Today I had the great privilege of meeting with Bing Director Stefan Weitz and local search marketers here in Raleigh, NC. There was a consensus that Bing had a better conversion rate - by far. But there's a couple things still holding search marketers back: volume, adCenter, and agency relations.
The volume of traffic sent by Bing is just so small compared to Google and Yahoo! Anyone who follows the search industry understands why. Google gets a majority of the searches. It's clear that marketers want more traffic from Bing, especially if the conversion rate can remain higher.
If that happens, Bing would do well to overhaul adCenter. SEMs do not like it. What they really want is the best of Google and the best of Yahoo! Even though the new deal with Yahoo! has adCenter as the paid search platform, hopefully Bing will integrate the goods from Yahoo! to make things easier on SEMs.
Another thing Bing needs to do is communicate more with SEMs. Google and Yahoo! reps contact search marketers frequently, but adCenter is just crickets. However, when you're not bringing in as much money as Google and Yahoo! (at least on the search front), it's harder to staff up with account reps. It's your classic catch-22, chicken and egg situation.
The disparity between ad spend on Google and ad spend on Bing seems disproportionate to the difference in market share between the two. This should not be, especially when Bing's conversion rates are higher.
As Frank Watson pointed out today in his expert column, part of this lies on search marketers. If you're getting higher conversion rates but fail to advertise because you don't like a platform, then you're leaving money on the table.
What are you seeing in terms of conversion rates and Bing? Tell us your Bing stories in the comments below.