I was recently forwarded an article about the difference in paid search click-throughs on Google and those of Microsoft's Bing. The highlight: sponsored links attract about 80 percent more attention on Bing than they do on Google. And Microsoft search ads got 170 percent better click-through in June 2009 than they did in June 2008. The study and article talk about a number of reasons this might be the case.
But if we step back, we can look at this in a few different ways:
A great opportunity exists to understand that traffic. As someone within you organization responsible for the Web channel, hopefully you aren't over-focused on your click-throughs from campaigns or the raw number of people sent through. Instead, you should be more focused on traffic quality.
Dig in. Take time to understand what is happening and the potential opportunities to leverage the differences and possible changing trends. How can you take advantage of this shift? Are you looking at the difference in how people convert or behave on your site based on whether they come from organic or paid and from Google or Bing? Are you tailoring your messaging based on what you learn? These are all questions you should be asking yourself regardless of whether you think the difference between Bing and Google is just a short-term shift or a long-term trend.
Don't let yourself get caught focusing on just the click-throughs or assuming that all search traffic behaves the same on your site and that you can treat it the same. Look for ways to adjust, improve, and target messaging to lift the conversion of the traffic coming from those click throughs.
Shoot me a note or make a comment below about the differences you see between the traffic coming from Google and that from Bing, or how you're targeting your site messaging and experiences to those different audiences.
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As the Chief Performance Marketing Officer for POSSIBLE, Jason supports the agency's global Marketing Sciences and Media Services programs.
His primary role is to help POSSIBLE teams and clients use data to craft digital strategies that attract, convert, and retain customers - maximizing ongoing ROI across paid, earned, and owned channels. He believes that brands can better serve their customers by understanding audience behavior, and that messaging should be targeted to individual customers through the use of testing, behavioral targeting, and CRM initiatives.
Jason has written extensively about digital analytics, optimization and digital strategy, including an ongoing column at ClickZ.com. He is the co-author of "Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions," which is one of the leading texts in the field of digital analytics. His client roster includes Microsoft, Nike, Nokia, Dell, Ford, Sony, PayPal/eBay, P&G, Alcoa, Expedia, Mazda, Intel, and Motorola, and more. Jason is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars around the world ranging from the Cannes Lions, Adobe Omniture Summits, eMetrics, SES, ad:tech, BazaarVoice, and many other WPP events.
Follow him on Twitter @JasonBurby.