Most PPC users will be familiar with Google AdWords and used it as their main PPC advertising platform. Recently, there has been a growth in Bing Ads as an alternative platform, especially with recent introductions of a Shopping and Retargeting functionality.
Ideally, the best option to remain competitive is to have the marketing budget to use simultaneously both platforms, in order to prevent gaps in your online presence. However, if you do not have the marketing budget to use both then it is important to understand what to expect value-wise from each platform in regards to performance, results, CTR, impressions etc. as well as any platform limitations before making your choice.
Google AdWords and Bing Ads both have different strong points. We run through some of the basic feature comparisons below:
Google AdWords has an estimated 67% of the search engine market share worldwide. Bing, by comparison, has only 21.6% (but growing fast). Google, therefore, has a wider search volume and larger reach. This is especially important for business in small geographic areas with niche markets that need the higher volume of searches.
Click through Rate (CTR):
Google Adwords has overall higher CTR and superior impressions in comparison to Bing Ads. Google’s impressions increased by roughly 38% from 2014 to 2015. However, Bing Ads has higher CTR for shopping and financial services search verticals due to Yahoo and MSN financial reporting.
As everyone is on Google, there is fierce competition between advertisers. Conversely, Bing Ads has 36% less competition than Google AdWords. This is good for lowering your CPCs but for large organizations, less competition coupled with lower search volume will not achieve the necessary numbers. Additionally, impressions on Bing Ads are 76-90% cheaper than Google AdWords. Nevertheless, it should be noted that 45 million users are solely Bing users and Bing reaches 149 million unique searches each month.
Due to the fierce competition on Google AdWords, there are higher CPCs in every search vertical – therefore it is more costly to have Google AdWords campaigns. Bing Ads CPCs can be up to 50-70% lower than Google AdWords. Consequently, it is harder to achieve conversions with Google AdWords if you have a limited marketing budget.
The Google AdWords interface is considered by advertisers as the easier platform to navigate and manage ad campaigns on. It is not as easy to manage large accounts on Bing Ads because the reporting is “clunky”.
LANGUAGE OPTIONS AVAILABLE:
Google AdWords has 40 different language options in comparison to Bing Ads 6 language options. Even then, the 6 language options need to be taken with a pinch of salt. It is realistically 3 language options – English, French and Spanish with regional and national variations available.
Google AdWords has a wide range of targeting options however unlike Bing Ads it cannot control individual search demographics. Bing Ads allows for demographic targeting where you can control the gender and age demographics that see your search ads.
Google typically has near constant updates and multiple new features throughout, whereas Bing trails behind in an attempt to keep up with Google. Google AdWords features include shopping campaigns, remarketing, Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) and a whole range of other exciting feature and enhancements. Bing usually follows with a similar feature shortly after.
AD RANKING SYSTEM:
Google uses a most advanced ad ranking system as they are more focused on the user experience and the quality of your site and ad rank. Find out more about Google’s ad ranking system with their Quality Score here.
Ideally, if you have the marketing budget, it is more advantageous to leverage both platforms to increase your reach and extend your ads to reach an additional 150+ million unique users that are only using one platform. Currently, 55% of advertisers are advertising on both Google and Bing. To remain competitive it may be necessary to diversify your traffic mix with multiple PPC platforms.
Understandably, we do not live in an ideal world and so sometimes, the choice must still be made. Depending on the size of your company and marketing budget, advertising solely on Bing Ads may be better for your ROI than with Google AdWords. However, for the majority of advertisers, Google AdWords will still be the safer choice, due to its wider reach. Bing Ads often acts as a complementary add-on PPC platform.
It is also possible to use Google Analytics to help your decision by analysing which search engines are driving your organic traffic data. The search engine that is generating more organic traffic data will inevitably have more consumer traffic viewing your ads.