Google is everywhere online and it is easy to forget that it’s not the only search engine to consider in your ecommerce strategy.
You might be surprised to know that Bing is steadily growing its share of the global search market and now stands at 20%.
Microsoft is investing effort and resources into building Bing’s position as a major search option. This has included strategic partnerships with sites such as Gumtree and products such as Bing Shopping and Bing Ads.
Bing search is integrated into Microsoft ® Windows 10 and Xbox. In May last year, they offered a free upgrade to Windows 10 for Microsoft users, potentially extending Bing’s reach to 300 million active devices globally.
While Bing won’t be challenging Google’s 65% dominance of the search market very soon, it is establishing itself as a significant player with ambitions for the future.
Mobile and voice search
Many online brands are working hard to be closer to their mobile users. Making online searches really easy on mobile devices is a core part of many digital strategies. One way to achieve this is through voice searches, which are expected to be half of all searches by 2020.
Apple’s Siri is probably the best known and most used voice-driven ‘intelligent personal assistant’, responding to your commands and answering your questions. iOS, which runs Siri, has over 23% of the mobile and tablet market. What you might not know is that Bing now powers both Siri’s search function and iOS Spotlight for desktop searches.
Of course, Cortana, Microsoft’s equivalent to Siri, also uses Bing and around 25% of all Windows 10 searches are already voice searches.
Bing also powers Yahoo search and Amazon’s smart home speaker, Echo, which links to the Alexa home assistant. Uber’s global mapping project also uses Bing technology.
Alongside Bing’s partnerships with social platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter, Bing ranking will need to be a consideration in the future positioning of ecommerce websites.
Since so many websites focus only on Google, you can make sure your business is seen by the 30% of searchers using Bing or Yahoo. Including Bing in your marketing strategy can give you an advantage over your competitors and improve your access to potential customers.
Search engine optimisation
Will Bing affect your approach to search engine optimisation (SEO)? Good quality content and technical SEO will remain as important as ever, but here are some things to consider.
With the rise of voice search more natural and longer style questions that include ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ are now appearing more frequently. Longer, more specific key phrases with at least three words will improve performance.
Bing puts more emphasis on social media signals, so well positioned results tend to have a higher number of shares, likes and tweets. Users can also see whether their own social media contacts have recommended or rated the company or product included in the search. When searching for images they can also find related Pinterest boards.
Bing is also more likely to give higher ratings to pictures, videos and audio, while Google remains more focused on text-based content.
For local searches, Bing tends to show more small businesses, assuming the searcher wants the nearest results.
Bing Shopping Campaigns are not yet a rival to Google’s Product Listing. Growth was slow following its European launch in spring last year, but figures for the last quarter of 2016 showed a steady increase in traffic.
Bing has also embraced expanded text advertisements (ETAs) and currently has about 15% of the market.
For the time-being, one of the limiting factors is volume. Bing still only represents a fraction of searches, compared with the mighty Google. So, although pricing and the click through rate (CTR) are good, traffic will be limited. The solution is to use both Bing and Google together to optimise your online market coverage.
Get in touch with our marketing team to find out how you can add Bing to your ecommerce strategy.