With Google AdWords dominating the online search world, it’s easy to forget that it’s not the only search engine out there. Last year Google searches accounted for a whopping 66% of online searches performed in the U.S., with Bing and Yahoo! trailing at 15.3% and 13.8%, respectively. While these alternative platforms are the underdogs in the search engine world, they can still be valuable assets when it comes to advertising. Implementing search marketing campaigns that span multiple search engines can help you reach an untapped audience and generate more potential leads without breaking the bank. In this article we’ll outline the reasons why expanding into alternative search marketing outlets can boost your online presence.
Microsoft and Yahoo! have teamed up to create the Yahoo! Bing Network, powered by Bing Search. The partnership lets you advertise on both search engines easily. With a combined user base that makes up about 29% of U.S. search activity every year, combining a search campaign on Google with one on the Yahoo! Bing Network can boost your audience beyond Google’s 66% to a much more comprehensive 95%. The smaller market can actually work to your advantage; because the Yahoo! Bing Network has a significantly smaller potential audience, the advertising climate is much less competitive than it is for Google. As a result, keywords can be significantly less expensive than on AdWords, making it easier to get better ad placement for your dollar.
Hard as it is to believe, there are people out there who don’t use Google as their preferred search engine. Bing users tend to skew slightly older than the average Google user. If you think your product or services could appeal to demographic groups who favor Bing, Yahoo! or even Ask.com, then expanding your ad campaign to their preferred search engines can help you gain greater visibility with previously untapped audiences. The Yahoo! Bing network also gives advertisers the flexibility to target their ads demographically or geographically, ensuring that ads reach the right audience.
Bing has made concerted effort to cater to small businesses by offering better customer support than they would receive at Google. With AdWords, advertisers must spend at least $500,000 per year to earn a dedicated account representative to walk them through everything from technical problems to billing snafus. Bing sets the minimum spend for this service at a mere $500, so even companies with smaller budgets can score an account representative and reap the benefits of more personalized customer service. Bing has also developed QuickLaunch, a free service for search marketing advertisers that sets up new, inexperienced advertisers with specialists to give them a crash course in search marketing best practices.
Although Bing is working to create a more competitive product, it won’t replace AdWords as the advertisers’ outlet of choice for search marketing anytime soon. Luckily for businesses, these platforms aren’t mutually exclusive. Bing has even redesigned their platform to conform to the standards set by Google Ads, making it easier than ever for advertisers to import their Google campaigns to Bing. Diversifying your online advertising outlets can give you a broader reach, and provide a little security against what AdGooRoo CEO Richard Stokes called the dreaded “Google slap”:
If Google determines that your website is of poor quality, that your ad is a bad match for a particular keyword, or even that your landing page loads too slowly, the company may make changes to your account or even shut it down entirely. Sometimes these slaps are subtle, and other times Google runs amok and shuts down thousands of advertisers at once.
For those who are new to the search marketing world, Bing gives advertisers a smaller, cheaper arena to learn the ropes and help them bolster their campaigns on AdWords. If you’re already established and looking to give your AdWords campaigns a boost, reaching out beyond Google’s advertising platform can be well worth the effort, and the extra time and work needed to ramp up your marketing campaign can be mitigated by paid search marketing solutions as your campaigns grow.
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