It’s strange that for a form of advertising which is arguably the most powerful which has ever existed, one service dominates online “pay per click” (“PPC”) advertising. But that’s the situation which Google’s AdWords has found itself in, and very lucrative it’s proving to be for the company. However, there are alternative services (or additional ones), and as you only pay for results, they must be worth looking at.
The first is Microsoft’s Bing Ads, which is the direct equivalent of Google AdWords, but running on the Bing and Yahoo! search engines. Now, the number of searches being made on those two sites is substantially lower than on Google, but that doesn’t matter if you only pay for the clicks you get. The only issue is whether or not the response is worth the effort involved in setting up the advertising in the first place.
Our own view is that if you’re advertising in North America, it’s worth looking at Bing Ads, because the combined share of Bing and Yahoo! searches there is about 40% of Google’s. Here in the UK, we’re looking at more like 10%, so you’d need to be spending quite a lot on AdWords (and have some time to spare) to make running a Bing Ads campaign worthwhile. However, particularly if your North American Google AdWords campaign is quite mature, it’s worth investigating Bing Ads.
Of course, if we’re running your Google AdWords campaign for you, please ask us for an opinion on the suitability of adding Bing Ads to the mix.
Tomorrow I’ll mention an even newer possibility, LinkedIn advertising.