The story of Google and Bing is straight out of a comic book or film: it’s a classic case of one character getting overshadowed by the bigger, showier one. In the SEO world, we always talk about what Google is looking for. What Google wants. In fact, Google is so gargantuan and all-encompassing in its power and reach, that it’s easy to forget that other search engines actually exist.
So what about Bing, Microsoft’s search engine – should you be paying attention? Sure, it hasn’t worked its way into people’s everyday habits and lexicon in quite the way that Google has (have you ever heard anyone say “Bing it” as a way of finding the answer to an obscure question? Didn’t think so). But that doesn’t mean you should ignore it entirely when thinking about your marketing, and particularly PPC, strategy. Here’s why.
Bing started life as Windows Live Search – and was then revamped in an attempt to steal some of Google’s thunder. Its many contrasts with Google range from the aesthetic – the homepage is colourful and busy; large-scale graphics and music are a sharp departure from Google’s sterile, white page – to the strategic – Bing powers Yahoo Search, upping their market share. The two combined now account for 1 in 3 US searches, according to comScore.
Like Google, Bing offers more than just a search engine. Maps, SEO and travel are just a few of the additional services offered.
While it’s unlikely that Bing will topple Google anytime soon, it’s worth knowing a thing or two about Bing, as it looks as though it’s sticking around – comScore also discovered that Bing has enjoyed a 20% rise in the UK over the last 12 months. Apparently, 1 in 5 UK users now use Bing.
The main draw that Bing offers is value for money when it comes to your PPC campaigns. According to Econsultancy, Bing ads have an average CPC (cost per click) of $0.75 compared to $0.93 on Google. This is especially effective when targeting older users (55-64 year olds), as Bing is traditionally weighted toward this market.
And although cost is obviously important, Bing offers a number of other advantages when it comes to your PPC campaigns. One of the most interesting is that earlier this year, Bing introduced a change to their service which allows marketers to target users effectively, regardless of device. How does it work? Marketers can create a single PPC campaign, instead of one for users on desktop, tablet on mobile. This not only saves time and effort, but budget, too.
In addition, Bing is constantly adding new features to improve its ad offering to marketers. Earlier this month, it added a new data visualisation tool to help you understand how many searches your Bing ads are reaching, as well as the demographic and location of your searchers.
This is a common complaint amongst brands, and one of the main reasons (alongside dismissing Bing as not worth the effort) that more people aren’t creating campaigns with Bing in mind. However, this problem can be combatted by using a cross-channel advertising cloud tool, which will allow you to optimise keywords for both Google and Bing from the same interface.