Microsoft Advertising, Benchmark Reports

Bing Ads Benchmarks for Q4 2018 + Why “the future looks brighter for Bing”

According to an announcement Microsoft made early this year, Bing ad revenue rose 14% in the fourth quarter of 2018. When Merkle released its Q4 2018 Digital Marketing Report, the agency predicted “the future looks brighter for Bing” thanks to its deal to become the exclusive search ad provider for Yahoo. Lots of uptick happening for the oft-ignored search engine, though we’ve been singing its praises in various ways over the years.

Read on to see what we found when we analyzed over 75 million ad impressions and over 2 million clicks for ads on Bing in Q4 2018. Be sure to read the Q4 2018 PPC Benchmark Report for additional ad performance trends. Check out our Benchmark Report page for the latest reports by quarter .

Bing CPC, CPM, & CTR for Q4 2018 at-a-glance 

  • Median CPC was $1.82
  • Median CPM was $53.81
  • Median CTR was 3.11%

Bing CPC ends the year at lowest price on record

We found that median CPC dropped 66 cents from last quarter, continuing the downward slide we’ve seen all year. Compared to this same time last year, median CPC is down $2.60.

Q4 2018 Bing ad performance data from 75MM impressions and  2MM clicks
Source: AdStage Inc.

Bing CPM ↓ $32 Y/Y

According to our calculations, median CPM dropped $13.69 from last quarter and is down 37.7% compared to Q4 of 2017.

Q4 2018 Bing ad performance data from  75MM impressions and  2MM clicks
Source: AdStage Inc.

Bing CTR increases slightly

We found that in Q4 2018 median CTR for ads on Bing increased by 0.31%, and ended the year up 0.61% Y/Y.

Q4 2018 Bing ad performance data from  75MM impressions and  2MM clicks
Source: AdStage Inc. 

Bing ad trends Q4 2018

New shopping-friendly features for the holiday rush. Bing released Automatic Item Update for Bing Shopping Campaigns to keep product catalogs up-to-date, Flyers to showcase hot deals, multiple images in Product Ads to give customers the most complete info for products, and larger product images to show off important details.

Competition Tab gets a cleanup. After a series of updates to performance reporting in the Competition Tab, Bing decided to get rid of a few unnecessary columns in the Share of Voice reports, namely Impression share lost to ad relevance, Impression share lost to expected CTR, and Impression share lost to bid. Bing said it hoped the changes simplified the reporting process for marketers.

Time of the ad click added to conversion tracking. Bing said this new measurement will positively affect ad schedule bid modifiers since they would now better align to the time of the click, rather than the time of the conversion.

Changes to its political ads policy. The announcement included a ban on political candidate and ballot measure ads in the United States. Bing said those types of ads make up a very small percentage of its overall advertising volume.

Download the entire report for all the stats on CPM, CPC, and CTR benchmarks for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Ads, Google Display Network, YouTube, and Twitter.

AdStage Team