How to track Bing ads in Google Analytics

March 24, 2014

The SEA guys say, that you will reach more potential customers when you target both Google and Bing. This is right. But if you have ever set up a Bing Ads campaign, you may have asked yourself if it’s worth the struggle. Bing Ads does not only have a bad user interface (see how much Google pampers us) but also tracking these ads with Google Analytics is not possible. Bing ads are registered as organic traffic. But there is a possibility to handle this problem.

Bizible Auto Tagger

BBizible has built an auto tagger for bing ads.

Google is still the almighty boss in SEA stuff. Nevertheless there are some users – especially in the English speeking countries – who put their faith in Bing. So it’s a matter of market coverage to set up online campaigns for both search engines. When we started SoftwareDEMO advertisement in Great Britain, we felt the neccessity to do it excactly this way.

Analytics tracks Bing Ads as organic traffic

And this is where I started hating Bing Ads. The worst issue besides the ugly and non-functional interface is the fact that Bing Ads do not have a tracking code. This means your analytics – no matter whether it is Google, Piwik or whatever – does track Bing Ads as organic serch hits. This is of cours devastating for your campaign management. I fixed this problem using two approaches:

Approach 1: Manual tracking with Google URL builder

Googles URL Builder is an easy and reliable tool to track landing pages with indivdual link parameters. The only thing you have to do is define theres parameters:

  • utm_source: Points out the source of your tracked page visit, i.e. “bing”.
  • utm_medium: Medium says which advertising the click comes form, i.e. “cpc”.
  • utm_term: Use the parameter “{keyword}”  so you will hand the search term also to analytics which caused the click.
  • utm_campaign: Generates a campaign in the Analytics Campaigns view which helps to differ bigger campaigns, use i.e. “Bing+CPC” .

With this setup your deeplink will look like this:

http://www.mysite.com/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term={keyword}&utm_campaign=Bing+CPC

Setting up these links manually will cost you a lot of time which you could be spending in the sun eating some chocolate ice cream. But you can also track each single deeplink of your campaign individually. For bigger campaigns I found a tiny but fine tool.

Tool zur URL-Erstellung

The Google URL Generator is ideal for small campaigns.

Approach 2: Auto tagging with bizible tool

Microsoft has not yet published any tool to fix this so it was up to the users. Bizible provides a Bing Ads Auto-Tagger. After you filled out the registration you connect to your Bing accound and change all urls in a bulk action or individually. So you can set up a million of links with just one single click. Great!

Auto-Tagger designed very well and speaks for itself. Changes take you less than five minutes. Bizible assure that access is only possible via SSL – mind that you grant them access to your Bing account. This is the only reason you might change links manually.

Bizible

The user interface of Bing Ads Auto-Tagger is simple but nice.

Conclusion:

To set up small Bing campaigns the effort of linking manually is acceptable. If you have bigger campaigns use the Auto-Tagger.

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