Microsoft (Bing) Ads vs. Google Ads: Which One to Choose?

Published: 27 December 2022

Updated: 21 February 2024

Microsoft (Bing) Ads vs. Google Ads: Which One to Choose?

If you are in the market for a robust digital marketing platform, you have heard about Microsoft Ads and Google Ads. Both platforms offer powerful tools for optimizing your campaigns and connecting with potential customers. But which one is right for your business? Let’s take a look at how they compare.

How do Google Ads and Microsoft Ads Compare to One Another?

When you compare Google Ads and Microsoft Ads, you’ll notice that both of them generally do the same thing. They’re pay-per-click advertising platforms that allow companies to buy advertising space to reach their target audience and increase revenue. However, both have unique selling points that make them look more appealing than the others. Here’re the key factors that come into play when we compare the two:

1. Reach and market share

There’s no surprise that Google Ads has a much greater reach than Microsoft Ads. With over 4.3 billion active users, Google remains one of the largest worldwide networks. Its global share of all search queries is more than 92.2%. On top of that, advertisers can reach an even larger audience by taking advantage of the Google Display Network, which includes more than two million websites around the globe.

Search engine market share

Source: earthweb.com

Microsoft Ads has a smaller reach compared to Google. It accounts for 34% of the global desktop search engine market. While it is true that Microsoft ads cannot match the massive reach of Google’s network, they still have access to millions of users worldwide, including in countries where Google does not operate or has limited activity (such as China). This means that if you are looking to target audiences in these areas, then Microsoft may be your better choice.

Additionally, Microsoft offers several targeting options that Google doesn’t have. Namely, the ability to target an audience and apply bid modifiers based on LinkedIn industry information. Besides LinkedIn itself, Microsoft Ads is the only platform that provides this option. It is a great opportunity for your business to explore the highest-performing audiences for your products and services.

2. Average cost-per-click (CPC)

When you experiment with Microsoft and Google Ads, you’ll need to consider the average cost per click on both platforms before making a choice. The average CPC cost on Google is $2.69 on the search network and $0.63 on the display network.

2022 Search advertising benchmarks

Source: www.wordstream.com

Microsoft Ads typically costs less than Google Ads, making it a great option if you’re on a tight budget. In 2022, the average cost-per-click rate on Microsoft was equal to $1.54. However, this can also mean that your reach may be limited due to the lower cost-per-click (CPC) rates associated with Microsoft Ads compared to Google Ads.

Free Checklist: Is Your Business Future-Proof for the Rising Cost of Digital Advertising?

Bing Ads industry benchmarks

Source: www.wordstream.com

3. Features

Microsoft (Bing) Ads launch similar features to Google, although this happens a few months or years later. The current status of the two platforms may look similar, but some subtle differences are visible only when you dig deeper.

    • Available placementsBesides Google Search & Shopping, Google also offers Display Ads, Youtube Ads, and many more. Microsoft (Bing) also provides Search & Shopping Ads and has recently implemented Smart Shopping features. However, there is still limited data for optimization in Microsoft.

 

    • Automated optionsGoogle provides marketers with a range of automated options so that you can automate everything from bidding to dynamic search ads. Microsoft Ads mimics Google’s capabilities and allows marketers to automate for Target CPA and ROAS, maximizing clicks and conversion and enhancing CPC.

 

  • Ads sharingAny ads in your Google Ads campaign can be only shared on Google’s search network and by its search partners. Microsoft Ads can be shared across Bing, MSN, AOL, Yahoo, and other smaller partner sites.

4. Targeting options

Both Google and Microsoft have different targeting options. With Google, you can target your ads based on affinity, demographics, in-market, and remarketing. Microsoft also has these options and additional features like time, location, day of the week, and LinkedIn profiles.

5. Targeting through keywords

Both Google and Microsoft Ads offer many keyword targeting options, including phrase, exact and broad matches, as well as negative keywords. Regarding match options for keywords, there’s a big difference between Google and Microsoft Ads. However, there’s a sharp contrast in terms of search volume. Google dominates here; that’s why you’ll have access to smaller search volumes if you use Microsoft (Bing) Ads.

6. Demographics

According to some statistics, many Microsoft users are married individuals between 35 and 54 years old with a higher income. By comparison, Google Ads reaches a broader audience that is generally younger than Microsoft’s primary user base.

Microsoft Ads

Source: wordstream.com

7. Ad copies

Both Google and Microsoft have guidelines for text and search ads. The rules are usually connected with the number of characters for headlines, descriptions, and display URLs for landing pages. Google Ads allows advertisers to use up to 30 characters for headlines, up to 15 characters for display URLs, and up to 90 characters for descriptive sections. Microsoft Ads allows URLs and headlines but limits the length of descriptions to 80 characters.
Both Google and Microsoft have limitations regarding the amount of copy you can show in your search ad. When it comes to Google, you can have the following:

  • Two descriptions of up to 90 characters each
  • Three headlines of up to 30 characters each
  • Two ad paths of up to 15 characters each

Microsoft offers standard and extended text ad options. In standard ads, you’ll get the following character counts:

  • One headline of up to 25 characters
  • One description of up to 71 characters
  • One display URL of up to 35 characters

Microsoft extended text ad formats include:

  • Three headlines of up to 30 characters each
  • Two descriptions of up to 90 characters each
  • Automatically generated domain and subdomain and two ad paths

Further reading:

How to Expand to New Markets Using Google Ads

How Much Do Google Ads Cost in 2024?

8. Restrictions on advertisements

Google has a lot more restrictions than Microsoft Ads. For example, it doesn’t allow or apply restrictive policies on gambling, adult content, or alcohol. It also regulates trademarks, political, healthcare, legal, and copyrighted content. Microsoft advertising, in turn, restricts dating, religious, hate speech, and political content. The website also disapproves of tax collection, violence, sensitive advertisement, and peer-to-peer sharing. Although there’re some overlaps between these two platforms, Google is considered stricter.

Google Ads vs. Microsoft Ads: Which Platform Suits You?

Regarding search engine advertising, there is no definitive answer as to which platform is better. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on the needs of your business. First of all, Google Ads is by far the leader in terms of reach. Additionally, its sophisticated targeting options allow advertisers to reach their target audience more easily than ever before. On the downside, Google Ads can be expensive for smaller businesses; its bidding system can make it difficult for those with smaller budgets to compete with larger companies with bigger pockets to put behind their campaigns.

Microsoft Advertising offers a much different experience than Google Ads. For starters, its reach is significantly lower; while it may not have the same number of users as Google Ads, it still reaches over 100 million active users each month—many of whom are in markets where Google might not have a presence or where they don’t offer competitive pricing structures. Additionally, Microsoft Advertising has lower costs per click than its competitor, making it ideal for small businesses looking to maximize their budget without sacrificing quality or reach.

Before choosing the right platform for your business, consider unique strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, it comes down to what kind of budget you have available and what audience-targeting capabilities you need to ensure your campaigns are successful. And if you still hesitate, we are here to help you. Our team of digital advertising professionals will be happy to provide you with a free consultation to discuss your unique case.

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