Google Adwords vs Microsoft Bing: Who Is Better?

Marketing strategies should include online activities these days if you want to survive the modern world of business. Google Adwords is the most popular when it comes to digital advertising, and Microsoft’s Bing follows far behind as second.

But before deciding which one is actually better for your business, it’s vital to consider the pros and cons of each.


Pros of Bing Ads

  • Less competition with advertisers
  • Cheaper compared to Google ads.
  • Search Engine Land shared in August 2015 that case studies revealed advertisers in the shopping, travel and automotive industries are enjoying lower cost per click rates on Bing versus Google.
  • Greater flexibility in terms of campaign budget and targeting versus Google, specifically:
    • monthly budget for campaigns
    • geographic, location, language and network targeting at ad group level
    • choice of Bing’s sites and partners the ads will be shown
    • campaign targeting based on time zones
    • option to only use exact matches for keywords
    • set targets for tablets versus desktops
  • Transparency for users to monitor performances of the sites in the ad network.
  • Has Yahoo sites in its network in addition to its own Bing sites
  • Has social network integration especially with Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
  • 85% of Bing users are based in the US, and most of which are 55 years old and above.


CONS of Bing Ads

  • According to comScore, Inc., a leader in digital world statistics, the ads only has around 33% market share in the U.S. (desktop only) as of March 2015, specifically 20.1% through Bing network and 12.7% through Yahoo.
  • When importing from Google Adwords to Bing, broad-match negative keywords in a campaign will be converted into phrase-match negative keywords.
  • Has less market share in other countries due to Bing’s inability to provide good user experience.


Pros of Google Adwords

  • Runs through Google sites and partners, which dominate the market share of the search engine industry worldwide despite not dominant in China, Japan, Russia and South Korea.
  • U.S market share (desktop only) is 64.4% based on the comScore’s March 2015 report.
  • It is said that users are more likely to click on ads within the Google search results. In short, click-through-rate is higher in Google versus Bing.
  • Convenient migration or duplication of ad campaigns to Bing Ads due to many similar key features and tools
  • Tests from Bruce Clay, Inc., a U.S.-based digital marketing company, revealed that as of August 24, 2015, local search results on Google mobile’s above-the-fold area are dominated by ads and sponsored listings.
  • Most people who are 35 years old and below use Google


CONS of Google Adwords

  • Being a popular ad network means that there are lots of advertisers using it, thus, competition is fierce.
  • Targeting geographic areas are only at the campaign level.
  • No option to exclude specific partner sites in the ad network.
  • No performance information on the sites in the network.
  • Users are forced to have close variations results for both their phrase and exact keywords, which can be tough for marketers on a budget who only want results for what they’re bidding on.


So Who’s Better?

The initial question is best answered by taking a careful look at your target audience, besides, that’s what marketers should do before launching a campaign. Where are your customers located? How do they look for your products? When do they make their searches? These are some questions you need to ask.

For a budget-conscious advertiser who wants to ensure high cost efficiency, the Bing network is a good online advertising platform to start with because of the lower costs and higher capability to set targets in details. Although the click-through rate is much lower than Google, you will still have a good traffic, specifically around 33% of the U.S. market. It’s an opposite story though if your market is in another country where Bing and its network aren’t common.

If costs aren’t factors in your marketing and you want to ensure getting a bigger audience on a global scale, Google Adwords is your option. Aside from showing your ads on results with exact-match keyterms, your ads will also be exposed on results for related terms, increasing your chances of being seen by your target market.

As final word, if you’re marketing in the US, it’s best to utilize both Bing and Adwords since users of one search platforms aren’t the same ones using the other anyway.