Everyone traversing the internet does so through a series of clicks, and each click of a customer's computer mouse could mean more sales for your business! Your prospects are finding businesses in countless ways, but almost all of us start with a simple search. Putting our keywords into a search engine and running a query. That query provides organic search results (those results that are deemed relevant due to the search engine's algorithms) and paid search results. The paid results appear because a business paid for the ad placement.
Businesses have two main choices of search engines to run their pay-per-click ads on: Google or the Yahoo Bing Network (which includes Microsoft and Yahoo sites in the United States). According to ComScore's August 2014 U.S. Search Engine Rankings, Google sites led the market with 67.3 percent market share, followed by Microsoft Sites with 19.4 percent (up 0.1 percentage points) and Yahoo Sites with 10 percent. When added together, the Yahoo Bing Network has roughly 29.4 percent of the market share. At first glance it may seem like the right search engine for your small business paid search campaign would be Google, since it has the largest market share. But that doesn’t necessarily make them the best option for your business. Consider the demographics and costs of the search engines before making this important decision.
Knowing the demographics of Google and Yahoo Bing Network users is key to developing the best pay-per-click strategy for your company. Yahoo Bing Network users are older than Google users. According to Bing, "Yahoo Bing Network audience over-indexes for individuals older than 25, and a higher index than Google for ages 35 and older (especially 35-64)." Additionally, most are college graduates. Since users are older, they are also more likely to have families. AdGooroo studied six categories of businesses to see which network the ads performed better. Google AdWords delivered more ad impressions in the Shopping and Classified, Travel, Education, Computer and Internet and Business. AdGooroo states, "However, in the Financial Services category we were surprised to find that Yahoo! Bing actually led in first SERP ad impressions. We speculate that this phenomenon may be due to the popularity of the financial reportage on the Yahoo! and MSN portals, which have each accumulated a loyal following of readers and, naturally, point their readers’ searches to the Yahoo! Bing engine rather than to Google." Another assumption often made is that Bing users are less tech savvy since Bing is the default search engine for Internet Explorer which comes installed on hardware with Microsoft products.
Think about who your target customer is, what their demographics are and how they are most likely to use the web.
As a small business, you often have a smaller budget for online marketing to work with. Because fewer advertisers are utilizing the Yahoo Bing Network, their average Cost Per Click (CPC) is lower than Google AdWords so campaigns are often cheaper on the Yahoo Bing Network. This means fewer of your competitors are competing for the top spot of the search results – potentially among the exact targets you are looking for.
Paid search helps complement your organic listings and is a great way to get your business listed at the top of search rankings quickly. Most pay-per-click strategies will include a combination of Google and the Yahoo Bing Network advertising. If you would like assistance determining what the right mix for your company is, please contact us at www.BuddinghAssociates.com
Bonus: If you decide to utilize pay per click advertising, make sure your website is mobile friendly. According to the Digital Marketing Report from RimmKaufman Group smart phones and tablets combined for 37% of paid search clicks for the second quarter of 2014. This is up 8.6% for the same quarter of 2013.
David S. Buddingh is founder and partner in Buddingh & Associates, Inc., an award-winning strategic marketing consulting firm in Naperville, IL. Contact him at (630) 961-4504 or visit www.BuddinghAssociates.com.