Bing PLAs: Are You Sure You Want to Do This?
Published: July 30, 2014
Author: Carson Van Gelder
Before you dive into the process of setting up Bing PLAs, make yourself a cup of coffee. Seriously, this might take a few attempts to get right, but if you’ve worked with Bing in the past then you already know what to expect.
In this blog, I’ll show you how to get your Bing PLAs up and running, and a few hacks for better optimization.
In order to create a Bing PLA campaign, you’ll have to create the following:
– Bing Ads Account (If you don’t already have one)
– Bing Merchant Center (BMC) account
– Site Verification/BMC Store
– Store Catalog(s), a.k.a. product feed
1) If you already have a Bing Ads account but haven’t already created a Microsoft account, you’ll need to do this in order to create a Bing product ad campaign. Bing will require all users to log in to Bing Ads with a Microsoft account by the end of the year, and they will sunset the option of using a Bing Ads account. You can start this process by clicking on this link and entering your existing Bing Ads user name.
2) Now that you’ve set up your Microsoft account, you’ll need to create a BMC store, which is done through the Bing Webmaster Tools. Click the ‘sign in’ button and enter your Microsoft account info on the next page. Once signed in using your Microsoft account, you’ll need to enter your store’s domain in the text field under “My Sites” and click the ‘ADD’ button.
3) Next you’ll need to provide your domain details and click the ‘ADD’ button. You’ll then be directed to a page to verify domain ownership. This can be done by one of three ways (I found option 2 to be easiest):
1. XML file authentication
2. Meta tag authentication
3. Add CNAME record to DNS
4) Now we’re ready to start the process of creating a product ad campaign, but first we’ll need to create a BMC store. At the campaign level, click on, ‘Create campaign,’ and then on the ‘Product ad campaign’ button.
You’ll then be told that in order to create a product ad campaign, you need to create a store, and then create a catalog. Click on the ‘Create a store’ button.
On the next page, you’ll need to enter your store name, the destination URL, and a store description. Note: The store name cannot be changed later and it will appear in the ads, so be sure to pay close attention. Finally, be sure to click on the ‘Products Ad’ button, and then click ‘finish.’
Now on to creating a new catalog and uploading your product feed. Click on the Catalog Management tab and then click on the ‘create catalog’ button. Fill in the fields with the appropriate information and click on ‘Upload catalog file using a FTP account.’
You’ll need to create a FTP account in order to upload a file larger than 4MB. After you’ve been verified, you’ll be able to upload a file by clicking on the ‘choose file’ button.
Below are the required fields for your product feed. You can add additional fields, and I’ve included a link at the bottom of this post with those fields as well as a comprehensive step-by-step Bing Product Ad setup if you run into trouble.
Be sure to put the most important, distinguishable information about a product on the far left (beginning) of the title of the product. This is how Bing distinguishes between showing one product or another. Also, be sure to save the file as a txt delimited file; it’s the only format Bing allows for product feed upload.
All in all, Bing doesn’t make it easy to set up product ads. This is a good and bad thing: bad for the lazy and good because fewer of your competitors are doing it. Hopefully this helps with the initial setup but if not, here is the link for the step by step tutorial published by Bing. Enjoy, and make another pot of coffee.