SEO vs PPC: Which One Is Best For Your Business

Unsure which marketing method between SEO and PPC is right for your business? Chris Foti, the founder and President of Stack Mode Marketing Group, provides valuable insight into where these strategies fit within your long-term marketing goals.

Let’s dive right in!

A common question we are asked as marketers is “which between SEO and PPC would make my business more profitable?” The truth is there is no definite answer because it all depends on your business’ current circumstance, market place and objectives.

Stack Mode is currently big on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Foti’s over 10 years experience in the marketing industry has taught him well that when organic search is performed efficiently, it can deliver more volume at every lead that surpasses paid search.

However, new enterprises will have to work extra hard on SEO whereby paid search may offer faster results in search marketing than the former. That said, it all depends on your digital marketing initiatives. Understand the market and how people utilize the web in the best way to evaluate whether organic search or paid search or a merging of both is right for your distinct case.

In this post, we will cover the pros and cons of both SEO and PPC as a marketing technique and offer hints to selecting the best fit for your unique business needs. We will also touch on how integrating SEO and PPC will enhance the results of your search marketing efforts.

SEO vs PPC Pros vs Cons Chart

SEO vs. PPC

There are two major contrasts between SEO and PPC. First, the traffic from organic search via SEO is free whereby PPC traffic has a cost for every click.

In many situations, SEO and PPC produce the best results when they are aligned strategically and integrated but we’ll let you decide after you’re done reading this post.

SEO Marketing Strategy: Boost Your Organic Traffic

SEO involves improving your organic traffic on the search engine results page (SERP). When you are searching on Google you will see that organic listings rank after the paid ads or shopping results.

To successfully increase your SEO rankings, you must know how to properly optimize your website such as ensuring the search engines can crawl into your site, upgrade your content, index it and increase the credibility of your website.

With Google’s algorithm being influenced by more than 200 ranking factors, it takes a top of the line marketing team to understand how to win the game. Lucky for you Stack Mode Marketing Group has an international class team of marketers who can help you stay ahead with technical SEO, on-page SEO, link building, content marketing, UX, you name it!

However, ranking is not a walk in the park! In comparison to other channels, SEO is multiplex and considering that Google constantly upgrades its algorithm, it requires the right blend of multiple factors for your website to rank well.

The Advantages of SEO

1. Cost-effective: Organic SEO offers one of the most affordable ways to enhance your site’s ranking and can place you right in the eyes of your potential clients when they run a search for businesses similar to yours.

2. More attraction: SEO averagely attracts 10 times more clicks than paid search. That means that you get a wide flow of traffic to your site without investing in ads.

3. Targeted content: With SEO you can develop content that targets every stage of the funnel without having to pay for any click.

4. Stability: Organic SEO offers more stability. If you do your site optimization right, your rankings should remain stable for longer.

5. Sustained outcome: Once you’ve attained robust rankings with SEO, you are guaranteed sustained results because your site shows to prospective clients 24/7.

6. Free organic clicks: When you get your SEO strategy just right, you are rewarded with free traffic. Obviously, it requires resources and time investment but clicks won’t cost you a cent!

The Disadvantages of SEO

Every coin has two sides and while SEO has a pretty glossy side, it has some setbacks that don’t always make it the right strategy for your business.

Let’s take a look at the cons of SEO:

1. No guarantees: Even with a tight and sound strategy, you are not certain to outshine competitors. When it works though, you’ll definitely earn the big bucks. It is an imperfect technique that needs persistence and patience.

2. Time-consuming: SEO takes time, which can be mind-boggling and tiresome particularly considering that Google makes a ton of updates to its algorithm each year. It can take months for your site to rank in the top searches for competitive keywords. You’ll always need to be in the know with any algorithm changes to stay ahead of your competition.

3. The process is never ceasing: Rather than being a one-time strategy, SEO is a prolonged process that needs sustained investment. Apart from constant improvements and tweaks, you’ll need to be aware that your website will never be 100% optimized. But our Stack Mode team will ensure to grant you 99.9% optimization with kick-ass content creation, link building and ongoing technical SEO audits. We promise to make your investment worthwhile by hiring us as your specialist agency.

PPC Marketing Strategy: Laser-Focused Visibility

PPC consists of paid clicks on search engines run through Bing Ads or Google Ads. PPC opportunities include search ads, shopping ads, YouTube ads, display ads, Gmail ads and re-marketing.

Unlike SEO that offers free clicks, PPC ads need you to pay each time a visitor clicks on your ad. With PPC, you can therefore spend even thousands of dollars a day to lure visitors to your website.

Even with its high cost, PPC comes with its perks. Here are some of the profits of using PPC:

The Pros of PPC

1. Not susceptible to Google’s algorithm updates: With PPC, you don’t have to keep checking for Google’s changes to its algorithms. You’re already bidding on the top margin so your organic searches won’t make much of a difference.

2. Fast and easy: PPC allows you to run quick A/B tests and split tests with Google Ads. This enables you to take a continued testing approach to run your campaign and drive consistent enhancements and better returns.

3. Data benefit: Running a PPC operation offers you volumes of data on the ads and keywords that visitors click on before buying your products or services together with those that lead to a purchase. That means that you can promptly make upgrades to your campaign for better optimization and improvement of your ROAS (return on ad spend).

4. Target customers with ads: With the right advertising formats such as video ads, search ads, shopping ads and more you can amplify your reach to the audience and stir them up to purchase or make an inquiry. Organic listings lack the same variety of strategies to target your audience.

5. Hire a small expert team: Unlike SEO, you need a smaller team of experts to run and manage your PPC campaign. In most cases, you’ll only need a paid search specialist and a copywriter to write striking ads and landing pages.

6. More targeting opportunities: PPC offers you the chance to amplify your business’ presence on search engines through call outs, phone numbers and enhanced site links. So you have increased chances to capture a searcher’s attention to your ad.

7. Increased visibility: Whether on desktop or mobile searches, PPC ads are always at the top of the page and the first thing a searcher views before any organic results. PPC gives you that competitive edge that is impossible to achieve using SEO alone.

8. Guarantees instant results: Immediately after your PPC campaign launches you will begin to notice clicks, conversions and traffic. The same results take months to achieve with SEO.

The Cons of PPC

While PPC provides a plethora of advantages to businesses, it has its fair share of hitches too. Here they are:

1. Traffic ceases when ads turn off: You need to consider if your website will survive once you click the off switch on your PPC campaigns. It can be tempting to become too dependent on PPC alone but a successful website needs an all-rounded strategy approach that assures no controversies in the future.

2. Too costly: You’ll need to factor people costs in addition to click costs. You will have to hire an agency, a freelancer or a marketing team to monitor your campaigns.

3. Higher initial investment: Starting a PPC campaign can be too expensive especially for a start-up enterprise given that you’ll need to pay for clicks. Moreover, as new adversaries begin to advertise, click costs can increase. You may incur more costs to drive a conversion.

4. Risk of wasting clicks and money: With PPC, the more you invest the better the results in terms of an increased number of conversions and clicks. However, you’ll have to keep an eye on your conversion rate because if your traffic isn’t converting, your hard-earned cash and clicks will go down the drain.

5. Higher click costs in some industries than others: By now you are aware that traffic from PPC advertising isn’t free. You’ve got to pay for every single click on your website via an ad. But some industries have higher click costs than others with the insurance niche grossing with the highest CPC of $ 17.55 in the U.S. Other niches with a high CPC include real estate, e-commerce, stock market, loans and attorney.

SEO or PPC: Which One is Right for Your Business?

It’s not possible to say which one of these two strategies is the right one for your business because every corporation is its unique set of needs.

Therefore, if you choose to venture into a single channel, you’re going to consider your business’ specific situation including the long-term and short-term goals and balancing the cost of investment against the rate of income received.

Here are some prevalent scenarios that would dictate which channel to go for:

Using SEO and PPC Together For Better Results

In reality, it is hardly possible to use either one of the search strategies and forgo the other because when integrated, they both support each other for greater results.

Therefore, if your pocket allows, it is better to use both to balance your short-term and long-term results.

Below are some key benefits of running SEO and PPC together:

With the benefit overkill offered by both SEO and PPC, we must look into the various ways to integrate the two for increased online visibility.

1. Utilizing Shopping Ads to Increase Leads

If you run an e-commerce business, you definitely can’t afford to overlook shopping ads. Even if you already have a strong SEO campaign, you’ll also need a captivating and efficient pay-per-click strategy.

Potential buyers are constantly drawn to product listing ads that display images and prices on the SERPs. We all want to buy products that we can view alongside their prices. So, you should be investing in shopping ads besides SEO to ensure that you’re increasing your visibility on SERPs and concealing all options on how your clients want to look into competitor products or services.

2. Harness the Power of Ads and Apply Data to Enlighten Your SEO Campaign

Your PPC process can feed the SEO strategy to help gain meaningful insights. Data and results obtained from ad headlines, conversions, calls-to-action (CTAs) and messaging can be used to heighten your SEO campaign built on keyword groups and terms that have the most ideal conversion rate.

This analysis from your PPC strategy offers you a hint of the areas that might require more focus for increased success.

Looking to create successful ads and efficiently optimize your landing pages? Our PPC experts will research all there is to know about your business model to provide a more customized and dedicated search campaign. This way you can centralize your attention on other strategic tasks.

3. Refocusing

Did you know that you can generate ads to target people who have already visited your website? This strategy is called re-marketing or re-targeting and is very efficient in capturing visitors who have already interacted with your site.

For instance, a user places your product on their basket but does not finish purchasing. You can serve them ads to motivate them to complete the transaction through banner ads on the Google Display Network or SERPs ads.

4. Brand Bidding

It’s quite common for another company to bid on your company’s name. Sounds shocking? Yes, businesses often use ads to bid on another business’ brand name. Though you could top the organic search for your brand name, an adversary that bids on your brand name stands a higher chance of beating you on the SERPs.

In such situations, you can use PPC to bid on your brand’s terms to increase your visibility, meaning that a user is most likely to wind up clicking on your website despite the route they take to your site, either organic or paid clicks.

Which Strategy Matters the Most?

In our experience with real estate, retail, travel, telecommunications and pretty much any other industry in the market, we can say that without a shadow of a doubt that an integrated search approach using both SEO and PPC is the best for optimal results.
Though not a perfect fit for some businesses, companies that experience high growth often develop a holistic search engine campaign that synchronizes SEO and PPC rather than each in isolation.

What are your experiences with SEO or PPC? We would love to hear your achievements or lessons from using either SEO or PPC or both of them together. You can always reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Get in touch with us today!

Understanding the Importance of GMB for Your Business

Google My Business is a digital marketing strategy offered by Google where businesses can manage their online presence, allowing them to provide a short profile that potential clients can view.

You may have probably searched for “web design companies near me” in the past, and with that, Google gives you the top three relevant companies within a certain radius of your location, and that is how GMB listings work. The top three companies that Google displays are based on an algorithm that factors relevance, distance, and prominence.

A GMB listing is a short amount of text, but it contains essential information such as your company’s name, address, phone number, business hours, links to a website (if present), reviews, and photos. A GMB listing is like an online phone book, and the information it contains is just what the client needs if he is interested in availing of your services.

85% of consumers search for local businesses online. If you still don’t have an online presence, a GMB listing is a necessity! You can use GMB listings to start up your digital marketing journey, then move up to having a website sometime later. Here are some reasons why it is important to have GMB.

1. Increase Your Online Presence

GMB listings improve your search visibility as it allows users easier access to information. When you search for something, GMB listings are shown first on the webpage, then the websites after. Many customers strike their first interactions with a company via GMB listings. Online users may be in a hurry to access information, so most of the time, only the GMB listings are viewed rather than the websites. If you do not have a GMB listing, you miss out on your chances of your services being viewed and considered by a client!

2. Gain Credibility

Many people trust Google to provide them with accurate information on many subjects, so having your information put up in a listing increases your credibility as well. GMB allows past customers to write reviews about your company, and if these reviews are good, Google will give you a great rating that will boost your competitive edge and help you gain customers.

3. Increased Interaction and Engagement With Customers

Google allows you to respond to customer reviews and answer other queries through the question and answer feature. You can also put updates and post stories and media that people can respond to. Interaction with customers is essential in building recognition, trust, and loyalty for your brand. Every chance at interaction is also a chance for conversion.

4. Opportunity for Improvement

The reviews and interaction with customers will allow you to learn more about your business from a customer’s perspective. Google also allows one to see your monthly statistics regarding your listing regarding views and clicks, and you can learn from that as well.

5. Stand Out

GMB listings are short amounts of content, but you can stand out against your other competitors in search results if you optimize them. Remember that Google displays the top 3 businesses automatically when searching? You can exploit that benefit with the right marketing strategies and some SEO and have increased chances of getting picked by customers.

It is essential that you pour a lot of time and effort into setting up a GMB listing and optimizing it. Here at Stack Mode, we can relieve you from the anxiety of starting up a GMB list and save you time and effort in managing your listing. With Stack Mode’s GMB service package, our team of experienced marketers can help in setting up your GMB list and then have it optimized, managed, and maintained. Contact us now and start reaping the benefits!

How to Drive Higher Engagement with Video Marketing

People nowadays are mostly visual. People love seeing photos and graphics, and the better if these pictures were moving! Online users dedicate a third of their time to watching videos so what better way for businesses to market their brand in a realm that their potential customers most often visit?

Video marketing is also one of the most affordable advertising for businesses like yours. It is also one of the most effective marketing strategies. Here are a few noteworthy stats demonstrating the power of video marketing:

A good video is unique and engaging for its viewers. Viewer engagement is one of the most important factors in the success of video marketing. Getting a team of professionals to shoot and edit videos is an easy task but putting up a good video? That would take another area of expertise. How does one create video content that will drive engagement from its viewers? Here are three general tips on how to do so!

Quality Check

Apart from getting a team of professionals to ensure video and audio quality for your videos, the most important factor would be to have quality content. Imagine yourself as the viewer and consider what content would be the most entertaining and valuable for you. A good marketing team for a company already has on-hand information about their target audience, and this information would be most valuable in conceptualizing ideas for your video content.

Tell Your Story

How do you know if your viewer is engaged? With all this content available online, there’s an overload of information that may be important but not relatable. The most important sign or indication that your viewers are engaged with your video is if you elicit a reaction or evoke some emotion from them. What makes your business different from other brands? How has your company changed lives? Try to feature some of your employees’ or customers’ stories in your videos. People love some good drama. They love content that tugs at their heartstrings. Simply babbling facts and statistics won’t catch your viewers’ attention. However, if you use that info in a relatable way, you stand a higher chance of engaging with your video consumers.

Be Flexible

In marketing, the “one-size-fits-all” for dresses does not apply. You may already have a video that will cater to most of your target audience, but that should not stop you from making just one video. Most video marketers use social media to publish their videos, which is also a good way to increase your video’s visibility. Various social media have different personalities in terms of their community and the way they deliver their content. Thus, engagement success rates will vary depending on the platform. A good practice would be to research these social media platforms and see what videos their users likely find valuable.

And Cut!

For the basics, it is good to remember to create the best video that is relatable to your target audience, embedding in it the story you want to tell and the reaction and action you want your viewers to have and take. If you are confused about where to start, Stack Mode’s Video Advertising services can help you put out the best videos for your business.

How to Optimize Your GMB Listing

Google listings are a trend nowadays. They are not a website specifically but a short profile of a business or place that comes up when a searcher looks for a relevant service within his or her area.

When an online user searches for a particular place or business, let’s say a “web design company,” Google will automatically show the top three services within a certain radius of the user’s location.

Even if you already have an online presence with a website, google listings can boost your local SEO and increase your web traffic overall. All of your information is available on your website, but Google listings index your content for easier access and increased interaction with potential customers.

Many businesses are on the lists. As such, you will have many competitors, and one way to command more online presence is to increase your ranks upon that list. Remember that Google automatically displays only the top three services. Of course, one can click the “View All” option to check other businesses in the locality; however, being in the top 3 display—the best local 3-pack would increase one’s chances to get potential customers. As a business owner, your marketing aspirations should be in the top three.

Many business owners mistake treating Google listings as just another small-scale marketing strategy due to its “simplicity.” However, there are so many ways on how you can use it.

Here are some best practices on optimizing listing through GMB:

Keep Your Listing Complete, Accurate, and Updated

According to Google, local search results are based on distance, relevance, and prominence. Treat your Google listing as an online brochure where you input all the necessary information needed to optimize searching. The more information, the better! Set up your Google listing now by signing up to www.google.com/business and fill out your information as complete and accurate as possible. Update it regularly too.

GMB first asks for your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number). After this, you have to focus on choosing the correct business category and business attributes. These areas require you to be specific and consider the appropriate keyword strategy. Be specific but do not overwhelm your listing with keywords as GMB prohibits this behavior. Your business category and attributes can give the customers a more vivid picture of your services and the experience that comes with them. Are you child-friendly? Pet friendly? What are your special amenities? Be specific with your business category, and it is recommended to consult a list of business categories and subcategories if you’re not sure what to put.

Update your Posts and Put up Good Visual Content

Google listings allow you to put up a profile photo, a cover photo, and videos. Your profile photo is usually the first thing searchers notice when looking up your business, and according to a Synup study, “Listings with photos are two times as likely to be considered reputable and get 35% more clicks”.

By uploading visual content, you can let your potential customers know more about your business’s personality and what makes you unique. You can even feature customer-generated content too! Did someone take a picture of your main product and tag you in their post? You can encourage your customers to add photos and write about their experience with your business, and this is featured in your Google listing gallery. This strategy will help you become more relatable and increase your referrals and reputation as well.

Google also has a post feature where you can share content about your businesses in many ways, such as sharing business updates, e.g., showcasing a new product or an upcoming event you are trying to promote. You can also highlight sales, discounts, and promos. Google posts allow you to share pictures, texts, and GIFs. Maximize that 300-word limit in your post creatively, and it will help you attract more customers and increase sales.

Ask for Reviews and Respond to Them

Your customer testimonials are your best advertisement. People like a second opinion, and research says that 90% of people read reviews before purchasing. You can send your Google listing link to your customers and ask for reviews. After compiling the reviews, you have to respond to everything, even the most negative ones.

Interact Directly with Clients Using the Google My Business Messaging Feature

Some customers want to contact you, but they usually don’t prefer calls. Studies have found that 90% of business leads would rather receive SMS than a call, and SMS messaging has a higher conversion rate. This is why increased customer engagement through their preferred mode of communication can help close the sale.

The internet offers many ways for customers to find your business. Google listings establish your important business information in a short, concise, and visually-appealing manner for your potential customers. Google listings help local business SEO and offer a more accessible way for businesses to engage with customers. With all these wonderful features, it is also free and is a widely-used tool among successful businesses. Here in Stack Mode, our GMB experts can manage your Google listing for an affordable price and we will make sure that you secure a prominent online presence in Google. Contact us now and inquire about our fully-managed GMB service package.

Google AdWords vs Bing: What's Better for Your Business?

As a small business owner, you’re probably well across the fact that Google is the world’s number one website. So when it comes to choosing between Google AdWords and Bing Ads, the choice is easy, right? Actually, it’s not that clear-cut. While Google does have the US search market covered, Bing is not as far behind as you may think. It also publishes some interesting data on user demographics and industries that can help inform your decision of where to get the most bang for your buck.

Search estimates for Bing and Google

As stated earlier, Google is the number one website in the world, and there are a staggering 3.5 billion Google searches per day worldwide. By comparison, Bing has about 160 million searches per day worldwide. However, in the US, Bing actually holds a 33.5% share of the search market. It also claims to reach 68 million US searchers who do not go search through Google – so if your ideal customer is in that group, you’d best be paying attention to Bing.

Google vs Bing Map

Who uses Bing? Who uses Google?

According to Bing’s own research, its average user is female, with a family income of $100K, about 45 years old, educated, and married with children. To break the data down a bit further, 30% of its target audience is on $100K family income. The gender split is 51% female, 49% male. Half of the audience is married or living with a partner, and nearly 40% is between 35-54 years old. Over one third of the audience has a degree.

Apple only holds about 14% of the PC/Mac market share, so of the 67 million units of computers sold worldwide last year, 90% of them are using the Windows operating system, which comes with Internet Explorer or Edge installed – and Bing is the default search engine. So unless a user is interested or savvy enough to change their default browser or search engine, they’re likely to be using Bing.

There is a lot of data out there on Google’s users, but as most of it is at least three years old, we’re not including it. It doesn’t publicize its own demographic information, though the general consensus is that Google’s users are likely to be younger, more tech-savvy, and white-collar.If your business is targeting customers under the age of 35, or tech consumers, you’re likely to want to focus exclusively on Google AdWords for your search budget.

Major Differences Between Bing Ads and Google AdWords for Small Business

REAL ESTATE (NUMBER OF ADS DISPLAYED)

There are more options for Bing Ads to display ads, as it still includes ads down the side of the search results page, whereas Google got rid of their sidebar over a year ago. So if you’re in a highly competitive industry, you’ve got more chance of your ads actually creating impressions on Bing than AdWords – but of course conversely, it shows more of your competitors’ ads as well.

CAMPAIGN TARGETING

All in all, the ad set up is more flexible in Bing, and allows you to make changes at an ad group level, which is more targeted than AdWords’ campaign level changes.

You are also able to adjust campaign time zones in Bing, which you can’t do in AdWords – if you’re in one time zone, you can’t specify that an ad appears in a different time zone, which can make campaign time targeting confusing (particularly if you’re working across multiple time zones).

While both AdWords and Bing Ads offer location targeting, in AdWords this must be specified at the campaign level, which would then apply to all ad groups. In Bing, you can specify the location at an ad group level, which means that you could potentially look at a state-wide campaign, but with city or region ads (to different landing pages or offers).

BUDGETS

The set up of spending limits was, until April 2017, slightly different too – you were able to set a monthly budget in Bing, but it has since dropped that ability and now both AdWords and Bing Ads have daily limits only.

IMAGES

Visual sitelinks are currently in beta (testing phase) for AdWords, but essentially, it’s going to be a mobile-only carousel of images that relate to sitelinks advertised in the ad itself. Bing’s own Image Extensions are currently live across both desktop and mobile, and allows you to add up to six images. There’s no specific data for its effectiveness, but inclusion of “rich snippets” or images is generally known to increase click through rate – anything that makes your ad stand out from the crowd.

Google vs Bing Search Engine Results Page

Google AdWords Image Extensions

Google vs Bing Sitelink Extension Snapshot

Bing Ads Image Extensions

NEGATIVE KEYWORDS

Within Google AdWords, adding in negative keywords means that searches that include those keywords will not trigger your ad to appear. This makes sense, as it means that you can exclude irrelevant searches and therefore they don’t cost you money. However, in Bing Ads, if a target keyword and negative keyword both include the same word (bearing in mind that a keyword can also be a phrase), your ad will still show – it’s as if Bing is giving your keywords the benefit of the doubt, whereas AdWords takes a more hardline approach.

CONVERSIONS

Both AdWords and Bing offer options for tracking users’ actions after they click on your ad – AdWords lets you use your Google Analytics defined goals, which is quite straightforward, or you can use specific AdWords-only goals. But if you do go with the AdWords-only goals, you’ll need to create a tracking tag and place that on your destination page. With Bing, you need to add a site-wide tracking tag, then create the conversion itself within the Ads interface (which is useful if you’ve got multiple goals). This Universal Event Tracking tag also helps with remarketing, as it’s automatically set up within the tag itself.

REMARKETING

Remarketing, which is when ads appear to users who have already visited your site or a specific page or product on your site, on Bing Ads is simple to set up, but it does require that you develop a list of at least 1000 people in a segment before your ads will be served to them. AdWords has a superior remarketing product. In addition to using its Display Network (showing ads on other websites as well as its search network), it also has more options than Bing Ads for remarketing. This includes customer list remarketing, video remarketing (for people who’ve interacted with your videos on YouTube, for example), the standard and search remarketing, and dynamic remarketing, which adjusts the ad headline based on what the user has searched for.

Which one is easier to use?

Google has recently updated its user interface, and it’s a lot more user-friendly. It’s clear, easy to use, and its Overview screen has all the information you’d want to know about your campaigns at a glance. It makes ad creation straightforward, and reporting and settings are in a more obvious section of the site than they were in the old interface. By contrast, Bing Ads is very much a mirror image of the old AdWords set up. With so much data to display, it can be difficult to design an interface that makes sense and brings the most important information to the fore, but hiding campaign information “under the fold” as Bing Ads does when there are alerts provides a subpar experience.

Dashboard of Bing Advertising Platform

Dashboard of Google Advertising Platform

Does Bing Ads or Google AdWords produce better results?

Large US online advertising firm WordStream recently produced an infographic that shows click-through rates, cost per click, conversion rate, and cost per action across Bing Ads by industry that will be useful to benchmark your results. A year prior to that, they produced the same data for Google AdWords, which is included here.

Overall, though, their results show that Bing “wins” by having a higher click-through and conversion rate and lower cost per click and action. Its biggest downfall, is, of course, its reach – Bing just can’t compete with the sheer weight of numbers of Google searches. However, at about one-third of all US searches, it’s certainly worth a percentage of your total search budget, even if it’s just for testing purposes.

Click-through rate Cost per click Conversion rate Cost per action
Google AdWords 1.91% $2.32 2.70% $59.18
Bing Ads 2.83% $1.54 2.94% $41.44

Source: WordStream (Based on a sample of 1,242 US-based WordStream client accounts in all verticals (representing $6 million in aggregate Bing Ads spend) who were advertising on Bing Ads between July and September 2017. Average figures are median figures to account for outliers. All currency values are posted in USD.)

Hallam Internet in the UK also recently ran a comparative study with a large client and used the same ads across both advertising platforms. Their results are below:

Spend Conversions Cost-per-acquisition
Google £29,319.81 919 £31.90
Campaign 1 £25,518.49 771 £33.09
Campaign 2 £2,516.03 97 £25.94
Campaign 3 £1,285.29 51 £25.20
Bing £1,935.75 165 £11.73
Campaign 1 £1,723.34 143 £12.05
Campaign 2 £136.41 15 £9.09
Campaign 3 £76.00 7 £10.86

According to the data, it was 67% cheaper per acquisition through Bing than AdWords. The main difference was in the conversion rate, and the author posited that it may have been the characteristics of Bing’s users that was actually causing the differentiation in conversion rate.

Conclusion

In the end, what the results show is that if your target demographic isn’t a youth market, you should be paying attention to Bing. While Google dominates the search market, Bing’s published data shows that targeting the particular industries or demographics that are already using its search engine can lead to lower costs and higher conversions than using AdWords.

If you’re in a very competitive industry, or have a low budget, it’s worth taking a chance on Bing Ads. Your ads won’t reach as many people as they could using AdWords, but there is potential for improved results. Bing Ads also have more options for adjusting campaigns at an ad group level, so if you need to get really granular within your campaign (e.g. two different ads going out to one particular region but with different budgets), you’ll fare better with Bing – AdWords just doesn’t have the same functionality.

If you definitely need to reach as many people as possible (for example, you’re in a niche industry), or your audience skews younger, you should focus on Google AdWords. Similarly, if you want to use remarketing, Google has a much broader range of features than Bing, so you should stick with Google.

A time- and cost-effective way to test is to use the same ads on both Google AdWords and Bing Ads (you can import your AdWords content into Bing Ads), with your Bing budget being about 25% of your Google AdWords budget, and advertise on both for 30 days. It needs to be at least that long in order to give the ads a chance to work and settle down. After the month is up, analyze the results, and adjust your marketing. If you found that you got better results from Bing, put more of your budget into it and optimize for the Bing Ad experience (e.g. with image ads). If not, and AdWords was clearly outperforming Bing Ads, then at least you’ve tried it, found that it didn’t resonate with your audience, and you move on.

And although the user interfaces are now quite different, if you’ve used AdWords in the past, you won’t have any trouble navigating around Bing Ads. And the actual process of setting up an ad is very similar – you need a budget, targeting, content, including headlines, and extensions, so you’re likely to pick up how it works quite easily on either platform.