Back in 2018 I wrote a blog called ‘should I advertise on Bing?’, and while the platform has technically changed names since then (I still call it Bing and likely will for the duration…), the question still remains for many.
From experience, many businesses are not utilising paid search on Microsoft, with the main assumption being that there is just not enough volume.
But with 1.3 billion devices using Windows 10 that has Bing as the default search engine, you might be surprised by some of the figures when it comes to market share that Microsoft Search actually holds.
*Note when I first wrote this piece (2018) it was 11% market share in the UK – wow, so in that short time it’s practically doubled!
So if you’re not running ads on Microsoft, let’s take a look at some of the reasons you might just want to consider it.
Three benefits of advertising on Microsoft Ads (Bing)
Less competition = lower cpc’s
As I mentioned at the start, a lot of businesses see Microsoft Advertising as an afterthought, meaning that there are fewer advertisers using the platform, and therefore less competition.
Because Microsoft Advertising works in the same auction-style format as Google Ads, fewer advertisers ultimately means lower cost, due to lower cost-per-clicks. Less competition means there is also more opportunity to rank higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs), likely resulting in a higher CTR.
While this will of course differ per industry, it’s a huge opportunity to get some cheaper clicks through to your website.
A huge advantage that Microsoft has over Google is that it offers a greater level of transparency when it comes to reporting.
Just like Google, Microsoft Advertising has a network of search partners, both on publisher websites (such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Dictionary.com) and their Owned & Operated network (such as Yahoo!, Aol and Outlook).
Unlike Google, you can actually get the data broken down by the search partner sites, and can opt out of any that are performing poorly. Google doesn’t give that level of insight to advertisers, instead you can just opt-in or opt-out of all search partners.
Another advantage Microsoft Advertising has over Google, is that it offers better control at the ad group level.
On Google, settings such as location, language and ad schedule are all set at the campaign level. While Microsoft offers this option, these settings can also be determined at the ad group level. This gives advertisers much more granular control, which could be particularly useful for international campaigns.
If an advertiser was to run multi-lingual or global ads on Google, these would need to be set up in different campaigns and could result in hundreds of campaigns to manage. On Microsoft however, these could easily be setup within the same campaign, using the granular ad group settings to manage the other locations and languages.
So, should you advertise on Microsoft?
While Microsoft (Bing) will likely never truly rival Google’s dominance in search, it’s important that you don’t forget about it. Businesses should capitalise on this huge opportunity to reach their target audience right as they are searching, with less-diluted markets.
With different demographics, different targeting options, and a greater level of control available, you might just be surprised by the results.