Dental practices that rely solely on Google AdWords for search engine marketing to attract new patients could be missing out on another powerful digital marketing aid.
Bing Ads may be regarded by some as an afterthought, but this online advertising service can bring many benefits to dental offices in the United States.
Compared with AdWords, Bing Ads gives bijou dental practices the chance to be a big fish in a smaller pond.
Similar to Google AdWords, Bing Ads is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising service, with a 33 per cent market share in the U.S. in 2015.
The frequency of the appearance of your advert is determined by the cost-per-click (CPC) rate and the ad’s click-through rate (CTR). CPC refers to how much you’re willing to pay for your advert, while CTR is the number of times people click on it.
The Bing search engine, which is owned and operated by Microsoft, evolved from the tech giant’s previous search facilities: MSN Search and Windows Live Search, later known as just Live Search.
Bing was unveiled as a replacement for Live Search in 2009. Hot on the heels of this announcement, Microsoft and Yahoo! struck a deal under which Bing would power Yahoo! Search.
In 2012, Microsoft adapted its search engine to include a feature that explores users’ social media networks to track down information relevant to the search query.
Towards the end of 2015, Bing was the second biggest search engine in the U.S., with a search query volume of nearly 21 per cent, behind Google’s figure of almost 64 per cent. Yahoo! Search, largely powered by Bing, had a figure of 12.5 per cent.
There can be no dispute that Google dominates the field in terms of search volume and audience size, but Bing Ads also provides an opportunity for dental offices to drive more traffic to their websites and sign up new patients.
Using a pay-per-click service like Bing Ads will see immediate results, compared with natural search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. SEO can take weeks before becoming fully effective, while your Bing ads will be displayed instantly, making an instantaneous connection with your prospective patients.
Another advantage of Bing advertising for dental practices is how it allows you to restrict your adverts to a specific set of demographics. This local, specific targeting, based on your dental office’s location, enables you to steer to your website the very people who are likely to become your patients.
In 2015, Bing enhanced how it targets an advertiser’s potential clients with its Improved Demographic Targeting to increase age and gender coverage, allowing businesses to get their message across to an audience that’s more relevant to them. This move is aimed at achieving a better click-through and conversion rate, potentially resulting in an improved overall return on investment (ROI) for your advertising costs.
Many search engine marketing (SEM) experts believe that Bing Ads holds several compelling advantages over Google AdWords.
Bing Ads employs an auction system similar to that of Google AdWords, but, with Bing, you’ll find less competition as you bid on keyword phrases. This leads to optimum positioning of your adverts for cheaper costs per click – typically one-third less than using AdWords – plus higher click-through rates.
If your dental practice already uses Google AdWords, you can easily import your AdWords campaigns directly into Bing Ads.
A further advantage of Bing advertising for dental practices is a wider reach for your online promotional drives.
Bing adverts are not just shown on one network; they are displayed across Yahoo, Bing and partner websites in the Bing network, including AOL, The Wall Street Journal and InfoSpace, plus Microsoft devices and platforms including Office and Cortana.
Bing Ads also boasts better social extensions. For example, since 2014, it has displayed the number of Twitter followers that an advertiser has.
Bing ads is now widely regarded as a real alternative to Google AdWords, and deserves serious consideration by dental offices looking to generate more patients. While Google is still the major player in terms of search volume, this doesn’t necessarily mean your advertising budget is best spent exclusively there.
In fact, Bing’s lower volume of traffic, coupled with fewer advertisers, can work in your favor, because Bing Ads can cost a lot less than AdWords. This provides a major opportunity for small, local businesses such as dental practices to run experimental advertising campaigns with minimal risks.
Another reason why Bing advertising is worth considering for dental offices is that it tends to go the extra mile in providing a good experience for its advertisers, in order to compete with the might of Google AdWords.
PPC with Bing Ads (or Google) in itself won’t improve your website’s organic search ranking but it can help your practice to attract attention at just the right moment – when people are looking for the specific dental services you offer.
The highly-targeted system of search marketing provided by Bing Ads can deliver qualified leads that are likely to convert into patients, boosting your practice’s revenue on an ongoing, consistent basis.
While both SEO and PPC are effective in their own right, combining the two strategies can give you the best chance of attracting potential patients to your dental office’s website in the short-term while improving your online presence in the long run.
As with all pay-per-click advertising systems, choosing the right keywords for your Bing promotional drive is imperative to keep your cost-per-click low while gaining maximum exposure across your target audience.
In 2015, Bing Ads launched the new Bing Ads Keyword Planner to help advertisers optimize their campaigns. However, the selection of keywords on a professional level requires skillful and time-consuming research, which is why many dental practices seek our help to orchestrate their Bing digital marketing campaign.
If you’re already maximizing your AdWords opportunities, replicating those campaigns on Bing is a straightforward way of increasing traffic to your website for the same keyword terms.
If your initial budget is too low for an AdWords campaign, the smaller Bing Ads market is one you can compete in before committing a larger budget to Google advertising. If budget isn’t a problem, but your dental business is operating in a highly-competitive market, Bing advertising could well be an attractive proposition to supplement a Google AdWords campaign.
Not everyone turns to Google as their search engine of choice. Many use Bing and Yahoo! as their default method of online searches, and Bing paid search advertising appears on the Yahoo! search engine as well as on Bing.
The main advantages of Bing advertising for dental practices include:
As with any paid advertising vehicle, Bing Ads is very time consuming and needs to be monitored by certified professionals. That is where we come in! We live and breathe Bing Ads and all things digital paid advertising. Contact us today to see how we can start sending patients your way that wouldn’t have come otherwise!1.208.627.4225