Published 1 Sep 2021

Bing Ads vs Google Ads: Platform Differences and Tips to Importing Your Account

This article will help you to answer questions about differences between the Bing Ads and Google Ads platforms, if Bing Ads are the right platform for you and how to use it effectively.

Bing Ads vs Google Ads: Platform Differences and Tips to Importing Your Account
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Hire Digital Editorial

1 Sep 2021

Advertisers sometimes forget about Bing and its users, especially advertisers outside of the US. And we should care for them now more than ever. Not only to avoid monopolies and diversify your marketing channels but simply because they can make a profit for your business. This article will help you to answer the question if Bing Ads are for you and how to use them effectively.

Firstly, if you wonder 

“Should I use Google Ads or Bing Ads?

that’s not the question to ask. Marketing channels are very often independent (they are in this case) and you should use all the channels that make a profit for you. And analyze them independently too. So much better questions to ask would be:

– “Should I use Google Ads?”
“Should I use Bing Ads?”

And for most businesses the answer to the first question is “Yes” and I’m not going to convince anyone here to use Google Ads, but we’ll cover the possibilities, pros, and cons for Bing Ads. 

And just to be clear: Bing Ads are officially named Microsoft Ads for some time now but both of these terms are used interchangeably in the community and in this article as well.

Let’s start.

1. How pervasive is Bing Ads?

According to the StatCounter report in December 2020 Bing+Yahoo worldwide market share is only 4%. Doesn’t sound like much but for example, in the US it’s 10%. 10% is definitely something worth considering. Imagine if you boost your Google Ads campaign results by 10% in one day. Not bad.

Nevertheless, the first thing to do is to check Bing Ads keywords history results for your most important keywords. 

Luckily, Bing Ads has most of the tools Google Ads has so you can use the Keyword Planner Tool to see the potential results. The tool is not as sophisticated as the one made by Google but it will show you what you need to know. Here’s the screenshot from Bing Ads and Google Ads respectively.

In this case, Bing Ads volume is a little lower than 10% but for other keywords, it may look different. And please keep in mind when we’re publishing this article (January 2021) the tool is still in beta but it will give you an idea of what to expect.

2. What are the benefits of Bing Ads?

You can reach an additional audience via Bing Ads – this is obvious. But what is the real potential of this platform besides that?

1. Search partners

Via Google Ads, you can place your ads not only in Google but also in search partners like YouTube. But via Bing Ads, you can cover Bing search engine as well as Yahoo, AOL, Duckduckgo, and Ecosia.

Also, in Google, you can just allow your ads in search partners (as a whole) or not and there’s no list of partners or anything like that. Bing is more transparent and you can actually analyze the results per search engine separately. You can’t make an independent decision if you want to include each of them sadly. There are three grouping options available as shown in the screenshot.

I suggest starting with all of them and narrow it down later if needed.

2. Lower CPC and different audience type

Bing is smaller, that’s true. But there are also fewer competitors so as a result, the CPC is lower. There are no reliable data with avg. CPC comparison as a whole. It depends on many factors. For me, it’s ~20% lower on average across a few different accounts.

What’s more, people who use Bing are not the representative group of the whole population. There are differences. Bing users are on average older and have a higher income than average. You can find more details here, it should also help you to make the right decision. https://about.ads.microsoft.com/en-us/insights/planning-tools/microsoft-search-network-data?Market=US

3. Bing Ads gives you more control

We already mentioned you can analyze search partners in more detail but there are more things you can do.

  • Set time zones on the campaign level
  • Set the language, location, and devices at the ad group level
  • Close keyword type is more strict than Google
  • Use custom action extensions – a special button you can add to your ad

3. What are the disadvantages of Bing Ads?

Not everything is perfect sadly, there are some downsides too. Besides the obvious one (lower reach). Let’s take a look:

1. Worse smart bidding results

I’m not saying Bing machine learning algorithms are worse than Google but simply because Bing has fewer data about your ads and users behavior as a whole – there’s no way they can predict the results as good as Google Ads algorithms which have not only 10x more data but also Google Analytics and many other tools.

2. Worse click fraud detection

That’s a similar case as the previous one. With not enough information Bing cannot predict accurately which behaviors are unusual and are done by competitors or bots. And again, my main evidence is the amount of information collected by both search engines but also a number of unusual cases in my clients’ accounts plus fraud detection refund made by both companies.

So it may not affect you but it’s something to monitor.

3. Fewer languages

It’s not a big disadvantage because Bing is not popular in many countries but it’s noteworthy you have only a few languages to choose from during the campaign creation process. Here’s the full list of languages.

4. Google Ads develops faster

Google constantly changes their main and most profitable service and we could argue if these changes are good for advertisers or not but the fact is they blaze a trail which Bing follows. If you can compare the tools and even the layout of these two it’s clear how similar these two are and how Bing changes simply responses to Google changes.

4. How to start with Bing Ads?

If you already have the Google Account – you can simply import your campaign structure from there. Login into ads.microsoft.com, from the top menu, choose “Import” and follow the instructions.

What to remember when importing your campaign?

Keep all the similarities and differences in mind. Review your account after importing and adjust the bidding strategy (smart bidding or regular CPC?), search partners, budgets, and bids. Also – the languages are different and there’s an action extension we mentioned in the article before. And if your Google ads have an auto-tagging option you must replace these tags with Bing auto-tagging too.

On the good side – you don’t have to change your ads, keywords, and campaign structure since it’s working virtually the same.

If you haven’t used Google Ads before there’s a lot to learn about search campaigns. In that case, I suggest starting with official tutorial pages from Microsoft and Google.

5. Bing Ads myths and misunderstandings

If you know Google Ads and you went through this article – you’re ready to expand your campaigns to Bing Ads as well. However, there are a few more things to cover. Researching the topic I found a lot of outdated or confusing information about Bing so let’s do some quick myths debunking. 

You have to rewrite your ads when importing your Google account for Bing Ads.

False.

The Bing Ads text format used to be different but right now both responsive ads and expanded text ads looks the same, have the same number of headlines and descriptions, and the same character limit.

Only Bing allows age targeting in search ads.

False.

Google Ads platform allows you to put filters on your targeting as well, and that includes age targeting too.

Only Google Ads have an offline ads editor.

False.

Google Ads Editor is a very useful tool for creating campaign structure and for bulk changes. It’s a standalone software you can download, do the changes, and then upload your account back to Google Ads. Microsoft Ads Editor also exists for at least 2 years now and it’s constantly developed.

Bing Ads have social extensions.

False.

Microsoft was testing social ad extensions that displayed your Facebook or Google Plus (that’s how old it is now) followers number next to your ads. They are not available now. If you’d like to take a look at the current list of extensions, you can always take a look here.

Keyword Match Type in Bing Ads and Google Ads are different.

False.

Keyword match types are different ways to put your keywords into the campaign and it allows you to decide how close you want to target your ads. Close match type will cover the only search queries the same or very close to your keyword while the broad match type will cover also synonyms and queries where your keyword was one of many words.

There was some confusion when Google announced the close match type will cover synonyms too but the official Bing documentation claims their close match type also include synonyms so there’s no reason to treat them differently.

Summary

I strongly recommend expanding your ads to Microsoft because both systems are very similar and you can import your ads to Bing very easily and expand your reach.

If you don’t feel confident enough or you don’t have time to run search ads by yourself you can always hire a specialist. Here’s our article on how to choose your PPC agency.

I hope this post was useful and as always I wish you high conversion rates.

Bing Ads FAQ

How pervasive is Bing?

According to the StatCounter report in December 2020 Bing+Yahoo worldwide market share is 4%. In the US it’s 10%. 10% is definitely something worth considering. Imagine if you boost your Google Ads campaign results by 10% in one day. Not bad.

What are the features of Bing Ads?

It's very similar to Google Ads, most of the options are the same. Bing Ads has a lower reach but it's usually cheaper because of lower competitors. Also, it allows you to advertise in Bing partners search engines and gives you more control over your ads.

How to create Bing Ads campaign?

You can import your Google Ads settings and adjust them to the Bing Ads environment. The whole process is definitely doable within 1 day and you may easily extend your reach by extending your campaigns.

Keywords

Google AdWords
Bing Advertising
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