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Google AdWords vs. Bing Ads: Why We Choose Both

Andrew Gregory
Jul 25, 2017

Summary / TL;DR

There are two major players in the search advertising arena: Google and Microsoft. Google holds 75% of the market share and has the most comprehensive advertising platform. However, Microsoft (Bing) has the benefit of less competition which often results in lower costs.

Google is the best place to start and test new advertising, but once an strategy is established it often makes sense to add Microsoft Ads and take advantage of the benefits of both platforms.

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Author's Note: Google AdWords is now Google Ads as of July 24th, 2018. Bing Ads is now Microsoft Ads as of April 29, 2019.

Paid search advertising is often a strategy we recommend for reaching a new audience. This is a tried and true way of bringing visitors to a website or landing page. When done correctly, the visitors are pre-qualified based on their searches.

Need a refresher on what pay per click advertising is? We wrote an article for that: Pay Per Click Advertising 101.

There are two major players in the search engine arena: Google and Microsoft (Bing). The first step in any campaign is choosing which platform fits the strategy. Let’s review the options.

Benefits of Google AdWords

One statistic alone makes it impossible to ignore Google. Google commands 75% of all search traffic.

The sheer number of people using Google makes it an excellent option for gathering data. You can quickly run tests to determine what is working and what is not. Also, Google AdWords provides a range of tools for analyzing this data.

Another benefit of Google AdWords is that you are better able to target niche markets. Because of the larger user base, there are enough users on Google to target these specific groups.

Benefits of Bing Ads

With Google receiving the majority of the traffic, it's easy to ignore the rest. Yet, Bing Ads fills this gap and provides some benefits of its own.

Bing Ads offers most of the same features found in Google AdWords. In the majority of instances, you can create the same campaigns in either system. This makes it easy to transfer what was learned in Google AdWords into Bing Ads.

The downside of Bing having a smaller search market share is also Bing Ads greatest asset. Many businesses choose only to advertise on Google AdWords and to ignore Bing Ads. Since pay per click advertising uses auction bidding, less competition means lower costs. So those of us that do use Bing Ads enjoy the lower costs.

Where to Start with Pay Per Click Advertising?

When starting a new paid search advertising campaign, it makes sense to start with Google AdWords. This allows for the greatest flexibility when creating the new campaign. It also ensures there is high enough search volume to quickly learn what performs the best.

However, after a campaign is established, it is time to consider Bing Ads. Campaigns can be ported from Google AdWords into Bing Ads. Only minimal changes are required to the imported campaigns. And the benefit of reaching a wider audience (and at a lower cost) outweighs the setup time.

You may ask “If Bing Ads is less expensive, why should I use Google AdWords at all?” Good question. In our experience, the limited audience on Bing makes it inefficient as a standalone solution. Because of this, we recommend a combination of Google AdWords and Bing Ads. This allows you to take advantage of the benefits of both platforms.

Andrew Gregory
Author Name
Andrew Gregory / President & Founder
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