It should come as no surprise that MSN’s new search engine, Bing has created a rivalry with Google. On July 29, 2009, MSN declared that they will be merging with Yahoo; this merger will give Bing a much larger share of the search engine market.
Since MSN’s rebranding as Bing, it has reportedly spent $100 million in advertising across multiple platforms including, television networks promotions, television commercials, online entertainment mediums and many more. According to eWeek.com, this additional exposure helped Bing boost its search engine share to 9.6 percent in August; however September’s search engine volume share fell sharply to 8.5 percent.
Bing continues to brand itself as a ‘decision engine,’ not just another search provider; its goal is to prevent searchers from ‘search overload’ as with other engines. Bing’s new interface is equipped with tools and a new layout to differentiate itself from the old MSN Live interface. Whether these new features alone are enough to give Google a run for its money remains to be seen. However, with the merger, Yahoo will give Bing a larger portion of the search market; making it second only to Google.
According to PC World, the battle between Bing and Google is starting to heat up on Facebook and Twitter. Google recently announced it plans to launch its social search platform as well as the ability for searchers to stream live music within their search engine. Google’s new music feature will allow users to eventually purchase songs from large music moguls such as Apple’s iTunes with just a few clicks. Only a short while later, Bing fired back saying that they will be working with Facebook to incorporate profile status updates within Bing search results. Although, Facebook claims that ‘no money has changed hands’ concerning the deal.
Even though the Yahoo/Bing merger has not yet been completed, it is apparent that Bing is making strides to capture and retain internet searchers. The battle is on. Who will win? Only time will tell.
So you’ve launched your Google campaign and you see that you are getting tons of impressions for your keywords, but no clicks. When you take a look at your keywords you see that Google recommends a higher first page bid estimate than what you are currently bidding. This estimate is higher than your bids for other keywords, but a particular term is very targeted and important to your campaign. It’s time to make a decision. What do you do? Increase your bid.
On the Keyword Analysis tab within the Google Adword’s interface there is a metric labeled “Estimated bid to show on the first page”. This metric is also called the first page bid estimate and it approximates the cost-per-click (CPC) bid needed for your ad to reach the first page of Google’s search results. The estimate is based on your Google Quality Score and current advertiser competition for that particular keyword.
Meeting your first page bid is not a guarantee of placement. Ad placement will still be dependent on Quality Score, your cost-per-click (CPC) bid, your budget, account settings, and user and advertiser behavior.
A common misconception about increasing cost-per-click (CPC) bids is that it would instantaneously eat away at your budget. Although this may seem apparent, it’s not always true. Depending on your keyword’s potential to result into a conversion; the return on investment should be evaluated, therefore increasing the cost-per-click bid if needed accordingly.
Lastly, while increasing your cost-per-click bids, remember that Google sets daily spending budgets for each campaign. As long as you set a realistic budget, the increase in cost-per-click cost should not eat away at your ad budget.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is and always has been a core competency of MoreVisibility. We have been advising companies’ for ten years how to make their sites more SEO friendly. That being said, it is also imperative not to forget the importance of ensuring that your site is User Friendly.
When was the last time you looked at your site from a visitor’s perspective? We all get busy with day to day nuances and before you know it, a year has passed since you completed a thorough review from the standpoint of a user. I encourage you to take the time to visit your site and go through it page by page. Really read through your content; does it read the way you want it to or should it be updated? Are there new offerings that should be included? Perhaps different or updated calls to action would be appropriate?
Important items to take note of:
Make sure your pages load quickly and without errors. Did you know that Google will penalize you if your pages have slow load times? In other words, if an advertiser’s landing page loads slowly once an ad is clicked on, the ad position and minimum bid for keywords will be affected, as will your Quality Score.
Is your site easy to navigate? Think like a customer; make it seamless for your visitors to maneuver through your site and find exactly what they are looking for. For example, if they click on “Newsletter Signup”, you will want to ensure this brings them to a simple and user friendly form to complete.
Does your site have clear calls to action? What is it that you want your visitors to do? Here are some examples of calls to action that are clear and to the point: Call Now, Act Now, Click Here, Enter Coupon Code for Discount, Enter Your Email Address, etc.
Remember, your website is a representation of you. Make sure it says exactly what you want it to say.