Wait, Bing Ads? Like, the search engine that nobody really uses? Well, yes. Kind of.
First of all, Microsoft (who owns Bing) has changed the name from Bing Ads to Microsoft Ads. For consistency, and because of the terminology that people are most familiar with, we will typically use the phrase “Bing Ads,” but both terms refer to the same platform.
Now, on to the info.
We Realize Bing Isn’t for Everyone. Actually, a Small Number of People.
Let’s be honest, in most of the world, Google has the significant market share of search engine traffic. In the U.S., Google is hovering at a bit over 88% of searches, and Bing at a measly 6.4% according to statcounter.
So why would you think about considering Bing Ads? Honestly, it’s probably not for most people for three reasons:
- Your budget is too low. It’s usually better to focus your spend on one platform unless you have a decent sized budget. If you’re spending $500/month, don’t start pulling money away to experiment with Bing.
- Your audience isn’t on Bing. For most people, this is probably true, but you need to know your audience. We’ll talk about how to figure out if your audience is the right fit below.
- You don’t have the bandwidth to tackle multiple platforms. We’ll talk about how you can do it more quickly on Bing, but the reality is that people will set it up and virtually forget about it, only managing their Google Ads. That just doesn’t work.
Figuring Out if Bing Ads Is for You
While we wouldn’t recommend Bing Ads for everyone, there are select subsets of audiences that Bing Ads are helpful for. Also important to remember about Bing Ads – it’s not just Bing. Microsoft ads also include AOL and Yahoo (as well as other partners, though the search volume is much less). So, the search volume instantly increases. In the chart above, Yahoo! gets 3.07% of traffic, which increases Bing almost 50% to 9.47%. So, while Bing is often (rightfully) the butt of jokes, it is getting a decent share of search traffic for ads.
The thing is, if you have the right audience, you may have a much bigger customer base on Bing than you think. So, while Bing only has a 1.09% share of mobile traffic, Bing Ads covers over 15% of desktop searches. No, that’s not a typo. Bing may actually be useful for you. So, let’s take a deeper look and figure out if your audience is right:
We’re going to say this again because it sounds almost too ridiculous to be true. In the United States, Bing accounts for roughly 11.56% of search traffic on desktop devices (with Yahoo getting another 4.2% on top of that). While clearly not as significant as Google, that’s a big chunk of traffic.
This desktop phenomenon (Bing only has 1.09% of search traffic on mobile) is likely for a couple reasons:
- Default browser/search Engine: The factory default on Apple and Android devices is Google, so unless you switch the settings, that’s probably what you’re using. On desktop, however, different browsers, especially Edge (Internet Explorer). Some programs, like certain anti-virus software or extensions also change your default search engine to Yahoo or Bing. So, a desktop user is much more likely to see Bing ads (really, we should say not quite as likely to see Google ads, but you get the idea).
- Age: Older audiences are less likely to adapt to mobile phones and more likely to use a set desktop computer. They are also less likely to change default settings and use the “default” edge browser, contributing to increased Bing desktop searches.
So if your audience skews towards desktop (hint: check your Google Analytics), you may want to consider Bing.
Quite simply, older users are significantly more likely to use Bing than younger audiences. Most of this was covered above with the reasoning in desktop traffic, so no need to rehash. Just know that if you have an older audience, it may be worth giving Bing a shot.
You can also just check your Google Analytics to see how people are getting to your site now. When you log in to your Google Analytics Account, select “Acquisition” then “All Traffic” and finally “Source/Medium” from the left hand side. You’ll see how the traffic is getting to your site. You want to see bing/organic and yahoo/organic. Google will give you a percentage of your total traffic that is coming from these sources. If you seem to have a relatively high amount of traffic, it may be worth giving Bing a shot.
The Benefit of Bing Ads
Okay, so if you’ve gotten this far, and think “eh…maybe?” then you’re probably a decent candidate for Bing ads. The best part about Bing Ads – they’re cheaper! Since most people aren’t diving over each other to get on Bing Ads like a parent trying to get a PS5 for Christmas for their kid, the cost is lower. You’ll hit your target audience, as they’re searching, for fewer dollars. Who doesn’t love that?
Another thing we love is that Bing is trying to do everything they can to lower the barrier of entry. Their support staff is incredibly helpful and friendly which is a big bonus – especially if you’re not totally comfortable with the platform yet. The other big bonus – you can basically import everything right from Google Ads. So, if you’re already advertising on Google, your setup time is incredibly efficient. Anything to help you get started more easily!
Getting Started with Bing Ads
Look, if you have a younger audience your targeting, want to hit people on their phones (especially local businesses), Bing just isn’t going to be for you. If you’re a medical practice that has a high senior population, are in an a B2B industry like logistics where people often have older computers, or something else where people are searching at their desks on Internet Explorer, Bing is probably worth a shot.
When it’s time to get started, we recommend testing the waters with a small but reasonable budget, and then escalating from there. Like Google Ads, it will require some adjustments over time to maximize your efficiency and to find the right fit. Due to audience differences, it may even need slightly different wording or targeting – but those are all things that can be worked out.
Like we said, it’s probably not for most people, but if you’re someone who looks like they could benefit, it’s worth an experiment at minimum.
Of course, if you need help, just let us know.