Bing PPC vs. Google AdWords: Which is Best for You?

So you want to get in on the PPC action but don’t know where to start?

Or maybe you’ve been running a Google AdWords campaign for a while and aren’t sure whether Bing Ads could work for you too. 😕

There’s no doubt that AdWords is the most popular platform.

But are you missing out by not advertising on Bing, and should you choose one or the other?

How different are AdWords and Bing Ads?

Both Google AdWords and Bing Ads work in very similar ways.

Both are pay per click – so you only pay when someone clicks on an ad.

Both also use an auction system.

When someone searches for a keyword that more than one advertiser is bidding on, an auction starts.

The bidding process includes your closest matching keyword, the ad and your maximum bid.

Both Google AdWords and Bing Ads use Quality Score to measure the expected click-through rate, relevance of your keywords, ads and the quality of your landing pages.

Both will calculate the position your ad will appear in before calculating the cost.

They use the following formula:

CPC Bid x Quality Score

Whoever has the highest total will appear top and all other advertisers in order.

Then, your Quality Score is used again to determine the cost of the click:

(position of the advertiser below you / quality score) + 0.01

In both systems, your Quality Score is key.

Your Quality Score can give you higher positions for less per click.

So – they’re the same, right?

Not quite.

AdWords and Bing Ads are similar enough to make it easy for advertisers to switch between the two. If you’re nervous about switching between the two, you have no need to be.

Despite these key similarities, there are some differences which you need to know about.

What are the Differences between Bing Ads and Google AdWords?

There are a number of key differences between Bing Ads and Google AdWords. We’ve explored some of the main differences you’re likely to notice on a day to day basis.

Budget Setting Options

If you’re familiar with Google AdWords, you’ll know that you set a daily budget for your campaigns.

Google can spend up to double the daily budget you set to make up for days where you don’t reach it. But they’ll never spend over your daily budget x the number of days in a month.

While this allows you to effectively control your monthly budget, you’re not able to set this officially.

However, in Bing Ads you can set daily budgets or monthly budgets.

🎉🎉🎉Winner🎉🎉🎉 – Bing Ads

Location

Location targeting in AdWords has long been a bit of a nuisance, as you can only set your location options at campaign level.

Although we always emphasise how important it is to have a granular account structure (so you can make your ads super-relevant), sometimes this can get pretty annoying!

Bing Ads actually lets you target specific locations at Ad Group level.

via GIPHY

Yes! I know.

If you have tons of locations, this could be revolutionary!

Of course, sometimes using separate campaigns for different locations would be the best options – but a bit of choice never hurt anyone.

🎉🎉🎉Winner🎉🎉🎉 – Bing Ads

Image Ads

Ok, ok.

It’s been a bit of a surprise so far with Bing Ads giving more flexibility in what we’ve looked at, but when it comes to image ads…

Well, what can I say?

Bing Ads kind of sucks.

Google Display Network - Bing PPC vs. Google AdWords: Which is Best for You?

Used by Google, the image above shows a brief example of where Display ads can appear.

In your Display campaigns you can choose whether to let Google select where they appear, you can guide them on certain themes or you can choose the target websites yourself.

Google’s Display Network reaches 80% of global internet users.

via GIPHY

But Bing Ads technically doesn’t even have an image ad network.

They do have image extensions for text ads.

Bing Ads Image Extensions - Bing PPC vs. Google AdWords: Which is Best for You?

Despite the images, these are very different from the Google Display Network.

These ads only appear in Bing search results, not on different websites.

🎉🎉🎉WINNER🎉🎉🎉 – Google AdWords

Ad Editing and Usability

This is one of the main areas where you can start to see the difference in experience that AdWords has.

Bulk editing in AdWords Editor is generally easier and quicker – making it a favourite for experienced PPC account managers.

If you have changes to make to multiple ad groups, in AdWords Editor you can select multiple Ad Groups and make changes to all of them at once.

But in Bing Ads, you need to go into each one individually. 😫

If you have a small account and are managing it yourself, this might not seem like too much of an issue. But if you’re managing a larger account which regularly needs bulk changes, this could be a deal breaker.

🎉🎉🎉WINNER🎉🎉🎉 – Google AdWords

Myths Busted

The question of ‘AdWords or Bing Ads’ comes up a lot – and I’ve heard all sorts of stories about what sets them apart.

I’ve also seen a lot of out-of-date articles which compare the two based on functionality that has now changed (both for the better and the worse).

Below I wanted to clear up some of these myths I’ve seen circulating!

Remarketing

Remarketing allows you to tailor your ads and target people who have already visited your website.

Both AdWords and Bing Ads have remarketing as an option but AdWords is a little more advanced in its offering.

Now, I don’t want to be too down on Bing Ads as they have a bit of a disadvantage – they only launched remarketing in 2015, giving Google AdWords a 5 year head start.

If you’ve looked at some of the guides online, you’ll see many people claiming that negative audiences aren’t possible in Bing Ads.

Negative audiences is where you can exclude certain people from seeing your ads based on a number of factors including which pages they’ve visited on your website.

Bing Ads actually introduced this feature early last year.

Search Engine Journal have put together an amazing guide on how to exclude irrelevant audiences if you’re thinking about introducing this.

Bing ‘Display’

If you’ve read about Bing’s Content Network, similar to Google’s Display Network, it’s worth knowing that it no longer exists.

While it was only ever available in the US, they stopped serving ads through the Content Network last year.

There’s no point bothering with Bing Ads

This is one of the most frustrating of all. But it’s unfortunately the most common to hear.

Yes, Google has a higher market share.

And yes, you have the potential to reach more people.

But it also has so many more advertisers so competition is very high. 💷💷💷

In the UK, there were 5.7 million SMEs in 2017 – that’s 99% of all businesses. If you think you’re ‘too big’ for Bing Ads, you might want to reassess.

It may have fewer searches but it has fewer advertisers too – meaning you can usually get more bang for your buck.

Bing Ads vs. AdWords: What to consider

As I hope you’ve gathered, it’s not so much of a choice between which is better – but which is better for you.

If you’re weighing up what to do, here’s some things you might want to consider:

  • Budget 💰
    How big is your budget? If your budget is small, you might get more for your money with Bing Ads. If you have some money to experiment, AdWords might be a good option.
  • Your industry 📊
    How competitive is your industry? If you’re in a particularly competitive industry, you might find that costs to appear higher up the search results in Google can spiral to dizzy heights. Why not try taking a look at Bing Ads to see if you can make it a little more palatable?
  • Who’s going to run it? 🤓
    Do you have an experienced consultant, team or is it just you doing your best? If you have an experienced crew to help, AdWords might be a great option. Your experienced team can make the most of the advanced features and will appreciate the speed and flexibility of the editor.
  • Does it have to be a choice? ⚖
    It doesn’t always have to be an ‘either or’ situation. If you’ve got the resource, why not try both? You can get as many cheap conversions as possible through Bing Ads and, if this isn’t enough, boost your traffic with the higher reach of AdWords. After all, if you can get conversions for cheaper – you would, wouldn’t you?

Want to set up a new campaign? Get in touch to find out how we can help you with your AdWords and Bing Ads accounts – and how you can make sure you’re making the most of your budget.

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