June 27th, 2012 by Shawn Kerr
Internet Marketing on Bing: What should be your strategy be with recent announcements about Xbox & Facebook?
Bing now regularly edges out Yahoo as the second most used search engine and the overall trend indicates that it will continue to eat away at Yahoo’s share of the search pie.
Thus far, Bing has not been able to take a substantial bite out of Google’s market share, but has instead taken bites out of every other search provider (swallowing some almost whole). As Bing now controls the back-end of Yahoo search, search marketers tend to lump them together as Microsoft when talking about market share. Doing so gives Microsoft about half the market share of Google and that remained fairly consistent as we head into summer of this year. Even so, Microsoft reported a $2.6 billion loss in its online services division in the last fiscal year.
But there are changes coming that could help Bing finally bite into Google’s dominant share of the pie. In this article, you will learn about two major changes and what you should do to ensure that your search marketing efforts on Bing will benefit from its increased use.
The Facebook Factor
Bing search results were first integrated into Facebook in 2010. Since then, Bing has continued to strengthen their presence in the social media juggernaut and vice versa in a concerted effort to battle Google.
Last month, Microsoft announced upcoming improvements to Bing, which include a social media component to organic search results. For example, if logged you into Facebook via Bing and searched for “best bed and breakfast in Wisconsin Dells” you might get results with pictures of Facebook Friends who have shared content about Wisconsin Dells before on Facebook, whether by liking a page about the area on Facebook, posting photos from a previous Wisconsin Dells vacation or a number of other factors.
This move mirrors Google’s integration of Google+ social media posts into organic search results with Google Search Plus Your World, but also allows for users to ask questions directly to the friends in the search results without having to leave the search results page.
What You Should Do to Take Advantage of All This Bing & Facebook Coziness
These moves by the Bing-Facebook alliance means that your business’ Facebook presence is more important than ever. Fan engagement on Facebook is yet another way to get your business into Bing organic search results.
The Video Game Console Connection…and the Future of Television?
DOES + + = TROUBLE FOR GOOGLE?
At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) earlier this month Microsoft announced that it would start bundling Internet Explorer with Xbox 360 for Live Gold accounted and, naturally, the default search engine will be Bing. This move follows last year’s inclusion of Bing Voice Search on Xbox Live, which enabled users to search Comcast Xfinity on Demand, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Zune, and other programs. Both moves are prime examples of Microsoft’s aim to be a major player in the future of television.
The big question right now is what impact will this move have on Bing’s efforts at taking search engine business away from Google? The potential for a substantial impact is certainly there, as Internet Explorer for Xbox will put Bing’s search where Google currently does not have a major presence – the living room television. While Google TV struggles to find its footing, this move by Microsoft could give Bing the leg up.
You might not think that the Xbox demographic is one your business would target, but you might be surprised. Recent studies show that Xbox users with the highest average number of minutes of live and non-live daily play combined are women age 45-54. Yes, you read that right.
What It Takes to Be Competitive on Bing
When it comes to marketing your business via Bing the current watchword is “diversify” – which is the same message Google is sending as well. What this means is:
1) Be an active and effective social marketer as a business on Facebook, along with Twitter, Pinterest and your blog (yes, your blog has a social media component and you should be using it by posting content that will generate reader interest and comments).
2) Claim, fill out and maintain online listings. Your directory listings should be written with the target audience in mind and not simply duplicate content found elsewhere. For local business listings, use GetListed.org and make sure you regularly evaluate your paid online listings.
3) Don’t forget your website’s pages. Make sure your page’s titles, header 1 tags and meta descriptions are tailored
Use Free Products from Bing & Microsoft for an Organic Edge in Search
Diversification also means using Microsoft and Bing products and services effectively. Just as it is with Google, this is an unwritten and unspoken rule, but ignore it at your peril.
Make sure you’ve not only claimed, but also done what needed for basic optimization of your Bing Local listing.
Consider making Microsoft adCenter Cost-Per-Click (CPC) advertising an integral part of your search engine marketing efforts. Getting acquainted with this marketing tool now will ensure your ability to be competitive if and when it becomes even more of a necessity to be “seen” in targeted search queries.
Also consider adding Bing Webmaster Tools to your arsenal of web data collection tools so that you know the impressions, clicks and click-through-rate for keywords on Bing. Having this, along with Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, will help you further refine your website pages’ titles, header 1 tags, meta description and content keywords for optimal performance.