Are you dismissing Bing PPC because that “guy” in the online forums said it’s not worth it to use as a real estate investor or agent? Is your Google Adwords campaign killing your marketing budget?
What if I told you Bing may help you attract some extra leads at a lower cost (if you do it right)?
“For me, Bing Ads is too expensive. The conversion rates just suck…” via Reddit
“Bing Ads are s*** compared to Google AdWords in my experience”. via Reddit
We see these kinds of comments about Bing PPC for real estate online all of the time. You probably do as well.
We’re often asked, “Is Bing PPC worth it as an additional source for real estate investor advertising?”
So, we wanted to find out… and we started testing, which we dive into below. Also, we’ll show some of the advantages Bing can have over AdWords.
Don’t Assume That Google Adwords Is The Only Game In Town For PPC Marketing
When prospects are searching online for a real estate professional (this applies to investors and agents), you want to be on the first page.
Because if you are, people will click on your result, they’ll visit your website, and there’s a darn good chance they’ll even become a lead (at the very least, you can tag them once they visit your website and retarget them with Facebook ads — learn more over here).
And leads from search engines are typically much higher quality than direct mail leads, bandit sign leads, or even door knocking or cold calling leads.
Because they came looking for you.
However, in the world of search engines and PPC, Google AdWords reigns supreme. Google, after all, dominates nearly 95% of all search engine traffic.
But in this article, we’re not talking about Google AdWords. We’re talking about Microsoft Advertising (the advertising platform behind Bing, a search engine mockingly achronymed as “But It’s Not Google”), which holds about 2.39% of the world’s search engine market share.
That begs the question: why are we talking about Microsoft Advertising at all?
Well, there are a few advantages you should be aware of.
Should You Use Microsoft Advertising?
While holding 2.39% of the world’s search engine market share seems like a small and insignificant feat, those two percentage points still amount to 12 billion searches per month. Everyone searches online, most people do it every day, so owning a few percentage points of the world’s search engine share is more powerful than it seems.
And here’s the other thing: most people only really use one search engine.
Think about it, if you’re a Google user (and you probably are), when is the last time you searched using Bing, or Yahoo, or DuckDuckGo?
Yeah… don’t even remember. Neither do I. And neither do most people.
The vast majority of online searchers use a single search engine and rarely digress.
This means that the people who search using Bing… you’ll almost never reach those same searchers with Google AdWords. Conversely, you’ll almost never reach Google AdWords users when using Microsoft Advertising.
Searchers don’t cross platforms. Which means, in order to reach all of your prospects, your business should.
But look — I’m not going to tell you that you have to advertise on Bing; it’s your call. I just want to point out that running a Microsoft Advertising campaign in addition to your Google AdWord’s campaign can give you a competitive edge in your market: you’ll reach the people who your competitors aren’t probably even advertising to.
Because since Google is the biggest, most visible search engine, everyone knows about it, including your competitors. And they’re definitely advertising on it.
Bing? Maybe not. Using Microsoft Advertising could help you snag leads that your competition is outright ignoring.
Is Bing PPC Worth It For Real Estate Investors? Here’s What We Found…
Carrot Member Google AdWords Campaign
With that success with AdWords, we wanted to see if we could “stack” on more leads by adding Bing PPC to the picture. As you can see he invested $1,910 in ad costs during that 30 day period in Google Adwords and collected 10 confirmed online opt-in leads… and many other phone call leads. When you count the phone call leads it brings his cost per lead down under $100 per lead.
Same Carrot Member Bing PPC Campaign
Now let’s compare them both apples to apples across the board.
- AdWords: 377
- Bing: 338
AdWords had 11.5% more clicks by volume
- AdWords: 41335
- Bing: 24660
AdWords had 68% more impressions by volume
Click Through Rate:
- AdWords: .91%
- Bing: 1.37%
Bing had a 50% greater click-through rate by a percentage
Cost Per Click:
- AdWords: $5.07
- Bing: $3.32
AdWords cost per click was 53% higher than Bing
- AdWords: 10
- Bing: 6
AdWords (for this specific market) only had 4 more online leads in total (doesn’t count phone call leads).
- AdWords: $1910.34
- Bing: $1123.65
Adwords overall spend was 70% higher than Bing and yielded 40% more leads.
Just one thing to remember from this test… the cost per lead in this campaign is higher than our usual cost per lead on PPC. The client wanted us to test a set of 6,000 broad match keywords that he received from a mentor… vs. our more targeted approach to PPC management.
The cost per lead on that broad match keyword group is 5x higher than on our targeted group… for the same number of leads. But the client is ok with that higher cost per lead because his margins on deals are so high that it ensures he’s not missing any leads.
Bing delivers lower search volume but a more attractive cost per lead.
You’ll, of course, get more volume of impressions and clicks on Google Adwords, but you’ll usually pay more per click for those visitors.
It’s not that one is better than the other… this post is mainly to lay out the argument that Bing is a very valid PPC marketing platform that in this month-long test pulled leads in that cost us less than we pay for leads on Google.
More… Quick Microsoft Advertising Stats
To get your mind churning and to keep you informed, here are some stats about Bing and Microsoft Advertising.
- Bing has about 1.3 billion unique monthly visitors.
- Bing has about 500 million monthly search volume from the United States.
- Microsoft Advertising generally has a lower cost-per-click than Google.
- Google AdWord’s click-through rate has been neck-and-neck with Microsoft Advertising click-through rate, around 2.5%.
- Bing offers better support to advertisers with lower budgets.
7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Bing PPC For Real Estate Leads…
1. Bing PPC offers cheaper CPCs (costs per click) and ensures higher ROI
This is primarily due to the fact that a lesser number of searchers use Bing as the go-to search engine instead of Google.
However, this fact alone cannot be used to undermine the advertising potential that Bing provides. Bing like Google uses the auction dynamic for keywords, therefore the lack of competition on Bing adds to your benefit, as lesser competition stands for lower costs per click and higher ad positions for the same or an even lesser amount of money.
Higher ad positions ensure better ad visibility and CTRs which in turn enhance the ROI, provided that the searchers who click your ads convert as well! In the case of retail ads, over # searches take place on the Bing network took place during this monthly, and with the CPC being % lower and the conversion rate being higher on the Bing network as compared to the other advertising counterparts, it is clear that Bing beats the rest when it comes to advertising, especially in the retail sector.
Additionally Bing displays more ads at the top of its search page than Google, which further affects your ad position and increases the chances of conversion. As of February 2016, AdWords now features four ads at the top of the search engine results page, three ads on the bottom and the right side ads eliminated.
2. Bing PPC offers greater control over demographic and search partner targeting
Just like the Google Adwords network comprises Google search network and Google display partners, Bing PPC comprises two search domains, namely Bing search network and Bing content network, which now includes AOL.
Google allows the user to choose only one network where (s)he wants the ad to be displayed, i.e., between Google search and Google display partners.
Bing, on the other hand, allows you to choose either one of the Bing search network and the Bing content network or both. Additionally, it also allows you to track the traffic that a particular search partner directs to your ad based on which you can opt out of advertising on a particular site by using a “website exclusion” feature.
Bing Allows You To Display Ads On Both Search And Content Network For The Same Campaign
3. Bing Ads offer new ad features!
Bing Ads allows you to limit the viewership of your ad by filtering who sees your ads on the basis of gender or age
group. This reduces your effective cost and ensures that relevant searchers find your advertisement which in turn boosts the chances of conversion.
Bing Ads offer newly enhanced and helpful features like Tablet bid modifiers, local or toll-free phone numbers in call extensions, and advanced annotations to help make your ad stand out.
Action Link Extensions – Help Your Ads Stand Out On Bing
What are they?
Action Link extensions give advertisers the opportunity to append a call-to-action button alongside their ad that deep-links to a landing page. Bing provides a pre-approved list of actions for the button (such as reserve, buy now, sign up, contact us), but also allows users to submit unique CTAs for review.
Since it is currently in pilot-mode, advertisers must apply for access through their Bing Ads representative.
4. Bing PPC has social extensions
Bing began testing automated social extensions in late 2014 by showing the number of Twitter followers an advertiser has next to their ad:
Notice The Social Cues In That Ad Below? Pretty Powerful For Social Proof And Credibility
Meanwhile, Google dropped the social extensions in December 2015. The social information that appears next to ads that showed how many Google+ followers your website had, were removed. The purpose of the Google+ counts was to lead to higher click-through rates, which was a great idea, but Google+ isn’t as popular as the other social media marketing sources.
5. Bing PPC offers more campaign and ad group flexibility!
Google Adwords allows you to choose the network, language and other specifics at the campaign level, and the ad group settings are by default restricted to the campaign level settings, which makes it impossible for you to choose a unique set of specifics for a specific ad group.
Bing Ads, however, allows you to have a unique set of specifics for different ad groups. You can thus choose a different set of specifics for a particular ad group, without creating a different ad campaign. Bing Ads also allows you to import your AdWords campaign which makes advertising easier for someone who is already using Google Adwords.
6. Bing Ads have better device targeting options.
In AdWords, you can only make bid adjustments for mobile phones not to tablets.
It would be a nice feature to include in the next AdWords update, the ability to adjust tablet bids. Bing PPC, on the other hand, allows you to set bid adjustments for tablets between -20% to +300%. While it would be nice to be able to set a -100% bid where appropriate this is still a big improvement. Even though Bing removed some of their targeting options, even with just Tablet and Smartphone bids, it still more attractive over AdWords.
Customize Your Bidding Based On Device To Better Control Your Costs
7. Bing Ads platform is ideal for companies with a small budget!
Bing has an extremely helpful customer services department that is willing to help companies with a small budget.
Google has a helpful customer service department as well but only if you are willing to spend through the nose! Also, as Bing is expanding it is acquiring and partnering with a greater number of search platforms, such as AOL, which will have a positive impact on your conversion rates, for more or less the same amount of money.
Is Bing PPC Right For Your Real Estate Investing Business?
It sure can help you tap into new leads you’d never otherwise reach on Google. That’s a for sure.
If just maybe… especially if you need to start on a smaller budget to test the waters.
If your advertising campaign is limited to a small geographic area, Google AdWords might be the platform where you’ll gain significant search volume, depending on your keywords and match types. Higher search volume means more potential customers for your business.
Yes, Google AdWords is still the “empire” when it comes to paid search, with most of the market share. For that reason, Bing Ads is often an afterthought that doesn’t get much attention. But Bing has some unique capabilities that most folks are not taking advantage of. If you optimize for these Bing Ads only features, you’re sure to significantly increase performance.
There isn’t a right or wrong answer to advertising on AdWords vs. Bing Ads.
They’re both great platforms with their own advantages and disadvantages. But the analyst inside of all great advertisers should prefer to test both. See if you can stack on additional leads for motivated house sellers, cash buyers, tenants… you name it… by adding Bing to the mix.
You’ll see, in time, which performs better for your market and budget.
Read this post if you want more great tips on effective PPC marketing.
The pros and cons of Microsoft Advertising
Let’s keep this simple and breakdown the pros and cons of Microsoft Advertising.
- Bing is the second-most-popular search engine. So if you want to put money somewhere other than Google, Bing is the place to do it.
- Since Bing has less search traffic than Google, it also has less competition and a lower cost-per-click usually. Which means that it can be less expensive to advertise on.
- Bing gives you more characters for your ad than Google does, allowing you more room to convince people to click your result.
- Bing shows more of its ads at the top of the page than Google does, which is helpful for click-through rate since people don’t have to scroll down the page.
- Almost 75% of Bing users are over the age of 35, so Microsoft Advertising can be good for reaching an older audience.
- Bing can have lower search engine traffic (compared to Google) so potentially less leads.
My recommendation? Start with Google AdWords, and if you have the budget to spare and need a competitive edge, supplement your efforts with Microsoft Advertising.
Still Have Questions?
Still not sure if Microsoft Advertising is right for your business? That’s okay — it’s not always easy to now the right path to take when it comes to marketing. But the good news is that you don’t have to decide right now.
Why not try it out for yourself?
Who knows? Bing might just give your business the competitive edge that you’ve been looking for.
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