Bing Ads – Are they worth it?

Many seem to forget that Google AdWords is not the only available Search Ads Platform out there. But very few advertisers actually market products or services on Bing Ads, for various reasons. In this post, we look at benefits and disadvantages of Microsoft Ad Platform and provide you with the final answer: are Bing Ads worth it? Read on…

Google AdWords are enjoying such a dominant position in the Search world (70% in USA, up to 90% in Australia!), it’s no wonder why advertisers pray its reach: after all, you’d better fish where the fish are!

There are however many advantages in looking for alternatives or complements. Is Bing one of them? How could advertising on Bing be profitable, how could we maximise its potential?

Smaller market… but a market still

In certain countries, the market share of Bing as a Search Provider is pretty thin. However, you have to take the Bing/Yahoo partnership in consideration: Yahoo being part of the Bing Ads network, when advertising with Bing, you’re advertising on Yahoo as well – and this now becomes interesting. During the last quarter of 2014, Yahoo/Bing saw its highest US paid search market share since the Search Alliance was formed back in 2008: the alliance now enjoys a 26% market share, compared with Google’s 74%.

Who would throw away one fourth of its potential reach?

On top of that, not everyone uses Google. There are millions of individual users not using Google at all. Millions relying on Bing or Yahoo for their everyday answers; whether because they use Internet Explorer as their default browser (yes, seriously) or are avid Yahoo users. Even better: in November 2014, Firefox changed their default Search Engine from Google to Yahoo which led to Yahoo increase their own Search Market share by 50%. 50%!

Better campaign results than AdWords overall

Many professionals have compared campaign results on both platforms and their conclusions are as follows: generally speaking, Bing Ads campaigns enjoy

  • Cheaper clicks
  • Higher Click Through Rate

Than on their Google counterpart. This is mostly due to the lesser competition (see below) but still – those metrics have been consistently better on Bing Ads. That in itself is worth having a good look at said platform.

Lesser competition

Enraged by the number of competitors stealing your lunch on AdWords? Coveting the same top spots? Targeting the same demographics? You would not be surprised that due to its current scale, Bing Ads enjoys lesser competition for most ad positions. Plain and simple: your competition is simply not advertising there! Why would you not take this opportunity to run a campaign at a smaller scale? Or even better, run real life tests and experiments to complement your current AdWords marketing efforts?

Transitioning from AdWords to Bing Ads

Bing offers a pretty comprehensive import functionality allowing you to upload your existing campaign directly into its tool. This should make the whole transition process easier. Their support team also has very good press when it comes to being available on Twitter and answering questions – something any Paid Search professional appreciates.

Specific Bing Ads features

Bing Ads being a different platform than Google AdWords, it obviously does Paid Search differently. There are specific features Bing offers that its competitors don’t. Things like:

  • Tablet bid modifiers: willing to bid differently on tablet users? Can do.
  • A choice of local or toll free phone numbers in call extensions. This has only been implemented in May 2015 by Google AdWords but had been offered by Bing for a while.
  • Skype logo on call extensions. This could seem like a gadget but it is a pretty interesting option, actually. Think about your prospects being on Skype and getting in touch immediately…
  • Twitter followers as a social extension. We all love Google+ dearly but, that being said, listing your number of Twitter followers on your ads can have a pretty good impact on a prospect’s willingness to click.
  • Ad annotations. Many options are available, from ratings to favicon, to enhance the visibility of your paid listing.
  • Ad group level settings and configuration such as geographical targeting and ad scheduling, making it more controllable.
  • Exclude search partners one by one. Yes – one by one. Do you prefer not to display your ads on a particular platform? It’s possible.
  • Demographics targeting. Do you love granular targeting and bidding? Imagine controlling which gender and age demographics see your search ads. Increase bids on your most profitable demographics on the spot for enhanced visibility and return. Even better: demographic targeting within Bing Ads can be controlled at either the campaign or ad group level.
  • Set up a monthly budget. Not daily, but monthly.

 

Obviously, all Paid Search platforms are different and competition is a good thing as it allows for great upgrades, new tools and reporting features. Google AdWords enjoys a dominant position in Search and it’s safe to say your audience is looking for your products and services on Google, right now. But – do you know how many prospects are ‘Binging’ you at this very moment?

Are Bing Ads worth it? Yes, they are. They are worth taking the time to explore, test out and experiment with. They are worth advertising on to reach for another audience, one you might well have never tapped on before; even better, one your competition might never have tapped on before.

Should you wish to invest time and effort in Bing Ads, please have a chat with us. We would be more than happy to assist you in getting the most out of this platform and attain your goals.

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