If you yourself don’t use Bing, it may be tough to understand why it’s even a factor in the advertising world. In many people’s minds, Bing was Microsoft’s stilted attempt at claiming some of the over $100 billion search engine market almost wholly dominated by Google. Back in 2009 when it launched, there was a good amount of buzz surrounding it, picking up added momentum with their partnership with Yahoo!, but then it more or less fell into search engine obscurity. Right? Well, not entirely.
Here we’ll explore Bing’s market share and the potential benefits of including it in your advertising mix.
Bing’s Market Share
Google is still the world’s dominant search engine, and currently possesses about 92.47% of the global market, whereas Bing only accounts for 2.31%. This may make it easy to write off Bing from your advertising strategy, but that would be a mistake. As it turns out, Bing is quite respectable as a search engine. In March of 2019, 126 million unique US users performed a total of 6 billion searches on Bing. At the time of this writing, about 66 million Americans use Bing-powered search engines to facilitate their online research.
Bing currently gets more than 1 billion visits each month. It’s the world’s second-largest search engine, with a 2.71% market share of the worldwide search engine market, and a 36.96% market share among US console users. Bing’s cut of the market has increased by 11.06% since 2019. The search engine is available in 105 languages and across 238 countries.
Additionally, 1.5 billion Windows devices work to power Bing’s searches, and Bing integrates with a variety of other Microsoft products, including Internet Explorer, Xbox, Skype, and more. If you look at the US market specifically, between all these platforms, Microsoft currently processes over a quarter of all search queries. Google still holds a majority of 61% of all queries, but it’s important to note that this number has been in slow decline since the beginning of 2016.
Outside of the traffic that Bing and its Microsoft affiliates enjoy, there are a couple other reasons you should at the very least explore including Bing in your advertising strategy.
While Google doesn’t disclose this information, in 2015 there were about 4 million advertisers on their search engine, which has likely increased since then. Compare that to roughly 100,000 advertisers on Bing, and you’ll see that your chances to stand out are significantly higher.
This becomes even more significant when you take into account that over 25% of people click on the first Google result, and traditionally the first page of Google captures 71% of the clicks. This competition translates over to your cost per click as well. Since there are fewer advertisers on Bing, your costs associated with Bing ads vs Google Ads will certainly be lower. How much lower depends on a variety of factors, but one study by Report Garden found that Bing’s CPC was $7.99 whereas Google’s was $20.08. Bing holds a strong competitive edge in both click through rate and cost per action as well.
Another thing to take into consideration is industry. Which vertical(s) you operate in could drastically affect where you should be investing your money. Certain purchases require a longer and more involved research process. In doing their due diligence for these larger investments, consumers are more likely to search across platforms like Bing. In the case of automotive, for example, Bing accounts for 40% of all paid search clicks. For healthcare, it’s even higher.
Niche Target Demographic
Lastly, knowing your audience and who you are targeting in your ads is always important. Bing services a different demographic from Google’s, which may open up a demographic you have yet to consider. Bing’s users are on average older, more likely to be married, slightly more educated, and wealthier — with a third of users having an income over $100,000.
Of course there is overlap across Google and Bing, especially when it comes to topics that require a great deal of research. Approximately 60 million people do search on both platforms, but another 63 million unique users search on Bing and are unaffected by Google Ads entirely. That’s a pretty sizable chunk of potential clients.
So does Bing matter? That’s for you and your organization to decide. For some, Bing could represent a great opportunity to reach a slightly different demographic at a very reasonable relative cost. For others, it might not be worth the time or money. It all depends on a variety of factors unique to each and every business. In the end, advertising on Bing may or may not be worth the investment, but it certainly is worth the consideration.