An online ad strategy that goes beyond Google Ads can be a smart move for many sellers. Here’s why you should consider expanding your reach, and how to sell with Bing ads.
We talk a lot about Google Search because, after all, it’s the 800 pound gorilla in the world of web queries. Bing’s share of the search market is a fraction of Google’s. Bing averages about 13 million searches per day vs > 3 billion for Google. In desktop searches, though, Bing’s market share is much better.
The Bing network is growing quickly, too. Just take a look at the numbers:
- Bing now has 34% of the desktop search engine market share worldwide
- There are 5.4 billion monthly searches conducted on the Bing Network
- 136 million unique searchers use the Bing Network
Most importantly, Bing Ads reach 63 million searchers that aren’t reached with Google Ads. If you aren’t using Bing Ads, that’s a substantial amount of missed opportunity.
Cost: Bing Ads vs. Google Ads
What Bing lacks in volume, it certainly makes up for in performance.
Bing PPC has far less competition among its bidding advertisers. This makes clicks cheaper, and advertisers get more for their dollar.
According to ReportGarden, CPC averages $7.99 on Bing Ads and $20.08 on Google AdWords. Some analyses show the average cost-per-click on Bing Ads can be up to 70% lower compared to AdWords.
A recent rebranding, with bonus ad exposure
After a recent rebranding, Bing ads are now called Microsoft Ads.” The company has recently re-branded its advertising program to make a stronger connection with the corporate parent, and to reflect additional partner sites under its umbrella.
Microsoft’s search engine assets now include not just Bing, but also Yahoo and AOL. When you advertise on one platform, your ad is actually seen on all three. This opens up campaigns to searchers across all Bing, Yahoo, and AOL owned and operated sites, as well as various partner sites.
Getting started with Microsoft Ads
Just like Google Ads, Microsoft ads are a PPC, auction-based system where you bid on key search terms in order to position your ad on relevant search results pages (SERPs), next to or above organic (unpaid) search results.
Opening an account and setting a budget
Opening an account is pretty simple. Register a valid email address and password, give your full name, and you’re in their system.
Once you’re enrolled, you’re ready to start placing your bids and trying to position your ads. There may be several paid search ads appearing on the same page with yours.
Whether your ad gets top billing on a SERP depends not just on winning the bid, but also on certain quality rankings assigned by Microsoft to its advertisers. You can view a wide range of performance trends in your account to see how your performance is doing: ad clicks, the number of impressions), total spend, average cost-per-click, click-through rate, average ad position, cost per acquisition, and conversions. You can also run performance reports to get insights into how well your campaigns are doing.
The higher your performance, the better ad position you’ll get.
While your first instinct may be to start with a lower budget, first try lowering your maximum bids. This may mean fewer customers visit your site. But if you increase your quality score and build ads with a strong performance history, you may be able to win a good ad position with a lower bid.
That would lower your cost-per-click and help stretch your budget. While only one ad shows at a time, running multiple ads lets you test different approaches to see what’s working best with your target customers. Frequently, businesses try out different ads for specific products or pages.
Review your budget and bid strategy. If your ad keeps pausing, your budget limit may be set too low. Competitive bids help your ad stay in a strong position to catch eyes and get more clicks to your website.
There are several strategies to help choose your keywords.
- Think of the terms one of your customers might use to search for your products and offerings.
- Use the tools right in your account to find more keywords. Within Microsoft Advertising, click Campaigns on the top of the page. Click the Keywords tab, and then click Add Keywords. This will let you:
- Search for new keywords based on a sample one you enter
- Search a website for keywords.
- Search your destination URLs for keywords.
If you use professional SEO tools (or have a contractor who does it for you), services like SEMRush, Ahrefs, and Alexa will show you how much competition there is among other advertisers for that keyword. If your most preferred term has high competition, look for alternatives that may have less search traffic but are more honed-in to the specific features or brands you sell.
Writing a high performing ad
Use your customer’s most popular search terms in your ad titles and text. Describe your unique value proposition (in 9 words or less).
Use your customers’ language, with a style and tone you think are used by your best customers.
This clearer and more specific your offering, the better.
- Rather than saying “big discount,” specify an exact percentage, like “50 percent off.”
- Give it urgency – like an expiration date- so customers have a reason to click your ad right now.
- Offer a specific call to action, like a button that says “Shop Now” with a link to your store.
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