What's in this article?
“Alexa, what are today’s mortgage rates?”
Did you know that Amazon’s Alexa app uses Bing as its search engine, not Google?
It turns out that Microsoft Ads (Bing Ads) has a much bigger reach than most people imagine, making them a worthy competitor to Google Ads for generating mortgage leads online.
“But nobody uses Bing.” Wrong!
Microsoft Ads can reach approximately 724 million monthly users on Microsoft Search Network, which includes Bing, AOL.com, Yahoo!, and Microsoft’s and Yahoo’s syndicated search partners.
In this article, I’ll explain reasons why mortgage loan officers should consider running a Bing campaign to generate more leads, and list the many benefits and advantages of using Bing Ads over Google Ads.
What are Microsoft Ads (Bing Ads)?
Microsoft Ads (formerly known as Bing Ads) is a PPC advertising platform that displays ads across the Bing, Yahoo!, and DuckDuckGo search engines.
When people think of Bing Ads, they typically think of text-based ads that pop up at the top of Bing’s search results, but there are countless other sites where Microsoft Ads can be displayed.
In addition to creating search engine ads, marketers can also place their Bing ads across the Microsoft Audience Network, a large group of websites that shows ads to over 120 million Office365 subscribers, 1.4 billion Windows users, and over 500 million LinkedIn users.
Bing Ads vs. Google Ads for mortgage lead generation
As you can see, Microsoft Ads is more than just Bing Ads and reaches much farther than you may have thought, making Bing Ads a major competitor to Google Ads in generating mortgage leads.
And just to get obvious out of the way — Google Ads is much, much more popular than Microsoft Ads.
This is because Google has a 92% market share among search engine providers, while Bing has a 2.47% market share. However, advertisers who neglect Bing Ads are ignoring around 51 million potential customers!
Bing Ads are cheaper than Google
Luckily because Bing has a lower market share, it means their ads are also drastically cheaper than Google’s, making Bing Ads a desirable option for loan officers looking to target ads to untapped audiences.
Most of Bing’s traffic comes from Windows users, Internet Explorer users, and the new Microsoft Edge browser that uses Bing as the default search engine.
Bing Ads advantages over Google Ads
Bing has a 37.6% market share for online searches performed by Americans on a desktop computer, which roughly equals around 51 million people who are not seeing Google Ads.
Lower keyword prices, and less competition
Microsoft Ads also have fewer users, which means less competition and a lower cost per click (CPC), around 33% cheaper than Google Ads.
Traditionally, the competition between marketers drives up the cost of bidding on keywords. But because Microsoft Ads has fewer users, this means you can get more value out of your ads, while reaching people who never get reached by mainstream Google Ads.
More room for ad placements on the Bing search engine results page
With Google Ads, ads are only placed on the top or bottom of search results, but Microsoft Ads allows for ads on the sidebar of the page, giving marketers more room to reach people “above the fold.”.
Higher click-through rates than Google Ads
Just imagine all of your competitors who use Google Ads exclusively.
By creating Bing Ads you’ll have less competition and a greater chance of having people click on your ad.
Ads on Bing have a drastically higher click-through rate (around 50% higher) than Google Ads. There are a few reasons for this.
Bing’s expanded text extensions allow for more information than Google’s. Bing users are also exposed to fewer ads than Google users.
Higher engagement rates from users searching for mortgages and finance topics
Because many Bing Ads are shown on Yahoo and MSN’s financial reporting sites, ads that relate to finance, such as mortgage ads, tend to reach a more targeted audience, which results in higher engagement rates and click-through rates.
More targeting options than Google Ads, especially for LinkedIn targeting
Microsoft Ads gives marketers many more targeting options to serve ads to professionals on LinkedIn, compared to Google.
This makes delivering ads to highly qualified and relevant audiences easier.
Are you targeting professionals between a certain age, income, or educational level? Use Bing Ads to serve ads on LinkedIn to these specific people and watch your click-through rates and conversion rates improve.
You can target your ads to reach people based on their company, job role, and their industry to generate highly qualified mortgage Bing leads.
Is it worth it to advertise on Bing for mortgage leads?
Yes, Microsoft Ads are definitely worth it.
Although I’d recommend running a Bing Ads campaign in conjunction with Google Ads — that way you’ll be able to reach virtually any internet user searching for mortgage-related help online.
Keep in mind the demographic of Bing users compared to Google users:
- Older, around 45 years old
- Higher education levels
- Higher income levels
- More likely to search on desktop
Also, remember that Microsoft Ads aren’t just shown on Bing searches, but across Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and LinkedIn.
Microsoft Ads: different ad types explained for advertising on Bing
Just like its main competitor, Google Ads, Microsoft Ads allows for many different ad types and formats to reach users on the Bing search engine, or who are visiting millions of Microsoft Audience Network affiliate sites.
Let’s review the different ad formats that Microsoft Ads can create.
App install ads
These ads are text-based ads that direct visitors to the Apple App store or Google Play store to drive app downloads.
Expanded text ads
These are the basic, text-based ads that you typically see in Bing search results, at the top, bottom, or side of the page.
Dynamic search ads
These are essentially the expanded text ads, but instead of writing the ads yourself, Microsoft automatically generates these ads based on your mortgage website’s contents.
Microsoft Audience Ads
These ads are considered “native” and are meant to look like news articles that have been published on various sites in the Microsoft Audience Network.
Microsoft uses its algorithms and machine learning to automatically find the most appropriate websites to post audience ads on.
Microsoft Advertising in Big Smart Search
These ads are a fancier version of the plain expanded text ads, but with a twist—they include a screenshot preview of your landing page above the text, making this a text and graphic hybrid type of advertisement.
Like Google Shopping ads, product ads display a physical item’s product photo, headline, pricing, and seller details.
Multimedia ads and display ads
These are visual-based ads that use an image, graphic, or GIF file to show picture-based ads through the Microsft Audience Network, making them similar to Google display ads and banner ads.
These ads target different business verticals such as automotive, credit card, health insurance, real estate, and other professional services, such as mortgage lending and banking.
Vertical ads are auto-generated by Microsoft using their machine learning to automatically create and display ads in search results and across websites that make sense based on your professional services offered.
We all know that Google has YouTube, which is great for running video ads, but Microsoft Video Ads can also reach millions of viewers on Bing and their series of Microsoft Search Network affiliates.
And unfortunately, no, you cannot run a Microsoft video ad on YouTube.
How do I promote on Bing?
Focusing on Google Ads and SEO is absolutely essential, but don’t forget about Bing when you’re building your pipeline of mortgage leads.
Follow these steps to get started creating your own Microsoft Ad campaigns to target prospective homebuyers online.
Set up a Bing Places for Business account
Google has its Google Business Profile that allows you to register your business and place it on Google Maps.
Bing has a similar feature called Bing Places for Business Account that places your location on Bing Maps.
In addition to placing your location on Bings Maps, you’ll get a knowledge panel just like in Google Business that lets you upload images, add your address, and phone number, and add links to social media.
Most times, Microsoft and Google will automatically create these knowledge panels for companies, and all you have to do is claim your profile, which includes Microsoft sending a postcard to your office’s location with a verification code.
Create a Microsoft Ads account
To create Bing Ads, you’ll need to sign up for a Microsoft Advertising account. Use your existing email address or create a new Microsoft email address to register your account.
Start your Microsoft Ad campaign
For a detailed tutorial on how to set up Microsoft (Bing) Ads, visit Microsoft’s website for a step-by-step process on how to create your account, create a campaign, and go live.
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