Bing Ads vs. Google AdWords – Deciding on which one to use? When potentially spending a ton of money and time on ads, it’s important to understand the major differences between all of the possible advertisement platforms out there. In this article, I’ll go over the top major differences between Bing Ads and Google AdWords, and why Bing Ads could be a more effective alternative to Google.
Though Google is the default choice for many users and advertisers, Bing’s conversion rates and costs are known to be more cost effective, so take careful consideration when deciding where to spend your valuable ad dollars. Let’s jump in to the top 5 differences between Bing Ads and Google AdWords:
1. Ad Placement & Competition
Due to the popularity of Google as a search engine, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Google has the most competition when it comes to advertisements. As a result, Google’s CPCs are known to be higher than Bing ads. Also, since there is higher competition, it could be more difficult to get the users attention and therefore conversions from your advertisements. With regards to ad placement, Google and Bing are very similar but Google recently took off their sidebar ads which means less optionality for advertisers.
Though Bing ads has lower market share than Google, it shouldn’t be excluded from your marketing arsenal! Bing is still the second most popular search engine. Less market share also means less competition, which means lower CPC and potentially more eyeballs for your ads. Bing is known to have more than 30% cheaper CPC relative to Googles AdWords. As previously stated, Google has removed the option to place your ads on its sidebar while Bing still has the option. For advertisers that want more options for ad placements, this may be of concern. But it should be noted that the sidebar ads hasn’t affected Googles CPC and if you really want to know if the sidebar is more effective for your ads, you could try to place small amounts of money in both Google and Bing to test.
Last thing to note about costs – Google AdWord promotional freebies are much harder to find these days due to its increased popularity. On the other hand, Bing Ads is always offering free Bing Ad Coupons all over the internet, making it an excellent testing ground for your newly minted campaigns.
2. Advertising Control & Targeting
Googles AdWords platform is very easy to use and the interface itself has been known to be a bit quicker. David Keller, the CEO of a well known San Francisco digital marketing firm DigiMaxPro, says that one major setback is that some of Google’s targeting options are only available at the campaign level (rather than the ad-level). This means that in order to fine tune your targeting options you would have to create another campaign and ad set. On the other hand, Bing allows you to make changes (such as time zones) at the ad level, allowing for quick and specific changes to who you target without having to re-create an entire campaign. This could potentially save you a ton of time if you’re doing A/B testing or trying to test out a variety of ads.
3. Display Advertising Reach
Bing only displays their ads on Windows apps as it doesn’t have the type of partner network that Google has. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it depends on who you are trying to target and your ads will still be seen on anyone using Bing which currently takes up ~30% of total search engine traffic.
4. Ad Metrics & Results from Field Tests
In various field tests done from digital advertisers, it has been shown that Bing Ads are not only more cost effective but also produce better results in terms of CTR and CPL. CTR was shown to be 34% higher on Bing and the CTL was 6% lower in comparison to Googles AdWords. This means that Bing advertisers are getting more leads at a lower cost and higher click through rates (meaning more traffic!).
CTR – Click Through Rate CPL – Cost Per Lead
5. Demographic Targeting!
Don’t be deceived! Even though this is the last on the list it is quite important. Google AdWords is effective and helpful in identifying a ton of demographic information when using their ad platform. But one thing that Bing has is demographic targeting. Bing allows you to target very specific demographics (gender and age). This is extremely effective for those who know their target audience. And even if you don’t know at first, the more you test your ads the more data you’ll gather, which makes the demographic information being collected even more powerful.
It is very possible that having the ability to target your demographic when doing online advertising could actually lead to higher conversions and therefore makes Bing even more cost effective. Google unfortunately doesn’t allow demographic targeting, making the data you collect less useful as you cannot utilize it to its full potential.
Don’t be deceived by the Google hype. The underdog - Bing Ads - has many benefits such as cost effectiveness and features that Google doesn’t have. That being said, Google is still the number one search engine and shouldn’t be taken lightly either. My suggestion – test out both in minor increments and do not ignore Bing Ads as it could be an essential missed opportunity to sales and growth.