PPC Advertising Battle: AdWords Vs adCenter

May 17th, 2012 by Justin Miller

Everyone knows that Google is king of search. But when it comes to Paid Search Advertising (PPC), is going with the Google always the best option? Although Bing and Yahoo combined do not compare to Google’s daily search volume, their paid advertising via Microsoft adCenter might be a cheaper alternative that could generate a higher ROI for you.

Round 1 of the PPC Advertising Battle: Stats & Metrics

From my experience, there seems to be less competition and therefore cheaper prices (CPC) on adCenter. Below is a snapshot look into a client’s account on adCenter.

As you can see, they had an almost 2% CTR, an Average Position within the top 2-3 spots, a CPC below $1.00, and a CPA under $20.00. Now let’s compare those performance metrics to the same time period on Google AdWords.

Stats are taken for the same Date Range from Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter.

As expected, Google AdWords brought in more traffic, and therefore more conversions (7 more to be exact). However, each Click cost $0.71 ($0.07 more) and each Conversion cost $26.26 (almost $10 more.)

Round 2 of the PPC Advertising Battle: ROI

If, for example, we assume the value of each conversion is $50 each, which PPC Account has a better ROI? Microsoft adCenter is showing a Cost of $583.10 (CPA $16.66 x 35 Conversions) with a returning Value of $1750 (35 Conversions x $50 value per Conversion). That results in an ROI of $1166.90 ($1750 Value – $583.10 Cost).

Keeping the same assumption of a $50 value per Conversion, Google AdWords earned a returning value of $2100 (42 Conversions x $50 Value), but had a cost of $1102.92 (Cost/Conv. $26.26 x 42 Conversions). With that said, the ROI for Google AdWords was $997.08 ($2100 Value – $1102.92 Cost.)

In this particular case, although Google AdWords earned a 90.4% ROI ($997.08), it was trumped by Microsoft adCenter, which earned an incredible 199.9% ROI ($1166.90).

Google AdWords Vs Microsoft Adverting Battle Re-cap

Microsoft adCenter did well in Round 1 with maintaining a good CTR (almost 2%) and generating 35 Conversions. However, Google was able to out muscle Microsoft, with more than double the CTR (above 4%) as well as an additional 7 Conversions (42 in total.)

In Round 2, Microsoft adCenter came out swinging with it lower CPC and CPA (or Cost/Conversion). After multiplying the incremental costs out, it turned out to be too much for Google. Bing Ads was able to pull out the victory with a very impressive ROI of over $1,000.

If you run similar or identical campaigns on both Google AdWords & Microsoft adCenter, let us know which is performing better. Does your paid search advertising battle end the same way this one did with Microsoft earning the higher ROI?

Justin Miller is the Search Manager for DMG. He does everything from research, account creation, campaign management, and reporting to improve clients’ Pay per Click (PPC) advertising and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). With separate accreditations in Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and Bing Ads, Justin has been helping companies increase awareness, website traffic, as well as conversions (sales, sign-up, registrations, etc.) through Search.

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