Once you have your Google paid search strategy in place, you can wipe your hands on your pants and call it a day, right? Not quite. Google Ads is going to be a big part of any paid search strategy, but they are far from the only game in town. Microsoft’s Bing is the #2 search engine, grabbing about 24 percent (34 when you include Yahoo/Gemini) of the desktop search market share. If you are neglecting Bing Ads, you are missing out on the eyeballs of about 500 million users conducting over 6 billion searches per month.
If your PPC strategy is Google-only, you’re probably leaving money on the table. Here are a few reasons why you might need to give Bing another look.
Bing Ads Audiences are Different than Google’s
It’s easy to assume that a search engine is a search engine. But think for a second—how many search engines do you use? Besides those that switch to DuckDuckGo to evade the tracking bots for more, uh, interesting searches, most of us are pretty loyal to one search platform. “Most searchers do not switch search engines, so the ones you reach through Bing/Yahoo are unique from the audience on Google,” said Hanapin Marketing Account Manager Stephanie White. “So, if you are advertising on both engines you have the opportunity to reach the greatest number of unique searchers.”
Since Bing is the default search engine on Microsoft-powered PCs, you would assume that less advanced users who are unlikely to go around changing default settings are going to make up the bulk of Bing users. This is probably a safe assumption, but this doesn’t mean that they are less valuable customers than you reach through Google.
According to Microsoft, Bing users are indeed older, with over 70 percent between 35-65 years of age. But they are also more affluent and tend to spend more money online than their Google counterparts. A full third of the Bing audience has a $100K+ household income, and its users spend on average 22 percent more than the average internet searcher. On top of that, Microsoft claims that there’s at least 66 million users that you just won’t reach on Google at all.
Bing Can Have Lower CPCs with Bigger Returns on Ad Spend
It’s no secret that Google CPCs aren’t getting any lower. Ever increasing competitiveness for search terms mean higher prices, and that isn’t likely to change much. While you are attracting a different audience with Bing, you will also welcome significantly lower CPCs on competitive search terms. And we’re not talking peanuts here—the average cost-per-click on Bing Ads can be up to 70 percent lower than AdWords. According to a Search Engine People study, in the automotive industry, Bing CPCs were 32.5 percent lower than Google, and in the insurance industry, that number jumps to 59 percent.
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Thankfully, this isn’t one of those “you get what you pay for” situations, either. In an account example cited by Hanapin Marketing where the total spend in Bing made up 12% of the total ad spend for the year, the resulting ROAS were significantly higher in Bing at 487% compared to Google at 334%.
Bing isn’t Just Bing
When you advertise on Bing, you’re getting a three-fer: your ads also appear on Yahoo and AOL ad networks. This opens up your campaigns to searchers across all Bing, Yahoo, and AOL owned and operated sites, as well all their partner sites like Amazon, Wall Street Journal, CBS Interactive, and more when you opt-in to syndicated search. Of course, you can advertise on the same Google partner sites when you use Google Ads, so this isn’t exactly unique, but again, by reaching out to Yahoo and AOL, you are going to be able to net audiences that do not use Google search. If your customer demographic tends to be older and less tech savvy, you absolutely need to take advantage of this.
It’s Easy to Use with Google Ads
If you already use Google Ads (which, if you are a living, breathing digital marketer, you are) it’s pretty simple to ramp up with Bing. Bing Ads allows you to import existing campaigns directly from Google Ads. And Automated Imports to enable you to synchronize Google campaigns with their Bing counterparts on a recurring basis.
And that brings us to the final point: these are all great reasons to use Bing Ads, but it won’t and can’t replace advertising with Google. With a solid 64 percent of the search market under its enormous wings, you’re going to reach most of your customers advertising with the Big G. But that’s no reason to miss out on huge opportunity and untapped audiences waiting for you on Bing, too.