Google’s held a big lead over Bing/Yahoo in the SEM space for years. It has more available betas, granular reporting features, a more intuitive interface, etc. Tons of SEMs have tried and dismissed Bing advertising, but a new feature is good reason to try it (or try it again).
Bing recently rolled out a couple of slick, branding-friendly ad extensions that really make a difference and are not available in Google AdWords (yet). We’ll break down what they are, how they work, and why they might entice you to give Bing another shot.
Favicon, this nifty ad extension, should automatically be serving on your Bing search ads. The Favicon displays a thumbnail-size image company logo (image) to the left-side of your Bing search ads. This may not seem like a big deal, but it really helps for branding efforts and making your ads break through the clutter of the SERP. Here is a screen shot:
I’m sure you’ve seen the Google+ social annotation on Google search ads; this extension displays the total # of people following that company’s Google+ page. Like many other people, I rarely use Google+ unless it’s work-related, so this isn’t too exciting! Bing’s rolled out their own social annotation feature with Twitter. I think this is a better use of this feature with a more popular social media platform, the end goal being to entice more people to click on your ads. When I asked my dedicated Yahoo rep about this, they confirmed it should be serving automatically (like Favicon). Here is a screen shot:
Other new features
Bing also recently rolled out new reporting features, location targeting, and even its own version of a “dimensions” tab in the UI just like Google AdWords. Is Bing still playing catch-up for the most part? Yes, but they have definitely stepped up their game and now offer a few consumer-engaging features that Google isn’t.
Overall, it is best to have a mixed strategy and still spend more of your SEM budget on Google over Bing. But, make sure you’re not completely avoiding Bing / Yahoo or just setting aside a token budget. Make sure to check with customer service or your dedicated rep if the Favicon and Twitter social annotation aren’t serving on your ads today. They can help get that set up if you’re having any problems. Best of luck!