What are Microsoft/Bing Ads?

Microsoft ads (formally Bing ads) are paid advertisements that appear on the search engine “Bing”. Bing ads draw some comparisons to Google ads but do hold their own benefits and disadvantages. In this article we will look at the reasons for using Bing ads and compare them against the more known ‘Google ads’. If you’re thinking of using Bing ads, Google ads or any form of Pay-Per-Click advertising campaigns, we highly recommend you speak to an expert PPC agency to help you maximise your ROI.

Why should I run a Microsoft ad campaign?

Bing ads were always seen as pointless when Google ads is available as Google is the biggest search engine in the world and so, in theory, your reach is much bigger. The problem is, huge companies have that same thought and when they come in with their huge budgets, smaller companies never see any top ad rankings for big keywords so instead they’re stuck with smaller, lower traffic keywords. In May 2022, Bing received just under 1.2 billion unique visitors, which isn’t small yet the search engine is overlooked by many.

Bing ads rebranded to Microsoft ads back in 2019 to represent a broader focus of their ads. Now, the new ‘Microsoft ads’ can be found on Bing, Yahoo and AOL. With Microsoft taking control of Bing and it’s PPC system, Windows now directs traffic to it’s Bing search engine on their software and through their AI system, Cortana.

Below we’ve put together some benefits to using Microsoft ads to help you understand why they shouldn’t be ignored.

Bing Ads reach billions

Whilst the argument can be made that Google has more potential for reach than Microsoft ads, the true reach a business will see could be bigger on Bing depending on their size. If you have a smaller budget and constantly being outbid by huge competitors, moving to Bing could improve your reach as that same budget could carry you further.

Microsoft themselves claim that their Bing ads were able to reach 45 million Americans that could not be reached through Google. On top of this, their collaboration with Verizon Media Group (the owners of Yahoo and AOL) means that they can provide native ad placements in 30 countries.

Bing Ads offers high level targeting options

Microsoft ads take enhanced advertising to the next level. Whilst they allow for the standard targeting of desktops, tablets and mobile phones, they take this a step further with the ability to drill down using search demographic and allow for campaigns in different time zones. Another targeting option that stands out from Bing is there ability to capture mistakes during searches, allowing you to pick up anyone who might’ve normally slipped through the corrects due to a spelling error.

Bing Ads has less competition and cheaper CPC’s

One of the greatest benefits that Bing has to offer (which might not last long now businesses are starting to notice) is that they’re low in competition and, because of this, their cost per click (CPC) is low. This is a huge advantage for businesses with lower budgets and allows you to target higher traffic keywords at a lower cost without compromising on clicks. In fact, when comparing to Google, Bing ads have a 30% lower cost per click (CPC) and receive a 45% higher click through rate (CTR) on average compared to Google ads campaigns.

Bing Ads provides more transparency and control over search partner targeting

Bing offers customers the option to target only Bing & Yahoo, only search partners, or both at the ad group level to provide more transparency on where your ad traffics main source is. This level of detail is overlooked in other pay per click options, such as Google which only provides two choices for their campaigns, without any alternatives.

Bing ads vs. Google ads

Both advertising platforms are similar in their goals, however have some unique features that will benefit different customers. Whilst we show you the differences between the 2 biggest pay per click advertisement options, we want to reinforce that it’s not an either or situation and you can utilise both these platforms to maximise your return on investment.

The cost

As we’ve discussed, Bing ads see 30% lower cost per click on average compared to that of Google. The issue with Google is that, even if you have a high click through rate, you’re unlikely to be able to battle the giants in the industry. In fact, it was found that giant retailers can spend up to $50 million per year on Google Ads. In comparison, the average small to mid size business was spending anywhere from $12,000 to $120,000 per year. That’s 0.02% to 0.24% of the giants yearly funding.

The reach

Sure, in theory the reach of Google is much bigger because it’s the bigger search engine but in terms of the reach your business could achieve, you might see more on Bing ads. Bing ads have lower competition and lower cost per click making it easier to get in front of more people at a lower cost compared to the amount needed to be in front of the same amount of people on Google ads.

5 Tips for Creating a Successful Microsoft Ad (Bing Ads) Campaign

If you’ve decided that Bing ads could benefit your business, we’ve put together 5 tips to help you create a successful ads campaign.

Use the UET Tag

The Universal Event Tracking (UET) tag is a powerful tool offered by Microsoft ads that tracks what customers do on your website. This helps for the basics such as conversion tracking and re-marketing, but it also provides insights on what works and what doesn’t work on your website. This gives you the ability to see where people click through, where they drop off and find the reason you’re not maximising your conversions.

Know your audience

Knowing your audience is the key to having a good click through rate. Identify who your audience are, their age, the devices they’re using, what they’re searching for. If most of your audience appears from results from Cortana, you’ll want to write your ads and target different keywords and phrases compared to a business with most of it’s audience coming from desktop.

Improve your targeting

This ties in with the last tip. Once you know your audience, make sure you’re correctly targeting them with your ads. This could be with better device targeting, industry phrasing, or language based on the audience age. With Microsoft advertising you can also adjust the time zone to target different locations either internationally or (for companies in countries with multiple time zones) nationally. Your marketing strategy should be as specific as possible when determining your audience to make sure you’re maximising your CPC.

Import High-Performing Google Ads

As we mentioned previously, you don’t need to pick between Google and Microsoft advertising. You can enjoy the benefits of both. If you currently have high-performing Google ads, you can import these ads (and all their settings) into Bing ads to give you a great baseline to start from and potentially successful search ads from the get go.

Monitor Your Quality Score

Your quality score is one of the most important elements you need to pay attention to when managing your Bing ads account. The quality score determines how competitive and well performing your advertisement is and can massively effect your conversion rate. Keeping a high quality score is important to remaining competitive in the search market.

Final Thoughts

Bing ads are definitely not to be ignored. When compared against Google, Bing could provide small to medium size businesses with a huge advantage by offering them a cheaper source to more customers. If you’re interested in getting started in pay per click management or are looking to improve the success of your current campaigns, Regency’s PPC experts are here to help.

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