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Call it a Comeback: Reconsidering Bing for Paid Search

Posted August 4, 2020

Call it a Comeback: Reconsidering Bing for Paid Search

Posted August 4, 2020

Remember Bing Ads? It is okay if you said no.  Previously thought of as the black sheep of the online paid advertising world, Bing Ads have been trying to shake that notion, and is now starting to back it up with numbers as well.  Oh, and did I forget to mention it is no longer known as Bing Ads anymore?

Now formally known as ‘Microsoft Ads’, Bing’s parent company has started making strides in catching up to their Goliath competitor, Google.  Over these last few, let us say ‘unique’ months, our clients at Anteriad have seen solid numbers in terms of efficiency for Return-On-Ad-Spend (ROAS).  In some cases, the numbers have been so good that they have even begun to eclipse those in Google Ads.  Sure, you would have to take my word for it on this, so let’s dive into some facts that surround the platform that might not be so well known.

Microsoft Ads now serve on Yahoo, AOL, and Bing search networks with the acquisition of Yahoo and their native advertising platform, Gemini, being a key component to Microsoft’s recent success.  This means advertisers can reach audiences across Yahoo through one platform.  Microsoft estimates this could lead to an increase in clicks of 10% to 15% in the US.  Furthermore, Bing now has 34% of the desktop search engine market share worldwide. Now, while this is primarily due to Bing being the preset search engine installed on PC’s, it is still nonetheless impressive considering it was approximately a third of their current market share just a few years ago.

Now that the background is out of the way, let’s dive into the numbers that matter to advertisers. Since Yahoo and MSN offer financial reporting, click-through-rates (CTR) are typically higher for shopping and financial services.  Offering these shopping and financial resources in those verticals allow advertisers to reach an audience of highly interested prospects, leading to more engagement and thus a higher CTR for the ads they run.  This is music to B2B company’s ears, particularly here at Anteriad since nearly all SEM clients run shopping campaigns.

Not only are CTR’s typically higher in Microsoft Ads, but the cost-per-click (CPC) is also significantly lower.  Depending on the vertical and source, CPC have been reported to be up to 70% lower in some instances.  That being said, in some cases the traffic quality can be lower, so some advertisers may end up paying more for a conversion.  Alternatively, since competition is lower it is easier to get traffic you want at a lower cost, resulting in higher ROAS.  One of the more useful features Microsoft Ads has added in the last few years is allowing advertisers to import their Google Ads campaigns.  This allows them to pick and choose campaigns that have shown higher quality traffic that lead to more qualified conversions, taking some of the “guess work” out of it.

Since start of quarantine, clients of Anteriad averaged a 15% better ROAS in Microsoft Ads, in most cases spending significantly less than that of Google Ads.  While the scale of revenue may be smaller, it is hard to imagine anyone hating the efficiency of ad spend and the fruit it produces.  With 5.4 billion monthly searches conducted on the Bing Network and 136 million unique searches, choosing to not advertise on Microsoft Ads can be a missed opportunity.

In sum, by no means am I advocating to place all your advertising dollars into Microsoft Ads, but rather pushing the idea of leveraging both platforms into your digital advertising strategy.  Next time you find yourself asking, “who even uses Bing?”, you might want to think again.

Matt Gazzola
Search Engine Marketing Manager
[email protected]