More Bang From Bing?

Google dominates headlines and mind share in the marketing space with a seemingly endless parade of new services, and Microsoft’s Yahoo/Bing alternative gets little respect as a result. Perhaps it’s deserving of more, according to the Adobe Digital Index’s Q3 Digital Advertising Report.

Adobe decided to add search to what used to be its quarterly social media report and uncovered a revelation. Among all-important retail advertisers on the Web, Bing delivered by far the highest revenue per visit in the third quarter of a little more than $3. Google, by comparison, returned around $2.50 and Facebook less than $1.50. It’s not a new phenomenon, either. Bing delivered retailers a buck more per click-through than Google last year, as well.

“Bing does have a lot of cool widgets, like its airfare price hook-up tool. They’ve done some interesting things,” says Adobe Senior Analyst Joe Martin. “We’re telling marketers in search to look to maximize their Bing spend first, especially if they’re getting high quality traffic there. By looking at the revenue per visit, focus on the clientele giving you a better conversion rate.”

Martin points out that the search business, while seemingly mature, is still growing and evolving. Global ad spend in search was up 22% for the quarter, and while Google claimed most of that cash with a 70% share, that was a 1% dip from last year. Bing’s total ad revenue, meanwhile, increased by 39%. In the U.S., Google was up 3% while Bing rose 28%.

Bing exhibited a steeper climb in cost per click than Google, too, rising 12% to the search leader’s 4%. “It could be because of a little more competition for keywords in Bing due to the quality of its traffic,” Martin observes.

Bing commands a 30% share of search engine ad spend to Google’s 70%.

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