Microsoft’s Bing Is Bringing It – So Far

Last week, I wondered in Search Engine Watch whether Microsoft’s new search engine Bing could really bring it for advertisers.  By “bring it,” I meant traffic.  Microsoft’s PPC program has historically been known to convert better than average for advertisers, but has also suffered from low traffic volume.

While it’s still too early to tell whether Bing will be a Google killer or even an improvement over Live.com, early results are encouraging for at least one of our adCenter PPC clients.

The client in question is in the travel vertical, an area in which Bing excels.  I analyzed visitors and conversions from the client’s Microsoft PPC campaign for the first 11 days of May, and compared that with data from to the first 11 days of June.  Their PPC campaigns were unchanged during this time as far as budget and strategy.

Hypothesis #1: Bing is all hype and no substance.  PPC advertisers won’t see a lift in clicks on their adCenter ads.

Result:  Growth in visitors for our client from Bing PPC is 25% higher than average for PPC.  This is no small feat:  a seasonal lift in traffic from May to June is normal for this client.  However, their adCenter campaign grew at a faster than average rate.  (Incidentally, their results aren’t an anomaly:  it’s been well-documented that Bing is seeing an increased share of search activity.)

Hypothesis #2: Bing is shiny and new, and people are clicking on any old thing just to see what they’ll get – so conversion rate will decrease.

Result: Bing/MSN’s traditionally-good conversion rate is continuing.  The client’s conversion rate from adCenter is 58% higher than average for PPC, and has actually increased since the Bing launch.  Conversion rate from the client’s other PPC campaigns is actually down slightly – indicating that Bing is bucking the trend.

Conclusion:  Is this proof that Bing’s a Google killer?  No.  Is it a good sign for overall client ROI? Absolutely.