the ready will help jump start any paid search campaign, so this is a great tool for advertisers that are just starting out. It can also be helpful for existing advertisers who need to keep tabs on performance and shifting demand in the search landscape.
The Campaign Planner is an excellent place to start building your search campaigns, but you’ll need to keep a few things in mind when using it. As far as I can tell, there’s no link between the planner and the Bing Ads interface, so you’ll have to manually export the suggestions and create campaigns from them. The exported data also doesn’t include the parent product or vertical, so you’ll have to make sure you keep tabs on where your keyword list came from if you’re trying to organize your campaigns that way.
You’ll also need to consider that this data is freely available to all advertisers, so it’s quite likely that a keyword’s inclusion in this research will result in more competition on the results page. This is great for Bing, but it might not be so great for advertisers that are fighting for position.
You also can’t change the time scope for the reporting. The charts include data from the last six months, so you won’t be able to use them to perform analysis for longer term seasonality or year-over year data. The detailed results appear to only provide data from a week prior, so you won’t be able to rely on it being more comprehensive for research.
Those drawbacks aside, this is an excellent (and free) tool that should help both new and existing advertisers find ways to make the most of their search campaigns.