[Case Study]: Bing Ads vs. Google AdWords

03/08/2017
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As an online marketer, it’s essential that you check different advertising platforms for your company and your clients.

It is important to know which works best as per businesses, demographics and, in fact, for budgets.

Here in this case study, we’ll talk about AdWords and Bing Ads; which offers the better value.

If you’re an entrepreneur seeing paid search ads, you may be pondering how pay-per-click (PPC) works and if it’s the right move for your marketing strategy.

PPC is a practice of online advertising where advertisers pay only when a consumer clicks their ad.

What AdWords Offers You

Google AdWords offers ad space in either the Google Search Network or the Google Display Network.

In the Google Search Network, you get:
  • 3 lines of text, with a heading (25 characters), and 2 description lines (35 characters each)
  • Ad extensions added page assets for call-outs such like special offers, phone numbers, reviews, your location, and other useful information
  • Look on the Google search engine results page (SERP) for your targeted keyword, either at the top or along the right side

The position in which your Google Search ad looks depends on a range of factors. These consist of your maximum bid, the quality score of your ad, and the competition on the keyword you are targeting.

The Google Display Network (GDN) features a little different option:
  • Text, photo, interactive, and video ads
  • Advertisers are capable to select targeted websites in which to have their ad eligible to show on as opposed to showing in SERPs
  • Advertisers have the ability to choose to target by interests, ages, specific websites, location, and gender

The GDN displays your ads on particular websites rather than in search engine results. More than a million websites take part in the Display Network.

What Bing Ads Offers You

The Google AdWords search network claims 67% of the U.S. search market share vs. the Yahoo! Bing ad network, which acquires about 29%.

Why would anyone need to use Bing ads network, when Google search market has a huge share.

There are quite a few benefits to advertising on the Yahoo! Bing Ad Network.

In the Bing Ad network, here is what you gain:

  • 2 lines of text including a heading (25 characters), and a description line (71 characters)
  • Ad extensions- Bing Ads offers call-out extensions and phone number extensions
  • Ad placements on Bing and Yahoo! owned and operated sites and partner sites
  • Access to 45 million people who are using Bing completely
  • Advertisers can use a monthly budget on Bing vs. Google’s daily budget

The Yahoo! Bing Ad Network often has a lower Cost Per Click (CPL) and higher Click Through Rate (CTR), because there is less competition. That means your ads can get to a higher spot more effortlessly than on Google.

In this case study, you’ll get to know what some of the key differences are and how they perform.

#Cost-Per-Click (CPC) and Average Position

In looking at more than a few accounts in the home services industry, the average position was about 35% higher in Bing.

Your ads may show in superior spots on Bing, but at what cost?

As a result, CPC is actually somewhat lower in Bing than AdWords.

Better placing and a lower CPC makes Bing ads a little more interesting for the budget alert advertiser.

Result:

Though Google AdWords has more search volume and consumers seeing the ads overall, you may be able to have a better ad position and lower CPC on Bing Ads.

#Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

CTR is an important factor in defining whether your ads are effective or not. The higher CTR, the greater response your ads are getting.

The click-through-rates is much higher on Bing over AdWords in a sample test. Ad formats also differ a little across the two platforms which may be a contributing factor here.

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Result:

In a sample test, Bing Ads received a higher CTR than Google AdWords.

#Budgets

You won’t be able to spend the same amount of money on Bing Ads that you do on Google AdWords. Budgets vary by industry, but we usually see Bing budgets between 20% – 35% of the same 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.

#Conversion Rate and Cost Per Lead (CPL)

Conversion tracking is complicated in Bing Ads. Setup isn’t easy, though it’s not completely their fault.

Google makes it easy to incorporate Google products. Bing is a competitor, so integrating Bing Ads with Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics isn’t nearly as smooth.

Anyway, we see better conversion rates from Bing. Cost per conversion is cheaper as well, so you may pay less for the same lead in Bing.

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Result:

With just 1 in 3 searches being executed on Bing, Google wins in the search volume category and its users tend to convert more frequently.

Planning a Complete Advertising Strategy

As an advertiser, you want to make sure you are seizing all the appropriate searches you can by spending the minimum amount of your hard-earned money.

Take a minute to analyze your goals and target audience, and then plan your advertising strategy accordingly.

Example-

#Google AdWord Network

Vodafone

“Vodafone ‘Structured Snippets” boosts search CTR 100%”

Vodafone is a passionate user of ad extensions and was looking to improve search ad performance.

“We were utilizing callout extensions, sitelinks, location extensions and review extensions, but we were looking for more ways to differentiate ourselves from competitors. We started using structured snippets in AdWords with the aim of providing consumers more information about key USPs and the wide breadth of products that Vodafone offers, as well as increasing click-through rate.” – Elliot Saxton, Account Manager for Vodafone at MEC UK.

 

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Goals
  • Provide more information about Vodafone’s key USPs and wide breadth of products in digital advertising
  • Increase click-through rates from search ads
The Solution

The company used structured snippets as part of an ad extension strategy in Google AdWords.

Structured snippets are a type of ad extension that let advertisers highlight particular features of their brand’s products and services before visitors click through to their site.

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Results
  • 8% increase in CTR for brand activity
  • 100% increase in CTR for SIM-only activity
  • Doubled the CTR of device-specific activity

“Structured snippets have improved ad relevance. They also allowed us to easily advertise our product colour sets, something that wasn’t really feasible before. Structured snippets are now part of the business-as-usual activity and are considered before all campaign launches.”- Elliot says of the results.

Vodafone is one of many advertisers seeing success with ad extensions. On average, using ad extensions on search ads produces a click-through rate uplift of 10 to 15% for each new extension added.

#Bing Ads Network

Grasshopper

“Telecom Company gets 437% higher conversion rate and 29% lower cost per lead with Bing Ads”
Challenge

Grasshopper, a virtual phone system provider was looking to find a new stream of leads to help grow its business. It was already using radio ads and Google AdWords when it included Bing Ads into its digital strategy.

The Solution

Grasshopper started by importing Google AdWords campaigns to Bing Ads to increase its online presence. In addition to making a new channel of leads in just minutes, Grasshopper used Bing Ads to decrease its cost per lead (CPL).

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Results
  • 437% increase in conversions
  • 29% decrease in cost per lead
  • 333% increase in clicks
  • 43% increase in impressions
  • 65% increase in CTR

The company estimated the number of leads to grow but were impressed by the quality of the audience.

“Based on the results we have seen, I highly recommend that other companies include Bing Ads in their search marketing efforts.”- Greg Kristan, SEO specialist at Grasshopper. 

Conclusion

Google may get more search traffic, but Bing Ads can be an effective marketing channel boasting higher positioning, CTR, and lower CPCs.

So, AdWords is not superior to Bing Ads or vice versa. They are just poles apart. Depending on your industry, competition, consideration span and many other factors, one ad network might work better for you than the other.

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