Bing offers a number of media features that are popular with users, including a video search option, an image search, and a preview video thumbnail setup. The homepage image itself has a number of hotspots scattered throughout it that link to information about the image. In addition, a number of features incorporating “instant” answers to queries on sports scores for a specific day, team, etc., math calculations, plane ticket prices, tracking information for package companies, and others. Features such as these may serve to build loyalty to Bing among users to whom easily accessed information on such matters is important. Likewise, verticals related to these feature changes (e.g., travel and shopping in particular) could well find that the increased traffic makes PPC ads worth investigating more fully than in the past. The travel engine located at www.bing.com/travel is particularly well-organized and presented.
Some enhancements that the debut of Bing has brought to the PPC table include a number of positive changes to the adCenter area. For one, the Microsoft Content Network is now live and out of beta, providing options that in the future will likely include small publishers (i.e., as Google does with its AdSense program). Also, there have been a number of changes to the adCenter Desktop tool, particularly for changing settings related to geotargeting, bid changes, and dayparting in a quick and easy-to-access manner. As well, the Ad Intelligence tool has been upgraded to help in monetizing keywords.
Bing has garnered a fair amount of attention and its share of search is slowly growing. How much of this is due to the newness of the search engine and people’s curiosity about it is difficult to measure. What is key to advertisers, however, is that there has never been a better time to give it a try if you aren’t already advertising there. With a lot of attention placed on Bing, your ads are likely to do better than ever during this phase. If Microsoft keeps up the pace with innovations such as its video search capabilities and if things progress smoothly with the integration of Yahoo! into the mix, Bing may finally have hit the nail on the head for Microsoft in its quest to challenge Google’s supremacy in all matters search.
- Clean & Easy to Understand User Interface; Similar to Google AdWords.
- Ability to manage several campaigns under one username, like the Google Client Center.
- Advanced & Cool Metrics; “view demand for each KW/KP, but then also break each of those into charts containing traffic trends (time), gender trends (M/F), and geographic stats (LA, San Diego, Paris, etc)”.
- Budget Estimator (Price Estimator) can be better but it is usable.
- Reports are awesome; “create reports on all types of data including dates, performance, targeting, and the neatest of all – by time ranges (AM/PM style!)”.
- Time Based Ad Delivery Options; “IE: Serve this ad for the following keywords in the “morning” only please”.
- Cost to set up an account, about $5 service fee, then PPC fees onward.
- $0.10 CPC minimum, but for some reasons, $0.05 bids can get through.
- Bidding works based on keyword phrase and the ad. You basically set a price by keyword phrase and ad. In addition, you can opt to increase your bid to reach a targeted audience, through “targeted bidding,” more often.
- “Targeted Bidding” is cool! It allows you to target based on “(1) Users in a specific geographic location (2) Users searching on specific days of the week or during a specific part of the day (3) Users of a specific gender or age”.
- Bing shares the Microsoft advantage over other search engines in its possession of a huge amount of personal and behavioral data through its various business units, including access to demographic info on millions of online users who have registered for a MSN.net Passport account and other Microsoft sources.
- ROI is reported to be good, despite the lower traffic volume.
- Strong in verticals such as financial, travel, and shopping.
- Traffic volume is much lower than Google, although this should improve, at least in the short term, as people explore the new features Bing has to offer.
- Change will keep this marketplace somewhat unpredictable as features are introduced and refined, so extra attention is needed to stay on top of positive, and negative, developments as they relate to your particular vertical and/or market.