Every company with a digital presence knows the value of online advertising. It is evident by staggering numbers that are growing exponentially. Companies spend more than $250 billion on digital ads, the most prominent channels being Google and Bing.
Both are PPC ads platforms sharing the same goal: helping companies expand their reach, generate traffic, and ultimately, revenue. However, the functionalities, metrics, targeting options, costs, and many other factors differ between Google and Bing.
How we Examine the Difference between Google Ads and Bing Ads
Google vs. Bing Ads: Let’s do a quick rundown…
Bing’s keyword auction strategy is remarkably similar to Google’s. Indeed, Bing has fewer users, but its ads display higher than Google Ads. Bing prompts 35% higher in results than Google Ads. It also has a less competitive playfield which means users do not have much to bid on keywords to secure their search result spot.
Microsoft adds that Bing covers 34% of desktop-based search engine space. Google, however, has the largest audience, but it does not mean that Bing is a bad investment. Bing’s user demographic represents higher age groups and higher income levels. Despite Google representing the larger pool of audience, Bing represents groups with a stronger purchasing power.
When it comes to keyword search, both Bing and Google offer a broad match, negative keyword targeting, and a keyword research tool. Perhaps the most vibrant difference is that traffic on Bing is significantly lower.
Bing offers advertisers a more detailed targeting choice for ads. Google lets advertisers determine location, network, language, and other settings at the campaign level. But mobile targeting with Google is generally limited, and this is where Bing triumphs.
Bing advertisers can target audiences based on their specific devices and operating systems. It also allows advertisers to prevent ads from displaying on the desktop when specifically targeted for mobile users.
Comparison of Google Ads vs. Bing Ads
Here we will gauge a number of metrics involved in the Google vs. Bing Ads debate, which are necessary to study in order to make a conclusion.
Which platform has a higher reach - Microsoft Ads vs Google Ads
Reach is the determining factor in digital advertising. If a brand does not have the reach, it is invisible to customers who will not purchase goods and services. For a company, this is a disastrous situation and derails all Return On Ad Spend (ROAS). A low ROAS means shrunken profits.
Google Ads leads the race in online reach. It offers advertising in two ways: Search Network and Display; both are developed to reach broader audiences. Display Network allows advertisers to reach up to 90% of users. On the other hand, Search Network offers a significant search boost because it owns 76% of the search engine market.
Does this mean Google wins the Bing vs. Google Ads debate? Certainly not.
Bing has its unique advantages. Bing allows advertisers to cover up to 53 million desktop searches, which is not possible to reach with Google. This can be an opportunity depending on your campaign goals and budget.
How easy is it to use these platforms - Bing Ads vs Google Adwords
For an average user, the interface of both Google and Bing might seem simple and identical. Except for the font and logos, search results prompt the same way for both platforms.
Which will produce more conversions and revenue - Microsoft Ads vs Google Ads
Comparisons are usually drawn in the Bing Ads vs. Google Ads debate for advertising benefit. The determinant factor here is CPC which gives one edge over the other. In the U.S. market, the following numbers represent CPC:
Is Bing cheaper than Google? Let’s reframe the question and instead ask ourselves: is it cost-effective? Advertisers on Bing have relatively less competition on bidding. It generates more return on investment as each click tends to be cost-effective. However, less traffic means you will have to pay more to bag conversions.
With Google, costs are higher, but it can beat the competition and get an enormous reach.
Bing Ads result in higher engagement with landing pages and sites, but Google takes the lead. Google’s average conversion rate is about 3.75%, and Bing offers just about 2.94%. Numbers could vary depending on the industry you are operating in. Still, broadly, the numbers are higher in Google’s court than Bing Ads.
It is still tricky to gauge a platform’s benefits over another since conversion rates can vary from one business to another. Also, campaign budget, keyword density, audience demographics, and more could influence results.
The average cost of CPC on Bing Ads is 70% lower than Google Ads. In a study, it was found that in the case of the automobile industry, the cost-per-clicks were approximately 32.5% less on Bing than Google. Similarly, it states that it was 59.2% lower in the insurance sector.
An important consideration: putting the costs of each platform side by side, it must be remembered that Bing and Google do not receive equal traffic. If the cost-per-click on Bing Ads is low, then the traffic quality is also low.
In this case, advertisers must pay more to achieve conversion on Bing Ads. The platform gets low traffic, and fortunately, advertisers still get the traffic they need. This results in better ROI.
Which has more targeting capabilities - Bing Ads vs Google Ads
Targeting is a game-changer in digital advertising as it can help reach specific audiences quite accurately. Google Ads uses content and audience targeting as a basic mechanism. In content targeting, you get topics, keywords, placement, and searches. Audience targeting is a little different as it gives you an in-market outlook and demographics of potential customers.
Google Ads does give more targeting options than Bing Ads, but it is Bing that has some unique advantages. Here you can enjoy social media profiles, keywords, location, time, gender, age, device, etc. If your campaign targets companies or individual customers, you can choose profile targeting, as it is more useful in account-based marketing.
Targeting through keywords is mandatory no matter which platform you are using. It is, therefore, important to understand keywords that exactly match the searches on both Google and Bing.
Google Ads grant you access to phase matches, broad matches, exact matches, broad match modifiers, negative keywords, etc. In contrast, Bing offers you negative keywords along with the phrase, broad, and exact matches.
It may seem like there’s not much difference between Bing Ads and Google Ads regarding keyword match options. But the difference lies in search volumes, and this is Google’s backyard. With Bing, you only get a small portion of search volumes, which leads to fewer users and a generally low scope of reaching the target audience.
Google Ads vs Bing Ads the Smarter Choice?
By now, it is clear that Bing competes with Google on an uneven playing field. We are often pushed into believing that Bing is better than Google due to its users' low CPC and purchasing power. But when it comes to which platform is smarter, Google’s AI certainly triumphs Microsoft’s. The Google ads algorithm also surpassed Facebook’s when compared to the Facebook ads platform.
Search engines greatly benefit from the input of artificial intelligence and machine learning. It is the very top-of-the-line technological invention that results in precision and accuracy in terms of results. A research team created an AI IQ test where Google and Bing, along with other popular search engines, competed.
Results crowned Google’s AI smartest of all. It justified the company’s supremacy in the search engine platform market. Google’s tech scored 47.28 in the test, and as one would expect, it was the exact imitation of a real-life IQ test.
Google is smart but not as smart as humans, yet it is staggering to witness this result. It might seem like Google is not smarter than a six-year-old child. But when it comes to its specific function as a search engine, an IQ of 47.28 measurably plays long in the benefit. Therefore, we get to witness pulling results even from the darkest corners of the Internet in seconds.
Bing scored 31.98, which is also impressive but not close to Google’s standards. These companies have constantly been working to improve their artificial intelligence input. Google’s AI scored 26.5 in 2014, and the leap greatly defines the work being done at Google HQ.
Final Verdict on Bing vs. Google Ads
It is evident that Google leads the race and is by far the better search engine. It is exactly why marketers prefer using Google Ads for eCommerce compared to Bing Ads. However, Bing trails closely and is taking long strides in improving its platform. In the past decade, Bing’s leap has certainly put it into a more competitive light than any other platform against Google.
It also depends on an ad campaign’s goals and targets. Advertisers can use either Google Ads or Bing Ads, depending on their milestones and budgets. Both platforms hold mega value, and it would be a mistake to ignore one for the other.
It is advised to stack your content on both search engines. While Google is a definite winner in the debate, here are some facts about Microsoft’s advertising platform that should not be ignored:
- Popular among old age, retired, high-income individuals
- YouTube-focused: best if your campaign focuses on YouTube as an important channel
- Growing massively in Europe (Google’s traffic is rather increasing in Asia)
- A higher number of “shopping” traffic (Google receives search traffic)
These facts indicate that while your ad campaign may certainly be tailored for Google, opportunities can also spring up if we are to initiate with Bing as well.