Bing Advertising – Is it worth it?

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Bing Advertising Bing PPC

When digital marketing consultants talk about PPC advertising, Bing advertising is not high on the agenda. Given the range of options and reach provided by competitors such as Google Adwords and Facebook, it is easy to see why Bing advertising struggles to make it into the digital marketing mix.

There are some benefits to using Bing PPC marketing, but are they worth the effort? Let’s take a look.

(In case you weren’t aware, Bing is Microsoft’s search engine and rival of Google search).

Where Bing Advertising falls behind

Each PPC manager will have their own list of Bing advertising shortcomings however here are my main ones:

  1. The most glaring reason why Bing is not always enticing is simple – lack of search volume. Search terms that light up your reports on Google Adwords may not even get off the ground on Bing.Bing is not a threat to the market dominance currently enjoyed by Google (search). We are talking many orders of magnitude in difference here.
  2. Given that Bing is not the search engine of choice for most web users, there are far fewer opportunities to get ads to just appear let alone compete via Bing advertising.
  3. The Bing PPC advertising platform is not nearly as sophisticated as that offered by Google Adwords. This can be quite a shock for PPC account managers familiar with Google Adwords who are making the move over to Bing’s platform.For example, Bing are only now looking to implement shared budgets (budgets that can be applied to multiple campaigns). This is a fundamental requirement in the eyes of most PPC consultants.
  4. Bing remarketing is practically non-existent. They offer a paid search remarketing product since they don’t have a display network anything like that managed by Google. Google can thank their Adsense product for this considerable advantage.

While Bing is slowly but surely building upon their current PPC marketing offering, many tools and account management settings that Adwords users take for granted are still not available.

There are some benefits for Bing PPC

It’s not all bad news for Bing. Here are some clear benefits:

  • Because there are so few search terms available to show ads alongside of, Bing attracts far fewer digital marketing competitors. For some industries, this could open up a cornered market, albeit a very small one.
  • If you are finding that having your ads show in position one (the top spot) converts better then you will find it a lot easier to lock down the top position in Bing compared to Adwords, and without spending nearly as much.
  • Where you have less competition in a PPC auction, you tend to enjoy a far lower cost-per-click (CPC). This is generally the case in Bing advertising although I am sometimes surprised by how high CPC costs get with relatively few competitors. Minimum bids can also seem suspiciously high at times.

Keep in mind, too, that with ongoing changes being made to Bing advertising, there always remains the possibility of a competitive advantage opening up for anyone who closely monitors the system.

New tools may provide new opportunities to early adopters, so keep a close eye on product updates if you are actively using Bing advertising in your own marketing mix.

Bing marketing nice-to-knows

If you thinking about giving Bing advertising a go and already have Google Adwords set-up then you will be pleased to discover that Bing offer a Google Adwords import tool. This can get you up and running quite quickly.

While Bing has its own native conversion tracking, much like any other form of PPC advertising service, I still find it beneficial to tag ad links with the Google URL builder for clients using Google Analytics. This ensures that your reports are receiving Bing ads campaign information into the correct data buckets within Google Analytics.

Bing also offers apps via the App Store and Google Play. They are limited in functionality compared to the desktop or web based tools but are nice to have if you are on the go and want to check in on your campaigns.

Conclusion

As a PPC consultant here in Australia, I take the position that Bing advertising is worth experimenting with if you have the time and budget available. Then again, I wouldn’t go trying to move mountains with my clients if it was going to be a difficult approval process.

For most small businesses, Bing probably isn’t worth the effort at this stage unless you really want to cover all the bases and have the resources to pursue it.

Personally I would love for a serious competitor to Google Adwords to emerge. If Bing is to be that second option then something significant has to happen in their search market share first.

For what it is worth, I maintain my Bing Accredited Professional certification however clients aren’t knocking my door down because of it.