Should I Advertise on Bing?

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Do you run pay per click advertising on Google?

What about Bing?

Was Bing an afterthought once Google was already running?

You’re not alone. We’ve found from experience that most people haven’t even considered marketing on Bing, with the assumption being that there is just not enough volume.

Back in 2013 we wrote a piece around the same topic, and whether Bing could ever really rival Google. It seems that since then, Bing’s market share has grown rapidly, from 2014 to 2018 seeing an increase from around 6% to well over 11% in the UK alone. Worldwide, Bing has 9% market share, with roughly 12 billion searches done per month.

Statistic: Market share held by Bing monthly in the United Kingdom (UK) from July 2014 to January 2018 | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

Bing powers more than you think

Did you know that, until recently, Siri was powered by Bing? While Google was the default search engine for Safari, Bing provided search results via Siri since way back with the launch of iOS 7. It was only towards the end of 2017 that Apple made the switch to Google, stating that they wanted to allow these services to have a consistent search experience with the default in Safari”. Despite this change, Bing will still provide results for image search in Siri, which isn’t surprising seeing as the images are of higher quality. Bing will also still provide results on iOS search and in Spotlight on a Mac.

bing shopping advert

Like Google has it’s Search network, Bing has its own network. You probably already know that Windows 10, Cortana and Internet Explorer are part of the Bing network. Similarly, MSN, Skype and Outlook are included. Did you also know that AOL, WSJ, Gumtree and LinkedIn are part of that very same network?

One of the key differences that Bing Ads has over Google AdWords in it’s search network, is that Bing offers far more transparency. As with Google you can of course turn off the search network, but did you know that you can also find out exactly which search partners are directing traffic to your site? You can find out how many clicks they drove, how much it cost you, how many conversions they drove, and so on. If you spot one that you’re not too keen on, you can exclude that particular search partner, without the need to opt out entirely.

Devices and demographics

In Merkle’s Q4 2017 Digital Marketing report, mobiles contributed to 55% of Google ad clicks compared to 37% on desktop. In comparison, Bing ads drove 77% of desktop clicks, compared to just 14% on mobile.

In AdWords, a lot of settings are specifically set at campaign or even account level, that can’t be changed. One of Bing’s biggest benefits that it holds over Google is that it offers much more granularity when it comes to control over your advertising. Each of the following can be set at ad group level in Bing, but not on Google:

  • Language
  • Time of day (ad schedule)
  • Demographics (gender and age)
  • Ad rotation
  • Ad distribution
  • Targeting method

 

google vs bing

Competition on Bing

When comparing our client accounts that run on both AdWords and Bing, we found that our CPCs on Bing were almost 35% lower than they were on Google for Q1 this year. While this in itself is a huge difference, the lower CPC’s meant that there was potentially more budget to push for higher average positions in the auction.

The competition on Bing is far lower than on Google, which allows for these lower CPC’s and higher average positions.

Appearance

As everyone knows, Google removed their side listings back in 2016. Interestingly, Bing have recently revealed that they would be doing the same in the US, in order to “drive more value for users and advertisers”, after they had conducted some testing that mainline ads and product ads received far more clicks. We’re pretty sure it won’t be long until this is rolled out to UK.

Google

fur coat on google search

 

Bing

fur coat search on bing

Conclusion

At Digital Clarity, we encourage all of our clients to advertise on Bing, no matter what industry. Not only does it enable you to reach a wider audience, but the return can far outweigh the cost of investment. We all know Bing can be a little clunky, and let’s face it, it’s never going to be a true rival to Google, but there are some elements which trump Google in terms of value, insight and control.

We’re also a Bing Select Agency Partner. That means we receive access to training and marketing support, exclusive access to partner events and we also have our own dedicated account manager.

For more information on Bing or if you want to have a chat about getting set up on Bing ads, contact us today.

Sophie Burrows
Sophie is a rising star in the Google eco-system. With over 5 years’ experience, Sophie is fast becoming a recognised paid search (PPC) specialist in both Google AdWords and Bing Ads. With numerous qualifications in Digital Marketing and Planning under her belt, Sophie is in demand as pragmatic problem solver and can show immense return on investment (ROI) where others could not. Sophie’s skills lie in understanding a brief and delivering exceptional results for her clients. A true digital maven.
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