Once you control your brand reputation by dominating the entire first page of Google, what's next?
True online reputation management requires an understanding of a complex ecosystem of sites where users can potentially interact with your brand. This includes search engines, social media platforms, local search platforms (Yelp), and business accreditation sites (think BBB or Bizrate).
Owning the first page of Google is a great first step to a successful reputation management campaign; however, Google isn't the only game in town. Next up, you'll want to monopolize your brand real estate on the entire first page of Bing. Here's how to do it.
According to the May comScore rankings, Bing is second to Google in market share with 17.4 percent. This is up 13 percent compared to May 2012.
Microsoft has money (duh) and is spending it successfully to market Bing. Recently Apple announced that Bing will be the "default search engine" for Siri. According to Microsoft this feature will work as follows:
When users ask Siri a question either the specific answer or web search links will now be delivered automatically so users can find information even faster.
Aggressive marketing and business decisions leading to increased market share are one reason to focus on Bing. Another is their unique demographics. According to Alexa, users age 45-65+ are over representing on Bing as compared with Google. This same age demographic is also the fastest growing on Facebook.
What does it all mean? If you're trying to market to seniors you need to start paying attention to Bing.
As with Google, dominating the first page of Bing requires an understanding of how data is displayed on their SERP and how to take advantage.
Bing is slightly behind the times when it comes to paid search extensions for advertisers. Although they don't have as many features as Google, there is still plenty of opportunity to increase the visibility and size of your paid search listings.
Make sure you're utilizing the following features when buying ads on Bing:
- Enhanced site link extensions
- Call extensions
- Locations extensions
- RAIS – Rich Ads in Search
Note that recently Bing started adding company logos by default. This feature used to only be available through RAIS. As of now there isn't an official name for this feature.
Bing Image Search
Those who've watched TV over the past few months have undoubtedly seen Microsoft's "Bing It On" campaign. If you watch these commercials the users will always choose the SERP that includes more images.
Bing is going "all in" on images and isn't showing any signs of slowing down. On July 1st Microsoft announced an upgrade to their image search allowing users to browse images by usage rights.
Ranking images on Bing is fairly easy. Make sure your target keywords are included in the file name and alt tag of each image. Internal and external links to the target image also help tremendously.
Bing Places for Business
As Josh McCoy alluded to last month, Bing Places for Business is releasing various upgrades that will make it a better option than Google+ Local. Similar to Google, Bing heavily incorporates local/maps into their search results. Make sure you have verified locations and optimize listings within your feed.
The review system on Bing is powered by Yelp. Managing your location on Yelp and soliciting reviews (positive or negative) will help increase your maps rankings for non-brand terms.
Remember to take advantage of features commonly not available on Google+ Local. Bing provides business owners the ability to display images within maps as well as provide custom URLs to send additional traffic.
See the example below. Home Depot has images attached to their listing and, more importantly, a "Shop Online Sales" link.
Having a reputable, active Twitter account is essential to fully monopolizing your brand real estate on Bing. Branded Twitter account info, categorically relevant Klout scores, and recent tweets are all features on the right rail for brand searches.
This is a key area that differentiates Google from Bing. While Google only features their own products, Bing incorporates both Twitter and Facebook.
One of Microsoft's key initiatives in its never ending quest to compete with Google was the integration of Facebook into the Bing search platform. Currently you have to be logged into Facebook andallow Bing to access your information in order to get the full experience.
Once the user opts in, they will see a variety of their friends mentioning the brand they are searching for. On top of taking up additional real estate and increasing the user's interest in the brand, this feature also ensure users will see more organic results on the first page of Bing.
Without Facebook fully integrated, Bing serves up between 4-10 organic listings for most brand terms. With Facebook enabled, Bing will add additional listings based on the number of your Facebook friends mentioning the brand term. This can increase the number of listings on the first page to 20+ depending on the brands reach within your social graph.
The final stage of dominating the first page of Bing is organic search. The majority of the listings on page 1 are organic. Keep in mind that images, maps, social, all decrease the click-through rate (CTR) of these positions.
Bing's organic algorithm is significantly different compared to Google. This gap has grown rapidly over the past few months and will continue as Google continues to aggressively change its algorithm.
Take yourself back to optimizing for Google two years ago. This is exactly how to rank in Bing today.
Don't remember, or new to organic search? The formula isn't nearly as complicated as it is today.
The core of Bing's algorithm is built around acquiring high authority, relevant links with keyword optimized anchor text. None of the recent rules around Google come into play.
The more quality links with related keyword anchor texts, the better. Keep in mind the linking pages must be relevant. The domain doesn't have to be relevant, just the page.
Exact match domains work incredibly well. In addition, the title tag of the linking page is incredibly influential.
It's important to remember that Bing indexes pages at a much slower rate compared with Google ever since the release of Caffeine. Don't expect to see rankings change as quickly as they do in Google.
Understanding the relevance and importance of Bing to your target audience is important to any successful reputation management campaign. Most digital marketers are laser focused on Google. This obsession leaves the door wide open for savvy marketers to generate incredible results.
Focus on and optimize for the areas above and control the entire conversation around your brand on a search engine that's here to stay.