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Despite all the fuss, all the hype and all the marketing, Bing’s emergence in the US has been more slow and steady than it has meteoric. The latest statistics, as reported on WebProNews, indicate that it only had a 0.4% increase in queries during June as compared to the 8% it achieved in May.
Earlier in the week we also discussed how there appears to be a growing conflict within the representational data for the search engines (Conflicting Messages on the Growth of Bing). Whilst some see Bing and Yahoo as close running partners, others suggest that Bing still lags some way behind both Yahoo and Google, a point emphasised in the aforementioned report.
This particular set of statistics is focussed solely on the US market and only includes search queries. Therefore it discounts other usage and data from the rest of the world. However, with industry experts widely predicting it would rise to between 10 and 11%, the increase to a meagre 8.4% might have some people at Microsoft wondering when the site will start converting.
Another Bing-related story to catch the eye was published by Search Engine Land. In research carried out by J.P. Morgan, it was discovered that the overwhelming reason people like Bing is because of the search results (top answer for 38.3% of those polled). So whilst much has been made of the improved aesthetics and usability of Bing, the bottom line for most is what appears on their SERPs.
If you view Bing and Google side by side, purely from a design standpoint, there’s no competition – Bing is the better looking search engine. But if people are using search engines just for the quality of their results, as this research clearly indicates that they are, then Bing face a far bigger challenge deposing Yahoo let alone Google.
Rebranding is never without its issues; however when even Microsoft can struggle to sway public opinion sufficiently, you start to appreciate the job Bong has ahead of it. I doubt there are many people who openly prefer the Live Search format. It was lifeless, unresponsive and rarely provided sites of the same relevancy as its rivals. Bing is a much, much better search engine. The results rival any provided by its competitors. The layout and interactivity is second to none. The media usage and general design are leagues ahead of Google’s.
However, clearly some are more reluctant than others to change over to it for good. Can the Microsoft marketing machine find a way of communicating to the masses and swaying public opinion sufficiently enough to make the huge strides needed to oust Yahoo permanently (ignoring Google for the time-being)? Well, only time will tell.
With the constantly evolving storyline of Bing’s emergence and its rise to prominence, I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if some new data was released showing that it had overtaken Yahoo in worldwide searches. Finite data appears to be difficult to come by, but all sources agree that Bing is still growing in popularity; so it isn’t all doom and gloom for Microsoft.
In today’s multichannel world, there are mountains of data which provide insights into how users have interacted with your business and their path to conversion (or non-conversion). It is important to understand performance with multichannel marketing, which can be achieved through attribution modelling. Attribution refers to assigning credit to something (a channel, touchpoint, etc.) for the role it played in the final conversion. An attribution model is a rule, or set of rules, that assigns this credit correctly to the right channel or touchpoint.
For a long time, Bing, the UK’s second-largest search engine, has been underappreciated and, in some instances, even ignored. Often regarded as the inferior search engine to market leader Google, Bing has historically struggled to appeal to many in the digital world. Most PPC analysts would give justified reasons for neglecting Bing for so long; these include the volume of traffic and the user experience just not matching up to Google. However, the validity of these assessments is now diminishing. Bing has grown and improved rapidly in the last couple of years; if you are not integrating it into your comprehensive digital marketing plan, you run the risk of missing out on a large portion of your chosen market and significant revenue.