If you’re a search engine marketer and if someone asks you to name two search engines, it’s more likely that you mention Google and Bing (or maybe Yahoo), right? Of course there are other search engines like Baidu, Yandex, Blekko, DuckDuckGo, etc. but Google and Bing are the two real search engines that matter the most to advertisers. Why? Because Google and Bing (Microsoft & Yahoo) have a combined market share of over 90% in the U.S. search market according to comScore.
Google vs. Yahoo Bing Network: Search Market Share
Google has a search market share of 67.5% in the U.S. and the combined market share of the Yahoo Bing network is around 30% as of March, 2014. So it means that when you advertise on Google AdWords and Bing Ads you’re already reaching 90% of searchers. If you’re not promoting your business on Bing then it’s like you’re ignoring a large population as 1/3rd of all searches takes places on non-Google websites.
Now here are 10 features unique to Bing Ads when compared to Google AdWords:
1. Yahoo Bing Network Audience
Bing Ads helps you reach 516 million unique searchers worldwide on the Yahoo Bing Network. It includes 168 million unique searchers in the U.S. and over 50 million of them do not use Google. According to Microsoft, Bing users spend 20% more than the average internet searchers. And if your competitors are not using Bing Ads then you also get a competitive advantage.
2. Low Cost Per Click (CPC) = Better ROI
Yes, that’s right! When you advertise on Google AdWords you’re actually paying a premium. AdGooroo, a market research company for search engine advertisers, previously compared Google AdWords and Bing Ads based on different performance metrics like Ad Impressions, Click-through Rates, Cost Per Click. They find that the average Cost Per Click (CPC) on Google AdWords for all the categories that they tested were higher than that of Bing Ads.
I have also noticed in the past that the average Cost Per Click on Google AdWords were ~20% higher than that of Bing Ads for the same set of keywords. And for highly competitive keywords the average Cost Per Click on AdWords were double than that of Bing Ads. Also, an infographic by Search Engine Journal suggests that the Cost Per Mille (CPM) on AdWords was 4.2 to 11.2 times higher than on Bing Ads in U.S.
3. Filter Search Partners
In Google AdWords, if you want to block your ads on a specific search partner network then you have to turn off all the search partner networks. But Bing Ads tells you how your ads are performing on individual search partner networks so that you can tweak your campaigns. You can find these stats by heading here: Bing Ads > Reports > Standard reports > Performance > Website URL (publisher). For instance, if you find that the conversion rate for a specific search partner is extremely low then you can exclude that network from your ad groups or campaigns. You can go here for more details.
4. Set Daily/Monthly Budget
In Bing Ads you can set monthly budget or daily budget for a campaign but in Google AdWords you can set only daily budget. Go here to learn more about budget options in Bing Ads and go here to learn more about how to set a budget for your campaign in Google AdWords.
5. Bing Ads Accepts PayPal (U.S. Only)
Google AdWords doesn’t accept PayPal (in fact I can’t recollect any Google products that accepts PayPal) but Bing Ads customers in the U.S. can add PayPal as a payment method. Go to Bing Ads > Accounts & Billing > Payment Methods to link your PayPal account with Bing Ads.
6. Writing Ad Copy Is Easier
Both Google AdWords and Bing Ads support only 25 characters for the ad title and ~ 70 characters to describe the ad. In Google AdWords we have to describe the ad in two lines (35 characters each) but in Bing Ads we can enter the description in one line (of 71 character). It doesn’t make much difference technically but when you write an ad copy you’ll find it useful since you don’t have to split the description into two.
7. Less Advertiser Competition
There are over 1 million advertisers on Google AdWords. It means that the competition for the #1 ad spot on Google is much high compared to Bing Ads. So fewer advertisers must be bidding for a keyword on Bing Ads than on AdWords and it increases the chances of getting higher ad rank.
8. Negative Keywords
Bing Ads does not use broad match for negative keywords but in Google when you enter a keyword as a negative match it will be treated as a broad match. What does that mean? In Google AdWords, when you enter a keyword as a negative match Google will treat the keyword as a broad match (unless you used special symbols). For example, if you add “women” as a negative match then ads won’t show for the following keywords: “women”, “hats for women”, “women’s hats” but ads will show for “girl’s hats”, “sun hats”.
Now in Bing Ads, if you add “women” as a negative match then ads will show for all the above keywords (“hats for women”, “women’s hats”, “girl’s hats”, “sun hats”) except for the keyword “women”.
9. Set Time Zones At Campaign Level
In Google AdWords we set a time zone at an account level and Google allows to change it only once. But in Bing Ads, we can set account and campaign level time zones. You can’t change the time zone of a campaign once it is set but we can always create a new campaign with a different time zone and can import ads and keywords from another campaign.
10. Ad Group & Campaign Level Settings
In Google AdWords there are only campaign level settings so we can’t change individual ad group settings. But in Bing Ads, we can change language & location, default bids, demographic targeting, device targeting, ad rotations, etc. at the ad group level and it means better control over ads.
Go to Bing Ads > Campaigns > “Campaign Name” > Settings to control the settings of each campaign and go to Bing Ads > Campaigns > “Campaign Name” > “Ad Group Name” > Settings to control the settings of each ad group.
BONUS: 10 Bing Ads (Microsoft adCenter) Facts You Should Know
When you advertise on Bing Ads, your ad appears on the Yahoo Bing Network (Microsoft & Yahoo properties).
Yahoo Bing Network also comprises their syndicated partner websites like Facebook, Amazon, Monster, WebMD, CNBC, Viacom, etc. that you can’t reach using Google AdWords.
If you’re a Google AdWords advertiser then you can quickly import all your existing campaigns from AdWords to Bing Ads.
Bing Ads now shows up to 50,00 keywords at “Ad Group” level as well as the “Account and Campaign” level.
If you want to edit hundreds of campaigns at once then Microsoft offers Bing Ads Editor, a desktop application. With Bing Ads Editor, you can edit ads, ad groups, and hundreds of keywords at the same time even if you’re offline.
You can make your Bing Ads payments using Credit Card, PayPal, Check, SEPA Direct Debit (Germany), Boleto Bancário (Brazil), and also using Debit Cards and Bank Transfer in some countries.
You can also make your payments using Bing Ads Coupons since promotional codes are also considered as a type of currency.
You can use the Ad Preview Tool to check whether your ad is appearing for a keyword on Bing. It shows whether the keyword that you have entered triggered any of your ads.
Use Bing Ads Intelligence, an add-on for Microsoft Office Excel, for more comprehensive keyword research.
Use Bing Ads’ Search Terms Report to view all the zero-click search queries so that you can add those keywords as negative matches and improve click-through-rate (which in turn reduces advertising costs).
As you can see there are some advantages when you advertise on Bing Ads. But it doesn’t mean that you must use Bing Ads only since it’s Google who controls the search market (right?). Now if you’re a small business owner then an Entrepreneur.com article suggests that Bing Ads offers better support to small businesses than Google. Because you have to spend $500,000/year on AdWords to get a dedicated account representative but on Bing Ads you have to spend only $500/month (i.e. $6,000 annually).
Do you know any other feature that’s unique to Bing Ads? If so, let me know as a comment below!