When it comes to Pay-Per-Click advertising campaigns, it’s all about Google. Google is king. Google is the whole game. Google AdWords is hands down the best and only place to spend your money…
Not so fast. Google AdWords is clearly an amazing tool for marketing, but don’t sleep on Bing.
Yeah, Bing. You remember Bing. Microsoft recently announced that revenue from it’s search engine was up 16% in 2016, after having grown 23% the previous year. That kind of growth is worth paying attention to, and the closer you look, the more it appears to not be a fluke. Microsoft is approaching one billion users for Windows 10, where Bing is the default search engine in Microsoft’s pre-loaded Edge browser. Not only that, Bing is also now the ONLY option for results when Windows 10 users search with the built-in voice assistant, Cortana. That’s quite a captive audience.
While Google AdWords is always going to be the right tool for some businesses and some campaigns, Bing Ads is at the very least worth investigating a little more closely. After all, anytime you can zag while others are zigging, you give yourself the chance to look oh-so-clever.
One reason to consider Bing Ads is that they are significantly cheaper than Google AdWords. Some report ads can be as much as 50-70% less expensive per click. While this is clearly due to Bing’s user volume being lower than Google’s, by no means is the number of users insignificant.
Another benefit of using Bing Ads is that there is less competition. The way that Pay-Per-Click advertising works in a nutshell is that you bid for advertising space against other companies who also want that advertising space. Based on search terms and budgets and some general algorithmic voodoo, the platform, be it Google, Bing, or any other PPC platform, crunches some numbers and decides whose ad to serve up. So, less competition means that there is a greater chance your ads will come up for the most relevant audience.
Interface and Usability
Google AdWords is generally considered more user-friendly and a better interface than Bing Ads, but Bing Ads has gotten better in recent years, and the two are more similar than you may think. Bing actually makes it pretty easy to move/copy a campaign over from Google AdWords, with a handy “Import from Google AdWords” tool built right into the interface. Bing Ads also has some advantages over Google AdWords, as they give you a bit more control over things like platform targeting and location targeting.
Bing Ads and Google AdWords both offer good customer service, but with Google, you might never have the opportunity to find out. That’s because you don’t get access to Google’s customer services department unless you spend a minimum of $500,000 per year. Bing, on the other hand, only requires that companies spend $500 per month, (which works out to $6,000 a year for those unwilling to do the math). A much more reasonable bar to hit.
According to Microsoft’s data, Bing gets 160 million unique searchers per month, 59 million of which use Bing exclusively – which means they have no shot of getting reached on Google at all. Nearly 40% of the Bing audience is between 35-54 years old. Nearly a third graduated from college, and nearly a third has a household income of over $100k. So generally, an adult, well-educated population with healthy incomes. Do with that information what you will.
Google AdWords is number one in PPC advertising because Google is number one in searches, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. But in order to gain an advantage, it’s always a good idea to explore advertising channels where your competition might not be. Bing is the rare exception that is both less competitive while still providing a very large audience. In our books, that’s worth checking out.
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