Bing talks numbers; states case for hitching up two search wagons

Monday, March 31, 2014

While one company gobbles the lion's share of New Zealand’s $140 million search and directories market, the growing number of Kiwis using Bing search offers advertisers another sizeable audience – and in some cases better CPC and conversion rates, says Mi9.

Last January 598,000 Kiwis conducted a search on Bing (up 11 per cent – or 58,000 unique users per month – since Bing Ads launched in New Zealand last year in July) and of those, 60,000 searched only Bing.

It's a sizeable– online audience, and as competition for popular search terms squeezes budgets, more local agencies are sizing up Bing.

Mi9 New Zealand sales manager Ursula Mattar said simple economics had boosted Bing’s stock Down Under. "There are fewer advertisers on Bing, so competition for key search terms isn't as hot, and in many cases CPC rates are lower," she said. "Advertisers like the sound of that. But what really counts is conversion. And from the campaigns I've seen, Bing Ads performs just as well, if not better, than similar campaigns on the other popular search platform."

Mattar cited an independent worldwide comScore study of e-commerce sites, which indexed average spending of online shoppers by search platform. The results showed that the average Googler spent $139, whereas shoppers from Bing spent on average $238.

Justine Chevine – Director at digital agency Sandwich Consulting – said competition for popular search terms was driving CPC rates through the roof, and Bing, in some cases, offered a cheaper CPC rate and equal conversion. "Search works, so why not use both platforms," she said. "Bing has reached a useful size, and the smaller search volume often delivers better share of voice for paid search campaigns. Our clients are sold on this point."

Mattar conceded that making inroads into paid search was hard work, but Mi9 would continue its local push. "We want more local advertisers to realise that there's another audience – and a unique audience within. It's another place to reach people – and advertisers might save a few bucks in the process."

Mattar said Bing Ads includes a worldwide audience of over 476 million unique searchers, 85 million of whom according to Nielsen don’t use Google.

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