Search ads increase brand awareness by 80%.
Traffic from PPC Ads results in 50% more lead conversions as compared to organic search.
You get the gist, right? PPC is important. Search ads are the need of the hour.
But, where to run these ads to get the 80% increase in brand awareness and 50% more lead conversions as promised by statistics?
You have three primary options. Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, and Facebook Ads. (There are many other options as well, but today we’ll be talking about just the top three.)
In an ideal world, you’d be able to set up your pay-per-click campaigns on all three platforms. And be able to cater to and convert audiences across the digital landscape.
But that requires a huge (almost unlimited) PPC budget, which most of us sadly don’t have.
That’s why we are faced with a choice.
The solution is tricky. It is a classic case of – to each his own.
And to be honest, we cannot tell you which one is the best for your business. But what we can do is tell you how you can choose for yourself.
Before we get to the How To Choose part, let’s quickly introduce our contenders.
The Ads that you see anywhere on the Google network (search engine, Gmail, of display network) are Google Ads. Rebranded in 2018, it was previously called Google Adwords.
Google Ads are based on a bidding system and the “quality score.” And these two factors together decide the success or otherwise of your Google Ads campaigns.
Facebook, the digital giant from Menlo Park, can let you do much more than just find out who went where on vacation. You can run ads that will be displayed between posts on your target audience’s feed.
Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, which can also be used for business advertising. And it acquired WhatsApp in 2014, which was expected to get its first ad in 2020, but that clearly didn’t happen. However, the scope of Facebook ads is still huge.
Most people believe that Bing is an alternative way to ‘Google’ something. But jokes aside, Microsoft’s search engine Bing is a gold mine for digital marketers who know how to use it for the right use case.
And Microsoft ads refer to search ads that are displayed on Microsoft’s own search engine, Bing, AOS, and even its partner Yahoo!.
Formerly called adCenter, and Bing Ads, Microsoft Advertising, as it is now called (since 2019), is an alternative to Google Ads. And it does the same job, just on a different platform.
Which One To Choose?
We don’t believe in putting forward views and opinions that may be biased.
Instead, we choose to go by the numbers.
The three options are compared on five parameters. And we have used statistics to decide which option is the winner based on each parameter.
Note: Bing Ads and Microsoft ads refer to the same thing. And the former term is used in the following section for convenience as it is the popular word choice.
The Showdown: Numbers Don’t Lie
Reach and Competition
- 2.79 billion people globally use Facebook.
- 5.8 billion searches are performed on Google every day.
- Bing gets 6 billion searches each month.
With that, it is clear that Google outshines the others in terms of reach by a wide margin. This is because 76% of the search engine market belongs to Google. And 73% of the paid search market also belongs to Google.
But it also means that it has the highest competition. The top 3 PPC ads get around 46% of all clicks.
And to be able to get in the top 3, you’ll have to sweat out a lot more on Google than on Bing. (Given that Facebook Ads don’t appear on search and cannot be compared with the search engines.)
- The average CTR on Facebook is 0.90%.
- Bing’s average CTR is 2.83%, which is 50% higher than Google’s.
This makes Bing the clear winner in terms of CTR.
Cost Per Click
- Bing’s average cost per click is $1.54, which is 33% less than Google.
- The average cost per click on Facebook is $1.86.
Again, Bing is the best option for those on a budget.
Conversion Rate and ROI
- The average conversion rate for Google Ads is 75%.
- The conversion rate average for Facebook is 9.21%.
- Bing has an average conversion rate of 2.94%.
Google is a winner in terms of average conversion rates, but the rates vary from industry to industry.
It is best to check your industry’s conversion rates before fully trusting the ‘across all industries’ average.
Google Ads has the cleanest interface and the widest range of optimization options. This means the options for fine-tuning your campaigns are the widest with Google. Also, Google’s retargeting and remarketing algorithms are the most reliable in the industry.
Bing and Yahoo! (which also utilizes Bing search) ads let you use 40 characters in your ad title. (As opposed to 25 characters in Google.) This gives way for better ad copies, which ultimately results in better CTRs.
Facebook (along with Instagram) is a highly visual platform. 500 million people watch videos on Facebook daily. And Facebook’s video ad revenue is expected to top $9.58 billion in 2021. This makes it a better alternative than the search engines for reaching an audience that prefers videos over text.
How To Decide?
It is clear that the Google Ads vs. Microsoft Ads vs. Facebook Ads debate is just a matter of which one best fits your needs.
So, how do you decide which one of them is the right fit for you?
Well, we have zeroed in on the two factors that you need to consider to pick out of the three.
Users and Target Audience
- 86% of Internet users with $100k+ income use Facebook.
- 54% of Facebook users are women. This is 50-50 for Bing with an almost equal number of male and female users.
- Bing’s average user is married and between 35 to 54 years old. This makes their annual income more than the average Google user who is younger. And thus, they are more valuable leads.
And these are the results that we found by just scrapping the surface. If you dig deeper, you will find several other differences between the users of the three platforms. You have to decide which platform’s user base matches closely to your target audience. Only then should you pick between Facebook, Google, and Microsoft Ads.
Google ads cost more but give more returns. If you have the budget (and your audience uses Google), go for Google ads.
If you also have users on Bing, it will be better to kickstart your PPC campaigns there. The competition there is lower and so the cost. Once you have tapped the potential of Microsoft Ads and you have a higher budget to spare, add Google ads to your PPC campaign mix.
As for Facebook, it is much more than just paid ads. And even a part of your social media strategy. So no matter how much budget you have, at least 15% to 20% of it should go to Facebook ads, especially when you are focusing on brand awareness.
Over To You…
We have mentioned all that you need to know to make a choice. And now the ball is in your court.
But before you go, here are a couple of more figures to consider.
74% of brands believe PPC to be a huge driver of business.
72% of companies haven’t looked at their PPC ad campaigns in over a month.
Now, no matter if you go with Google ads, Facebook ads, or Microsoft ads, you’ll fall face first if you don’t manage your campaign well.
Don’t have the time or skill to handle the campaigns? It is best to get PPC management services.
Agencies like Uplers have a global team of experts who can help you handle PPC campaigns for Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. Don’t want to go with any of these? They also have SEO and SMO specialists who can help you bank on organic searches and social media channels too.
With the right guidance and help, running ads, irrespective of the platform becomes simpler, more rewarding, and budget-friendly. A total win-win.
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