Search marketing is the greatest – especially if you are an introvert like me.
Before search marketing was invented, finding new customers was like making friends at a cocktail party. (Just thinking about that makes my palms sweat.)
You had to walk up to complete strangers, interrupt them, make your pitch, and hope they didn’t think you were weird and annoying. What a nightmare.
Or you could try cold calling.
The Magic of Search Marketing
Search marketing, on the other hand, is not interruptive in nature. People searching for information find you, and they initiate the conversation. No awkward icebreakers are necessary. (I can feel my anxiety melting away as we speak.)
This scenario works in your favor because your marketing message doesn’t have to completely reroute your customers’ train of thought.
For instance, if I’m driving down the road jamming out to “Party in the USA,” it’s really difficult to make me suddenly care about pest control. That radio ad is fighting an uphill battle.
(I know you secretly love that song.)
On the other hand, if I’m doing a Google or Bing search for pest control, I obviously want to know about that topic right away. My train of thought is already chugging along in the right direction. I have a problem that needs solving, and I’ve explicitly asked for help. I’m now openly welcoming pitches for pest control.
As a business owner, you want to be found when potential customers search for your services. Search engine optimization and content marketing are also important parts of the search marketing equation, but today we are going to talk about paid search ads.
What’s the Best Paid Search Marketing Platform?
In paid search, there are two main players. There’s the ubiquitous giant Google AdWords, and then there’s Bing.
Poor little guy.
Growing up as the youngest of four brothers, I know what it is like to be a Bing. Everyone is bigger and stronger than you, and nobody listens to you. The best you can hope for is an “Aww, that’s cute” every once in a while.
Well guess what. Little baby Bing has had enough. It’s time to listen to him. You WILL listen to him. (Perhaps I’m projecting a bit.)
More People Use Bing Than You May Think.
In fairness, many of these people don’t make a conscious choice to do so, but it still happens. Rarely does someone type B-I-N-G dot com into their browser to start a search.
Instead, they just type a search into whatever browser is on their machine – ironically an activity they’d likely refer to as “Googling” something.
Windows PCs make up roughly 90% of new computer sales, with Microsoft Edge and Bing set as the default browser and search engine.
For many of these consumers, changing their browser settings is pretty low on their priority list. Either they don’t know how or they don’t care. They are a different breed. These are the kind of people that don’t even share photos of their breakfast or use hashtags… Buncha #weirdos.
As hard as it is to comprehend this bizarre demographic, one thing is clear. They need products and services like the rest of us, and many advertisers are neglecting this crowd.
On both Bing Ads and Google AdWords, the amount you pay per click is based on an auction. In any auction, less competition means lower prices. Hopefully, your competitors are still ignoring Bing.
Competition levels vary greatly from location to location and industry to industry. In your industry and your town, maybe all the same players that are on Google AdWords are on Bing as well, but for the most part, that tends not to be the case. Don’t tell them your secret.
In cases where identical campaigns were run on Google and Bing, for many keywords, the cost per click (CPC) is cut by nearly half on Bing. This can amount to huge savings and a greatly reduced cost per lead.
If you are like most advertisers, you don’t have an unlimited budget. Adding Bing to your paid search marketing arsenal could significantly stretch your marketing dollars and increase your return on investment.
Learning the Bing Ads Platform
Without a doubt, the main thing preventing most advertisers from hopping on the Bing train is the fear of learning a new platform. It probably took you a long time to get comfortable with Google AdWords, so doing it all over again with Bing sounds like a lot of work.
I’ve got news for you. The platforms are basically identical. I’m sure this statement might send many a Microsoft employee or PPC guru into a tizzy, but it’s true.
There are a few minor differences, but I was actually shocked at the similarity the first time I logged into a Bing Ads account. From bidding processes and targeting capabilities to ad extensions and campaign hierarchy, both systems are so similar that there is no learning curve when starting out with Bing Ads.
To make things even more seamless, you can easily export your campaigns out of AdWords into Bing, and get them up and running in a jiffy with minimal configuration.
The Drawbacks of Bing Ads
Google clearly shines in their market share. Google is so synonymous with search that the brand name has been universally adopted as a verb. When we need information, we “Google” it.
Sure it’s more competitive, and the prices may be higher, but Google is where most of the eyeballs are.
Unless you have a very small budget and very popular keywords, a Bing Ads campaign alone will rarely provide the search volume to satisfy your needs. In smaller cities, for more obscure keyword searches, it can be hard to even find clicks at all on Bing.
Should You Advertise on Bing?
The answer to that would be a resounding yes!
The question is not which platform you should use as almost everyone should use both. Bing may only make up 10% to 15% of your search marketing budget, but you could very well get a superior return on that small portion of your ad budget. Since getting started with Bing is so easy, there’s no reason not to give it a shot.