Just about every ecommerce company these days is advertising on Google AdWords, but what is surprising is that so few are advertising on bing. While bing has never had the market reach of AdWords (most recently at 67.6%*), it does command 18.3% of the market.* If your sales volume has hit a ceiling on AdWords, and you are looking for new sources of traffic to continue to grow, bing is a great place to start. Quite simply put, there are not a lot of other channels that provide the extremely high ROI that paid search does; before running out to try and get more likes on Facebook or engage in a Pinterest strategy, why not look to Microsoft’s search engine for some high ROI incremental sales?

Bing is a great source of paid traffic, hidden by smaller market share.

Yes, there is a smaller potential upside because of that smaller market share, but this source is so commonly overlooked that there is also a general lack of competition (at least as compared to AdWords). Advertisers normally start out with AdWords because AdWords, is the industry leader, makes it super easy to get started, and the results are fantastic. However, the lower competition on bing means lower CPCs, more attention for your ad, more uncontested placements, and better overall campaign performance, which is a combination every marketer can get behind.

Although bing only commands 18% of the search universe, when you combine AdWords and bing and opt in to all of their respective search partners, you are reaching well over 85% (we’d guess closer to 95%) of the searching public. Being that paid search is one of the best converting, highest ROI channels and it helps monetize all of your other paid advertising by ensuring that your users can find you using your brand keywords after they have left your site, it pays to have as much reach as possible, and adding in the additional reach bing offers does just that.

So now let’s talk growth potential: Given bing’s market reach, by launching a campaign there, you are most likely going to increase your sales by 18% or more.  Factor in a few additional bonuses afforded by the general lack of advertisers already there —you’ll have relatively low competition which will equate to lower CPCs and add to that the lack of effort that most companies who are on bing are putting into their campaigns— and you have a recipe for even higher incremental sales. Just by applying your current AdWords campaign strategy and tactics into bing, I am confident you will see an immediate uptick.

Sure bing’s interface is less elegant than the leader’s, but they have worked hard to make continual improvements over the years, most recently allowing advertisers to import their AdWords campaigns right into bing with a few quick clicks; the campaigns come over exactly as they are in AdWords, and the tool makes it quick and easy to bring them in (see screenshot below).

bing's AdWords import tool

So let me sum bing up: There isn’t a lot of competition on bing, it creates incremental sales, and it’s now super easy to port your campaigns over.  It seems pretty obvious to me that there really is no reason not to start testing on bing right away.  If you’re looking for an incremental increase in your paid search sales, it’s seriously worth considering this often overlooked advertising venue while so few others are making an effort. But use good sense – make sure to put the time and effort into developing a testing plan so you can be sure this move is having a positive impact on the all-important ROI.


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