One question that never seems to get old is whether or not paid search advertisers should be on Bing.
I’ll cut right to the chase: If it has the ability to make you money, do it! And the Bing Ads network does have that ability.
In March of this year, the Microsoft Bing search engine inched up to claim approximately 20 percent of US search market share and is holding steady as of June. Furthermore, a 2015 report from AdGooroo, “Yahoo! Bing Paid Search Performance Metrics,” showed that a significant number of advertisers in certain sectors enjoyed higher click-through rates on Yahoo! Bing than Google — despite Google’s overall superior clickthrough rates, 18% of advertisers in the Shopping and Classifieds category who advertised on both engines in 2014 saw a greater click-through rate on Yahoo! Bing. That number was 16% in the Travel category and 16% in the Automotive category. (The report said this was due to more “favorable positioning” of ads in the Bing search results compared with Google.)
More highlights of that report:
- The cost per click on the Yahoo! Bing Network was 42 percent less than on Google across the categories examined.
- Among the six verticals studied, there was nearly double and sometimes more than triple the competition on Google versus Yahoo! Bing.
So that’s just a slice of data to help you get a better picture of the potential. Am I saying you’ll get rich from Bing Ads? Probably not, but if it can make you even a little more money than you were making previously, why not pursue it?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the data points and the reasons why I advise clients to try Bing.
Your Competition Is Scarce
The AdGooroo data is accurate: Try any search in Google for your keyword to see how many ads are there. Then, do the same for Bing. Notice a difference? In fact, just last week, one of our clients said they did a search for their top term, and there were only two ads in the Bing results; meanwhile, there were 11 in Google!
Most advertisers we work with are very keen on what the competition is up to, so Bing Ads can represent an opportunity to dominate the space if the competitors are not already doing so.
A Nice Return On Investment
I shared AdGooroo data in the introduction that showed the cost per click was nearly half that of Google AdWords; this means we usually see a nice return on investment because the conversion rates tend to be good, too. (It’s not just us seeing this either, you can check out this case study to see what other are saying about Bing Ads conversions.)
Image source: AdGooroo “Yahoo! Bing Paid Search Metrics Report – 2015 Edition”
In the end, the volume of Bing Ads sales will probably be lower than Google AdWords, but if it is a profitable channel, you should consider it. Here’s a screenshot of an actual client who sees about three percent of their online revenue (~$4,300) coming from Bing. Not bad, considering our ad spend was less than $200!
In my experience, Bing PPC can result in between one percent and 7 percent of total ad revenue. As long as you don’t mind putting in the effort of managing those ads alongside Google AdWords, the sales from Bing can be beneficial to your bottom line.
I’ll Leave You With A Couple Tips
Ready to explore Bing Ads further? Here are some pro tips.
- Start small on Bing Ads by using whatever campaigns are performing well on Google AdWords. (They don’t always take off on Bing Ads as expected, but in most cases, they will perform comparably or better.)
- Look through your Google Analytics to get a sense of the traffic the different search engines are driving to your website; this is a good indicator of the audience size that could be exposed to your ads.
- Remember that some categories and sectors may do much better on Bing versus Google, depending on the demographic of your product or service. Data from Bing Ads and comScore in June 2014 shows the following about the Yahoo! Bing audience:
Image source: Bing Ads, SlideShare: “Yahoo Bing Network Audience – comScore Data June 2014“
So here’s to capitalizing on opportunity and gaining more advertising revenue via Bing! What are your thoughts and experiences with Bing Ads? Share them with me in the comments below.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.