How BING Can Impact Your Business’ Online Marketing Strategy

Posted by on June 22, 2009 in Internet Marketing, Marketing, SEO [ 9 Comments ]

bing logoThe numbers are in- both Statcounter and ComScore show Microsoft’s Bing search engine, launched two weeks ago, chipping away at the solid hold Google has long maintained on search engine traffic.  Within a week after it launched, Bing had jumped Yahoo! for the #2 spot, and caused Google’s market share to drop 6 points.  Granted, the drop was from 78% to 71.99%, but if early data is any indication, Bing could be poised to make even bigger gains as more users become familiar with its features.

So what does this all mean for the average business?  If you’re spending money on online marketing services, such as SEO (search engine optimization) services or PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, the fact that there’s a new search engine on the block is big news- and can mean some big changes in your online marketing strategy:

Time to make adjustments? Not so fast…

If your web traffic has gone a little haywire in the past few weeks, you’re not alone. But don’t make any quick decisions to change your site or find a new online marketing service just yet. As users switch to Bing-which uses different algorithmic variables to return results based on certain keywords and business segments- you may have seen a huge spike, or a huge dip, in web traffic.  Google also made adjustments to a few processes during the past few weeks.

Think about content.
Rumor has it that Bing rewards content-rich pages more heavily than other search engines.  As Bing becomes more popular, it may be a good idea to focus on finding more quality content for your site.  Most online marketing services can help you with this- if they don’t provide copywriting services, they might be able to recommend a source that does.

Think about links.
Microsoft search engines typically give more weight to internal (inbound) links, as opposed to Google, which purportedly values external links more.  If you have the ability to edit site content yourself, make sure all internal links are working correctly.  You can also enlist web designers or search engine optimization services to create internal links that make your site more navigable, increasing your search engine ranking in the process.

Be thorough.

Bing removes duplicate results from search engine pages- one of the initial complaints about the service is that some search results return a “low ranked” page- for example, rather than displaying your site’s homepage, a product page would be displayed.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that customers will see your homepage first, be blown away, and keep browsing.  They might just land on one of those other pages- you know, the ones you haven’t updated in a while.  Be thorough when you update information on your site.

Consider PPC.
As Bing becomes more popular, spending more on pay per click services might be good idea.  Microsoft typically produces a high return on investment for pay per click efforts.  Coupled with the highly qualified traffic Bing is predicted to generate, a PPC campaign might be looking like a better investment.  A skilled online marketing professional will be able to help you create the best PPC campaign for your goals.

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9 thoughts on “How BING Can Impact Your Business’ Online Marketing Strategy

  1. avatarKanny Paul


    I feel like there is a scarcity of good marketing today. Good marketing means which can convert the leads into sales. The only marketing that has moved me in the last couple of years is Social Media Optimization.

  2. avatarRebekah Donaldson

    Merrin – the stats here are great. And you’re a great writer. Thanks for an interesting piece.
    I respectfully disagree that “As Bing becomes more popular, spending more on pay per click services at might be good idea.” Forrester reported earlier this year that more than half of all ad dollars are spent on paid search now… but few campaigns are optimized for conversions and actively managed.

    I believe CMOs have lost a lot of sleep over this very point. For quite good reasons, they’re not comfortable insisting to their CEOs that, because more prospects have clicked more of their ads, their advertising is working. CEOs, they know, can’t miss it when advertising really works.

  3. avatarMatt Walker

    Rebekah – you make some good points. There is too much money blindly spent on PPC advertising without accounting for conversion. Many people think that they can just throw dollars at a PPC campaign and the sales will come. We all know that this isn’t true. Too many times companies/individuals ignore the on-page factors (structure, calls to action) as a way to stretch their marketing dollar.

    PPC costs have skyrocketed over the years and a campaign must be actively managed for conversions in order to show a positive ROI. With that said, I do think that in many cases people can justify spending more on their PPC campaign…especially if it’s working for them. I think that a solid PPC campaign combined w/ proper SEO can be an extremely powerful, and valuable, marketing tool. has yet to demonstrate (to me) that it’s a valuable PPC platform…if it’s anything like MSN/Live was, then it will definitely be valuable to a certain sector of businesses.

  4. avatarMatt Commins

    I also agree a lot of PPC advertising dollars are spent with both eyes covered. Among the big 3 search engines, MSN produces the lowest amount of traffic which leads to MSN being overlooked by a lot of PPC marketers. That is a big mistake. Quite often MSN can bring more qualified leads at a lower cost than Google and Yahoo.

    Many times SEO and PPC are seen as separate entities with individual strategies and goals. However, combing SEO and PPC strategies such as keyword mapping and landing page optimization, can bring the most qualified traffic and the highest return for your business.

    Time will tell if Bing can sustain the increased traffic and conversion potential for PPC marketers.

  5. avatarMerrin Muxlow

    Both Matt and Rebekah are right- PPC has to be done right if it’s going to work, and clicks only yield sales if a PPC campaign is well managed. Given Microsoft’s track record, though, it appears that has some definite potential (stress, potential) as a PPC platform. This article (, though written a few years back, is pretty interesting- it breaks out sales-per-click and advertiser efficiency ratios for a specific sample of companies, and Microsoft does well- really well, in fact.

    To use an analogy, Microsoft’s PPC platform is like a great band that can sell out a local club, but doesn’t have the popularity (yet) to sell out a big stadium. With Bing, Microsoft is pulling out all the stops (expensive ad campaign, etc.) to lure the crowds. In my opinion, the success of Bing as a PPC platform really depends on how effective these efforts are at generating much needed traffic.

  6. avatarGilberto Galea

    One reality in any search schemes marketing sites, with good quality content you’re rewards, not only by traffic. May be you received a lot of traffic by several search engines or PPC, but if you don’t have a good convertion strategy, you fail. About Bing, the impact over the market is to soon to speculate, now if you see the statcounters ( ), you appreciate that yahoo recover his #2 position in this week. That you wrote, just be alert, and there’re only big true, google still leader of this market. If you try to get more traffic by search engines don’t let out google.

  7. avatarEllisa Brenneman

    The Microsoft adCenter interface is much more logical and easier to use then both Yahoo’s and Google’s. We are currently experimenting with our new PPC campaign and SEO strategy with Bing and are anxious to see what the results will be. Hopefully the Google dominated playing field will be leveled a bit and overall marketing costs for my company and my clients’ companies will become lower. Time will tell and I’m rooting for Bing.

    Great article. Very helpful.

    Ellisa Brenneman

  8. avatarMerrin Muxlow Post author

    @Gilberto: I also noticed that Bing’s traffic dipped after the initial rollout- I’m wondering if the other search engines are picking up their game in response (I know Google made several changes in anticipation of Bing’s unveiling) or if word of mouth is spreading about Bing and that’s what is causing the drop in traffic. I agree with Ellisa, still too early to tell…

  9. avatarSan Diego Web Designer

    I have found that bing’s algorithm really mirrors googles serps results, which is pretty much duplicitous. Yahoo seems to have gone out on a limb and renders results that are anomalous to G and Bing

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