Pay-per-click advertising is a great way for small businesses to add an extra dimension to their marketing strategy and gain some substantial wins for what can be a relatively low cost.
Typically this involves immediately going straight to Google AdWords, with not a single thought for any other services or platforms. This isn’t without good reason though, given that in the UK Google commands almost 90% of the search engine market share.
Bing’s influence is slowly growing though, not least because it powers web search on Apple’s Siri, Kindle Fire, Amazon Fire Phone, Xbox, Twitter and many others.
And what is the search landscape like if you’re lucky enough to have business across the pond in the US? Bing makes up an impressive 20% of all online searches in America; Google’s dominance is much less pronounced with an approximate market share of 67%.
So, is your PPC strategy missing a trick by not incorporating Bing Ads alongside Google AdWords?
Here are a few advantages that might help persuade you on the merits of advertising on the perennial ‘search engine underdog’:
As a natural consequence of its smaller market share there are fewer advertisers making use of the platform. This also happens to include some enterprise businesses with massive advertising budgets that on Google can easily price out smaller businesses from some industries and sectors by the sheer amount they can afford to pay for ad position, traffic volume and clicks.
This isn’t anywhere near as prevalent on Bing, meaning that it’s easier to rank higher and gain more attention with a smaller and much more focused budget.
Hand in hand with the above, less competition and higher ad positions also means lower costs. Whilst click-through rates (CTR) on both platforms are relatively similar, the average cost per click (CPC) on Bing can be anywhere between 40% to 70% less than AdWords.
Lowers CPCs and similar CTRs also inevitably leads to a lower cost-per-acquisition (CPA) which ultimately means you’re generating a greater return on investment.
Ease of Use
Anyone who has used Bing Ads already can tell you that the interface mirrors that of Google AdWords very closely. Having familiarity with the latter will mean the transition to the former is a relatively quick and hassle-free process.
Ah, but what about the unenviable task of having to create all of your AdWords campaigns from scratch again? Bing skirts around this obvious problem by also allowing you to directly import your current AdWords campaigns straight into the Bing Ads interface. Plenty of time saved and 100% consistency across both your online advertising platforms = Great success!
Yahoo Bing Network Reach
AdWords is fantastic because your ads are served not just on search engine results but also on a large network of targeted and relevant partner sites.
In this capacity Bing can’t quite match that level of reach given its smaller market share but it has a fairly robust network of its own. Ads showing on Bing are served across the Yahoo Bing Network and this includes some significant heavy-hitters such as Facebook, Amazon, Monster, Viacom and more.
Is Bing Worth Your Time and Money?
In tandem with Google AdWords? Absolutely. In place of Google AdWords? In most instances, no (although I’m sure in the future Microsoft would love to be able to dispute this point!).
There’s no doubt that Google AdWords can deliver some amazing results and currently has the largest market share in both the UK and the US. That said, if you’re not using Bing Ads then you’re missing a big opportunity. An opportunity especially appealing to smaller businesses given the lower levels of competition and reduced costs involved.
If you’re currently using AdWords, try importing a campaign across to Bing Ads and see whether you get a better return or not. You’ll likely find much lower levels of interaction but it’ll also cost you less and might help supplement the equivalent AdWords campaign, rather than replace it entirely.
Ultimately, Google might be the dominant force when it comes to search engines but Bing has a growing market share all of its own just waiting to be discovered. Testing some of your PPC budget on this could very well surprise you and help take your digital strategy up a level or two.