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When Is the Right Time to Run Campaigns on Bing Ads?

Though many companies are hesitant to try advertising on Bing Ads, there are still tens of thousands of media buyers generating customers for their businesses or clients through this ad platform. After extensive research and analysis, I have created this comprehensive list of arguments in favor of running ads on Bing:

  •   It’s cheaper than Google

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s delve into the finding the right timing for trying out Bing Ads.


Source: flickr

If you’re currently running a mature, successful AdWords account for a business, you should definitely copy the campaigns onto Bing. Since Bing reportedly gives you access to 21% of US search traffic, it makes a lot of sense to try and duplicate successful AdWords campaigns onto Bing with their import tool. Doing so can help you bring additional sales at profit margins that may be higher than with Google. Though it’s important to remember that the volume of traffic will be a small fraction of your Google traffic, so it’s worth weighing how much time you will spend on managing the Bing campaigns in comparison to how many potential sales or leads you’ll get. For example, if a lead is worth $50, and you need to spend 15 hours a month on Bing to squeeze out  2 leads, you may be better off flipping burgers than managing campaigns.

On a handful of occasions, I’ve heard companies debate trying out Bing before AdWords. The idea was that this allows them to figure out if PPC will work without having to spend as much money as they would with Google. The problem is that success on Bing does not predict success on Google. With Google clicks estimated to cost as much as double what they cost on Bing, the two ad platforms can deliver completely different results. In other words, you should only start with Bing if you currently don’t have the budget for AdWords and want to use it as a stepping stone for AdWords. And even then, in many instances it will make more sense to use your small budget on running modest campaigns with Google or Facebook ads.

Even when companies have ample budgets for going full force on both platforms, I often recommend starting out with just AdWords. I find that it’s just a more efficient way to manage ad budgets. Since Bing allows you to import your entire AdWords account, why spend all that time building up your AdWords and Bing campaigns in parallel? Your’e better off spending all your energies on AdWords for the first couple of months, and then copying the campaigns, along with all your learnings from managing bids, adding negative keywords and finding the best performing Geo-locations, ads and schedules. Campaigns on Bing generally suffer from having sparse data, which means it can take months before you collect enough information about the traffic to properly optimize the account. This way you can “cut your teeth” on AdWords and apply much of your optimization work to Bing.

Just to be clear, I do not mean to belittle the value provided by Bing Ads, specifically with features not available on AdWords, such as search partner optimization and ad group level bid adjustments. However, this value does not overshadow the cost of putting tons of work into a platform with such limited reach. In most instances, its main value is as a complement to your activities on AdWords.

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