How to Use Bing for Paid Search


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  • While it may not be the first thought in most people’s minds when it comes to their PPC spend, Bing actually has a surprising amount to offer
  • Nearly 40% of Bing searchers make over $100,000 a year, so if your audience skews wealthier you need to be getting your ads in front of Bing users. 
  • The average click on one of your Bing paid search ads costs only about 40% of what it would on Google. 
  • It can definitely be worth putting a small initial amount on Bing, taking a trip through their ad creation process and seeing how it stacks up.

What is Bing Paid Search?

When it comes to paid search, there’s only one game in town, right? Google Ads dominates every conversation and blog post in the field, and with 92% of the global search engine market share, you can understand why. But that’s not the whole truth. In fact, it’s an overly simplistic view that means you could actually be missing out. If you want to really add a competitive edge to your digital ad game, digging a little deeper brings up the only other online advertiser worth mentioning: Bing Ads.

At first glance, spending time and money doing anything other than honing your Google Ads skills might seem like a waste, but that’s not necessarily the case. Breaking the numbers down, the Bing Ads network has 10.5% market share in the US. Interestingly, that increases to 18.5% (or possibly up to 37% according to Bing) when it comes to searches on desktop, compared to a tiny 3.3% share of the mobile search market. Bing users also skew significantly older; nearly 75% of Bing searchers are over 35.  

But what do those numbers actually mean? Well, if you think about consumer behavior and marketing costs, they translate into three big reasons to consider adding Bing Ads into your marketing mix.

1. Bigger screens, bigger purchases

So when do people use a desktop instead of mobile to make a purchase-related query? It depends on how much is at stake. If you’re looking for a place to order takeout or book a hotel room, then mobile is fine. But if you’re thinking of buying a new car or want to investigate and compare insurance providers, you want a bigger screen to get all the detail. 

For advertisers, that means that, depending on what you’re selling, Bing having 1/5 of the desktop market actually makes it a serious player when it comes to advertising big ticket items.

2. Wealthier demographics

Another reason why six times more Bing searches take place on desktop than mobile is that its audience is considerably older and, being realistic, probably trusts desktops more than performing major transactions on mobile. While this means that their TikTok game is probably less on point, it also means that they have more actual money to spend. This is supported by data, with nearly 40% of Bing searchers making over $100,000 a year, which makes them much more likely to be searching for investment advice or realtors than Millennials or Gen-Zers. 

If your target market skews wealthier, you need to be getting your ads in front of those Bing users.

3. Cheaper CPC

As the Bing Search Network gets less traffic, there’s also less competition. This means that the average Cost Per Click (CPC) is much lower on Bing. In fact, the average click on one of your paid search ads costs only about 40% of what it would on Google

For specific industries, such as automotive and the insurance industry, where ads are among the most expensive, Bing comes in at 32% and 59% cheaper, respectively. While it wouldn’t be wise to completely abandon Google altogether, a click is still a click, and reducing your CPC on average by including a greater mix of cheaper ads improves your overall return on investment.

How to Get Set Up

The reasons for adding Bing to your paid search strategy are pretty clear, but how can you go about getting set up? Though starting out with a new paid search system can be daunting, Bing Ads has gone to considerable lengths to make this process as easy as possible. 

Let’s take a look at some simple steps to getting you up and running.

Step 1: Setting up your account

Nothing too major involved, just the general account set-up stuff. They will look for your company’s name address and contact details, as well as where you’re located.

Step 2: Connecting with Google Ads

This might sound a bit strange but the smart people over at Microsoft have obviously given it some thought. Naturally a big obstacle to engaging with a new ad provider is how difficult it is to get used to a new system. It can take a lifetime to get Google Ads working perfectly, never mind another vendor. 

Having realized that this is one of the biggest challenges to getting people on board with Bing ads, one of the first options they give you is to let you port over everything you’ve already been working on in Google Ads. They might be their biggest rival, but Bing understands that nobody has time to start everything again from scratch or try to copy-paste all their good work. 

You can obviously still choose to start a campaign from scratch, but if you choose the Import from Google option, you can sign into your Google Ads account and bring in your work from there, including bids, tracking templates, and ad extensions. You can also set Bing Ads up to import from Google on a scheduled basis, so even if you do most of your work on Google Ads Bing will still stay up to speed.

Step 3: Defining Your Objectives

When you choose to start your campaign, you’ll be asked what your goals are, basically what you want to get out of the campaign. The options are:

  • Visits to your website
  • Visits to your business location(s)
  • Conversions on your website
  • Phone calls to your business
  • Dynamic search ads
  • Sell products from your catalog

 

While undoubtedly all of the above sounds like something you’d like to improve on, narrowing things down for a specific campaign can really help the focus and quality of your ads. It will also help you to measure how successful the campaign has been and allow you to judge if you are getting the ROI you were looking for. If you want to choose something else too there’s no problem in starting up another campaign that focuses on that.

Step 4: Creating Your Ad

After you’ve picked your campaign goal, you’ll be taken to the Ad Creation section. Here, you’ll enter the headlines and text that you want in the ad, which will be displayed on the Bing search results page. Keep things short and sweet, and focus on what you’re selling. Something catchy that entices people to click such as “20% off all stock” or “Largest selection in the state” stand out. 

Remember, they’re ads, and people rarely take a lot of time to read them fully, so try and create as much interest as possible in as few words as possible. That’s the hook; then your description should be reeling them in slightly more with the goal being to “land them” by having them click through to your page. Don’t try to go too wild with the promises, though. If your ad doesn’t match what your landing page says, then visitors are likely to bounce out of there rapidly.

Once you’ve decided on what the ad will look like, you’ll then be taken to the keyword section. 

Step 5: Keyword Planning

If you’ve used Google Ads to set up a campaign before you will have come across the concept of keyword planning (and we also took a closer look at it in a previous blog). If you haven’t, don’t worry — starting out on your journey of keyword exploration is easy enough at the start. With Bing Ads, you can navigate to the keyword planner and then enter what your company does (for the sake of this example, selling shoes), and ask them to give you suggestions. 

In this case, you’ll likely have results of the top brand names and other common search terms like “hiking shoes,” “cleats,” or “shoes for walking.” Bing will also provide you with data on how often each term is searched for, what the competition is like, and what a standard CPC bid is. From this list you can select the keywords that are most relevant for your business and add them to your campaign. When someone searches with the keyword, if your bid wins, they will see your ad.

Step 6: Set Your Budget

Here you’ll enter how much you want to make available for the PPC campaign per day. This is important as setting too high a budget can see your costs spiral quickly on what might be an ineffective campaign. However, set the budget too low and you might be all out of juice after three click-throughs and no conversions, meaning the campaign is destined for stagnation.

It’s always a good rule of thumb, especially when starting off, to set a budget that will last at least a month. That way, you have time to look at changes in your metrics with a more analytical eye, rather than basing everything on a week’s worth of ads and traffic. Slow and steady is the way to build long-term success in digital marketing.

Bing Ads: The Conclusion

While it may not be the first thought in most people’s minds when it comes to their PPC spend, Bing actually has a surprising amount to offer, especially for anything targeted towards older or wealthier searchers. With that in mind, it can definitely be worth putting a small initial amount on Bing, taking a trip through their ad creation process and seeing how it stacks up. The lower CPC and the fact that you can bring in everything from your Google Ads campaigns means that the adventure could be highly rewarding. Long-term, it could be what gives you the edge in the digital marketing race.

Try out our guide, and if you’d like to chat about how Bing Ads or your PPC itself could get a boost from some professional help, we’re always happy to lend a hand. Get in touch with us to find out more.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mauricio has close to 20 years of digital experience and a core foundation in the technical side of SEO. He’s led and executed strategy both in-house and on the agency side and enjoys defining successful strategies for our clients.
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