After listening to a Bing representative discuss the benefits of advertising with Bing last November at a DFW SEM Association meeting, I was instantly captivated by what Bing had to offer. It has a smaller audience, but that also means that cost-per-click (CPC) rates are lower, there’s less competition for keyword bids, and there’s a higher chance for a larger click-through-rate (CTR). We discussed implementing the Bing Advertising experiment with two of our clients, and we’ve run ads on Bing and Yahoo for the last six months.
I have to say that I am very disappointed with the experiment results, and we’ve pulled the plug for both clients.
For the positive, I have to say that the Bing Adcenter made it very easy to import all of my keywords, ad groups, and ads from my Google Adwords accounts. I also really enjoyed the fact that I could instantly add in as many clients as I wanted from the get go, all with separate billing methods and user emails, unlike Adwords, that doesn’t automatically tell you about their My Client Center option that allows you to do the same. Setting the budget and the ad networks was also really easy to find and figure out, and it was nice to be able to set individual budgets for each ad group.
After one week of starting my new campaigns, I instantly ran into trouble with the billing. This particular client wanted a budget set at $10.00 per day for the entire campaign, and I set that along with an overall monthly budget of $300.00 per month. In the first week of billing, my client was charged over $200.00. Apparently, Bing decided that $10.o0 per day equaled $10.00 per max CPC bid. And even then, I noticed that Bing was bidding over $14.00 on some keywords!
The campaign was instantly paused and severely reigned in. I had to lower both my max CPC bids and daily budget to match, but then Bing would not run any ads, because according to their figures, this was not an effective way to allocate my monthly budget. The only way I could get ads to run was to let Bing deplete the budget as quickly as possible instead of evenly distributing ads, which meant that my set max CPC continued to be ignored.
And then I ran into hardware and browser compatibility issues. Firefox recently released their 4.0 update, which isn’t compatible with the Bing Adcenter unless you reboot Firefox into 32-bit mode. If you have a lot of tabs open, you will lose all of these tabs. It’s also not compatible with Safari or Chrome. Since I have a Mac, I don’t have Internet Explorer, and from checking out some forum questions, Adcenter does not work well with either Parallels or Boot Camp. In addition, Bing Adcenter has downloadable software that is similar to Adwords Editor in that you can manipulate your ads, ad groups, keywords, and bids all offline. However, it’s a Windows-only program, and it will not run in Parallels or Boot Camp either. While I understand the fact that Bing is a Microsoft product, they really should consider opening up their compatibility to Mac users and other browsers, especially since this is something that can make them money.
I have to say that the CTR of my ads was really great, and the bounce rate from the ads was also far lower than the bounce rate from Adwords ads. If I didn’t have all of the budgeting and browser compatibility issues, I’d gladly recommend it as an additional avenue for reasonable search engine advertising. However, it obviously needs a bunch of work to make it as user-friendly as Adwords and to make it more accessible to all users.