When businesses and digital marketers talk about ‘pay-per-click’ or ‘ppc’ advertising, really what they are referring to is Google AdWords. Which makes sense, as the search engine giant dominates the world’s internet queries, with almost 75% of searches being conducted using Google globally, rising to 90% when performed through a mobile device. That sure is domination!
What made Google true pioneers is how they collected this search data and made it available to advertisers through the keyword planner and a range of other sophisticated reporting tools. All of a sudden, companies had incredible insights into the minds of consumers on what, when and how they searched.
Google is such a strong brand that other smaller search engines like Bing or Yahoo! are often overlooked. Yet, each of them has an average market share of 5-10% worldwide, which is not insignificant, and Bing in particular is a well thought-out and supported ad platform.
So should New Zealand businesses and Marketing Managers be paying Bing more attention? We think so! Here are the key reasons why:
Not everyone uses Google … NOOOOO WAY JOSE?
Statistics for 2017 showed a healthy performance for Bing (owned by Microsoft). In the US, it handled 33% of all search queries; in the UK, 25%; in Australia, 12% and 6% in New Zealand. More importantly, Bing’s market share is increasing at a faster pace than Google’s (they have been lagging behind for years).
So if you are not advertising with Bing, you are potentially missing out on your share of the 16 million or so searches that happen every month in New Zealand.
Reaching different demographics
People who use Bing have a different profile from those using Google. They tend to be older, have children, be less tech savvy but also have higher income, so if your customer audience tends to fit those criteria, Bing is definitely a platform to consider.
Two birds, one stone
Yahoo! and Bing have a long-standing relationship. In 2010, they decided to join forces to form what is now known as the Yahoo! Bing Network. Nowadays, when you advertise with Bing Ads, your ads will also show in Yahoo! It isn’t a massive bonus but it all adds up and can definitely help get more website visitors, and potentially new leads and sales.
Bing is less expensive
The average cost-per-click (CPC) on Google has steadily increased over the years, which can make it really difficult for smaller companies with limited budgets to compete with large ones. Bing, on the other hand, is more affordable, and as there is less competition you will also be more likely to get a higher position and a better click-through rate (CTR) without others competing as heavily for ad slots. So you could see some really good ROI on the $$ you invest in the Bing platform.
You can import a lot of your existing campaigns over from AdWords
You can import a lot of campaign data over from AdWords into Bing, which provides a good foundation. However there are a number of important elements that can’t be transferred, and you’ll need to setup again from the start.
Here are a few important things that differ between AdWords and Bing that need to be considered during the setup stage of the account:
- Multiple languages
Unlike AdWords, Bing doesn’t support as many languages as AdWords so when you import your campaign, Bing will chose the highest-ranked supported language.
Although it’s bit of a bummer, the majority of kiwi businesses are running the account in English anyway, so it will hardly ever be an issue for you which is the main thing.
- Negative keywords
Setting up negative keywords – i.e. keywords that won’t trigger your ads – is as important as selecting keywords to advertise, as it will reduce money spent on irrelevant keywords and give you a better ROI. However, AdWords and Bing don’t treat them the same way which makes it a little tricky.
So you or your agency just need to adjust your thinking a little with Bing in terms of handling negatives, but it’s pretty quick to get the hang of once some time has been spent optimising the account.
- Automated rules
Automated rules in AdWords allow you to schedule campaigns to run only at certain times. Unfortunately, they don’t transfer automatically over to Bing so these will need to be set up again. So for the bigger businesses out there this is a bit frustrating, but not such a big deal if you are running a smaller business, with a smaller AdWords account and budget.
- Conversion tracking
It’s important to be able to set up and track goals so you can see what is and what isn’t working, refine campaigns, strategies and budgets accordingly, and optimise overall performance.
Like Google AdWords, you can also setup conversion goals with Bing, but you will need to do this again and cannot import any existing conversion tracking tags from the Google AdWords campaigns. This does require technical know-how, but once done will allow you to develop reports that provide valuable performance insights.
- Display ads
Some of the more advanced display campaigns are not supported by Bing, so if you are running advanced display campaigns in Google you won’t be able to migrate those over.
Bing does though provide the ability to run display advertising, and you’ll be able to use the same banner creative as Google as they support the same specifications, but you’ll just have fewer targeting options. For example, you’ll be able to run remarketing campaigns, but you can’t run the more advanced smart display campaigns that have been rolled out more recently within the Google display network.
- Ad extensions
Ad extensions allow you to develop more informative ads and offer your customers a quick way to access the information they’re searching for by going directly to the relevant page on your website.
Google AdWords has a large number of different types available, and Bing supports the majority of these as well, so it will save you a lot of time with setting up the new account!
You cannot import them from Google into Bing however, so you will need to add the site extensions manually to the new campaign, however if you have done the heavy lifting with the Google account it shouldn’t be too much work. The key thing is that Bing supports ad extensions, which is good for attracting customers.
If you want to set up a shopping campaign in Bing, you will have to create a Merchant Centre store first, as it needs to be linked to your campaign before you can import it. This is a similar process to what’s required for setting up a Google Shopping campaign, and it would be unreasonable to expect this to transfer over from the Google account.
But if you’re business is seeing good results from the Google Shopping campaign then it’s worth the time and effort to set up in Bing as well!
Google have very good support teams, especially for agencies like ours that are Google Premier Partners. However given that Bing are not quite the size of Google, their support isn’t quite at the same standard, but they are still fairly responsive and there to help if you reach out – it just make take a little longer.
In summary …
Originally, Bing was created as a ‘me too’ to Google AdWords. It did not start out very well and did not have much market share, but with inflating costs of advertising on Google due to the higher levels of competition it has started to gain more popularity.
Advertisers have been keen to look for cost effective alternatives, which is where Bing and also Facebook advertising has seen some big growth over the past few years, as well as increasing popularity of Microsoft devices which use Bing as their default search engine.
In this regards it will make your life easier as the interfaces are fairly similar and if you already have an AdWords account, then you or your agency will find your way around Bing without too much difficulty. It really is a no brainer to add it to your search engine marketing mix for incremental gains.
If you are interested in extending the reach of your business through Bing advertising, get in touch with us. Being experts in Google AdWords and well as Bing, we can assist you in devising coherent campaigns across both of these online advertising platforms.