When thinking about setting up paid search ads, what is the first thing you think of? Google? Bing? No, definitely Google.
For a lot of small & medium sized businesses, pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is an important aspect of marketing that shouldn’t be ignored.
It is a fast and measurable way to reach your potential customers who are ready to purchase.
“Just Google it” is a very commonly used phrase. Whenever you don’t know an answer to something we go straight to Google to look it up. So, why Google and not Bing? You can find the same information on Bing.
Google was founded in 1997, whereas Bing was founded in 2009, so yes, it is expected that Google has more of an authority and also takes over most of the market share. Google has however had a lot of time to develop its software to make its features impressive, but technology is improving at a very fast rate, so surely since 2009 Bing has had enough time to catch up?
In this article I will go through the uses of Google and Bing Ads, and also the pros and cons, and discuss which one is the best for your business. Will it be Google, overlooked Bing, or even both? Let’s dive in!
About Google Ads
According to internetlivestats.com there are 40,000 live search queries per second on Google, equalling to 3.5 billion searches per day, meaning a whopping 1.2 trillion searches worldwide every year.
Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) is a platform where advertisers bid for different keywords so that their ads will appear in Google’s results, either search or display (I will go into more detail about the difference later). Google Ads is a pay per click (PPC) system, meaning everytime a potential customer clicks on the ad, it will cost you money.
On Google you can set up two different campaign types. One being Search Network, and the other being Display Network. These campaigns are very different in the way they are displayed but they use the same PPC principle:
Search Network ads are text based only, these will get shown when a potential customer types in a specific keyword that you bid for.
Display Network is a visual way of advertising. This can allow you to put images and text in front of a potential client on different sites that they visit. You will have probably seen them on the sides of web pages like this:
So whilst I was on Youtube I was shown an ad for holidays as I have recently been searching for them (yes, I love a good holiday).
About Bing Ads
Bing ads is very similar to Google Search Network Ads. The same principle applies, bidding for certain keywords so that ads will appear first on Bing. Bing is owned by Microsoft, so when you advertise on one platform, your ad can be displayed on other platforms too, such as Yahoo and AOL.
Google Ads Pros and Cons
Google is the leading search engine and dominates all search engine traffic without a doubt, with 1.2 trillion searchers per year. On this platform you are guaranteed to reach your target customer if you use Google Ads correctly.
Luckily Google also has Display Network, meaning you can reach more than the people who use Google, you will see your ads displayed on any of Google’s Partner Sites (Google doesn’t release who these are unfortunately), but your ads could also be displayed on Youtube if your target audience is on there (as shown before).
According to the Google Economic Impact Report, businesses make on average £2 revenue for every £1 spent on Ads, so anyone using the platform correctly can expect to double their investment!
There are a couple of downsides to Google Ads. The first being the crazy competition. Your competitors will more than likely be advertising on Google too, so they will be competing and bidding for the same traffic as you. Because of the crazy competition, this means that the keywords are going to be expensive – especially compared to Bing, so you will have to really keep up with checking and increasing your bids to keep up with your rivalries (don’t forget about your negative keywords too!)
Bing Ads Pros and Cons
I admit it, I do always use Google, but that doesn’t mean everyone does, we all have our preferences. Surprisingly Bing has 19.3% of the UK’s search engine market share, this could be due to the fact Bing is the default browser on some systems though.
Every month there are 6 billion monthly searches and 146 million active users world wide so you have a big opportunity to reach your target market, as there is actually 66 million people that don’t use Google. Who’d have thought it!
With Bing, the CPC is significantly lower than on Google Ads. According to ReportGarden the CPC is on average £6.27, compared to a whopping CPC of £15.76 on Google Ads. Because of the cheaper clicks, this means more money to spend on bringing new visitors to you and then hopefully a better ROI.
According to Bing, just over a third of its searchers have a household income of over £78,440 (converted from $100,0000), so there are some wealthy users who could be willing to spend on your products or services!
Yes, all this sounds too good to be true doesn’t it, well Bing does come with a couple of downsides… An obvious one being that Bing does have a lot less search volume compared to Google, so if you are desperate to get a lot of traffic and a lot of brand awareness, maybe Bing is not the only channel for you. You will still want to use it though so you can reach all of those customers – you just can’t scale it up infinitely, like on Google Ads.
According to Bing, 40% of their network is people between the ages of 35-54 years of age, so depending on the nature of your business, this might not be the right platform to use for a product or service tailored towards a younger target market.
Overall, the software isn’t as user friendly compared to Google Ads. The user interface is a little outdated, and somewhat less user-friendly. For example, when flagging up errors, Bing’s guidance on how to resolve the issue tends to be less useful than on Google.
Google Ads and Bing Ads are both very useful advertising channels, and using them both at the same time (if you have the budget that is) is usually the best option, as those customers you don’t reach with Google, you have another shot at reaching on Bing.
If you were to choose just one platform to advertise on, then it really depends on your budget & market. If you have a small budget in a medium-large market, then Bing Ads will let you start generating some traffic that is likely to be cheaper per click. If you’re in a small market in a small town, then there’s a good chance Bing will actually have almost zero searches per month in your target market, and you’ll be forced to look at Google instead.
The best thing to do will be to think about who exactly your target market is if you don’t have enough ad budget to show a presence on both, have a look at the demographics of each platform and see where your target market will most likely fit. If you do have the budget for both, then you are winning!
I recommend that you get started by having a look on Google and Bing’s Keyword planner, and check out the search volumes and costs for keywords that you could possibly bid on for your business and possibly set up both Google and Bing Ads!
I hope you found this article useful! We’re here to help if you need support with anything relating to search engine marketing. Whether it is deciding whether or not PPC is right for you, through to account setup, conversion tracking & performance measurement, don’t hesitate to get in touch:
Tel: 01325 526503