Why Ignoring Bing Is a Huge Mistake

unnamed-18Can you believe that search agencies are still telling many of their clients to ignore Bing?

In taking over search campaigns from other agencies, we’ve found that Bing isn’t even on their radar. Evidently, their prior agency thought paid search began and ended with Google..  While Google will always represent an integral part of any paid search strategy, businesses need to ensure they maintain a presence on Bing as well.  Let’s pause now for a brief refresher three important reasons why implementing paid search with Bing offers advantages for the advertiser.

  • Reach a larger audience
  • Traffic is efficient
  • Setup  is easy

Reach a larger audience

Google certainly captures the majority of search traffic. Despite this majority, Google still doesn’t reach everyone. Remember that Bing includes Yahoo! and a network of smaller search engines. Even if you’re not convinced that the Bing alliance captures over 25% of the market as comScore alleges, most analytics data agrees that they certainly manage more than 10%.

So taking a worst-case scenario approach – leaving Bing out of your paid search efforts- equates to ignoring roughly 10% of the market. What’s more, a large part of that audience doesn’t cross over and use Google. In fact, recent data released by Yahoo! indicates an non-duplicative audience that exhibits unique demographics when compared to Google. Bing users tend to be older, have additional wealth and are 24% more willing to purchase from promotional messaging than Google users.

This doesn’t mean that Google users aren’t important; on the contrary, the majority of your paid search advertising budget should still go to Google, However, at the very least you should test successful Google campaigns on Bing and compare results. You may be surprised.

Traffic is efficient

Many consider the term ‘Google’ synonymous with search. To search is, in effect, to Google. This same mentality follows advertisers into the AdWords marketplace and helps to explain why competition on Google remains so fierce. Healthy competition means high cost-per-click, a fact that can make turning a positive ROI a challenge.

That same level of competition just doesn’t exist on Bing. Couple this with more available advertising positions at the top of the search results page, and you create a setting that features lower cost-per-clicks and a greater chance to have your ad prominently displayed on top. Often, advertisers will experience cost-per-clicks 10-30% less than those that exist on Google. When you combine this efficiency with the differences in the audiences referenced above, capitalizing on additional traffic for less money is a cinch.

Setup is easy

It’s surprising how often I hear “but I don’t want to learn a new search system” as an objection cited by advertisers to avoid testing on Bing. Getting started requires little effort. Bing recognizes the fact that most search programs will start with Google. As such, their AdWords equivalent, adCenter, allows for importing campaigns directly into Bing. For the more advanced user familiar with AdWords editor, it’s even easier. In Bing’s equivalent, Bing Ads Editor, you can simply import your campaigns directly from AdWords without using Excel.

Once the campaigns are imported the basic fundamentals remain the same as in AdWords. Bing will automatically recognize where your current bids are. All you’re left to do is hit ‘un-pause’ and start testing. Don’t be afraid if your optimization strategy diverges slightly from what you’ve used with Google – the marketplace is different enough for certain industries that you may find yourself pulling different levers to obtain results. Nevertheless, feel confident in the fact that you’re now reaching unique folks who might never have found you on Google.

Marketers constantly look for ways to get their messages in front of as many qualified consumers as possible – don’t settle for a Google-only approach. Expand your reach and campaign efficiency today and add Bing to your paid search strategy.

Oliver Nelson is currently an Associate Media Director, eDR at Underscore Marketing, working across several healthcare, pharmaceutical and OTC categories. His focus is on digital display, social media,  search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO). Underscore is an integrated agency that services healthcare and healthy brands.