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The Case for Bing Ads

"if you aren’t running campaigns on Bing Ads, you missed 5.6 billion US queries conducted in March, 2014”

For many Search Engine Marketers, the term “Paid Search” has long been synonymous with “Google AdWords” – and for good reason. AdWords offers advertisers a robust self-service ad platform featuring seamless integration with Google’s other digital marketing products. These highly-adopted and powerful tools include Google Analytics, Tag Manager, YouTube, Merchant Center, and more.

In addition to these tools, Google’s search engine commands roughly 67% of unique monthly US user searches, in part because the Google consumer ecosystem is equally tantalizing. Google’s suite of consumer products includes a powerful search engine, webmail, cloud storage, productivity apps, games and more. AdWords’ value proposition is made even stronger by the Google Display Network (GDN) – a massive network of web properties reaching 90% of web users (around 1 billion unique monthly users) and serving hundreds of billions of global display impressions each month for its advertisers. The GDN offers placement, contextual and audience targeting capabilities as well as Retargeting (“Remarketing,” as it’s called in the AdWords interface) for advertisers interested in self-service Paid Media.

There are many more reasons for a search marketer to love Google AdWords. I love AdWords - but it’s not my only love. Google’s 67% of unique search engine users is a strong figure, but also means 33% of the market is using other channels to conduct their search queries – and 29% of them are on Bing and Yahoo! – both of which are powered by Bing Search. Microsoft has invested years of development and billions of dollars to build out its digital marketing ecosystem, which now rivals Google’s for both consumers and advertisers. And if you aren’t running campaigns on Bing Ads, you missed 5.6 billion US queries conducted in March, 2014 by exclusive users of Microsoft’s search products.

Here’s an excerpt from Comscore’s March 2014 US Explicit Core Search Share Report:


“19.4 billion explicit core searches were conducted in March, with Google Sites ranking first with 13.1 billion (up 9 percent). Microsoft Sites ranked second with 3.6 billion searches (up 10 percent), followed by Yahoo Sites with 2 billion (up 8 percent).”

(Source: http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press_Releases/2014/4/comScore_Releases_March_2014_U.S._Search_Engine_Rankings)

Even better, thanks in large part to search marketers overlooking the value of the Yahoo! Bing Network (YBN), competition on keywords, cost per click (CPC) and cost per acquisition (CPA) are typically lower on Bing Ads across the board. This is certainly true for our clients – a summary of results from a recent campaign is below:


Yes, you’re reading that correctly. Clicks on Yahoo and Bing cost 38% of those on Google, yielded a click-thru rate 1.6x better than Google, and converted better – the cost per acquisition coming in at just 39% of a perfectly tolerable result on AdWords. These results are measured for the same client, campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords, bids and budgets – the Bing Ads campaign was a mirror image of AdWords. Not to beat a dead horse, but just in case you’re still in disbelief, here’s a summary of those results in bar graph form:




And we’re not alone – there are plenty of other reports from agencies observing similar results.

So, which network is right for you? For most clients, it makes sense to participate in both the Yahoo! Bing Network (YBN) and on AdWords. Bing Ads yields better results measured in CPC and CPA, but unfortunately only commands one-third of global monthly searches. However, if you manage campaigns for a client with a limited budget, stringent CPA requirements or who provides a highly-searched product or service, it may make sense to kick off your search efforts on Bing Ads and move into AdWords as your budget caps grow to exceed daily search volume.

If you’re interested in kicking off a pilot on Bing Ads or learning how to get more out of your existing Bing Ads campaigns, please drop us a line! We’re great conversationalists, and we love talking search marketing :)

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