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Tara West

Should I Advertise On Bing?

6th Dec 2013 Paid Search, Bing AdCenter | 6 Comments


Bing AdsThis is a question I often get asked by clients, and so I thought I’d share some information about Bing and why you should definitely consider Bing advertising as a great opportunity within your biddable media strategy. We’ll look at what makes it different to AdWords and why it can compliment your existing online marketing.

Bing advertising will allow you to build competitive advantage as well as take advantage of lower CPCs and traffic that has been suggested to be more likely to convert.

What Is The Yahoo Bing Network?

The Yahoo Bing Network is a combined advertising platform which includes both Yahoo and Bing. You can bid on this network with Bing Ads.

The Yahoo Bing advertising network also contains some powerful syndicated partner sites, such as Facebook and Amazon, which you wouldn’t be able to reach using AdWords.

What Kind Of Reach Can I Achieve With The Yahoo Bing Network?

You can increase your advertising reach by around 30% by using the Yahoo Bing network (source: WordStream), and this can increase even further in some verticals, as explained later in this blog post.

On top of that Bing Ads reach up to 20 million unique searchers on the Yahoo Bing Network in the U.K. (source: Bing Ads).

To appreciate the reach you can gain from the Yahoo Bing network, let’s take a brief look at the market share of the main four search engines: Yahoo, Bing, Google, Ask and AOL.

The below is new comScore data from October 2013, and although it’s based on US market share it still gives a strong indication of the potential of each search engine:

Search Engine Market Share

Although Google is the industry leader, you can see that Bing is the second largest contender, and combined with Yahoo their join market share is 29%.

Using Bing Advertising Provides You With A Competitive Advantage

Using Bing advertising is a great way to gain competitive advantage, particularly if your competitors are not yet using the Yahoo Bing network.

3.5 million Bing users don’t search on Google (source: comScore qSearch). This means that you may be missing out on a significant proportion of your target audience if you are not advertising on Bing. If your competitors aren’t yet on Bing this is a great way to gain additional online market share.

Of the 39,000 advertisers who formed the sample in this AdGooroo research (source: Search Engine Land), 55% who advertised on Google are already also advertising on Yahoo Bing. This means that your competitors might already be on Bing and you could be losing potential sales to them if you choose not to advertise via Bing Ads.

There is also research to suggest that Bing users are 25% more likely to complete a transaction on your site than the average U.K. searcher (source: Bing Ads).

Bing Has Lower Costs Compared To AdWords

The Cost per Click of Bing Ads is much lower than AdWords, due to lower competition levels. There are less businesses using Bing, and so there is less competition in ad auctions and CPCs remain lower than platforms with higher competition such as AdWords.

Research suggests Yahoo Bing CPCs can be up to 50 to 70% lower than AdWords, so you can get more clicks for your daily ad spend from the same budget (source: MediaVision).

Here are some examples illustrating the difference between Yahoo Bing and AdWords CPCs in April 2012. Although the data is based on US markets, it is still suitable to illustrate a significant difference particularly within these verticals (source: AdGooroo):

Bing CPC Costs

The lower Cost per Click on Yahoo Bing is particularly beneficial if you are in a competitive vertical such as SEO or financial services.

Another benefit of Bing advertising over Google is that they have four ‘top’ ad positions, instead of Google’s three ‘top’ ad positions. This means you can achieve a higher ad position at a lower cost.

Which Industries Should Use Bing Advertising?

As with AdWords, almost any industry can use Bing advertising, as long as it’s legal and abides by Bing’s guidelines.

There are some industries which are particularly well suited to Bing, for example the Financial Services industries tend to have a particularly wide reach on Bing (source: Search Engine Land).

Computer and Internet Verticals can particularly save on their CPCs with Yahoo Bing, as advertisers in these verticals pay an average 117% more per click on AdWords than on Yahoo Bing ads (source: Search Engine Land).

Advertisers in the shopping or financial services sectors are most likely to be using Bing and AdWords simultaneously (source: Search Engine Land). If your business is in these industries you should highly consider Yahoo Bing advertising to ensure you stay competitive online.

If your client would like to target the USA, then Yahoo Bing is ideal as one third of all search queries in the USA are made on Bing or Yahoo (source: Search Engine Land).

If your product has particularly low search demand or is a particularly niche service, you may find that there is not enough search demand on Bing to advertise. Having said that, Bing seem to be more lenient with letting low search demand terms go to auction, whereas AdWords is now stopping low search demand keywords from being eligible for auction at all, so Bing might be a good place to experiment with keywords that have been ineligible in AdWords.

Functionality And Performance Advantages And Disadvantages Of Bing

There are many functionalities that set Bing advertising apart from other advertising platforms such as AdWords.

Previously the Bing interface and system was known as a being a bit ‘clunky’ and tedious to manage, but recent developments have ensured it now has many of the same functionalities as AdWords as well as some unique advantages of its own.

Getting started with Bing Ads is particularly easy if you already use AdWords, as you can simply import your AdWords campaigns into Bing.

Writing ads in Bing can be slightly easier as headlines can have up to 40 characters, whilst AdWords only allows 25. We’ve all tried to squeeze the perfect headline into 25 characters and had to compromise, but with Bing you don’t have to.

Bing is however slightly less advanced than AdWords when it comes to ad extensions, and currently only offers Locations, Call and Sitelink extensions, whilst AdWords offers a wide array of extensions.

If you choose to advertise on Bing, you should be prepared for lower Click Through Rates than you may be achieving in AdWords. This is because Bing naturally has a lower CTR than AdWords (source: Search Engine Land). Because the lower CTR is a natural factor across Bing advertising it won’t have a negative effect on your performance.

Should I Use Bing Instead Of AdWords?

No, Bing should be used alongside AdWords, because AdWords still has the predominantly widest reach. Bing Ads should complement AdWords rather than replace it within your digital marketing strategy.

Bing Advertising Exam

It is free to take the Bing advertising exam with your Bing Ads account number.

You can find all the relevant information to train for your Bing exam here, and it’s a great place to start if you haven’t used Bing before.

Once you pass the exam, you become an Accredited Professional member, which provides you with a listing in their Pro Directory which can help potential clients find your agency.

Hopefully this blog post has provided you with some interesting insights about advertising on Bing and inspired you to give it a go! If you have any questions tweet me or leave a comment below.

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About the author

Tara West

Tara West is an experienced SEO and PPC specialist at Koozai, with particular expertise within AdWords PPC and Remarketing. She has worked on a wide variety of verticals, from plumbing and travel to fashion and beauty.

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