Comparing Microsoft Bing Ads and Google Ads

wood blocks with pay per click graphics

Our Ad Agency Can Help You Evaluate Which Option Is Best for Your PPC Campaign

Google is synonymous with digital marketing, especially when it comes to pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. An ad agency worth their salt can leverage the platform to increase brand awareness for their clients, drive conversions, and turn casual consumers into loyal customers.

Paid search marketing practically revolves around Google, but there are other platforms with skin in game. Although they’re nowhere near Google’s Goliath status, Microsoft Bing Ads should not be overlooked, as they possess a few key advantages that make them an attractive alternative.

As a paid search marketing agency driven by data, we’ve experienced success using Google Ads and Microsoft Bing Ads as part of a cohesive digital strategy. Both platforms are powerful tools for reaching customers. The trick is understanding the nuances between the two so that you can play to their respective strengths.

Let’s dive into what Microsoft Bing Ads and Google Ads are used for, the qualities that unite them, and the distinct advantages that set them apart.

An Overview of Microsoft Bing Ads and Google Ads

Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) is the largest and most widely used online advertising platform. It allows businesses to create ads that appear at the top of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). Google Ads operates on a PPC model, meaning advertisers pay only when users click on their ads. With a reported nine billion active daily users, Google is the dominant force, offering unparalleled visibility and traffic potential.

Microsoft Bing Ads (formerly Microsoft Advertising) enables businesses to place ads on Bing, Yahoo, and AOL’s search networks. Like Google Ads, Microsoft also uses a PPC model. While Bing holds a small fraction of the global search market share compared to Google, it offers access to a unique audience that is less overwhelmed with ads. Less competition also means that Microsoft can sometimes offer more competitive pricing.

What Are the Similarities Between Google Ads and Microsoft Bing Ads?

Both platforms are used to achieve similar marketing goals, including reaching web searchers for relevant terms, increasing web traffic, and driving conversions and revenue. They also both operate using a conversion-based bidding platform; however, it should be noted that Microsoft’s algorithm is a couple years behind Google’s.

Regular users of both platforms will notice that many of the campaign features and the ad format are similar.

Microsoft Bing Ads and Google Ads both:

  • Position URL displays under ad headlines.
  • Have an 80-character limit on descriptions.
  • Feature keyword research tools.
  • Use broad match keywords.
  • Can target negative keywords.

When it’s all said and done, a Microsoft Bing Ad looks nearly identical to a Google Ad. The easiest way to tell them apart is that Microsoft uses bold in the URLs; Google does not.

google paid ad

bing paid ad

What Are the Main Differences Between Google and Microsoft Ads?

Google and Microsoft’s PPC ads clearly have a lot in common on the surface. They have the same look and feel, and they have the same paid search marketing goals. So, what makes them different? And what distinct advantages does one platform have over the other?

User Demographic and Market Share

More than 90% of global searches take place on Google, which means they’re handily winning the market share battle. Google also has more appeal with younger users, college graduates, and people who are comfortable with technology.

On the other hand, Microsoft users tend to skew older, are more likely to identify as blue collar, and are less tech savvy. About one-third of Microsoft users are in the top 25% for household income, which means the average Bing user could have more purchasing power.

Ease of Use

Although Google Ads and Microsoft Bing Ads have many overlapping functions and capabilities, Microsoft is viewed as the more user-friendly of the two. There are fewer fields to worry about, so setting up campaigns is relatively straightforward and easy.

Google Ads allows for far more complex setups, which can make novice users feel overwhelmed by choices and lost in the proverbial weeds. It’s not the most user-friendly tool, so it’s worth going through the Google tutorials to learn the basics or hiring a digital marketing agency to manage your campaigns.

Cost Advantages

Google is the premium search engine, which means marketers pay premium prices. No surprises there. Naturally, marketers and business owners want to know how much they stand to save on Microsoft’s platform and its less competitive environment. Studies confirm that Microsoft is the more budget-friendly option in terms of cost-per-click for many industries. Keep in mind that cost-per-click will vary from industry to industry as well.

A Microsoft Ad can cost between 30 and 70% less than a Google Ad. Specific cost advantages come down to the sector. For example, Microsoft Bing Ads are especially competitive in the finance and insurance industries. Google or Bing ad agencies consider these cost advantages when developing PPC campaigns, helping companies make the most of their marketing dollars.

Keyword Competition

Google touts billions of daily active users, so it stands to reason the keyword competition on their platform is stiff. Although Microsoft’s audience is a fraction of Google’s, small and medium-sized businesses encounter less competition for highly valued keywords. By extension, this usually translates to more favorable return on investment (ROI) numbers.

Targeting Options

We can’t stress enough how hyper-specific you can get with the Google Ads platform. Whereas Microsoft Bing Ads keep things relatively broad and simple, Google allows for precise targeting to reach clearly defined, specific audiences. Data-driven marketers can fine-tune their campaigns at the most granular of levels.

Work With an Ad Agency That Delivers the Best of Both Worlds

Choosing between Microsoft Bing Ads and Google Ads doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition. Many marketers find value in leveraging both platforms to maximize reach and capitalize on the unique advantages they offer, or starting with Google and adding Bing based on campaign data.

Google Ads, with its extensive reach and innovative ad solutions, is essential for comprehensive digital marketing strategies. Meanwhile, Microsoft Bing Ads can complement these efforts by targeting a distinct audience segment at a lower cost in a less competitive environment.

As an ad agency specializing in paid search marketing, iFocus Marketing has helped numerous clients in a range of industries discover the “happy balance” in their Microsoft and Google Ad PPC campaign efforts. Not only do we generate more traffic and drive conversions for our clients, but we do it in a cost-effective manner that fosters a healthy ROI.

Contact iFocus Marketing to learn how to make the most out of your paid search marketing budget and achieve your business goals this year.

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