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Bing versus adwords

Let's Talk About Bing Ads (Or, Bing Ads vs. Google AdWords)

By Cody See on May 3, 2017 in Digital Marketing

I love Bing.

Yeah, I said it, and I’m not ashamed either. Go ahead. Point and laugh. Cover your mouth and whisper to your buddy, “Check out this nerd. He said he loves Bing. He probably still uses Internet Explorer too.”

It’s fine. I’m not going to defend myself with market share statistics or demographic data. I’ll just say this: Bing is money. By the end of this article, you’ll think so too.

Prelude: Bing Isn't Dead

I don’t own a visor. I can’t understand why anyone would (why not pay the extra $5.00 to get a full hat?). In fact, I’m pretty sure nobody wears visors. Visors are dead. Wait a second, what are these people doing?

Visor

Are they shopping for visors?

Why would they do that? Don't they knows visors are dead? What? They actually like visors? Oh, maybe visors aren't dead after all.

While that may have been an excessively sassy way to prove a point, I hope the message is clear: Markets exist regardless of our personal preferences. Bing is very much alive. Sure, their market share isn't as big as Google's, but it's still worth your attention.

Which brings me to my next point...

Budgets

It’s safe to assume you won’t be able to spend the same amount of money on Bing Ads that you do on Google AdWords. Budgets fluctuate by industry, but we typically see Bing budgets between 20% - 35% of the equivalent spend on AdWords.

Advertising Platform Budget
Google AdWords
$2,000
Bing Ads
$400 - $700

But what Bing lacks in volume, it makes up for in performance.

Cheaper Clicks

Generally speaking, you get more for your dollar on Bing Ads. Here's a picture of a few campaigns and their performance on each platform.

AdWords vs Bing Ads Performance

These are the same campaigns. They run in the same locations with the same ad schedule. They target the same keywords. Their ads and corresponding landing pages are identical.

Oh – I almost forgot. We've been optimizing these AdWords campaigns for the last 12 months. The identical Bing Ads campaigns? They've only been live for two.

Yet the clicks are still cheaper and our clickthrough rates are higher. This isn't a unique situation; this is a trend across accounts. You're probably thinking, “Cheap clicks sound great, but only if they're good clicks!”

Good point. Let's talk about that.

Audience Quality

All advertising platforms will eat your lunch money if you let them. For AdWords, it's often hidden in their advanced settings (hint: they're not advanced). For Bing Ads, it's their search partners. These are search websites outside of Bing and Yahoo, but still a part of the Bing Ads network (e.g. duckduckgo.com, slickdeals.net, etc).

The audience quality specifically from Bing, Yahoo, and AOL is great. The audience quality from Bing Ads search partners tends to vary. In this regard AdWords is better – their search partners seem to offer better traffic.

You can opt out of search partners on both Bing Ads and AdWords, but there are two options Bing Ads has that AdWords doesn't.

Transparency – Bing Ads will show you the websites where your ads are running. They'll even let you exclude poorly performing ones.

Segmentation – You may be able to opt out of search partners on both platforms, but on Bing Ads, you can run a campaign exclusively on search partners. If you're worried about poor traffic, just set low bids.

Cheaper Conversions

Conversion tracking is tricky in Bing Ads. Setup isn't easy, though it's not entirely their fault. Google makes it easy to integrate Google products. Bing is a competitor, so integrating Bing Ads with Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics isn't nearly as smooth.

Regardless, we see better conversion rates from Bing. Cost per conversion is cheaper as well.

Bing Ads vs AdWords Conversions

Why the Stigma?

You might be wondering to yourself, "If Bing Ads has cheaper clicks and conversions than AdWords, why doesn't everyone advertise there?

That's a good question. I'd like to know the same thing.

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