Marketing experts and average consumers alike have been convinced that Bing is that kid on the playground who tries really hard to be cool, but doesn’t have many friends. The super-popular, hipster-yet-mainstream kid named Google tells us that Bing always tries to be part of the conversation, but constantly repeat what everyone else says or just interjects with random comments. Sure, a couple people may talk to him, but even then, it’s often because there’s no one else to talk to. And so because Google tells us to, everyone ignores Bing.
That’s a big mistake.
Volume-wise, Bing is objectively a less popular search engine. However, it is packed full of hidden tools for marketers that Google can’t — or won’t — match. Some digital marketers and other users are taking notice, and Bing now controls over 20 percent of the search market share in the U.S. What’s more, the Microsoft search engine’s tools are actually doing some damage to Google. AdWords paid search clicks are down 11 percent since last year. So what’s Bing’s secret? In one word: Convenience.
Making Things Easy for Marketers
Google AdWords is a relatively simple tool. You pick some keywords, choose a budget, create some pay-per-click ads and let the search engine do the rest. However, that simplicity seems to be contributing to its downfall. Every campaign is a broad stroke, with no precision. The only way to choose who is targeted is through the keywords itself. That means your ads could sit on the sidebar, untouched, because the wrong demographic is reached. Sure, it’s not costing you money just sitting there, but it’s not making you money, either.
In response, Bing Ads has introduced a few different tools for marketers to make the most of their campaigns. First is the shared budgets option, which was introduced in October. Essentially, marketers can make a few different campaigns, then put them under the same budgetary umbrella. From there, Bing adjusts spending on the different budgets for you to make sure your return on investment is maximized. So, if your campaign for snowboards isn’t getting much traction, but your campaign for skis is, Bing can adjust to make sure people interested in skis see your ad.
Speaking of people interested in skis, Bing Ads now makes it easier to target specific demographics with campaigns. Unlike with Google AdWords, you can adjust your targeted audience based on geographic location, the time of day or day of the week, gender/age and their device type. Bing’s Expanded Device Targeting feature lets you adjust your campaign to target desktop, tablet and smartphone searches. Moreover, it allows you to adjust it almost instantaneously, depending on the results you’ve seen. That way, you can maximize your ROI in ways AdWords just can’t.
More Bang for the Buck
While Bing has been steadily increasing in usership, and Google has been on a slight decline, the latter is still the more popular platform. That may sound discouraging for marketers considering Bing Ads, but it actually provides a major advantage: less competition. Because Bing uses the same kind of auction system as Google, less competition for keywords, especially popular ones, means each click is cheaper. In fact, some businesses see ads on Bing costing a third less than those on Google. What’s more, their ads on Bing are better positioned than those created with AdWords.
Bing also understands that, for some keywords, you need want only exact matches. While Google killed off exact match results in 2014, Bing Ads still offers this feature. Sure, you may be okay with close variants for some of your ads, having the option to only display on exact matches can be beneficial, especially when you are on a tight budget. For instance, if you are advertising for your motorcycle shop, you may not want to have your ad displayed for, and possibly clicked on by, someone who is just looking for a bicycle, but searches for “bike” instead.
At the end of the day, Google is a more popular search engine, and therefore should be used for your PPC campaigns. However, to completely ignore Bing Ads is to leave an entire market on the table for someone else to profit from instead. If you aren’t sure how to marry your Bing Ads and Google AdWords campaigns to fully maximize your ROI on your paid search campaigns, EverSpark can help. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.