As a small business owner, reaching new customers is often a struggle. You have a limited marketing budget, and pay-per-click campaigns can become expensive quickly. As such, it’s important to maximize the return on investment for every dollar you spend. When it comes to PPC campaigns, there are two main players: Google AdWords and Bing Ads. Which should you choose?
In short, Google provides a much wider audience than Bing. However, Bing provides more options for customization and targeting with the ads. In addition, Bing’s ads are often cheaper than Google’s. So, what should you choose for your campaign? The ideal answer: both.
Factor 1: Popularity
Up against stiff competition, Google still holds over 60 percent of the search market share in the United States. Bing is in a distant second, at about 22 percent. So, naturally, if you were to advertise on Google, your ads would be seen by more eyes. While this may seem like the ideal situation, economics tells us otherwise. With more viewers through AdWords, more marketers will be vying for high-value keywords. That means the price point may be more than you can afford.
Bing, on the other hand, offers the same kind of ads at a much lower price. For some keywords, the price may be at least a third lower on Bing Ads than on AdWords. Moreover, the position of your ad may be better on Bing at that lower price than it would be on Google (i.e. being the first ad displayed instead of the fourth). So fewer people may see your ad, but you may get a higher rate of clicks, increasing the return on investment in your ads.
Factor 2: Features
Google knows marketers rely on AdWords to promote their business. They don’t see other search engines like Bing as much competition. As such, Google has slacked a bit on the features they provide. Bing, on the other hand, has stepped up their game. For example, Microsoft’s search engine recently improved upon Expanded Device Targeting and other tools to let you narrow down who sees your ad. While Google only lets you target an audience based on keywords, Bing goes many steps further. Through their system, you can target specific kinds of devices, as well as certain geographic areas, age ranges, genders and even times of day.
For small businesses with limited funds, Bing’s budgeting tools are also highly beneficial. Through Bing Ads, you can control multiple campaigns with one budget. Based on how each campaign is performing, Bing will automatically adjust budget spending to maximize your return on investment on each ad. With AdWords, each campaign must be monitored individually, and has its own budget to control.
While Bing Ads has introduced and reinforced a variety of different features to compete with AdWords, the fact of the matter is, most of the world runs on Google. In fact, it’s the basis of most local SEO and other technical campaigns. Ignoring Bing altogether, however, can leave a massive sum of money on the table. Though the ideal situation would be to advertise on both platforms, that simply may not be an option. If your budget is limited, it may be best to focus on Google in the beginning, while setting aside some cash to tinker on Bing a little and see how it goes. While AdWords is the solid go-to for marketers, it’s important for you to find what works best for you and your business.