Let’s face it, in search, Google is King. And they have been for a while. But finally, after Yahoo and Bing struck a deal to work together last year, a Queen has been crowned in search engine land. Microsoft AdCenter is now a viable play for every serious search marketer and a great way to increase a brand’s share of voice across the web. But it wasn’t always so. For years search marketers paid less attention to advertising on (now)Bing and Yahoo than they did on Google’s AdWords. Usually, marketers who could meet their traffic needs with Google alone would skip Yahoo and Bing. Clunky UI’s, inept editing tools and small market shares just made the time spent outside of Google AdWords not worth the effort for some. If this is you, it might be time to give things a closer look. You might just find that Bing is better than ever.
Here are some of the reasons why:
- Larger Market Share
AdCenter now reaches nearly 30% of all web searchers. With numbers like that it’s important for marketers to have a strong presence for their brands on Bing and Yahoo. And remember marketers, not everybody is using Chrome and Firefox like you are. Yahoo and Bing especially, benefit from being default search engines in web browsers, tool bars, and mobile devices all bundled on the latest laptops through Office and Windows.
- Greater Control
The alliance between Bing and Yahoo gives marketers a chance to manage both networks now through one UI, Microsoft AdCenter. This helps marketers by reducing resources previously used across three separate networks. With AdCenter, the functionality has been updated to make working in the UI easier than ever before. Microsoft does offer an offline editing tool, AdCenter Desktop, but larger campaign managers may find this tool’s power, or lack thereof, a bit frustrating. I’d love to see this upgraded to the quality of Google’s AdWords Editor. I think this is the Achilles heel at the moment for this network.
Like Google, AdCenter has implemented a quality score rating. Where Google uses a scale of 1-10, AdCenter uses a 1-3 rating system. The basic premise is the same, provide the user with a quality experience, including ad copy and landing page relevancy, load times, and various other factors. It’s now more important than ever to start campaigns off right and watch them closely while new keywords and ads establish themselves in the network.
Device usage is huge and, according to most blogs out there, web searches on mobile devices should be eclipsing web searches on computers any day now. It’s important to maximize the growing market share AdCenter offers on mobile devices. Bing offers the ability to target smartphones, as well as feature phones. Tablets and other devices are part of the regular search option for now. Smart marketers should segment their campaigns for even greater control and flexibility. Here’s an example from an online retailer advertising on AdCenter’s mobile networks:
While both networks have aligned on search, which runs through AdCenter, Yahoo and Bing still compete for business in display. Yahoo display is more robust than Bing, but both offer you a chance to target the entire network or select specific categories or domains. Good marketers understand the value display can add to the overall marketing mix. Display ads help increase brand awareness and drive users to search for your brand. If users don’t click on your display you don’t pay. If you look at it as really cheap impressions, it’s essentially free marketing. Why wouldn’t you do it?
- Good Service
I think for the most part, the service is pretty good at YaBing, especially the Yahoo rep I’ve worked with for the last several years. Because of the clunky UI and unpopular editing tools, I rely on the network reps to handle large tasks for me. Save your own resources for things that are more important to your brand, like your overall strategy and subsequent micro-strategies. Push those large uploads and bulk edit tasks to your reps, that’s what they’re there for.
If you’re not extending and maximizing your brand’s digital footprint, then what are you doing? If you’re not using AdCenter, now is a great time to start doing so. Take advantage of the increased market share and traffic quality that AdCenter offers now, segment your campaigns by devices for greater clarity and control, and branch out beyond just search into mobile and display. Your reps will be happy for the business and your brand will thank you for the exposure.