Direct Linking with Bing Ads and Clickbank

DIRECT LINKING WITH BING ADS STILL WORKS

I thought I would do a quick case study about direct linking with Bing to see if it’s workable with a Clickbank product. In any case, does Bing allow direct linking? We shall have to see.

This is not normally how I use Bing Ads and Clickbank. I usually spend a day or two making a basic website around my choice of product and stick an opt-in form in there to gather a few emails.

But I thought I’d give it a go without all that effort. Direct linking with Bing is probably foolish, but when you’ve got an itch, you have to scratch it!

In retrospect, I should have picked a better niche. There were other products that fell into my criteria, but I just went with the first one that popped up and it looked a reasonable challenge.

[alert-announce]All images on this post can be enlarged by clicking on them. Then, if you want to see an even bigger view, look for the ‘expand’ button in the top left of the image.[/alert-announce]

Direct Linking with Bing

The best Bing PPC affiliate marketing strategy would be to write a seriously good review about something you were passionate about.

When you’re brand new to all this and you wonder how to make money with PPC affiliate marketing, the very best way is to use quality content and to not direct link to affiliates websites!

But let’s see how this pans out.

I went over to Clickbank and did a search for a product that had a Gravity of between 5 and 15. This cuts out a lot of competition, and gives me a chance to get some ads in the top places of the Bing search engine…or near the top anyway.

I also set the minimum payment commission of $24. I will be setting this Bing Ads campaign budget to only £20…so if I get a sale, I will nearly get my money back!

housecarers result clickbank

Choose The Right Product When Direct Linking With Bing!

After a quick search I found this product, House Carers. The sales page looks good and the company has been around for 27 years; very rare in this business. I did toy with opening CBengine to find out more about the product but I realise this isn’t going to be one of the best PPC case studies ever seen! So just carried on.

The only thing I didn’t realise, until I’d set everything up, is that it may take time to get payments from this product. If someone clicks on the sales page, they have to sign up to House Carers first and then maybe, just maybe, they might find what they’re looking for and make a payment.

I usually go for the pay quick and run products, not the browsers and tyre kickers! So with this product I could already be on to a loser. Ha! I’m always wiser after the event. But, you never know; this Clickbank PPC strategy might be worth the effort.

In reality though, I went through all the stuff below before I realised my schoolboy error, and couldn’t be arsed to start over again!

So, ignoring that little indiscretion, I then went over to CBGraph to see if this product had a decent trend.

cbgraph house carers

Will I Cloak My Hoplink?

The trend is steady and rising a little…that’s OK. I looked at the refund rate too which was fine. It’s also number one in the travel niche on Clickbank…so it looks OK to carry on.

I then visited the actual sales page to see if there were any auto play videos or exit pop-ups…there weren’t which is great because direct linking with Bing and pop-ups is a big no-no…they don’t allow it.. Some advertisers seem to get away with it but I won’t take the risk.

I went back over to Clickbank and got my Clickbank hoplink. You just click the ‘promote’ button and copy the first link. If I were building a website for this case study, I would have cloaked that link with Pretty Link, but as this is bare bones, I’ll leave it alone.

So, I’ve chosen the product, now I need some keywords for my campaign.

Finding Common Sense Keywords

Now, I tend to not overdo this in any PPC campaign. There was a time when it was extremely important to get all sorts of keywords and you could spend hours doing it. I still do a lot of keyword research, but only for articles that need to rank.

With Bing Ads, or Adwords, you just need the common sense keywords that people are searching for. Ranking isn’t an issue in this case.

When thinking about keywords, I always put myself in the place of someone who is looking for my product. In this case, I would need to find someone who can house sit my home whilst I’m away in the Caribbean for a month or two (if only!)

I would go to a search engine and enter ‘I need a house sitter

So I did just that in both Google and Bing and copied the related search terms found at the bottom of the page in Google and to the right in Bing.

Bing Ads Direct Linking

Good Old Google Keyword Planner!

I then copied them all and headed to the Google Keyword Planner and inputted them for the Big G to search.

With these sorts of campaigns, I always choose to use the Ad Groups tab instead of the Keywords tab. The Ad Groups make it easier to spot relative and selective keywords for my niche subject.

I then ‘Add to Plan’ and once I’ve gathered all the keywords I want I copy them into a text file. I have about 80 keywords to use for my campaign. Sometimes I have as many as 700, other times 20.

Next I go to an online free ‘Remove Duplicate Lines’ tool which can be found here and a great little time saving tool it is! After putting the tool to work, the new list is copied into another text file and I end up with 68 unique keywords in total.

keyword groups

Now I Over-complicate Direct Linking with Bing!

The next bit does not have to be done. It can get little complicated, so please ignore at will if I don’t explain it too well!

Once I’ve got my completed keywords list I use excel to count the number of words and spaces in a string. I do this because I use an text ad title that uses the {keyword} dynamic text feature; it only allows 25 characters. All will become clear later, but in the meantime I head over to Excel.

Remember, you don’t have to do this, but I get a little OCD sometimes!

I copy and paste all my keywords into the first column, then widen the A1 cell so all the words fit nicely. Then, in the B1 cell, I enter the formula =LEN(A1)  -this adds all the spaces and character together and tots them up. I then click and hold the bottom corner of that B1 cell and drag it down so all the cells are highlighted and then un-click. I now have all the total number of spaces and characters of those keywords.

Right click the highlighted cells and sort from ‘smallest to biggest’. This will put them all in order of characters amounts.

I then choose all the keywords that are 25 characters or less and copy them into a blank Word document. I then capitalize each word (not letter) by selecting them and clicking the Aa tab found at the top of the Word interface…and then save.

These newly formatted keywords will be used for my first ad group and will be in the second ad. Again, this will hopefully become clear later.

Phew! End of complicated strategy! You really don’t need to do this; it’s just that I’ve always done it this way…horses for courses and all that!

Back To Normality

After all that malarkey, I go to another free online tool that sets the parameters for all my keywords. It’s called the Jumbo Keyword Tool and can be found here.

Just paste your keywords into the box and click Phrase & Exact. This saves time later when I’m setting up the ads. I don’t use Broad…just “Phrase” and [Exact]

jumbo keywords tool

I will be making 3 Ad Groups in Bing Ads with 2 Text Ads in each group. My own way, of course, you may wish to do it another way.

I now arrange these KW groups as such:

  • First Group will be keywords that have 25 characters or less and stand a better chance to succeed at direct linking with Bing. They make sense.
  • Second Group is a handful of keywords that are over 25 characters and are termed as Long Tail.
  • Third Ad Group – the rest!

Each group will only have 2 text ads to start with. This is mainly for testing purposes and to get the campaign off the ground. I can add or take away ads and keywords as the campaign gains traction (or loses it!)

Now for a bit of spying.

Spying On Your Competitors!

Ispionage is a free or paid tool for spying on other marketers who are using Google and Bing for PPC advertising. I will be using the Free option here…it’s a bit limiting, but I can get some good ideas for my ad copy. Go here for Ispionage and get a free account.

You will be limited by the amount of searches you can do, so just pick a couple of websites to compare for your ad copy and don’t go too crazy!

I want to find what my competitors are doing and saying for basically the same product as I’m promoting. First I searched for the product website homecarers.com and then for a website that is at the top of their game in this niche, trustedhousesitters.com

I copied their more successful ads and reworded them slightly for my own campaign. You can write your own ads, but when you start thinking up ways to describe your product it can get very wearisome! I just pinch these!

As a side note, I noticed that there were two marketers also direct linking with Bing with their huge hoplink there for everyone to see. Maybe this does work then?

So What Have I Done So Far?

  • Researched and picked a product to promote from Clickbank
  • Checked that Direct Linking with Bing was OK (no pop-ups etc.)
  • Chose a bunch of keywords
  • Cleaned them up and hosed them down
  • Managed to confuse you half way through
  • Wrote 6 ads for my campaign (see images later)
  • Saved them all in text files (very very important…don’t lose them!)

Now it’s time to make a Bing Ads campaign

Over I go to to Bing and click the ‘New Campaign’ tab and choose ‘Visits to my website’

I name the campaign, choose a daily budget, set my language and choose the locations I want to target; in this case, UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia…the usual suspects!

bingads vs clickbank Bing Ads Direct Linking

The image was too big to take a screen shot of both the above image and the one below, so here’s the rest of it. It’s quite important because I only want to target people in my targeted locations.

bingads v clickbank

Composing the All Important Ad

Creating the ad is next and this can be very hit and miss. With my ‘serious’ campaigns, I usually spend a lot more time and stringent testing to get this right, but sometimes the ad hits a home run right away, but it’s always best to keep an eye on under-performing ads once they go live.

bingads first ad Bing Ads Direct Linking

Then I have to name my Ad Group name and also enter the keywords for this group. This is where that Jumbo Keyword Tool saved me a heap of time. I just paste the keywords into the box and carry on. I could use Bing’s own keyword suggestions, but I won’t just yet. I’m not convinced they’re the best anyway. (I could be wrong, of course!)

clickbank vs bingads

And now it’s on to the ‘Set Budget‘ section. I always, always start off with £5 a day and set my bids at 0.30. I find this helps gauge where the campaign is going.

Lots of clicks, but no sales = wasted money. I always look at this as putting a ‘stop-loss’ on the budget, much like the Forex traders do to stop them losing all their money.

It will be interesting to see the difference from my own perspective if direct linking with Bing is more expensive than using an alternative landing page?

Bing Ads Direct Linking bingads budgets

Making sure I set bids only to Bing, AOL and Yahoo, I leave the other options alone. I should have used the demographic tab because I’m sure this product is aimed at older, richer people instead of the young and the poor…but I’ll see how it goes. I normally track my keywords too, but decided not to with this case study,

bingads set bids

Direct Linking With Bing – Good To Go!

The campaign has now got its first ad set up and is ready to go!

Now I need to go back in and create another ad using the {keyword} dynamic text option. For some reason, Bing doesn’t allow this option when creating the first ad? Don’t know why?

Basically, the {keyword} dynamic in the title means that when someone searches for House Sitters, that keyword will appear in the title. If they search for House Minders, THAT keyword will appear in the title. And so on.

bingads second ad

Once this ad is done, that completes the 2 ads in the first ad Group. I usually create anything between 3 and 10 ads here, but not today.

I then go through all this again for the two other ad groups I’m adding to the campaign. The only exception is that I won’t be using the {keyword} option again.

Bing Ads only allow 25 characters in the ‘Title’ area, so if I put {keyword} in for all ads, the keywords over 25 characters would show up as literally….{keyword} and that’s no good to anybody!

This is what the 6 ads I created look like when completed. You will see 3 different ad groups with one showing a rogue click. This is unusual because Bing doesn’t really make your ads live until another 24 hours or so.

bingads ads

And below are the 3 ad groups. It also shows that the search bids for every keyword are set at 0.30. This figure will change throughout the campaign as some keywords won’t get to the front page, but most should. This is done manually when your campaign has been live for a while.

bingads ad groups and Bing Ads Direct Linking

After a day or two, Bing will tell me if my bids aren’t high enough for any reason. I will update this throughout the campaign and show images taken about what I’m talking about.

Direct Linking with Bing Case Study Finale

And finally, the big picture for now. The image below shows the campaign is live and I’ve written a blurb about what I’ve done. Clicking any image will enlarge it.

bingads v clickbank overview

Don’t be alarmed by the total clicks for the 11 campaigns in there…the filter was set for the last 3 months. Having nearly 9000 clicks for the day would blow my mind…not to mention the 1k spent!

That’s a basic, and quite unruly, way to set up a direct linking with Bing campaign. This was just done as a case study really and to see if a quick Bing Ads campaign can reap results.

I usually spend 2 or 3 days setting up a website and deeply research the product. But if this can see a result over a week, then the 3 hours it took from start to finish, including screenshots, may have be worth it!

I will update throughout the week with screenshots and conclusions. Alas, I’m not holding my breath for a huge pay day here! This Clickbank PPC case study can only be judged on the results…good or bad!

Tools I  Used For Direct Linking with Bing

(not affiliate links)

Clickbank

CBGraph

Text Mechanic

Ispionage

Jumbo Keyword

Bing Ads

Google Search

Bing Search

Word

Google Planner

Excel

Notepad

Today’s date is Thursday 26th January 2017 and the campaign was stated at around 6pm. I will update the post in a couple of days to see where I am with this product. I admit I didn’t put all my resources into this as I don’t truly believe direct linking with Bing works that well. But I had a spare afternoon and fancied messing around with a case study.

Sad, I know!

Results

Not good! It took only 3 days to deplete the £20 budget with no sales.

The images below can be clicked on and enlarged so you can see what happened.

The are a few glaring reasons that I can figure were wrong with this campaign.

1 – The product was not a good one for PPC
2 – A landing page should have been built
3 – No Opt-in for capturing emails
4 – The Product wasn’t ‘wanted’ enough
5 – More care with choosing keywords

The first image here shows, by far, the ad group ‘House Carer’s 25’s’ was the most popular receiving 87 clicks with a click through rate of 6.34% and a cost per click of 0.22. With a better niche subject, I think there would have been at least a couple of sales.

The ‘Random’ ad group only received 6 clicks with a CTR of 3.49% and 0.19 per click, again, good CTR, but no sales.

The final ad group did diddly-squat!

The ad placements were average at best, but I would certainly have expected at least 1 sale with those figures…I didn’t even get one click that went through the House Carers own funnel!

Bing Ads direct Linking With clickbank
The next image show the ads for this campaign. The first one performed best. This was because the {keyword} ad below was flagged by Bing for using the domain name twice somewhere along the line. This meant the ad wasn’t live for a good few hours.

This has happened before, but I see so many other advertisers do this with their ads and nothing seems to be said about it. I guess you can either get away with it or you can’t. My Bing Ads history over the last 4 years tells me I can’t!

The top two ads both had a decent click through rate of over 5% which is fine.

direct linking with bing ads and clickbank
The 3rd image below are the keywords that were clicked on the most.

This tells me the people clicking on the ads were after jobs to house sit, and not people looking to employ house sitters. I should’ve probably realized that before choosing the product and compiling the ads as well as going a little deeper keyword selection.

Notice all the top performing keywords came from the first ’25’s’ ad groups.

Bing Ads Keywords For Clickbank Product
The final image is the most disappointing one!

The Clickbank image shows there were ’77 hops’ (87 according to Bing?) onto the direct linked page, but nothing else. I can only imagine either the home page for that site just doesn’t convert, or, and I hope this is the real reason, people have signed up and will eventually employ a house sitter. There is a 90 day cookie included in the link, so maybe there may be a sale soon?

Clickbank hop link when direct linking with bing
All images can be enlarged when clicked on.

So Does Direct Linking With Bing Ads Work?

Not in this case, no.

Looking back, it was rather a rushed case study and I should have put more time into it, especially when picking the Clickbank product.

With the CTR’s I would have thought a better, more dramatic, product would have reaped a couple of sales. Perhaps a remedy of some sort, but not weight loss.

Weight loss products are crazy competitive, so I think the revenue would have been eaten up with having to bid higher to get a decent ad placement.

When I get another spare afternoon or whole day, I will have another go and put a bit more effort into it!

The case study tells me that although direct linking with Bing ads didn’t work for this product, there’s no reason it wouldn’t work for a better, more in demand, product.

I should perhaps try a skin problem, itching ailment or blushing dilemma! But in the meantime, I’ll carry on building a landing page first with an opt-in form….between 77 and 87 clicks were wasted and no email addresses captured!

Tut-tut!

 

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11 thoughts on “Direct Linking with Bing Ads and Clickbank”

  1. I enjoy reading the failed case study too, it’s an important part of the journey. Awesome that you posted it.

    Everyone wants to direct link with CB right away because it’s easiest, but putting even a little bit of effort into building landing pages and/or lists can product so much better results. Though it does seem that not everyone does or needs to do that.

    Great post anyway,

    Cheers!

  2. Yep that’s about 20 minutes of my life absolutely waayese!!! Truly a bad case study due to a lack of results. If I want to see a failed ppc campaign I’ll just look at my own history…pointless, doesn’t givee much hope you know what you are doing. Disappointed.

    • I like to post failures too, Michael. In this case study I chose the wrong product, it’s all about trial and error and losing 20 quid to find out this niche failed with Bing Ads was worth it. I just move on until a campaign shows profit. *Hint – the Self Help niche.

    • Cheers…although I didn’t spend over 1k on ads for this particular case study, that 1k was for the other 10 campaigns I had running at the same time. I only spent around £20 on this case study and it turned out to be a bit of a stinker! Still, that’s why we test stuff.

  3. Very informative case study Gaz. Thank you. I struggle with getting decent results from Bing ads so I enjoyed reading about your approach.

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