When you think of search, you typically think of Google. When you think of online advertising, you typically think of Google. So it stands to reason that when you plan for a pay-per-click campaign, you typically want to launch it on Google AdWords.
Our paid search efforts primarily focus on this exclusive audience, and rightly so, since Google is the ruling search engine. But at Geonetric, we’ve always kept a watchful eye on the ‘ugly ducklings’: Bing and Yahoo, especially in light of several recent announcements regarding format changes aimed at challenging Google’s empire.
We think there’s value in sharing your ad budget and optimizing across the board. You don’t want to become so preoccupied with your daily Google devotion that you miss out on valuable gains from some impressive secondary search contenders, like Bing. And here’s why:
- Bing is the number two search engine, accounting for 30 percent of U.S. Web searches last month. According to Hitwise, Bing (which is made up of searches from Bing.com as well as Bing-powered searches on Yahoo and a handful of other notable Web partners) processed 2.6 billion search queries last month (compared to Google’s 11.4 billion and Yahoo’s 2.3 billion). So there is an audience outside of Google looking for the services you offer.
- Competition is fairly light. And that’s a money saver. Your dollar will go further when it comes to keyword costs on Bing because there isn’t the same demand as with Google AdWords. Also, Microsoft adCenter software – which powers Bing pay-per-click ads – offers a menu of features (that Google doesn’t) which can make personalizing ads easier than ever.
- Consider the new push by these search engine underdogs to step up their game. In the past two weeks Bing and Yahoo announced big changes to their search engines and how they display search results. Bing is using a redesign to offer search results that tap into the power of social media. They are incorporating personal search results into their search algorithm similar to Google’s Search Plus Your World. The search engine will also be digging deeper into Facebook’s social network and Twitter’s messaging service to showcase information unlikely to be found on Google.
These changes represent Microsoft’s most dramatic shift in Internet search since debuting Bing as a “decision engine” nearly three years ago – and is hoping the move will loosen Google’s stranglehold on the lucrative Internet search market.
Yahoo has also jumped in the water with a phased release of Axis, its new search browser plugin that enables a visual display of search results. The move, according to Yahoo, is an effort to streamline search and connect experiences across devices.
These moves tell us two things: shared content is becoming more critical to online visibility, and if you’re already running Google AdWords ads, or if you’re looking to start a pay-per-click campaign, Bing is another option on the table.
We definitely think it’s worth a look.
Casey is a Certified Google Adwords Professional and a Microsoft Advertising Accredited Professional. He can help you determine and develop the most effective pay-per-click campaign for your organization.