Each and every marketer knows that Google dominates the U.S. search volume, controlling two-thirds of all search queries.
With that said, this pieces intention isn’t to sway you towards one or the other or bash either of them. Each have pros and cons. This piece will discuss their primary differences, highlight some important statistics and summarize some of the pros and cons of each. Enjoy.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ADWORDS & BING ADS
No matter which method you choose for your campaign(s), there are some important differences between Google AdWords and Bing Ads that you should know about. See below for the major differences between the two:
- Ad Location – this is a fundamental difference but still just as important to understand. When you advertise using Bing Ads, your ads will be located on Bing, Yahoo and their partners. When you use Google AdWords for ad placement, they will be located on Google at their partners.
- Description Text – on Google you have two separate lines for your ad description while with Bing you have one longer line (71 character limit). When writing your copy, make sure it is written well, and sounds good on both.
- Budget – both Google AdWords and Bing Ads allow for users to adjust and limit their ad spend on a daily basis. Bing also has a monthly ad spend limit setting that some users prefer. Pay attention that Bing Ads have different minimums for budgets and bids. This could become an issue if you are used to the setup of Google AdWords.
- Negative Keywords – Bing does not utilize broad match negative keywords. If you utilize this feature within Google and then try to convert, your keywords will act as phrase match negative keywords instead.
- Targeting – some of the targeting options (time of day, location, etc.) for each platform have significant differences. Be sure to review these options within each platform as your settings in one will most likely not work in the other. You will need to adjust.
SEARCH MARKETING STATISTICS
The below statistics about Bing Ads and Google AdWords are just that, statistics. They are listed only for your information gathering process. Review them and decide for yourself which may affect your particular business in a positive or negative way. Depending on the size and nature of your business, you may interpret each one differently than the next person. See below:
- From June 2011 to June 2012 Bing stole 5% of Google’s search share (Experian Hitwise).
- Google AdWords holds 81% of all search accounts while Bing only controls 19% of them (Pricing Engine).
- Data released by Pricing Engine in 2013 suggest that Bing is “more efficient” than Google AdWords with lower average CPC (cost-per-click). Google however has a higher search volume and CTR’s (click-through-rate).
- Nearly one third of all search queries are done on Bing or Yahoo (comScore).
- Within the computer and internet vertical, on average advertisers paid 117% more per click on AdWords than Bing Ads.
- In a 2013 report, AdWords outperformed Bing Ads by serving 7.3 million more ad impressions in the shopping and classified vertical areas.
- Google Search dominates the Canadian market with 67% share over Bing (comScore).
- According to comScore Bing users are likely to spend 5.4% more than Google AdWord users.
PROS AND CONS
For quite some time, experts argue that Bing Ads is more “efficient” than Google AdWords but Google obviously has a much greater search volume and higher CTR’s (click-through-rate). This is true and much more. See the list of pros and cons below:
PROS OF BING ADS
- More Flexibility – Bing Ads allows for more flexibility in that you can advertise than Google. You have more options in what you can advertise as well as how many characters you can use for your ad titles (40 vs. 25).
- Customer Service – many polls have shown that Bing has a better customer service plan in place than Google; that is they are more available at more times than Google; not necessarily better (WordStream).
- Cost – the cost-per-click is much lower for Bing ads vs Google AdWords. For those looking for a “cost efficient” option, it may be the right choice to spread dollars further.
- Bing allows you to Advertise on Two Networks – “Bing Search Network” and “Bing Content Network.” This gives advertisers the option to run paid advertising on either one, whichever fits their campaign best.
PROS OF GOOGLE ADWORDS
- Ad Extensions – AdWords offers additional features you can add on where you could include a business address, contact info and much more. Bing doesn’t offer this feature.
- Better Ranking System – Google AdWords cares more about the quality of your site/content and ranks accordingly. I guess this can be seen as a con if your site is low quality.
- High Search Share – Google AdWords holds over 70% of the entire search share, making it the largest out of all available.
- Higher CTR – according to comScore Google on average has higher CTR’s (click-through-rate) in most verticals.
CONS OF BING ADS
- Customer Service Knowledge – yes I know I listed this as a pro, but it is also a con. Even though they are available more than Google, polls have shown that they don’t have nearly the expertise as Google. This makes sense to me because Google is larger and has more to pull from (Hubspot).
- Lower Search Share – it is obvious and well known that Bing only holds one-third of the search share. Even though this is still a tremendously large audience, it is still substantially lower than Google AdWords.
CONS OF GOOGLE ADWORDS
- Higher CPC – on average Google AdWords CPC (cost-per-click) is marginally higher in each search vertical.
- Costly – as listed above the cost-per-click is higher on average over Bing Ads. It also is more complex, taking more time and costing more money to setup campaigns.
- Affiliate Sites (No/Yes?) – Google says they like sites with affiliate links on them but it has been proven over and over that sites that are over-filled with them get a lower quality score than those who don’t use or don’t use as many.
So what is my final verdict, Google AdWords or Bing Ads? The truth is I don’t have an easy answer to that question. Depending on your vertical, market, money available, size, etc. one may be a better option than the other. Conduct your own research based on your market and vertical to see which one may be a better fit and/or also the option of using both to fit the individual needs of each marketing campaign.
“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.” – Albert Einstein