In our last blog post, we revealed that DemandResults has reaped 54.5% lower cost-per-conversion ratios in Microsoft AdCenter than Google AdWords in our head-to-head tests. To recap, our tests were across a handful of clients in the legal and healthcare industries on a cumulative spend of about $500,000.
While we’re confident in our data analysis, we’re left to speculate as to why Bing brings better value.
#3 – Top Display Area – In Bing, paid results for some search queries are stacked 4 deep at the top of the page, vs. 0-3 deep on most Google AdWords display pages. It would be very interesting to see Bing’s SERP heat maps illustrating what percentage of visitors actually make it past these first four rows of paid ads to get to organic results.
#2 – Simpler Interface – Google has always had a lot of irons in the fire. Now, however, its myriad ambitions and partners are crowding its search engine results pages. Paid text ads are now competing for call to actions for both unrelated and related items in Google Shopping, related categories in Google Books, Google News, related search items and even social media results. This means that paid ads are increasingly crowded out of the equation. While Bing is hardly focused solely on organic and paid search results, its display is still far simpler, increasing the chances that a user will click on text ads.
#1 – Less Competition – Perhaps because of Bing’s smaller market share, there are typically 20-30% fewer paid search competitors on each SERP compared to Google. Less competition nearly always equates to higher conversion rates in paid search. Time will tell whether the conversion needle will move as Bing’s merger with Yahoo is completed later this year. It’s a no-brainer that many existing Yahoo advertisers will be folded into the Bing model, bringing a much larger market share along with increased competition. With luck, Bing will keep its SERPS stripped down and reasonably free of clutter.