This post explores the Bing Ads vs Google AdWords Ads question in a number of different areas from Search Marketing through to Display Targeted campaigns.
Bing Search vs AdWords Search
As you might expect, the functionality of both Bing Ads and AdWords Ads is broadly similar.
Campaigns, Ad Groups, Keywords and Ads are structured in much the same way, grouping keywords together with relevant ads to increase relevance and promote a strong CTR (click through rate).
Negative keywords are used to avoid showing ads for irrelevant searches or wasting budget on low intent clicks.
Keyword match types are very similar too, with Bing Ads providing Exact Match, Phrase Match, Broad Match and more recently adopting the Modified Broad Match type to tighten up keyword targeting as Google did with AdWords.
Bing Ads Audience Reach
There’s no escaping the fact that Google dominates the search landscape in terms of search volume and audience size, but in some markets, advertisers would be foolish to ignore the Bing Ads opportunity to increase traffic and sales.
Since Bing Search Ads are served on the Yahoo search engine too, the audience reach makes Bing Ads a much more viable proposition.
Not all markets are equal. It’s fair to say that Google has a much greater share of the professional, business user market.
However, there are a huge number of Internet users that have Bing set as their default search engine and don’t realise they have another choice. There are many users who choose Bing over Google for a variety of different reasons.
In some markets, Bing’s share of search is higher than others.
We’ve shared before why Impression Share is absolutely critical to search marketing campaigns.
Because Google has such a large share of the search market, competing in high volume markets can demand a big Google AdWords budget too.
Where the search volume in those markets is significant on Bing Ads, a smaller budget is necessary to maintain a high Impression Share and to maintain a more complete Search Funnel.
Think of it as being a big fish in a smaller pond. You still get to be the boss, there are still big fish, but some advertisers might find competing on Bing Ads less expensive than on Google Search.
Bing Shopping Ads vs Google Shopping Ads
Bing Shopping Ads (Bing Product Ads) are not yet available in the UK.
Google Shopping Ads (or Google Product Ads) are a huge opportunity for eCommerce stores and a relatively simple way to match searches for products on Google, advertising your price and a product image dynamically in ads and directing users straight to the product page on your website.
Bing Ads Display vs AdWords Display
There’s a huge difference between Search Marketing and using Display Ads – critical to understand before you start spending money on Pay per Click ads.
Bing Ads Content Network
The Bing Ads Content Network is very similar to Google’s Display Network except for a few differences:
- There are no image ads available on Bing as of yet
- You can target by keywords or managed placements (targeting specific websites where you want your ads to run)
- They’re only available on post pay billing
- You can only view domain level of placements, whereas AdWords will report page URLs
- Bids are cheaper on Bing as there’s less competition.
Google AdWords Display Network
Google’s Display Network is extensive, counting millions of web pages in its inventory.
Google’s Display targeting options include;
- Contextual matching – matching themes of keywords on a page against those you target.
- Interest targeting – broader interest categories based on Google’s user data.
- Remarketing – targeting users across the Google Display Network after they’ve visited your site.
- Let’s not forget the might of YouTube too. It’s the second biggest search engine on the planet, ahead of Bing and Yahoo, though a substantially different strategy to normal search. YouTube promoted videos are part of the Google Ads network.
Bing Ads Cost vs AdWords Cost
In terms of Search CPC (Cost per Click), Bing Ads are slightly lower than those on Google AdWords.
This is primarily because both platforms run as an auction. With the combination of relevance x bid winning the auction and typically lower competition on Bing, clicks tend to be cheaper, for now at least but they are gradually creeping up as a whole.
Bing Ads does have one significant weakness over Google AdWords. Location targeting.
Whilst Google’s options allow targeting around a radius, irregular areas, specific towns, cities or counties, Bing Ads is fairly limited in this area although things are beginning to get better.
Bing Ads Editor vs AdWords Editor
The Bing Ads Editor is very similar to the AdWords Editor which are both used to easily upload changes in a more user friendly system (offline) so you can post your changes to your campaigns.
The Bing Ads Editor used to be fairly limited compared to AdWords but in recent times it has really picked up well, replicating the majority of features which are available in Google AdWords.
A couple of things you cannot do on Bing however are:
In short though, it’s certainly worth using the Bing Ads Editor just as much as you would the AdWords version as it’s much more user friendly than the online interface.
Is Bing Ads Worth It?
Yes. Bing Ads is definitely worth the investment. If you’re choosing Bings Ads or Google AdWords, there are a few rare occasions when you’d choose Bing Ads over Google Ads. If it’s volume you’re after, Google will almost certainly win as your first choice.
The opportunity is greater for some advertisers than others;
- You’re already maximising the opportunities with Google AdWords. Replicating those campaigns on Bing is a simple way of increasing traffic and sales for the same terms.
- You have a smaller budget than the AdWords Search market demands. Bing Ads is a smaller market and one that you can compete in and prove success before committing a larger budget to Google Ads.