The phrase “Google it” has now become part of everyday lexicon; when you’ve got a question, or want to find something out, heading over to Google to find out everything and anything is both a blessing and a curse. Referred to as the killer of pub conversation, Google offers a plethora of information at the touch of a button. It’s no surprise that current statistics show that Google has around 90% global market share in Search – the world’s largest search engine has become a necessity in every day life. This is why businesses want to get their rankings to the top, and digital marketers focus the majority of their organic SEO and PPC strategies on Alphabet’s search juggernaut. However, alternatives such as Microsoft’s Bing shouldn’t be overlooked.
While Bing may only have around 4% of the worldwide market share while in the UK it has a 6% share, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be part of your digital marketing efforts. Despite the low market share, Bing still attracts over a billion unique visitors a month and 12 billion monthly search requests. It also has various advantages over Google that would benefit any business’s digital marketing strategy. So, what can Bing do better than its dominating counterpart?
1. Competition on Bing is lower
With most websites enacting a “Google-first” policy in their digital marketing strategy, that leaves SEO for Bing neglected by many. SMEs probably find that bigger, established corporations take positions 1-5 in Google’s SERPs, due to UX, big budgets and the efforts they put in, making it much harder to get to the top. However, with Bing being a second thought in terms of strategy, it means getting to the top is not only easier, it’s a much quicker win that can work well alongside your efforts with Google. However, a combined strategy to target both search engines will help your site appear further up in both for your targeted keywords. What helps is that the SEO efforts you make in Google will also benefit you in Bing.
2. Advertising on Bing is Cheaper than Google
With less competition on Bing, advertising on this search engine is much cheaper than using Google Ads. Bing Ads uses a bidding platform similar to Google Ads but with less competition, and better ad positions are available, as well as cheaper costs per click. With improved ad positions this will have a positive impact on click-through rates, especially in comparison to Google.
Alongside its other benefits such as device targeting options and more granular control over campaigns, this allows you to target your audience effectively. Bing Ads is an alternative that small to medium-sized businesses should seriously consider for an improved ROI.
3. Bing Ranking Factors Are More Transparent
Bing offers webmaster guidelines for ranking on their search engine, however they aren’t as complicated as Google’s. This makes their ranking factors more transparent than Google, because they’re no where near as ambiguous as Google’s. For example, we know the following has an impact on ranking on Bing:
- Importance of user engagement – this is measured through users clicking through to a site, how long they remain on there and if they bounce away. Having engaging and relevant content, links to various services and effective call to actions are examples of techniques which will keep user engagement.
- Click-through rates matter – combining with user engagement data, Bing measures the relevance of content for the user. Titles and descriptions need to be written with human interaction in mind.
- Social signals – Bing places a stronger reliance on social signals than Google, as it even embeds return posts from Facebook & Google into search results.
- Backlinks take a back seat – Bing is more concerned with seeing ‘editorial’ type links, and links that are of much higher quality, rather than huge quantities of irrelevant backlinks to the site.
- Content density – Bing places a higher value on high quality, relevant and longer content that’s more engaging to users.
4. Small Businesses Get a Boost in Bing’s Local Search
It is easier to gain local visibility in Bing than it is on Google. With Bing Places, claiming your business listing and edit your profile to explain exactly what you do and target keywords is so much easier. The extra personalisation options allows your business to stand out further from the crowd.
As we can see from the Ricemedia profile, we can place our logo, map and other vital information on this listing. Services can be pinpointed to everything Ricemedia does, allowing the site to rank for those services when searched locally. As Bing has better integration with social networks, we can can also display our company’s social profiles This gives users a live impression of the company and also a link to the social profile to find out more about the company.
With Google favouring bigger local businesses as its search algorithm focuses on delivering results based on contextual clues in your search. Bing will display the most local results first no matter the size of the business.
5. Bing’s Partnership With Yahoo
At the beginning of this blog, we looked at the market share of Bing compared to Google, however it doesn’t tell the full story. Since 2010, Bing has powered Yahoo search and all ads on the search engine carried over to Bing’s platform. After a messy break-up, they got back together in 2019 with a new deal. Bing Ads became the exclusive ads platform for both Yahoo and AOL search engines. This means that optimising your site to rank on Bing will also see it rank identically on Yahoo and AOL – with the same affecting your position bidding. This brings in potentially more of a unique audience from those searching on Google.
Even with Bing’s advantages what you do for SEO for Bing will also benefit your ranking on Google and vice versa. For an effective digital marketing strategy, use best practices to rank on any search engine instead of just focusing solely on Google. With an exclusive audience waiting to be tapped into, who don’t even use Google, you shouldn’t forget the Microsoft alternative.