Bing is often overlooked – but with Microsoft estimating that Bing users spend 24% more than the average Google searcher, it’s clearly worth paying attention to.

Especially considering the growth of Windows phones (IDC predicts nearly 13% year-over-year growth to 2019) and the software’s Siri alternative, Cortana, directing users’ searches to Bing. When this is coupled with Firefox replacing Google with Yahoo (which is powered by Bing) as the default search engine, we could start to see a resurgence of Bing in the UK this year.

Most people think that if you are ranking well with Google, you’ve got to be doing just as well with Bing and Yahoo, but that is not true. How can brands make the most of the search engine and ensure they don’t miss an opportunity?

1. Consider the differences between the sites

There are several technical factors that separate Bing and Google. Google’s algorithm recognises synonyms and context around a keyword. This allows a little freedom and creativity for content, however Bing prefers exact keywords. For Google, if there is a keyword phrase with two meanings, the most popular website tends to rank first. But with Bing, a double meaning search provides local results first – and more.

So, in order to make a splash on Bing, these elements should be considered. After that, the site must be submitted to Bing for indexing. To do so, submit your site to Bing Webmaster Tools and wait until it gets crawled.

2. Act fast

Looking at clients advertising on both Google and Bing, Wordstream found that that CPC was on average 33.5% cheaper on Bing. Bing Ads uses a similar auction dynamic as the AdWords auction, so advertisers on Bing have numerous benefits from a lack of competition, such as better ad positions and cheaper costs per click. So, it’s best to get your bids in before everybody else catches wind, and they start to increase.

3. Find your audience

Even though through AdWords you can regularly view and control demographic targeting on the Google Display Network, we’re left in the dark when it comes to search. Currently, Google offers no demographic-based targeting on the search network.

Probably the most innovative and underused offering from Bing Ads is the ability to control which gender and age demographics see your search ads. Demographic targeting can be controlled at either the campaign or ad group level within Bing Ads.

4. New features

Once you are live on Bing you can make the most of all of the products and Betas, to capitalise on all of the additional traffic and performance enhancements that they bring. When using Ad Extensions for example, having both ‘enhanced sitelinks’ and ‘location extensions’ showing at the same time has lead to a 47% increase in click-through rate among our clients, though not all brands can fully utilise all of the ad extensions at their disposal i.e. if you don’t have physical stores you will be unable to use location extensions. Similarly, product ads are proven to be a highly engaging ad format – driving stronger performance than traditional text ads. On average, product ads have a 45% greater click through rate than text ads say Microsoft – these are available through Bing Shopping Campaigns and can deliver a much stronger ROI than PPC.

5. Monitor performance

According to Microsoft, Bing users spend 24% more than the average internet searchers.  Research has also shown that traffic coming from Bing often has a lower bounce rate, visits more pages on a site and clicks more affiliate links. But you can’t monitor what you don’t measure. Monitor your performance closely, remembering that Bing will perform differently to Google and things that might or might not work on one search engine might or might not work on the other.

6. Budget

Review Bing Ads’ market share for your location, and initially use this as a starting budget. For example, the UK market share is 9% (Statista) – this should be reflected in your budget.

The long story short is that Bing has 28 million unique searchers in the UK – and this number is still growing. Getting active on the search engine is no longer a choice, it should be a priority.