In Europe, Google has a huge market share of nearly 95 per cent. But particularly in the B2B sector, marketers should also have Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, in sight. All in all, 97 per cent of German companies currently use Microsoft Windows as their operating system – with Bing already installed in the Edge browser. But is Microsoft Advertising truly an alternative to Google Ads?
The power struggle between Google and Bing
Google remains the undisputed market leader in search engines. Online since 1997, Google today is the most-frequented website in the world and processes more than 3 billion search requests every day. In contrast, Bing is relatively young – the search engine from Microsoft went live in 2009.
The power struggle between Google and Bing is clearly divided. In March 2019, roughly 88.5 per cent of search requests via desktop computers worldwide went to Google (source: Statista). This was followed far behind by Bing in second place, with a worldwide market share of just 2.73 per cent.
How does Microsoft Advertising work?
Microsoft allows advertisers using Microsoft Advertising (or Bing Ads, as it is officially being called until the end of April 2019) to broadcast online advertising throughout the network of search engines comprising Bing, Yahoo! and MSN. The pricing for Microsoft Advertising is the same as for Google Ads: the customer pays per click of their ad.
At the heart of Microsoft Advertising campaigns is the Microsoft Advertising Editor. Similar to Google Ads Editor, this Editor enables the user to manage keywords and campaigns. While the optimisation of Google Ads usually takes place online, with Bing Ads Microsoft offers an additional desktop tool. Windows users will find the familiar user interface particularly easy to use.
Microsoft Advertising: benefits over Google Ads in the B2B sector
Microsoft Advertising are interesting for two reasons in particular:
- Bing has a different target group than Google. The typical Bing user is between the ages of 35 and 44 and has a middle to high income. Of German Bing users, 23 per cent are even among the top earners, while this share is just 19 per cent for Google.
- The click prices for Microsoft Advertising are in part far below those for Google Ads. When it comes to online shopping, the average cost per click (CPC) for mobile ads on Bing is 15 euro cents. Google asks for nearly double that (29 euro cents). For desktop ads, the difference is enormous: Bing at 23 euro cents compared to Google at 31 euro cents (as of April 2019).
Bings Ads offers yet another benefit – especially for enterprises in the B2B sector. As an own Microsoft product, Bing is pre-installed on most desktop computers as a standard search engine in the browser. Since Windows 10, Bing can even be called up directly via the search function. Advertisers using Microsoft Advertising can therefore reach B2B users at their workplace in a targeted manner.
Microsoft Advertising is not an alternative to Google Ads 100 per cent – Google’s reach is far too high. But leaving Bing out of the equation would be wasting potential. Thanks to the widely used Microsoft operating system Windows, and the more affordable costs per click, B2B enterprises above all should integrate the Microsoft Advertising channel into their search engine marketing.