As an agency, we use both Google AdWords and Bing Ads for our clients as standard practice.
We see mixed result across both platforms, depending on the account we’re working on, so it’s difficult to identify trends in the differences between the two networks, when we’re trying to optimise campaigns.
Because both networks are treated differently, unless using an ad-exchange, it’s rare that like-for-like campaigns across the networks mirror each other in terms of set-up.
So, when a new client shared their concerns about Bing advertising proving expensive from them in the past, I recommended that we trialled a new campaign structure that was identical to those that were already working on Google.
Once this was agreed, three campaigns were created in Bing which mirrored the three that were enabled in Google AdWords.
This approach doesn’t always work, however it was a good starting point in this case as the Bing activity was failing to meet its objectives. After running all campaigns simultaneously for 45 days, the results were analysed and the difference between the two networks was significant.
The trial ran for 45 days between the 28th July 2016 and 10th September 2016. There were three campaigns in each of the networks which were identical in their set-up, bidding strategy and landing page experience.
The only noticeable difference was the spend on each of the campaigns. The objective of the trial was to lower the CPA from Bing Ads activity, and match what was being achieved by Google.
Conversions:1. Tracked phone call, 2. Online form submission.
Despite the sizable difference in the spend across all campaigns, the cost to generate conversions saw Bing prove itself to be a significantly more economical network.
Overall, it was 63.23% cheaper to gain a conversion on Bing compared to Google. After the trial was running for the first 10 days, the results were exceeding expectations, however the concern was whether this performance could be maintained.
Not only was this the case, but I found that that the performance became more consistent throughout the time period.
Why the difference in CPA performance?
When reviewing standard advert metrics such as CPC, average position and CTR, there were only slight differences, suggesting that ‘where’ and ‘how’ the ads were positioned on the SERPs had little impact on the CPA.
It was the conversion rate when users arrived at the website which was so influential.
The overall conversion rate for the three Google campaigns was 5.96% compared to Bing which returned a rate of 8.78%. As the same landing pages were used across both networks, it would appear the characteristics and behaviours of Bing users was substantially different from those who used Google.
This suggestion isn’t something new as we see performance differences across both networks all the time. However, the results gained from this trial were not even close, and I personally I have yet to come across a case where the difference in performance has been this wide.
Going forward, I will be extending the trail over a 90-day period which I hope will provide conclusive evidence of the difference in performance between the two networks for this case study.
During this trial, Bing produced a far more economical performance than Google, but we know that this isn’t always the case.
I, like many PPC managers, have had scenarios where Google has proved to be the most cost-effective network. However, the key takeaway is not to dismiss Bing Ads before giving it a chance.
Despite having a much smaller search engine market share, and a less advanced interface than Google’s, I strongly believe it’s worth investing the time and effort in running some Bing Ad activity. You might gain similar, or even better, results.
Owen Gill is a Digital Marketing Executive at the Nottingham UK based agency, Hallam Internet.
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TagsBing Ads | CPC | CTR | Google AdWords | paid search | PPC | search marketing
So, you just completed your year-end reports and you noticed that Bing had a really strong year! No? You don’t advertise on Bing?
You’re not alone. We hear it time and time again from our clients, “Why should we advertise on Bing?” As well as: “Let’s figure out Google first & expand to Bing later,” “We have a limited budget, let’s not waste it on Bing,” “Nobody uses Bing, what’s the point”, and on and on.
My goal is to answer all of those burning questions and have yourself asking a new question – “How do I get started with Bing Ads?”
Let’s Get to the Bing Facts
In 2015, Seer clients generated76,587 incremental conversions on Bing Ads. This is almost 80k conversions that these companies could have potentially missed had they not been on Bing. One client alone even generated $461,159 in revenue.
On average, when compared to Google, Bing Ads CPCs are lower, CPAs are Lower, and CTRs are higher.
This data was collected over the course of a year from Seer client accounts across all industries and sizes. One B2B client at Seer has experienced 33% lower CPCs on Bing Ads but an average position 42% better, indicating less competition and more opportunity to strike! We’ve seen similar trends in other industries with one B2C service company experiencing 50% lower CPCs and an average position 12% better.
Ecomm Brand Sample:
- On average, ROAS (return on ad spend) is higher as we see higher AOVs and lower costs
- On average, CPCs are 48% lower
* Compared to Google
B2B Brand Sample:
- On average, CPAs are 51% lower
- On average, CTRs are 243% higher
- On average, CPCs are 15% lower
* Compared to Google
B2C Brand Sample:
- On average, CPAs are 45% lower
- On average, CTRs are 125% higher
- On average, CPCs are 54% lower
* Compared to Google
Bing Performance Snapshot:
We have additional data of another instance of Bing Ads outperforming Google. Earlier this year we approached one of our B2C clients about expanding to Bing Ads. The brand is in the home and garden improvement industry with a more affluent target audience generally over the age of 35. After some initial hesitation and push back, they agreed to let Seer run a short, limited test on Bing. We duplicated our top performing campaigns on Google and let Bing run its course. The results are below.
Of course, it’s not always butterflies and rainbows. Bing searches are still only 33% of the entire market share. These are not guaranteed results and Bing won’t magically solve all your PPC problems. We’ve certainly seen instances of higher Bing CPCs or lower conversion rates for specific clients but the overwhelming results seem to be positive! Still not sold?
Top 3 reasons you need to advertise on Bing in 2016:
1. You’re missing an entire segment of the internet population, and valuable searches!According to Bing, it has 160 million unique searchers & gets 4.7 billion monthly searches to be exact.
- Remember, because of unique partnerships, Bing.com is the default search engine for products like Internet Explorer, Windows computers & phones, as well as iPhones. Users that may not be as “tech savvy” will use these default settings.
- Additionally, some highly regulated industries (think Government, Medical, Educational) will mandate the use of Internet Explorer – a browser that isn’t set to Google. If you’re an advertiser looking to reach one of these niches, Bing Ads could be huge.
2. Bing’s audience is comprised of different demographics than Googlewhich could lead to some drastically different results between your Adwords and Bing Ads performance.
- According to Bing, 40% of their audience is between 35-54 years old and one-third of these users have an average household income that is greater than $100,000. This generally leads to larger AOVs and higher ROAS on Bing Ads.
3. Bing Ads is investing money into its success and they’re working on some awesome product offerings for your 2016 campaigns!Some of the ones we’re most excited about include:
- Remarketing/RLSA – finally launched in Oct 2015 and offers many of the same great features you’ve come to know and love on Google.
- Bing Shopping Campaigns – a new and optimal way to manage your Product Ads, fully transitioning by the end of March 2016.
- Yahoo! Gemini – advanced mobile advertising opportunities and Native ads capabilities.
- Image Ad Extensions – remember when Google gifted these to us in the form of a beta and then ripped them away? Well, they are back…. on Bing Ads!
Ready to get started on Bing?
Check out some of our favorite resources and tips below before you dive in:
- Don’t reinvent the wheel – if you already have Google campaigns built start by easily importing them to Bing Ads. Optimize for Bing performance (max CPCs, budget, etc) as you collect data over time
- You can also utilize the recently launched (Fall 2015) Bing Keyword Planner for additional insights and projections
- Don’t forget to download Bing Ads Editor to make your life easier!
- Bing Shopping Step by Step Instructions (keep in mind steps vary slightly given the new Shopping changes coming this spring)
- Look for free credits to get started! Bing is usually pretty generous – at the time of this post they were giving away $100 – check here: bit.ly/1M2NhFs
- Look out for webinars about how to utilize Bing’s newest technology updates.