Bing Ads vs. Google Ads: Which Platform is Right for You?

When it comes to PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising, Google Ads understandably is the go-to option for many companies. As the dominant search engine with over 90% of market share, Google PPC Ads provide businesses with ample opportunities to expand their reach and boost their visibility online.  However, savvy digital marketing experts will know better than to put all their proverbial eggs into one basket. Many often pursue Bing Ads, or rather, Microsoft Ads, another PPC advertising platform that can accomplish your business’s short- and long-term marketing goals, whether that’s increased traffic to your website, enhanced engagement, or driving sales.  Expanding your paid advertising efforts to include Bing Ad campaigns can provide you with numerous benefits. There are, however, some crucial factors to understand when pursuing Bing Ads for the first time, as if you’re used to running PPC Google Ads, you may need a bit of time to master the unique quirks of the Microsoft advertising platform. However, in this short guide, we’ll talk you through the key differences between Bing and Google Ads, and some key takeaways that could help you make your first Bing marketing campaign work well for you.

Key Differences Between Bing Ads and Google Ads

So how exactly do Bing Ads and Google Ads compare? Which platform makes more sense for your business? In this post, we’ll break down the key differences and help you determine the right paid search approach.

Bing Ads Google Ads
  • Market share: In the UK alone, Google accounts for over 93% of searches, while Bing accounts for just 4%. However, don’t let those numbers fool you; that 4% still represents millions of searches every day, so Bing provides access to a sizable audience. This smaller audience share means less competition and overcrowding in SERPs, meaning your paid Bing ads can stand out more clearly.
  • Audience targeting options: Both Bing and Google offer numerous targeting options for your PPC ads. You can target by keyword, location, device, time of day, remarketing audience lists, custom lists, and so on. One of the key features of Bing is that it provides more granular targeting for age and gender, unlike the “Female 18-49” range you get with Google. Bing also allows you to target by household income brackets, while Google still offers more stable targeting for people based on interests and lifestyles. As far as remarketing goes, they’re fairly similar across both Bing and Google, and still can prove incredibly useful at pushing customers down the sales funnel.
  • Ad performance: When it comes to PPC ad costs and performance, Bing and Google offer different benefits and drawbacks. Bing Ads typically generate higher click-through rates (CTR) for search ads (1-2% more than Google), while Google Ads conversion rates are slightly better on average, arguably due to the volume of paid ads. Costs per click (CPC) run 10-30% lower on Bing Ads for common, high-volume keywords, with the daily minimum budgets also being considerably lower at $1, compared to $50 for Google. In summary, Bing delivers plenty of clicks at lower costs, but at lower volumes compared to Google. CPC and volume will vary by industry and keywords targeted, which is why A/B testing is useful.
  • Keyword bidding: Both platforms offer a very similar auctioning process for keywords. They both offer a broad match, negative keyword targeting and a comprehensive keyword research tool. The main difference is that volumes on Bing are lower. Targeting through keywords is mandatory in any PPC advertising campaign, so if you plan to use both Google and Bing Ads as channels, it may be prudent to understand the keywords that match on both platforms.
  • Networks: Companies need to assess which platform will deliver in terms of audience reach. Google Ads offers advertising in two ways – Display and Search Network. Advertisers can either create PPC display ads to appear on websites in the GDN, or directly on the SERPs, respectively. Bing, which is owned by Microsoft, has three search engines – Bing, Yahoo and AOL, so when running PPC ads on one, they’re seen on all three.
  • Reach: Google has dominated the search market and therefore wins the reach race. However, the Bing Network is growing rapidly, now encompassing about 34% of the desktop search engine market worldwide, with 5.4 billion monthly searches and 136 million monthly active users. Most importantly, however, statistics show that Bing Ads reach 63 million searchers that aren’t reached with Google Ads campaigns.

Benefits of Bing Ads

  • Lower marketplace competition means higher visibility for your Bing display ads, especially for commercial keywords with a decent search volume.
  • On that note, with lower minimum spend thresholds, you can capitalise on ads for relevant keywords with high search volumes, without it coming at a hefty daily cost.
  • Not only that, but the strong CTR and lower CPCs means that your valuable marketing budget is allocated smartly and resourcefully.
  • The granular audience targeting options, such as for age, gender, income, and other characteristics make your ads even more relevant.

If your Bing Ads are delivered methodically and with precision, you can reach millions of relevant audience members and engage them immediately with the right ad copy, landing pages, and calls to action (CTAs).

Benefits of Google Ads

  • As Google is a household name in search advertising, its massive reach and market share has allowed it to cement itself as a reputable go-to option for brands needing quick, effective PPC ad campaigns.
  • It dwarfs Bing’s search numbers and users, thus giving Google a much larger and diverse medium of advertising options with which to trial.
  • The broader range of audience targeting and advanced remarketing options give it a slight edge for content-based campaigns.

However, with Google’s dominance in the PPC terrain, it naturally makes a more competitive environment for advertisers.

Key Takeaways to Note

When it comes to choosing between Bing Ads and Google Ads, keep these tips in mind:

  • Don’t restrict yourself to just one platform. Testing budget-friendly campaigns across Bing and Google can help you reach new audiences, trial different keywords and experiment with budgets.
  • Consider targeting Bing for commercial keywords with lower competition and more affordable CPCs. Use Google to run paid ads where volume and maximising conversions is the priority.
  • Factor in audience targeting differences. Bing outperforms for income and granular targeting; Google has more robust remarketing strategies to consider. Consider what your audience niche is to see which is more appropriate.
  • Monitor performance metrics and analytics closely. Measure beyond just conversion volume by looking at CPC, click volume, attribution and more.
  • Leverage both Bing and Google for display advertising at different budget levels. Bing makes it cheap to test the waters, while Google can be good to take your campaigns to the next level.
  • Don’t overcomplicate Bing. The platform accommodates basic and advanced campaigns. Start with simple Bing campaigns and progress to more strategic, high-value options over time.

Free Bing and Google Ads Discovery Call

There is no definitive ‘right’ PPC advertising platform. The best approach depends entirely on your business, industry and campaign objectives. Often it makes sense to utilise both Bing Ads and Google Ads with a smart allocation of budget and targeting. If you would like impartial, practical advice that you can use when considering your next PPC ad campaign, why not take advantage of a free PPC marketing review call with Ginger Digital? Our paid search experts can discuss your current ad performance and opportunities for improvement, and outline an achievable roadmap to help you reap the benefits of both Bing and Google advertising platforms. Contact us today to see how we can help.  

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