Some say Google is God. Others say Google is Satan. But if they think Google is too powerful, remember that with search engines, unlike other companies, all it takes is a single click to go to another search engine.

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google and president of Alphabet, Inc.

Thanks for the reminder, Sergey.

Through this column, I have advocated for leveraging other search engines like Bing many times.

Scads of marketers, however, view Bing as an inferior platform, akin to an empty meeting hall; barren of activity. This perception keeps them from advertising to the millions of people who use Bing every day, and that’s just bad business.

As it stands, Bing controls roughly 7.3 percent of the global search engine market and owns more than 21 percent of all desktop searches in the U.S.

And considering how similar Bing’s ad platform is to Google’s, there’s no good reason for businesses to have such adversity to promoting their offerings through this platform. Users can even import successful AdWords campaigns over to Bing with a couple clicks.

If you’re ready to set aside your unfounded judgments and start driving traffic with Bing ads, here’s what you need to know.

Keyword Research

As mentioned above, if you’ve used AdWords before, the learning curve is going to be relatively short.

Your goal here is to identify keywords that are relevant to your audience, your offering and clearly display the user’s intention.

This can be accomplished with a variety of keyword tools but, just like Google, Bing offers its own keyword research tool that will look very intuitive to AdWords users.

Here you can enter keywords relevant to your niche and start diving in to your options. You can also select the “Advanced targeting options” to refine your search by devices, languages, countries, etc.

Additionally, Bing also has a Keyword Planner tool that can be used to uncover ad groups that contain relevant keywords for your brand.

As always, keywords are the foundation of a successful campaign.

Campaign Creation

With your keywords in hand you can begin crafting your ad campaign.

Once again, there are bountiful similarities here.

Start by creating your campaign name. Usually you’ll want to name this so that it is easy to identify; maybe relate its title to the product you are advertising or the holiday and year it will run for (e.g. Christmas 2017).

Then select the time zone you want to target; this is where your audience lives and will help ensure they will actually see your promotions.

Next up is establishing your campaign budget. This goes by day so be sure not to set it as your total budget. For example, if you have a $700 budget and want to run your campaign for one week, then your budget is $100. Once you’ve reached this number for the day, Bing will stop running your ads and pick up again on the next day.

Finally, choose the language and locations your ads are targeting. As a general rule of thumb, the more narrow and refined your selections are, the better your campaign will perform.

Create Your Copy

Now comes what is arguably the most challenging part of running an ad campaign – crafting compelling copy that actually drives clicks.

First you need to identify an eye-catching title. This needs to reel in users to read the rest of your text.

Underneath the title is the ad text. This should explain your offer with enough detail and persuasiveness that users can’t help but click to find out more.

This process can be so incredibly challenging because you have such limited space to convince consumers that you are the solution they have been searching for.

If you don’t think you possess the skill-set to achieve this goal, you may want to consider hiring a professional. While this will cost you extra, it’s better than blowing your entire ad budget with promotions that have no chance of driving conversions.

Match Types and Ad Bids

Finally, it’s time to move on to identify which of your previously selected keywords will be attached to each ad set.

Simply go through your list and add them into the allocated space and click “Add” toward the bottom.

You do also need to establish the match type for each keyword you enter. Be aware that different match types can drastically impact the cost-per-click for any given keyword, so pay attention to this as you go.

For your match types you can select:

  • Broad match: This will cause your ads to surface when individual words are used in any order or when related words are searched.
  • Broad match modifier: This allows you to add certain modifiers to broad match keywords by using the “+” symbol. This will add a condition to what users search and will determine if your ad will surface or not.
  • Phrase match: Only serves ads when all of the words in a keyword phrase match the search exactly and are in the correct order.
  • Exact match: This means the query must match your keyword exactly in order to surface your ad.
  • Negative keywords: These are words and phrases to exclude from triggering your ad. This helps to refine your audience.

At this stage, you can also choose where you want your ad to appear in the SERPs and use the “Advanced targeting options” to further hone in on your target demographic and setting time schedules for when your ads will run so that you ensure you are reaching your audience at peak traffic hours.

Bing’s ad offering is extremely similar to what Google provides its advertisers. That means you can cater to millions of individuals that you have neglected thus far by learning a platform that you are likely already fairly familiar with.

Considering that Bing has less competition than the Google SERPs, you may discover Bing can be your goldmine. Regardless, you won’t know until you try.