When people refer to Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, there are usually 2 search engine platforms that usually come up: Google Ads and Bing Ads (also known as Microsoft Advertising). As per our experience, the popular question customers usually ask most of the digital marketing agencies is which platform is performing better? Should I do Bing ads or Google ads?
If you are reading this article, you may encounter the same problem. No worries, this article will discuss the above topics with a detailed comparison between Bing Ads and Google Ads.
An overview of Google Ads and Bing Ads
An introduction to Google Ads
Each advertising network has different types of campaigns to suit your goals. Here are about Google Ads campaign types:
- Search Network campaign: The Google Search Network is a group of search-related websites and apps where your ads can appear. When you advertise on the Google Search Network, your ad can show near search results when someone searches with terms related to one of your keywords.
- Display Network campaign: The Google Display Network can help you reach people while they’re browsing their favourite websites, showing a friend a YouTube video, checking their Gmail account or using mobile devices and apps. The Google Display Network is designed to help you find the right audience. Its targeting options let you strategically show your message to potential customers at the right place and the right time.
- Shopping campaign: If you’re a retailer, you can use Shopping campaigns to promote your online and local inventory, boost traffic to your website or local shop and find better-qualified leads.
- Video campaign: Video campaigns let you show video ads on their own or within other streaming video content on YouTube and across the Google Display Network.
- App campaign: As an app advertiser, you want to get your app into the hands of more paying users. App campaigns streamline the process for you, making it easy to promote your apps across Google’s largest properties, including Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, Discover on Google Search and the Google Display Network.
An introduction to Bing Ads
Owned by Microsoft and have another 2 search engines: Yahoo! and AOL. So, when the advertisers run their ad on the Bing platform, it is also shown on Yahoo! and AOL and other partnered websites.
Types of ads you can create with Microsoft Advertising:
- Expanded text ads: This ad consists of four parts, ad title, ad text, display URL and final URL.
- Dynamic search ads: Dynamic search ads look just like Expanded Text Ads, but they’re automatically targeted to relevant search queries based on the content of your website and are dynamically created to respond to these search queries.
- Product ads: Products ads include custom images from your own product catalogues, plus specific promotional text, pricing, and seller details.
- Microsoft audience ads: Microsoft Audience Ads is a native advertising solution optimized for search advertisers. This feature enables advertisers to get additional high-quality traffic from non-search placements. Microsoft Audience Ads appear on the Microsoft Audience Network. These ad placements are cross-device and include premium sites like MSN, Outlook.com, Microsoft Edge, and other partners
- Microsoft advertising in Bing Smart Search: Bing Smart Search ads are similar to text ads on the Bing AOL, and Yahoo search network sites, but formatted for the modern touch experience and displayed in the Windows 8.1 Smart Search results. When possible, these ads will include a preview of your landing page.
- App install ads: App Install Ads are similar to text ads but provide direct links to your apps with a button, sending customers directly to the applicable store to download the application. This is an ideal solution for advertisers wanting to manage and drive downloads of their apps, rather than website traffic.
- Responsive search ads: Responsive search ads make creating ads easier by eliminating the need to figure out which headlines and descriptions work well together. You provide up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions, and using these, Microsoft Advertising will mix and match the most optimal combinations to create effective ads for potential customers.
So now, let’s discover the differences between these two search engines and decide whether it is better to run your advertising campaigns on Google or Bing.
All about Paid Advertising You Need to Know
PPC Ads Metrics – Audience reach
Ad reach is an estimate of the number of people within a location target, based on signed-in users. You can use the provided reach numbers to get a rough idea of how many people your ads could reach within a geographic area.
The audience reach of search engines is one of the most important metrics for online advertisements. And, since Google has been in the search engine market earlier than Bing, Google has a broader audience than Bing. Though there are some differences between the platforms.
PPC Ads Metrics – Demographics
Google has a more diverse market, as it has been reaching a bigger audience, while Bing is still a younger player in the market. So, in terms of audience reach and demographics, we can say that Google is winning so far. Before you run the ad on any platform, just do a comprehensive search about your bid budget and buyer persona to decide which platform is the best for your campaigns.
PPC Ads Setting – Targeting settings
There is a variety of campaign and ad group targeting methods available to help you reach potential customers. You can target your ads by choosing criteria, such as audiences that you’d like to reach or content that you’d like ads to appear on.
Google Targeting settings
When you’re using the “Targeting” setting for your campaigns or ad groups, you’re telling Google Ads who you’d like to reach with your ads or where you’d like your ads to show on the Internet.
In Display Network campaigns and in Video campaigns, Google recommended to use Targeting setting for:
Bing Targeting settings
Microsoft Advertising targeting options can help maximize your ad’s exposure to customers who are likely to be interested in your products or services. Ads that display for customers in specific areas at opportune times are more effective.
You can target ads according to the following:
• Geographic location
• Day of the week
• Time of day
• Gender and age
Though Google Adword gives more options to the advertisers, Bing Ads has its own advantages. It is difficult to say whether Bing or Google is better in terms of targeting settings, as it based on the types of digital ads.
PPC Ads Restrictions
There are some restrictions on what can be advertised on search engine platforms.
Google Ads Restrictions
Google advertising policies cover four broad areas:
• Prohibited content: Content you can’t advertise on the Google Network
• Prohibited practices: Things you can’t do if you want to advertise with us
• Restricted content and features: Content you can advertise, but with limitations
• Editorial and technical: Quality standards for your ads, websites and apps
Bing Ads Restrictions
The following policies address the specific details of content generally considered sensitive, legal, dangerous, harmful and/or potentially unethical in nature.
Disallowed content policies
• Areas of questionable legality
• Defamatory, slanderous, libellous or threatening content
• Hate speech
• Peer-to-peer file sharing
• Political and religious content
• Sensitive advertising
• Suffering and violence
• Unregulated user-generated content
• Tax collection & shipping terms
Disallowed products and services policies
• Deceptive products and services
• Drugs and related paraphernalia
• Endangered and threatened species products or services
• Fireworks and explosives
• Infant feeding
• Tobacco and electronic cigarettes
• Weapons, knives, firearms and ammunition
These policies are designed not only to abide by laws but to ensure a safe and positive experience for our users. To better understand about PPC Ads Prohibition before running online advertising, you should visit Google Ads knowledge base or Bing Ads knowledge base to update yourself with current PPC Ads policies.
PPC Ads Content – Displaying URLs
On both search engine platforms, the URL is appearing underneath the headline. The difference is that URL on Bing is highlighted and on Google, it is not.
PPC Ads Content – Meta description text
The allowed number of characters in the description line was 35 characters for Google and 71 characters for Bing. However, now it has changed to 80 characters for both platforms.
PPC Ads Content – Keyword target
Google and Bing are both providing keyword research tools.
Google keyword match types
Keyword match types help control which searches on Google can trigger your ad. So you could use broad match to show your ad to a wide audience or you could use exact match to hone in on specific groups of customers.
Google provides 5 keyword match types:
• Broad match modifier
• Negative keyword
• Phrase match
• Exact match
Bing keyword match types
Bing provides 5 keyword match types:
• Close keyword variations
• Negative keywords
• Exact match
• Phrase match
• Broad match
Bing has nearly the same features for the keyword match, however, broad match modifier is missing. Again, as the difference is not that significant we cannot assume that which platform is better.
PPC Ads Metrics – Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click-through rate (CTR) can be used to gauge how well your keywords and ads are performing. CTR is the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times that your ad is shown:
Clicks ÷ impressions = CTR
For example, if you had 7 clicks and 100 impressions, then your CTR would be 7%.
Each of your ads and keywords has their own CTRs that you can see listed in your account. So, to better understand which ads platform is performing better, you should frequently check your ads/ keywords performance in the ad account dashboard.
PPC Ads Metrics – Cost-Per-Click (CPC)
Cost-Per-Click (CPC) should be taken into consideration when we compare Bing Ads and Google Ads. We all know that the CPC of Bing Ads is lower than Google Ads with a lower search volume. Below is the comparison between Bing Ads CPC and Google Ads CPC for two long-tail keywords “web design sydney” and “google ads agency Sydney”. The results were extracted by Wordstream Free Keyword Tool.
Figure 1: CPC for keyword “web design sydney”
Figure 2: CPC for keyword “google ads agency Sydney”
Anyway, if the campaign is not engaging enough, it doesn’t matter whether you run ads on Bing or Google.
PPC Ads Metrics – Conversion rate
A conversion occurs when an ad click or other interaction with your ad leads directly to a behaviour that’s valuable to you, such as a purchase, newsletter sign-up, phone call, or download PDF file.
The conversion rate of your ad is another metric that must be taken into account. Conversion rate shows the percentage of users that completed the goal of the campaign you set up before launching your advertising.
Conversion rates are calculated by simply taking the number of conversions and dividing that by the number of total ad interactions. For example, if you had 35 conversions from 300 interactions, your conversion rate would be 12%, since 35 ÷ 300 = 12%.
You can track the conversion rate in your ad account dashboard. If your question is about which platform has better conversion rate, then think about these 3 factors: search volume on each platform? What is your ads type? And how much your ads budget is?
Who is the winner: Bing Ads or Google Ads?
Despite Google Ads has more advantages than Bing Ads, Bing has his own advantages in terms of fewer ads restrictions and lower CPC (Cost-Per-Click). However, to get better ads performance, it’s advised to run your campaigns on both search engine platforms.
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