Google rules the world; more than half of smartphone users begin a query by yelling, “Google!” at their phones. For years, “Google it” something has been a common colloquialism for a web search; Google is search.
Lately, Bing’s search engine market share has exploded, making them a search engine worth consideration. More importantly, for lawyers, using Bing as a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising option can be a more cost-effective advertising channel than Google’s often pricey AdWords tool. Enter our Bing Ads Guide for Lawyers.
Search Advertising Summarized
You’ve seen the ads on Google Search—they’re the first few results that have “Ad” highlighted next to them, along with a handful of extra results on the right side of the page that you probably never notice.
In order to appear in these results, you have to bid on a pay per click price. Each click costs you money, and for lawyers, it isn’t cheap. The most expensive keywords on Google appeal to “ambulance chasing lawyers,” with the top costing keyword coming in around $670.44. Remember, a click doesn’t guarantee a client: It just points that person to a website or initiates a phone call through the ad.
That price may be high, but Wordstream notes that Bing is not only cheaper, but also allows you to customize your ads more than Google to target a more exact audience, which potentially means less ad spend.
Bing is Trending Upward in Desktops
So, where is a budget-minded lawyer seeking curious clients to turn? It’s time to consider Bing.
In the last couple of years, Bing’s market share has taken off to over 30 percent. According to ComScore, which tracks search engine market share, in August 2015, 64.9 percent of searches carried organic search results from Google, while 31.8 percent of searches were powered by Bing (up 0.3 percentage points).
There are many reasons why Bing could be trending upward, but one intuitive explanation is that Bing is built into Microsoft operating systems for PCs, laptops and tablets. The Windows 10 virtual assistant, Cortana, is powered by Bing. Now that Windows 10 is a free upgrade to nearly all users of Windows 7 and 8x, we can expect that many of those people won’t change the default search engine, and will use Bing without even realizing it.
Who is Your Target Market?
One needs only to click around Bing’s demographic visualizations to see some pretty strong trends. Their audience tends to be:
- Older: 72 percent of the Bing Ads audience are over 35. 40 percent are between 35-54 years old
- Married or in a domestic partnership: 51 percent
- Educated: 78 percent have some college (nearly half have a bachelor’s degree or attended graduate school)
- Able to afford a lawyer: 33 percent make more than $100,000 annually, while 61 percent make over $60,000
I see a prime market for people that need an estate plan. I see married or partnered people with money, many of whom will eventually consider dissolution. You may see other trends that apply to other practice areas as well, but I’m more of a merchant of misery—a divorce lawyer—than an ambulance chaser.
The Writing On The Wall
Since Bing has trended upward on desktops, and Windows 10 includes Bing in by default, Bing is almost guaranteed to own the desktop OS market within a year or two. Due to this and other factors, Bing will likely continue to grow.
On the other hand, Yahoo used to exclusively use Bing to power web searches through its portal. It recently signed a non-exclusive deal with Google, which matches an earlier non-exclusive deal with Bing, that allows it to change between the two. If the deal is approved by antitrust regulators in the US and EU, that may cost Bing a small amount of market share.
Add that all up and you probably still have a growing search engine with 30 percent of the desktop/laptop search market. If the demographics fit your target clientele, it could be a cheaper and more effective advertising market for your practice.