Bing continues to steadily gain search share. According to comScore, as of July 2012, 25.6% of all online searches were powered by Bing. This is 37% of the search volume running through Google, which is currently at 69%.
Bing isn’t going anywhere. They continue to invest heavily in their campaign against Google. Concerning the increased importance of mobile, analysts are projecting Windows Phone 8 and the upcoming Surface tablet to grow even faster than competitors in this exploding market.
All of this points to the importance of investing in Bing search advertising in addition to AdWords. By launching on Bing in addition to Google, you stand to increase your paid search traffic by up to 40%. In fact, Microsoft is so keen to be seen as new and exciting that they recently renamed their entire advertising platform from Microsoft adCenter to Bing Ads.
Bing has actually made it very simple to migrate from Google AdWords. After years of putting it off, I recently took (and passed) the Bing Ads Certification test. I thought there would be some hidden differences and a learning curve. The training was utterly boring — this is because from a search marketing perspective, Bing is almost identical to Google AdWords. Even their desktop editor tool has a strangely copied feel to it compared with Google AdWords Editor.
In fact, things are so similar, that after creating a Bing Ads account, you can use their tool to import your AdWords campaigns directly into Bing. That’s right, you give Bing your AdWords username & password and, barring any fixable errors, they’ll instantly create duplicate campaigns for you in Bing.
Compared with Google AdWords, here are the major differences you need to be aware of:
1. There are no Product Listing Ads in Bing.
If Product Listing Ads and Google Shopping represent a large portion of your AdWords Spend — which as a retailer, they definitely should — then Bing won’t cause give you anywhere near a 40% boost in traffic. Probably closer to 10%.
2. No remarketing functionality in Bing.
Google and other 3rd party vendors already supply enough remarketing reach, so this isn’t a big deal.
3. Laughably small content network compared with Google.
Yes, Bing has their own content network. It is nothing compared with Google AdWords. They have a few mass-market sites, such as all Microsoft & Yahoo owned sites, and the Wall Street Journal. But when it comes to niche sites targeting finely chiseled interest areas, you’ll want to stick with the Google Display Network.
Most retailers already have a presence in Bing Ads. They did the one-time import some months or years back and had a drink in celebration. Now all their time is concentrated on Google AdWords. That’s where the real money is spend, right?
You already know this, but I’ll repeat it anyway. You need to optimize your Bing/Yahoo ads! At the very least, make it a regular practice to move any AdWords optimizations over to Bing. Ideally, however, you will give Bing its proper due with specialized optimizations of your campaigns, ad groups, bids, keywords, and ads.