Bing Ads are a lot like Google Adwords, but they also offer some differences & advantages to benefit your customers or online SEM campaign. Here’s why…
The one thing that remains a constant in the world of changes to online advertising is …that it’s constantly changing. Although Google is the global giant of SEO & SEM, the market share of Bing Ads has been consistently growing, providing a new opportunity for advertisers to consider for expanding & diversifying their online reach. While your business may not use Bing, your customers or competitors might. Here’s why it matters…
The pay per click service & platform from Microsoft allows clients to show their ads on both the Bing or Yahoo search engines and the related networks. In 2015 Bing had a surprising 20.7% (US) market share and powered Yahoo’s search results, resulting in it account for 12.7% of the international SEM market. This success has also continued into 2016 – although the search traffic & online advertising market share powered by Bing in Australasia is only a small proportion of all online activity.
So what exactly is Bing doing to stay relevant to online advertisers & why the sustained growth? Bing & Yahoo have a range of innovative offerings & is tightly connected to Windows 10. Bing is the Microsoft-recommended search engine & powers the Windows voice assistant – Cortana. You will also find Siri and Spotlight search with Bing by default.
Beyond search, Bing has a PPC account interface and offering that has many similarities to Google Adwords, enabling its addition to existing client ad campaigns a fairly straightforward process & with some distinctive features that make campaigns a little easier for online marketers.
Although Bing Ads uses a similar auction dynamic as the AdWords auction, advertisers on Bing have numerous advantages from a lower level of competition which means fewer advertisers are driving up the price of your keywords, resulting (often) in better ad positions and cheaper costs per click.
Both Bing and Google have integrated this recently. The new Bing Expanded Text Ads (ETA’s) are very similar to the Google offering. However, it’s possible to import ETAs from Google AdWords into the Bing Ads web interface or Bing Ads Editor, which may make campaigns a little easier for online marketers.
The campaign creation workflow is designed to make campaign set up and activation easier. You can select a campaign goal or research keywords; following this, options are tailored accordingly to meet these goals. Bing also groups keywords together into proposed ad groups based on a URL or keyword recommendation. Each keyword can then be viewed to drill down into the monthly search volume, average CPC and scale of competition.
From here it will highlight which ad extensions align with the original campaign goal you established and allows you to set the campaign budget. Multiple ads can be set up during this process. This can benefit online marketers more clearly understand how their campaign will operate in the search environment.
Shared budgets are another tool Bing are using to make it easier for online marketers to manage campaign budgets. Shared budgets mean that all campaigns – or a selection of campaigns – can have a pooled budget that gets allocated out as the campaigns need. This means that the campaigns that are performing well benefit, while the campaigns that are under-performing can be switched out. In other words, it saves time on budget pacing.
Bing search has become more interactive and more educational for some specialised search areas. This includes constellations, molecules, royal ancestries, and citations – what more could a student want? Typing in queries for these fields brings up interactive search results that can show things like where constellations are overhead or what molecules look like. Bing has previously introduced a periodic table in search and interactive times table and geometry calculators.
Internationally Bing has teamed up with TuneIn, allowing users to locate radio station information with ease. In these results, Bing has added a play button where users simply click to listen to radio stations available on the internet.
The partnership is due to bring more than 10,000 radio stations up when the query ‘online radio stations’ is made, with Bing currently looking at ways to continue increasing the number of stations available.
They really are mixing two formats, which is great news for radio stations and potentially radio advertisers – the outcome for Australasian advertisers remains to be seen.
It seems to be unanimous across some SEO focussed news sites that Microsoft Rewards (previously Bing Rewards) are one aspect of Bing that gives them a competitive advantage over Google. Essentially Microsoft Rewards deliver points for searching on Bing, taking Bing quizzes, and also purchases made on the Microsoft and Windows stores. These points, once accumulated, can be redeemed at a Windows Store, as Xbox credits, or as Groove Music passes.
As the search universe continues to evolve, industry innovation is critical to remain relevant and gain market share. Despite having many “me too” offerings or similar services and a much smaller search engine market share, Bing does provide alternative online opportunities.
We suggest as an SMB you do your due diligence; consider other networks & opportunities for online effectiveness. Contact your account manager to learn how Bing could complement your existing Adwords search campaigns.