When one of my Google Ads advertising programs is performing well, the next question I’m usually asked by my client is: “What channel should we turn to next?”
Recently, my answer has been Microsoft Ads.
Because Google and Microsoft are both search intent platforms, segueing from Google into Microsoft makes perfect sense. The people searching on these platforms have intent to buy, depending on what buying stage they’re in and which keywords they’re searching.
In my experience as a SEM professional, the Microsoft Ads platform has come a long way since Microsoft purchased Bing in 2009. Today, the search engine is more valuable than some businesses may realize.
A Note On Microsoft Ads
Microsoft Ads enables businesses to advertise across Bing, AOL, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo. Microsoft even has its own audience network (similar to Google’s display network), which allows advertisers to show ads on Outlook.com, MSN, and Microsoft Edge.
Now, while Google dwarfs all of the named search engines above in market share and total daily searches, Microsoft Ads is still an extremely viable advertising channel for a variety of reasons.
Since Microsoft modeled their platform after Googles, all of the same advertising functionality is available. Unlike Google Ads, Microsoft Ads has lower competition with less crowded auctions that lead to cheaper costs and higher visibility for businesses. Bing is also the default search engine on Windows Edge (a Microsoft product), and you may know more than a few people who prefer using pre-installed browsers.
While Bing may have proved to be a less-than-favorable advertising platform in the past, Microsoft has big plans for their ad revenue They've started offering unique differences from Google and seem much more interested in making continuous updates and improvements to its ad platform.
Microsoft Ads: A Cost Effective Alternative To Google?
In many instances, cost-per-click (CPC) figures on Microsoft Ads are considerably cheaper than Google Ads.
Where you may be paying $30 per click on Google search, you’d likely pay $9 for that same keyword across Microsoft’s search network (Bing, Yahoo, AOL, DuckDuckGo).
While actual search volume may be less on Microsoft’s network, Microsoft has found a way around this through their audience network, which I’ve found to be quite effective in extending the reach of search campaigns. Plus, audience network CPC costs are even cheaper than what’s available on the search network.
Show Me The Data
In order to show you exactly how Google Ads is stacking up against Microsoft Ads for some of my clients, I’ve decided to showcase three cases from three different SaaS clients to highlight the change in performance between platforms within the same quarter.
Summarizing the data:
In all of the examples above, the change in cost per click between Google and Microsoft is nearly 50-70% less
The lower cost per click figures on Microsoft factor into cheaper cost per conversion numbers, typically 44-70% less than what’s being achieved on Google
The total conversion volume is also considerably less (up to 45% less), but in each of the above scenarios, leads have been found to be just as qualified as what Google is producing
Doing More With Less On Microsoft Ads
In some cases, my clients and I are actually taking budget away from Google to use on Microsoft. Google continues to become a costly platform to advertise on, and when cost cutting through platform and website optimization is no longer possible, we simply import Google campaigns into Microsoft and get rolling.
If you know your target audience tends to use any of the Microsoft owned search engines above, if you're tired of paying high CPCs on Google, or if you're just looking to diversify your advertising spend, I recommend giving Microsoft Ads a try.