Using Bing as an Alternative SEM Tool

Bing as alternative SEM tool

If until now, you’ve been neglecting Bing as a channel in your search marketing strategy, you’re not alone. In 2018, Google’s ad revenue amounted to almost $US116.3 billion, while Bing’s ad revenue came in at $US3.2 billion.

The reason most marketers opt for Google rather than Bing is that more people are on the channel, so they think that their ads are being served to a wider target audience.  This is an accurate assumption, as the latest Netmarketshare report found that 73% of global searches are powered by Google and only 7.91% by Bing.

While there’s no disputing that Google is the dominant search engine, there are definite advantages for digital marketers using Bing alongside, if not instead of, the search engine giant.

Why Use Bing Advertising in Your Digital Campaign?

A lot of advertisers overlook Bing as it just doesn’t have the scale of Google; however global statistics are slightly skewed. According to the latest data, Bing has a 33% market share in the United States and a significant market share in other countries worldwide. The search engine powers six billion unique searches per month, by its 145 million active users. This gives marketers huge potential to reach their target audience.  

The real beauty of Bing Ads, however, is that it is so underused.  This makes the channel particularly effective for advertisers in competitive fields. Millions of advertisers use Google to promote their products and services, which has made its advertising platform overcrowded and saturated.  On Bing, you have much fewer competitors to bid against. With fewer people in the auction, the cost per click on Bing is much cheaper than Google.  As clicks are cheaper, this means you don’t need to spend as much to attract new customers and get a better ROI on the channel.

Who Can you Reach on Bing?

Bing has released demographic information on its 145 million active users.  Depending on the products and services that you’re promoting, the demographics on the channel may work well for your business.  According to the search engine, 40% of their network is 35-54 years old and half of the users are married or living with a domestic partner. Google’s search audience is much younger. In addition, over one-third of Bing’s audience has a household income of over $100,000. For marketers who are promoting products and services to these specific target segments, advertising on Bing could generate leads and sales. However, if the overall marketing goal is to bring in high-volume traffic and raise brand awareness, Google is more likely the go-to.

The Future of Bing Advertising

Microsoft reported record results in the fourth quarter of FY17-18.  This has been largely due to the growth of the company’s cloud services. However, while Bing accounts for a small share of Microsoft’s revenue, the search platform should not be overlooked as it is steadily growing and has seen a 17% increase year on year.

As more people are using Bing, search revenue is growing. While it may never reach the heights of Google with its dominant market share, Bing search is a vital digital platform to offer businesses an alternative to Google to grow their visibility.

Bing knows it has a strong position in the search engine world and has been working to improve its product offerings for businesses and consumers. At a basic level, Bing has advanced its search results to expand on top-level search queries. For example, if you search for ‘Movies’ on your smartphone, both Bing and Google will show what movies are playing in cinemas close to your location.  But Bing results will also display tabs for movies that are currently available on Netflix and Amazon to give a deeper search result and show wider offerings to searchers.

Bing has also enhanced its search results with the introduction of its search entity API. With Bing Entity Search, the API sends a search query to Bing and produces results that include entities and places such as restaurants, hotels, or other local businesses. Bing returns places if the query specifies the name of the local business or asks for a type of business (for example, restaurants near me). It returns entities if the query is about well-known people, locations or things.  This provides a richer contextual search result about people, places, things, and local businesses.  

In addition, Bing has continuously worked on its ability to provide a more visually appealing search.  Bing has always been recognised for its superior design on its home page and search results pages. Taking video as an example, Bing offers results in easy to navigate, visually appealing thumbnail panels, while Google’s video results are more utilitarian.  Building on its reputation for visuals, Bing announced the launch of visual search, which lets people use images to easily navigate the search engine and find content. With this feature, using the Bing app you can take a photo on your smartphone or upload one and use it to perform visual searches. This visual search feature from Bing was assumed to be an answer to Google Lens; however, it offered capabilities for users on both Android and iOS while Google’s visual search capability was limited.

If you’re thinking of using Bing in your strategy, the first step is to familiarise yourself with the platform. Try using the search engine on your desktop and download the app.  When you can see results as your customers would, you’re in a better position to start marketing to them

For help with your Search Engine Marketing campaign, get in touch with the experts at the Lead Agency. And don’t forget to check out our other industries; Education Marketing | Financial Services Marketing | Industrial Marketing | Insurance Marketing | IT Marketing | Law Firm Marketing | Manufacturing Marketing

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