Google Ads Vs Bing (Microsoft) Ads – Which Is Best?

How to decide which paid search advertising platform is best for your business

When it comes to the world of PPC advertising, there are two major search engine advertising platforms that businesses can take advantage of: Google Ads and Bing Ads (now called Microsoft Ads). Google Ads and Bing Ads each come with their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to understand these before you invest your marketing budget in either platform.

How to decide which paid search advertising platform is best for your business

When it comes to the world of PPC advertising, there are two major search engine advertising platforms that businesses can take advantage of: Google Ads and Bing Ads (now called Microsoft Ads). Google Ads and Bing Ads each come with their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to understand these before you invest your marketing budget in either platform.

We’re here to help you gain a better understanding of these two paid advertising platforms, allowing you to make an informed decision on which form of advertising is best for you.

What are Google Ads and Bing Ads?

It’s important to understand exactly what these paid advertising platforms are and how these differences can impact your return on investment.

Google Ads is a paid advertising platform in which you can run paid advertising campaigns that work by targeting keywords that searchers use in Google. Using this information, you can create an advert that will appear in Search Engine Results Pages, or ‘SERPs’, based on those keywords. Since you have paid for this advert, it often appears above the organic results, giving your business a higher chance of being seen by new and existing customers.

Bing Ads operate on three search engines: Bing, Yahoo and AOL. Therefore, your ad is potentially seen on all three. Bing Ads work in a similar way to Google Ads, whereby ads often appear at the top of the results page above the organic content.

The Basics of Google Ads and Bing Ads

Before we discuss the various benefits and drawbacks of each marketing platform, let’s compare the basic aspects of Google Ads and Bing Ads.

Keywords – Google and Bing each have their own keyword research tool. Each suggests relevant keywords for your enquiry and these you can use either as keywords to target using relevant ad copy, or you can add them as negative match keywords meaning you actively exclude those searches from seeing your ads.

Headline text – Both platforms now provide 3 parts to the headline text, each 30 characters long.

Description text – Both platforms offer 2 description lines in their ads, each 90 characters long.

Display URL – Both platforms display their URLs underneath the headline. However, Bing highlights its display URLs with bold formatting which can help improve click-through-rate.

Final URL – Each platform allows advertisers to select specific landing pages for each advertisement meaning campaign can be extremely targeted. This also means that in order to achieve greater relevancy and ultimately better results, you may need to spend more time creating relevant content on your website.

Pros of Google Ads

Below are the main benefits you can expect from utilising Google Ads in your marketing strategy:

  • Results from Google Ad Campaigns can be Instant – Google Ads can be especially helpful if you’re looking to achieve results quickly. SEO efforts can take weeks to come to fruition, whereas PPC ads can drive traffic instantly and especially so with Google Ads since it usually generates much more traffic than Bing Ads.
  • Test new ideas without the risk – You can use Google Ads in many ways. For example, you can use them to test your ideas ranging from keyword optimisations to which landing pages work best. These tests can be turned on and off at the click of a button, and because Google Ads often has much higher volume than Bing (Microsoft Ads), you can get very quick results. You can also use them to learn a lot more about your target audience.
  • You’ll receive great exposure in SERPs – Perhaps one of the most obvious benefits – you get to appear on the first page of Google’s search engine results. This means fantastic exposure for your business and to a greater extent than with Bing Ads.
  • Measurable results – When running Google Ad campaigns, you’ll be receiving large amounts of data. If you’re interested in learning what drives visitors to your site, then this is the ideal way to learn.

Cons of Google Ads

Below, we’ve outlined some of the main drawbacks of Google Ads:

  • Higher volume can mean higher costs – Advertising on Google can be expensive. This is because, depending on which budget option you select, you may need to pay for every single click on your ad, regardless of whether that click goes on to generate a lead or sale. Given that Google usually offers more search volume, this usually means higher costs no matter how many leads or sales your campaigns generate. This is why it can be so beneficial to consult an expert from the outset.
  • Some industries can be more competitive, leading to higher costs – If your business operates in one of the more competitive industries, you may incur higher costs for your ads on Google when compared to Ads on Bing (Microsoft). To make matters even more complicated, if your keyword bid is too low, your ads may get lost in pages 2 or 3 of the search results, or they may not appear in the SERPs at all – in both cases, your campaigns will suffer and again, costs will be driven up.
  • When starting out, you need to invest a lot of time and money – Google Ads takes a lot of time to figure out. You also need to invest time maintaining, improving, and updating your campaigns – both to achieve better performance and to keep up with changes to your business, competitors, industry, and customers. Since Bing Ads campaigns can be easily imported from Google Ads and most of the search volume comes from Google, many advertisers find they spend most of their time on Google. Consulting an expert will save you time as well as money!

Pros of Bing Ads

Discover the below list to learn more about the benefits of Bing Ads:

  • Often more cost-effective – One of the most important benefits of Bing Ads is that they are often less expensive than Google due to having less search volume and consequently, less competitors. With fewer competitors, the cost per click or conversion is less likely to be driven up through competition alone.
  • More opportunities to appear at the top – Since Bing Ads often has less competition than Google Ads, you are often less likely to be pushed out of the top listings. This means that your ads, and therefore your business, gets more visibility with Bing Ads.
  • You can reach more audiences – Because Bing Ads appear in search results on Bing, Yahoo and AOL, your ads can fetch all kinds of different users. In turn, you can reach a larger number of audiences with one tool.

Cons of Bing Ads

Learn more about the disadvantages that Bing Ads can have:

  • You may experience less traffic – Since Google is often the preferred search engine, there is a smaller market to appear to on the Bing Network. If you decide to place all your focus on Bing alone, you may lose out on potential customers.
  • There is a limited geographical presence – Whereas Google Ads are available in almost all countries, Bing Ads appear in approximately 20. For example, Bing Ads are not available in Belgium whereas Google Ads are.

What are the Main Differences?

With the above in mind, you may be wondering what the main differences are when it comes to Google Ads vs Bing Ads. Some of the main differences come from the different rules and regulations that are in place for each platform.

For example, Google Ads tends to have slightly stricter policies including restrictions or bans on ads including alcohol, adult content, gambling, healthcare, political content and more. Bing also comes with its own restrictions, including advertisements about dating.

Here are some of the more notable differences between Google Ads vs Bing Ads:

  • Google Ads tend to appeal more to younger users who often browse on mobile devices, whilst Bing Ads appeal to slightly older audiences, typically ranging from 40-65 who browse on desktop.
  • The average cost per click (CPC) varies greatly according to which industry you are targeting and which specific keywords. Nevertheless, the average CPC through Google Ads is $2 whereas with Bing Ads, the average CPC is only $1.54.
  • Bing Ads tend to have a higher conversion rate for shopping and financial services in comparison to Google Ads.

Which Platform is Better for your Business?

It was once believed that Google Ads was the only viable platform for paid advertising through search engines. However, there has been an uptake in interest and performance for Bing Ads, making it a beneficial platform to allocate your budget to.

For example, for desktop users, Bing now has 13.5% market share worldwide and 13.9 billion monthly searches.

Essentially, we recommend that you utilise a relationship between both Google Ads and Bing Ads to get the ultimate outcomes for your business. This is because they complement each other – the audiences you cannot reach on Google you can reach on Bing and vice versa. This opens new doors for higher reach and conversions for your business.

If you’re looking to achieve more visibility and traffic whilst appealing to a smaller, more niche audience, then a combination of both Google and Bing advertising is essential for your business.

For more information on how you can take advantage of paid advertising for your business, get in touch with the Diginius team today. With our years of industry insight and expert knowledge of PPC, we can help you to navigate the complex paid advertising market to bring in great results for your business.

Chester Yang is the Microsoft Program Manager at Diginius with a background in economics and quantitative research.  

At Diginius, Chester focuses on nurturing partnerships with PPC agencies and integrating marketing and sales solutions.