Incorporating Bing Ads into a comprehensive digital marketing strategy is becoming increasingly popular among private schools.
If your school is looking to increase qualified traffic to your website to grow your inquiries, here’s why you should consider running search ads on Bing.
1. Bing Ads tend to be cheaper than Google Ads.
While Google still takes the cake in terms of being the most popular search engine in the US, people do still use Bing! When auditing the Google Analytics accounts of over 75 independent schools, Enroll Media Group found that Google made up an average of 55% of all organic traffic to school websites in 2022, with the Microsoft-owned search engine, Bing, coming in 2nd at just over 20% of organic traffic. The remaining 25% of organically sourced traffic was a combination of search engines like Yahoo, Baidu, DuckDuckGo, and others.
Although Google is more popular, it’s also much more crowded with advertising. According to a recent study from Think Orion, Bing has a less competitive playing field, which means advertisers do not have to pay as much to secure their search result spot when running a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign. This is good news for day and boarding schools who are looking to expand their digital reach, to get in front of parents at the exact moment they are conducting school-related searches online, and to do so inexpensively.
So how cheap are these clicks? When auditing 6 Bing Ads Campaigns over the last 6 months, Enroll Media found some stark differences in cost per click for key school-related searches compared with Google Ads.
- The average cost per click (CPC) for “top ranked boarding school” queries was $2.35 on Bing versus $3.10 for the same query on Google.
- For “best preschools near me” the average cost was just $1.95 on Bing, whereas Google’s CPC was 3 times that amount at a whopping $5.90.
- “Private high school” related-terms came in at an average of $1.60 CPC on Bing, but much higher at $6.50 on Google Ads.
2. Microsoft Ads has an easy self-serve user platform.
If you’re already familiar with and trained on the Google Ads platform, it will likely be a light lift to learn the Microsoft Ads Platform. However, with any self-serve ads platform, you really want to ensure you have a sound strategy in place for your core programs (day, boarding, summer, etc.). This includes making sure you:
- Conduct keyword research
- Have strong ad copy and landing pages
- Set up a conversion strategy
- Monitor daily
Just like with Google Ads, it can be all too easy to set it and forget it, and let the ad platform optimize for you. The platform's version of optimization often involves simply widening your reach in order to gain more clicks to spend more, with little or no visibility into the most important performance metric—qualified leads/conversions that are moving through the admissions funnel!
3. Bing Ads work.
After running dozens of Bing campaigns here at Enroll Media Group, we were able to identify them as a top source of qualified traffic and conversions. Additionally, when Bing Ads were in place, organic traffic from Bing improved as well! This same phenomenon also happens on Google. When advertisers are running a PPC campaign, they often see their SEO improve on that search engine.
Adlucent breaks down the theories behind why both non-brand and branded search ads increase the likelihood of getting free traffic to the website. The reasons range from covering more of the real estate on the page to higher brand recall and lift, which can lead to more website engagement. It’s worth noting that like Google Ads, Bing Ads are also pay per click, so impressions are free and you only pay when someone clicks! If someone scrolls down the results page after seeing your ad and clicks on your organic/free listing, you didn’t pay for that traffic.
In summary, for schools that need a boost in enrollment, search engine marketing is a vital part of a strong digital marketing presence to ensure you are showing up when parents are looking for you and your offerings. Bing Ads are a highly effective form of that, via their self-serve PPC platform, and yet many schools are underutilizing this. With any Search Engine Marketing strategy, be sure you understand the platform, your target audience, and what they are looking for online, and set up a conversion strategy to measure and improve upon your return on investment.
If you need help with your digital advertising strategies to improve enrollment, reach out to Enroll Media Group today. We are an award-winning digital marketing agency working with over 75 independent schools to help them achieve enrollment marketing success.