The key area where Facebook is beating Google is in goal identification, right at the start of campaign setup. Bing Ads are beating Google in this way, as well, with their new campaign setup flow:
Like Facebook, Bing is asking advertisers to state their goal right out of the gate. Advertisers are forced to think, before inputting any other information, about what their goal is and their reason for using Bing Ads.
Savvy search engines have finally caught on to what matters, and it isn’t their bottom line. Sure, their bottom line is important – but only if they have advertisers using them. Google may not care, since they’re the big dog on the block right now – but their reign may not last forever. Look at Yahoo. 15 years ago, Yahoo was the most-visited site on the web. They had Overture placing ads in their SERPs. Overture existed before Google Adwords, and was the big dog for a short time.
Not that either Bing or Facebook is going to overtake Google any time soon. But Bing Ads, and Bing/Microsoft, are beating Google in other ways.
I’ve long said that results on Bing Ads are better than Google. While not true for every client, in general Bing outperforms Google, both in higher conversion rates and lower CPCs. At Bing Ads Next last week, Rik van der Kooi, Microsoft’s global head of search advertising, said that Bing’s users are better-educated and have higher household incomes than Google’s. And Bing’s market share is at 30% – and has been steadily growing since the launch of the Bing search engine in 2009. Bing can no longer be ignored, at least by advertisers who want to succeed.
Case in point: We landed a new client earlier this year who had been using Google exclusively. We finally convinced them to test Bing, as well. Cost per conversion on Bing was ¼ that of Google. The client was pleasantly shocked. Again, this doesn’t happen for every advertiser, but it didn’t take long to prove to this client that Bing was worth investing in.
Better human interest content on Bing
We just had a Presidential election here in the US. I enjoyed following the various races on Bing Predicts, which offered projections on all the offices up for grabs. While Bing got the presidential prediction wrong (just like everyone else), the interface was smooth and interesting.
Bing also covers major sports and events such as the Academy Awards, with much more engaging content than Google. Take a look at NFL predictions from Bing:
Engaging, visual content; game times and predictions by week, and more. I can see at a glance that the Detroit Lions have a 75% chance to beat Jacksonville this week. (Yes, 2016 has gone upside down – the Cubs won the World Series, the Spartans are 3-7, and the Lions are in first place in the NFC Central division. What’s next?!?)
Now take a look at Google:
Ho hum. 10 blue links plus one photo of the Packers. What if you hate the Packers? You’re out of luck. Bing clearly wins with this type of content.
Virtual and mixed reality
Now I’m not an early adopter of stuff like this. I can barely play Xbox – I leave that to my kids. But I do find virtual reality to be fascinating – and it’s definitely going to impact search in some way.
Microsoft’s Hololens is a fully self-contained computer. You don’t need to connect to your phone or PC, and there are no cables or tethers. Imagine the possibilities of a totally wireless, autonomous mixed reality device.
Now look at Google’s Daydream VR. Everyone was excited about it when it was announced a few weeks ago, but alas:
It only works with the Pixel. I only know one person so far who has a Pixel. Not that that won’t change – it’s a super cool phone – but really? You can’t connect this thing to any other phones or to your computer? Who’s going to buy it?
Certainly, things may change for the Daydream, but Microsoft had the forethought to design their product without such tethers, both physical and wireless, from the start.
All you Chrome lovers, listen up: Microsoft Edge is faster and safer than Chrome, and it uses less battery. 32% less, to be exact. And it blocks malware – something I could have used recently, as I got a virus from something on Firefox.
IE was the whipping boy of browsers – it was slow, didn’t offer extensions or features, and felt old-school. Edge is none of those things. It’s better than Chrome – beating Google yet again.
So should you abandon your Adwords campaigns in favor of Bing Ads? Beating Google is cool, but Bing Ads isn’t there yet. But ignore them at your peril.