As the search advertising industry continues to evolve, the need to stay focused on delivering results at a quality, rapid pace has never been more evident. This is true whether you are an advertiser, ad agency, technology provider or platform.
While this may not be news, if you look closely, the center of this industry’s ecosystem is not just technology, but people. Here at Bing Ads, we remain consistently focused on customer feedback and on delivering an improved search advertising platform that makes it easier than ever for businesses to find the right audience.
Last year, we saw steady progress across the Bing Ads platform. We worked hard to demonstrate more agility and rigor in delivering on customer requests, while keeping CPCs stable. It became easier for our advertisers to zero in on their customers, and volume increased. In 2015 we will continue on that path, placing our customers at the center and remaining laser-focused on providing the experiences and controls that allow our customers to meet their advertising goals while returning value for the time they spend on our platform.
Listening to customers, delivering what they need
Looking back at 2014, the Bing Ads teams fully embraced the concept that an improved platform means more satisfied customers. By listening closely to the people who were working on search campaigns on a daily basis and by prioritizing their top requests, we reshaped Bing Ads from top to bottom – primarily based on your business needs and feedback.
In 2014, we delivered:
- Accessible data that is 700% faster – from 4 hours to less than an hour.
- An interface that is now more intuitive and up to 2 times faster, making it easier to get back to business.
- An improved Bing Ads Editor that is up to 2 to 3 times faster across various functionalities.
- The ability to understand key performance stats, insights and competitive landscape with Auction Insights.
In 2015, you can expect to see continued investments in:
- Platform speed and efficiencies, including additional inline campaign management capabilities and streamlined data accessibility.
- Enhanced targeting capabilities leveraging more audience based signals to target potential consumers.
- Enriching consumer engagement by augmenting search experiences, including application and other visual extensions.
- Richer campaign insights, with updates to tools like Auction Insights and Opportunities Tab.
- Ad formats that drive volume and enhance listings for a more mobile and experiential world.
Our customer-centric approach is not changing and we plan to continue on this trajectory of agile release cycles, making Bing Ads the platform that search marketers are asking for.
Effectively connecting customers to the right audiences
We know that connecting you to the right audiences, at the right time, is critical. Microsoft continues to invest in Bing as the intelligent fabric between products and services, enabling customers to reach people in their digital lives, at work, at home and on the go. Cortana, Windows and XBOX, along with our strategic partnership with Apple and Amazon, are key examples. While Bing Ads continues to innovate to deliver customers more opportunities – we do so without increasing prices relative to both Google and the industry.
As we have shared in this forum over the last 18 months, Bing Ads and the Yahoo Bing Network continue to deliver results. Industry reports continue to indicate positive growth, and it is our goal to maintain that momentum into this year. Here’s what the industry said about Bing Ads last quarter results (Q4 CY2014):
- Paid search spending rose 31% year-over-year, while Google paid search spending increased 19% year-over-year1. Bing Ads spending is outpacing the market and is an indicator of a healthy return on investment.
- For the sixth consecutive quarter, CPC rose less than 5%, coming in 3% higher year-over-year. Ad clicks increased 27%, the highest rate in the last year.1
- Yahoo Bing Network increased their share of SEM ad spend in the United States to 32%, a trend seen over the last five quarters.2
We don’t stop at just investing in the Yahoo Bing Network’s marketplace. Both Microsoft and Yahoo continue forging and deepening key partnerships to bring you more value:
- Bing Ads mobile volume has benefitted from recent deals to provide mobile search ads to eBay beginning in late Q2 2014.1
- Yahoo became the default search option for Firefox in December 2014, and will increase paid search share over time.1
Moreover, we understand that delivering quality, relevant audiences means more purchases, more engagement and more return on your investment. Quarter over quarter, the Yahoo Bing Network continues to deliver an audience that has a higher propensity to spend online, with searchers who spend 26% more than the average Internet searcher in the U.S.
Customers often tell us that more search volume and scalability is critical to growing their business. While mobile continues to be an area of rapid and steady growth, we are pleased to report that the Yahoo Bing Network’s search and click volumes from smart phone users have more than doubled year-over-year. Click volumes have generally outpaced growth in search volume – demonstrating the high degree of consumer engagement and relevance of mobile ads on the Yahoo Bing Network.
In 2014, Bing Ads released new extensions, mobile product ads and Universal Event Tracking to enable the best mobile return on investment. We anticipate more growth and opportunity in mobile, and will continue to be laser-focused on where and how we invest in new ad products and targeting capabilities to ensure your mobile investments realize their fullest potential.
2015: Search as a platform and experience
As we begin 2015, the team at Bing Ads looks forward to working hand-in-hand with you, our customers. Your continued partnership will help ensure that we are building the online search advertising platform of the future, one that ultimately provides advertisers with the best experience and return on investment in the industry.
1 RKG, Digital Marketing Report, Q4 2014
2 Adobe, Global Digital Advertising Report, Q4 2014