What Is the Difference Between Google Ads and Bing Ads?

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AdWords and Bing Ads have both become preferred paid search platform for advertisers. They give each other head-on competition when it comes to new features and updates.

Google Ads

Google Ads, is comprised of two advertising networks:

  • The Search Network: Advertisers create text ads to appear on the search engine results page (SERP), example below
  • The Display Network: Advertisers create display ads to appear on a vast number of websites across the internet
google ads page

Bing Ads

Bing, which is owned by Microsoft, has three search engines — Bing, Yahoo, and AOL — so when you advertise on one platform, your ad is actually seen on all three. This opens up campaigns to searchers across all Bing, Yahoo, and AOL owned and operated sites, as well as various partner sites:

Bing Ads

What is difference between Google Ads and Bing Ads?

Let’s see how Google Ads and Bing Ads compare in some basic aspects, such as display URLs, description text, keywords, and click-through rate.

Display URL

Google and Bing both show display URLs underneath the ad headline. Bing highlights their display URLs with bold formatting. Google Ads does not:

social media marketing

Description text

Previously, Google allowed two separate description lines limited to 35 characters each, and Bing offered one line with a maximum of 71 characters. Now, both Google and Bing allow 80 characters in one longer description field.

Keywords

Both Google and Bing offer a keyword research tool, broad match, and negative keyword targeting. The main difference between the two platforms is that the traffic volume for keywords is much lower on Bing.

Click-through rate

Since Yahoo and MSN both offer financial reporting, Bing ads tend to have higher CTRs for shopping and financial services search verticals. That’s because they offer many shopping and financial resources and ads in those search verticals on those platforms reach highly-interested prospects, receive more engagement, and have higher CTR.

This list didn’t mention reach or cost — two of the essential factors to consider when choosing an advertising platform. That’s because we feel they deserve their own sections.

Reach: Bing Ads vs. Google Ads

It’s well-known that Google has dominated the search engine market, and therefore has a larger search volume and more reach. By no means are they the only search engine worth investing in. The Bing network is growing quickly, too. Just take a look at the numbers:

  • Bing now has 34% of the desktop search engine market share worldwide
  • There are 5.4 billion monthly searches conducted on the Bing Network
  • 136 million unique searchers use the Bing Network

Most importantly, Bing Ads reach 63 million searchers that aren’t reached with Google AdWords. So if you aren’t using Bing Ads, that’s a substantial amount of missed opportunity.

In addition to increased visibility, Bing allows advertisers to reach an older and more educated audience. As the pie chart shows, almost 40% of the Bing Network ranges from 35 to 54 years old, and nearly three-quarters of Bing users are over the age of 35:

ads reach

Also, about one-third of the Bing Network has a household income of over $100,000, and almost half of the Network has a household income of $75,000 or more:

network reach

The point here is that despite Ads reaching more people and having higher search volumes, Bing allows you to reach a even wider audience — a specific demographic of customers — and produce even better results than simply AdWords alone.

Cost: Bing Ads vs. Google Ads

What Bing lacks in volume, it certainly makes up for in performance. Although budgets fluctuate by industry and every single advertiser, one particular digital marketing agency found that Bing only spent 20%-35% of their AdWords campaign equivalent:

ads cost

This example is possible because Bing PPC has far less competition for advertisers bidding. So clicks are cheaper, and advertisers get more for their dollar.

According to ReportGarden, CPC averages $7.99 on Bing Ads and $20.08 on Google AdWords:

average cpc

In fact, the average cost-per-click on Bing Ads can be up to 70% lower compared to AdWords. A Search Engine People study found that in the automotive industry, CPCs were 32.5% lower on Bing PPC than Google, and in the insurance industry, 59.2% lower.

When comparing the costs of each ad platform, it’s important to remember that Bing and Google don’t always get the same traffic. In some instances, Bing Ads CPC is lower, but the traffic quality is also lower, so advertisers end up paying more for a conversion than they do on AdWords. The opposite can also be true, though — with the right traffic, Bing PPC can generate more sales and at a lower CPC. Fortunately, since competition is lower on Bing, it’s easier to get the traffic you need at a low cost, resulting in better ROI.

Demographics

The features of your audience also matter when advertising online.

If you target the wrong people, it can make or break your ad campaign. You want to use the targeting options offered by Bing Ads and Google Ads to your advantage. How well those targeting options work, however, also depends on the demographics of existing Bing and Google users.

In most cases, Bing users are:

  • Married (43%)
  • Between 35-54 years old (40%)
  • Earning a higher income, generally above $100,000 (33%)

Meanwhile, Google users are usually younger than Bing users. Other demographic details pose a challenge to pinpoint, as Google encompasses such a massive audience. That audience size, however, can increase your chances of reaching members in your audience, even if it’s a niche one.

If your audience is married, earns an income above $100,000, and is between 35-54 years of age, then Bing is an excellent choice for your ad campaign. Companies with audiences outside those demographics, however, may want to use Google Ads.

The Verdict: Google Ads or Bing Ads?

The short answer? Both! If you’re only advertising on Google Ads, you’re missing out. You’re fighting upstream for that competitive advantage which you’ll be gaining elsewhere.

A Bing campaign can complement your reach on Google Ads, widening your digital coverage and filling any gaps in your audience.

The audience that you simply reach on Microsoft Ads is statistically older, more educated and earning upwards of $75,000 annually. What Microsoft Ads lack in volume, it makes up for in other benefits:

  • Your ad can gain higher positioning in results.
  • You have less bidding competition for keywords. Because of this, you get more for your dollar (note that cheaper clicks can mean lower quality leads).
  • Extended access to qualified leads.
  • Higher click through rate (CTR) for shopping and financial services.
  • More freedom to target in detail and on different devices.
  • Transparency about its search partners, metrics, impressions and conversions.

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