When to add Bing Ads

When it comes to search advertising, the place to begin is nearly always Google Ads, because that’s where the vast majority of searches take place. So at what point is it worth looking at other places to advertise, in particular the number two search engine, Bing?

However easy Bing makes it to replicate Google Ads campaigns, there’s an administrative overhead in running ads on more than one site, so using both sites needs to be worth the effort. We find that costs per click are broadly similar, but Bing Ads produces less traffic. However, once you get past the low-hanging fruit in Google Ads, it may be worthwhile going after the same thing in Bing rather than the more expensive stuff in Google.

For example, let’s say we want to advertise blue widgets. We start with whatever searches are cheapest. On both platforms, we find cost per click is £1 for searches on ‘blue widgets’ and £2 on ‘buy blue widgets’. There are 100 easy clicks a day on ‘blue widgets’, but our budget is only £50, so to begin with, we just advertise on that search and accept that our ad will only appear half of the time.

Now, if our budget gets raised to £100, we can show the whole time and get the other 50 clicks, which is excellent. But what if our budget is raised even further, to £150? We have a choice of spending the extra £50 on getting 25 clicks from the £2 ‘buy blue widgets’ searches – or we could move over to Bing and try for the £1 ‘blue widgets’ searches there. We’ll probably find there aren’t 50 clicks available on Bing, so we can get whatever’s there straight away, but we can do that before moving back to spend the remainder of the budget on the more expensive search terms on Google.

Of course, in practice, it’s a lot more complicated than that. The ‘buy blue widgets’ clicks at £2 may be better quality than ‘blue widgets’ at £1. Google Ads may not cost the same as Bing Ads. And so on. But as a rule of thumb, if you’ve found a good value search term to advertise against on Google Ads, and you’re appearing against all the searches, the next place to go may well be Bing, rather than more expensive terms on Google.