Bing is the world’s second-largest search engine and the obvious place to look for an alternative or addition to Google Ads. Despite having a fraction of the market share enjoyed by Google, Bing Ads is a highly-capable advertising platform that handles millions of searches every day.
In this article, we ask whether you should advertise on Bings Ads and take a look at how pricing compares to Google Ads.
Should I advertise on Bing?
Last year, we published a Bitesize blog post looking at five reasons advertisers should care about Bing advertising. While some of the figures may have changed slightly since then, they still provide a useful summary of why you should take Bing seriously:
- There are 137 million unique searches per month taking place on Bing (source) which is roughly 137 million potential leads you don’t want to ignore.
- 66 million of those unique searches are from people you can’t reach on Google (source) and this should be reason enough alone.
- Bing’s smaller market share means it’s less competitive and this makes it easier to see results from your SEO and PPC strategies.
- Bing Ads is 60% cheaper than Google Ads with average CPCs of $ 7.99 compared to $ 20.08 on Google Ads (source)
- Bing serves two of the top four voice assistants including Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana.
The key point a lot of marketers and business owners forget is that Bing gives you access to a large audience you won’t find on other search engines. While Bing’s user numbers pale in comparison to Google’s, you’re still looking at 66 million unique searches every month from people that don’t use other search engines.
How much market share does Bing Ads have?
The latest data from StatCounter shows Bing has a 2.75% share of the global search market. However, Bing Ads also powers the majority of ads showing on Yahoo! so it’s not unreasonable to combine their market shares for a grand total of 4.45%.
To put that into context, Google has a massive 91.75% share of the global search market and that figure might not paint Bing in a particularly good light. However, Bing still has the second-largest market share in the industry with roughly 12 billion monthly searches carried out on the search engine.
How much does Bing advertising cost?
According to the latest benchmark report from WordStream, the average CPC on Bing Ads is $ 1.44 but this figure has been revised to $ 1.63 in updated figures post-COVID-19. At the time of writing, US$ 1.63 works out at £1.12 but exchange rates are all over the place these days – so don’t take that figure too specifically.
Of course, CPCs vary across different industries and the original Bing Ads benchmark report (the one that put average CPCs at $ 1.44) offers up the following averages for different industries.
So the highest CPCs on Bing Ads tend to come from real estate campaigns with an average of $ 2.88 per click while the cheapest come from careers and employment with $ 0.75 averages.
Keep in mind these figures are from US campaigns.
Is Bing Ads cheaper than Google Ads?
In the first section, we linked to a study showing Bing CPCs were 60% cheaper than Google Ads. That data is from 2017, though, so let’s take a look at a more recent comparison to see how things stand in 2020.
To make life easy, WordStream also has benchmark reports for Google Ads and this is the fairest comparison we can make using third-party data. We already know what the average CPC for Bing Ads is in 2020, according to WordStream’s data, so how do the numbers compare?
- Google Ads avg. CPCs: $ 2.76
- Bing Ads avg. CPCs: $ 1.63
- Difference: -41%
That would make CPCs on Bing Ads 44% cheaper in 2020 but clicks aren’t the only thing to consider when you’re comparing the overall price of advertising platforms. You also have to look at cost-per-acquisition (CPA) and conversion rates to get a better idea of how many conversions you get for your ad spend and how much they’re going to cost you.
Here’s a quick comparison of the averages across the two platforms:
|Bing Ads||Google Ads||Difference|
|CPCs||$ 1.63||$ 2.76||-41%|
|CPA||$ 55.84||$ 51.50||+7.77%|
While CPCs are generally much cheaper on Bing Ads conversion rates tend to be much lower and the average cost-per-acquisition (CPA) is slightly higher. So, for campaigns where your primary goal is to generate traffic, build brand awareness or monetise a website with ad impressions, Bing Ads should work out significantly cheaper than Google Ads.
This is assuming you’re managing the same type of campaigns for the same industry.
However, if you’re talking about conversion-driven campaigns, the overall cost for each conversion tends to be quite similar although performance metrics along the way (eg: CTRs and conversion rates) can vary quite a lot.
Bing Ads certainly has some advantages over Google Ads but the overall cost of managing a complete advertising strategy on the two platforms isn’t all that different. What’s more important is that Bing Ads’ fractional market share still offers billions of opportunities every month, millions of which you can’t access through Google alone.
If you’re engaged in paid advertising, Bing Ads is a network you don’t want to ignore. Aside from adding valuable reach to your strategy, it’s simply a quality advertising platform. And, while some could accuse it of trying to replicate Google Ads, this only makes Bing easier to use if you’re already familiar with advertising on Google.