By Sue Brady
Most digital marketers know about and use Google Adwords. Google has 67% of the search market share after all. With over 19 billion total searches happening a month (Comscore, August 2013) there is no question that Google is the search gorilla. Non-Google searches represent 6 billion searches a month however – no small number – and should not be ignored. With the partnership between Yahoo! and Microsoft’s Bing, they power almost 30% of all searches.
Google is clearly more important as a search engine and should be a large part of your search plans. But you should also invest in Yahoo!/Bing. For one thing, Yahoo!/Bing will cost you less per click. It’s true you are reaching fewer people, but since it costs way less, your Cost per Click will be much lower. Your strategy can be similar on both search engines. In fact, Bing allows you to import your Google ad campaigns.
As has been reported in the past by many other studies, click-thru rates and conversions on both search engines are fairly similar if you are a small business. But for other advertisers, it seems that conversion rates are typically higher on Yahoo!/Bing.
Yahoo!/Bing is working hard to pick up more searchers and has added features to its search engine, like ad units called Hero Ads that come up when a user is searching for brand specific information (currently it’s a pilot program, only available on Windows 8). They also offer call extensions on mobile ads and claim that those can yield up to 30% greater click-thru rates. And, Bing just became the default search engine for Siri on the new iOS7 release. Plus, search is being integrated into a number of Microsoft products such as Xbox, Windows 8, MS Office and others. Finally, while Google is no longer showing keywords that drive organic traffic to your site, Bing is not imposing that limitation in their analytics.
While this article will help you understand how much to actually spend on your campaigns, the real trick is to figure out how much to allocate between Google and Yahoo!/Bing and still be profitable. To figure out that balance, you’ll need to test. Definitely start with Google, and take your best keywords/phrases from there and test them on Yahoo!/Bing. If your profit is greater on Yahoo!/Bing, try allocating additional spend to maximize that profit. You’ll have to play with it to get the balance to where it makes sense for your business.
The bottom line is, there are options and it makes sense to be careful about putting all of your eggs in one basket.