Should you worry about other search engines besides Google, such as Microsoft’s Bing and Yahoo? The answer is often yes. I’ll explain why for both PPC search ads and organic search results.
I was in an online marketing session at a conference when someone in the audience asked “Should we worry about other search engines?” The speaker, supposedly an expert search marketer said no, it’s all about Google.
Below is the U.S. Share of Searches on Desktop Devices as of July 2016 (The numbers are very similar in Canada):
About 63% of searches take place on Google sites while Microsoft and Yahoo account for over 30% of the searches performed in the USA. However these numbers are for Desktop devices. The share of searches on mobile devices (mostly smart phones) is hugely different than desktop devices. Google does indeed own the lion’s share of mobile searches at over 90%. However you need to look at mobile device usage by market or on your own websites as it can vary widely. While traffic from mobile devices can be as much as 60% in the food/beverage market it’s much lower in most other markets. In most markets a significant number of searches do take place on Bing and Yahoo so it make sense to consider focusing on them for both organic search results and paid search advertising (Often referred to as SEM or PPC).
Traditional organic search results. For the most part, the steps you take to improve traditional organic search results (including onsite optimization, developing and promoting quality content and other steps to build incoming links to your web site) should have an effect on all three major search engines in North America (We won’t go into the ever changing Yahoo organic landscape which is in flux). For some good tips on improving organic search results see this 3-part article on Search Engine Land, Guide to Google ranking signals: http://bit.ly/serankings
Local Search Results. Local search results (the listings that are usually tied to a map. See the example below) are important for most small businesses including portable storage retailers. If you can get your business listed in the sample of businesses that Google, Bing, and Yahoo, each show in their main search results for some important search queries, such as “storage containers for sale” you’ll almost certainly increase the amount of business you get from those search engines. So make sure you verify and update your business’s local listings in each of the three search major engines. Then focus on improving the rankings of your local listings.
For some good tips on improving local search results organic ranking see Moz’s Local Learning center: https://moz.com/learn/local
Example of local search results tied to a map
Paid Search Listings (PPC Ads). When we run PPC search ads in Microsoft’s Bing PPC Network, which supplies many of the PPC ads seen on Yahoo too, we see from 10% to 25% of our clients’ PPC traffic coming from the Bing PPC network. That’s a substantial amount of additional people looking to buy or rent storage and shipping containers or trailers. On top of this the Cost Per Click charges are often significantly lower on Bing resulting in a much lower cost per lead, often less than half the cost of leads from Google PPC ads!
So, yes it does make sense to think about the other major search engines in North America. You should focus on both Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Yahoo for local search results in addition to Google.
For paid PPC search listings it makes sense to test Microsoft’s Bing PPC network if it looks like the additional business Bing may generate will result in a profit on top of the cost of running the Bing network. We usually ramp up Google’s PPC ads first for our clients. The we can roughly estimate the additional search traffic and leads that may be generated from the Bing PPC network as well as the approximate costs to help clients decide if they should test the Bing PPC network too.