I’m not here to tell you Bing is the greatest thing ever, and I’m not here to tell you that, No, Bing is not a “Google Killer.” Lots of others have already weighed in on the topic and, as a search marketer, that’s not my worry.
As a search marketer, I’m only worried about campaign impact. And, as far as I can tell, campaign impact can only happen if people are searching (or is it deciding?) with Bing.
So, Will People Use Bing?
Based on Microsoft’s ad spend, I would imagine that, yes, People will most definitely come, at least over the next few weeks. On Wednesday night, I saw a Bing advertisement on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, and my wife (I swear, it was my wife), noticed one on So You Think You Can Dance? So it’s clear that Bing is not discriminating on the basis of gender, dancing ability, or intelligence. They’re welcoming all interested parties to Bing.
So then, What Should PPC Managers Do About Bing?
Well, the good thing is that there is no account or campaign migration necessary. Your AdCenter accounts remain your AdCenter accounts, and all of your ads and keywords that were running through Live Search will continue uninterrupted.
The bad thing is that AdCenter’s clumsy, difficult-to-navigate and prone-to-shutdowns user interface hasn’t changed either. Expect no great leaps forward in terms of ease of use as a marketer. Bing’s assistance in decision-making is strictly for the searcher, it would appear.
Well then, What Does Bing Mean in the Short Term?
If you have AdCenter accounts, expect to see more traffic to them. Expect to see impressions increase.
Bing’s impact might be more direct if you are an advertiser in the broad categories of travel, shopping, health, or local search. These four categories are the initial elements of Microsoft and Bing’s “decision” focus and, as such, you might find a more competitive advertising landscape than you did on Live Search. Additionally, because Bing is promoting itself as a place for answers related to these topics, expect the natural results to provide stiffer “competition” than they did previously. Click-through rates in these categories may see a decline, but you might also find searchers that are closer to a decision and, therefore, more likely to buy.
So then, really, What Does Bing Mean for Me?
Pay a bit more attention to AdCenter.
If you’re at all like me, at some point you exported your Google campaigns from AdWords Editor, you made the necessary tweaks to ads, you cut bids in half, you failed in six or eight or 22 upload efforts into AdCenter, you eventually completed the import (mostly manually, of course) and you’ve let the campaigns sit there.
So, really, pay just a bit more attention to your AdCenter accounts, and be prepared to be more dynamic in your management than you were forced to be previously.
As always, the marketer who makes the effort, and who makes the effort intelligently, will be the marketer who reaps the benefits.