Although Bing hasn't quite reached the status of verb the way that Google has managed to do, this underrated search engine is an excellent way to tap into a new demographic of buyers. The Bing network is owned by corporate giant Microsoft, and one of the biggest benefits of this is the ability for your ads to be seen across the three main search engines - Bing, AOL and Yahoo.
We've been working with a client within the retirement industry to get their advertising in front of the right audience using Bing. Thanks to our insider expertise, advertising on Bing has lowered their CPC and achieved consistently increased impressions shares' over a ten-month period. Our PPC teams' strategy has helped them reach their goals while keeping cost in check and deriving valuable, tangible results.
Before we get started, it's important to note that ALL traffic and leads have been for non-branded keywords. This is crucial as it shows how generic terms and keywords can have a tremendous return when used correctly. The data we used during our analysis has been gathered from Google Ads and Bing interfaces.
Are we paying enough attention to Bing?
Although Bing isn't the automatic choice a user may turn to when searching for a product or service, we can't ignore the fact that Windows PCs make up roughly 90% of new computer sales. Why is this relevant? Microsoft Edge and Bing are set as the default browser and search engine for each of these new PC sales - opening doors to drive traffic and sales directly to your website by simply being present in the space a user is in.
Users are not inclined to go through the rigmarole of changing or updating their PC settings to use other browsers. The Bing user demographic is perhaps also less inclined to be as tech-savvy- but they still need your products and services. This leads us to understand the demographic of Bing users is typically more affluent due to a higher age- and income-bracket, and they are therefore more easily persuaded by the right ad.
The amount you pay on cost per click is based on an auction - the same within Google AdWords and Bing. The lower the competition - the lower the price. We've seen instances where identical campaigns were run on Google and Bing, with the cost per click (CPC) being cut by nearly half on Bing. This can all add up to result in a greatly reduced cost per lead.
Digital marketers are simply not paying Bing the attention it so richly deserves. The more we understand about tapping into this gold mine, the better results our clients can serve through paid advertising.
By complementing our Google Ads with Bing ads in this particular case, we were able to draw a side-by-side comparison for the CPA spend on either platform and focus our efforts where we were seeing notable returns.
In month 10, for example, we had decreased our Google Ad spend by approximately 20% and only saw a very minor decline in the amount of leads.
However, over the course of the campaign, we increased the spend on Bing by 141% as we were consistently noting a drastic increase in leads acquired through Bing ad spend. This led to an incredible 207% increase in leads over the 10-month period.
The conclusion on this reaffirms our stance that Google ads and Bing ads can work together to achieve optimal results, and that efforts should be increased where the highest return lies. To understand how Bing was the winner in this case - we can take a look at the cost per acquisition (CPA) for both:
Bing CPA dropped from by 21% in just 9 months, and Google CPA dropped by 31%. At first glance - the drop in CPA seems significant in both instances - until we analyse lead volumes for the same period. After 9 months of the campaign, Google leads had only increased by 18%, compared with Bing leads which skyrocketed with a 207% increase.
Advantages of Bing Ads
Every industry has its own unique set of challenges and opportunities within paid advertising. Over the years, we've noticed the following general benefits and advantages of focusing paid ad spend and efforts on Bing:
A new demographic
Bing is mostly used by an older and more affluent demographic. These users usually have more disposable income, which begs the question as to why more marketers overlook this platform to market to a sales-ready audience.
We observed that our retirement specialist client would want to be targeting this same demographic - so choosing to have Google ads run simultaneously with Bing ads was a no-brainer. Overall, throughout the 10-month data range for this client, the average CPC for Bing was 62% cheaper than Google. The same campaigns, the same keywords - the only difference is the cost and of course the results!
With less competitors, you can leverage their loss to your advantage. Since competition is much lower in Bing, it becomes much easier to get the traffic you need. In some cases, you might even be the sole bidder for certain keywords!
Multiple search engines through the Bing network
Bing: 3. Google: 1. When advertising on Bing, your ads will be visible on Bing, AOL as well as Yahoo - connecting you with millions of users, expanding your impression and reach significantly. With a well strategised and executed campaign, you can expect a higher click-through-rate from a newer, wider audience.
More desktop traffic - less focus on AMP pages
Bing ads bring in more desktop traffic, attributed to the fact that Bing is the default browser for most Microsoft devices. This means you can focus your efforts in a more streamlined way to tailor them for desktop display, without the need to constantly implement new AMP (accelerated mobile performance) pages to comply with Google's best practice guidelines. By creating a user-friendly Bing ad, you'll not only be gaining more traffic, but increasing your chances of a click through and ultimately a sale.
Google Ads vs Bing Ads
As digital marketers, we will never discount the value Google ads offer. But we simply cannot ignore the benefits and freedoms Bing allows. While these points are not exhaustive, we've highlighted three major differences between the two platforms:
Bing allows advertisers to geo-target down to the finest detail. Advertisers can choose locations at the campaign or ad group level, and even have the flexibility to mix the two settings. This creates unprecedented new possibilities for campaign structure that aren't possible in Google Ads.
Google ads face exceptionally high competition in most industries and are usually more expensive than Bing ads. That being said, Bing owns a smaller market share in comparison, and is therefore susceptible to less traffic. When using Bing ads, advertisers need to take all necessary measures to ensure their campaigns are correctly structured to ensure decent ROAS (returns on ad spend) to make this a worthwhile venture.
Google is renowned for being an industry-leader. The platform can be hard to learn and understand because of the constant updates and changes - resulting in less optimised advertising and sometimes a poor user experience during the learning stage. Bing is less prone to these constant fluxes due to less instances of updates and changes, but they typically follow suit once Google has implemented changes. This can leave Bing advertisers last in line for important changes, so while it may be easier to grasp the Bing platform, crucial updates that affect the display and results are definite setbacks to the platform.
In summary, there is unequivocally space for both Google Ads and Bing ads to exist symbiotically. We recommend you take a closer look at your target market and analyse how Bing ads can help take your paid advertising to a new level through displaying to an untapped audience. Our team of PPC experts are at hand to help you through this. Get in touch with us today to start making changes where they count: your bottom line.
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