Amazon vs. search: Why you shouldn’t put too many eggs in one shopping basket

No matter where they’re located or what market they serve, retailers around the globe have questions about how consumers use search and Amazon.
At Bing (my employer), we’ve found that retailers — regardless of size — ask us about the same three things:

Where do consumers look for products online?
How do users behave differently on search vs. Amazon?
Can my search and Amazon channels benefit each other?

The answers are likely to surprise you.
The consumer decision journey looks incredibly complicated to us marketers with its interweaving between research, comparison, intent and transaction, but it feels far less complicated from the consumer point of view.
As consumers, we follow certain behavior patterns almost subconsciously:

If we have questions around what it is we need, or want more information before we make a selection, then it’s natural to turn to search.
If we know what we’re looking to buy, often we have a predefined preference for which retailer website to begin looking for it.

For many customers,

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After Windows 10 bump & Yahoo deal, Microsoft’s search revenue growth looks stagnant

Microsoft reported search advertising revenue increased 8 percent year over year, growing by $124 million, in its quarterly earnings report released Thursday.
Taking traffic acquisition costs (TAC) out of the equation, search advertising revenue was up 10 percent year over year in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2017.
The company said the bump in search revenue was the result of higher search volume and improved revenue per search on Bing.
That’s been the growth message for a year now, a switch after noting the “continued benefit from Windows 10 usage” for several quarters. However, Bing’s ad growth rate has now been stagnant for several quarters.
On the Q2 FY17 earnings call in January 2017, Microsoft CFO Amy Hood reminded investors that “total search revenue growth will slow now that we’ve passed the one year anniversary of our Yahoo deal and the associated change in revenue recognition.” (Bolding added.)
The two companies reworked their rocky search partnership in April

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Bing Ads retiring Campaign Planner in favor of Keyword Planner

Bing Ads will be shutting down Campaign Planner on July 26. The Keyword Planner is taking over.
Bing Ads launched its Campaign Planner tool with vertical benchmarks, trending and forecasting data, competitor performance and keyword suggestions in 2014. Almost exactly a year later, Bing Ads launched Keyword Planner in the US for keyword research, bid and budget estimating.
Keyword Planner now offers a lot that Campaign Planner did, and Bing Ads says it will continue to add new capabilities throughout the year. The vertical insights offered in Campaign Planner, for example, can be found under “Your product category” in Keyword Planner.

Keyword Planner is located under the Tools menu in the Bing Ads UI.
The post Bing Ads retiring Campaign Planner in favor of Keyword Planner appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Bing Ads piloting in-market & custom audience targeting

In-market and customer match audience targeting capabilities are coming to Bing Ads. Pilots for both features were announced Tuesday by Bing Ads General Manager Steve Sirich during a keynote conversation at SMX Advanced in Seattle.
In-market: The in-market audience pilot is running in the US only. In building in-market audience lists, Microsoft considers user purchase intent signals from Bing, MSN and other Microsoft properties. There are currently 14 in-market audiences, with more to come.
Advertisers can add in-market lists at the ad group level and apply bid adjustments. From the blog post:
Say you’re a travel site looking to target searchers who are ready to book a summer vacation. Bing Ads looks for people who are clicking on ads related to hotels and flights, searching for relevant vacation terms, or checking out hotel reviews, for example, and predicts whether these users are ready to buy.
That advertiser could then target the Travel & Tourism/Accommodations list.
Custom audiences: The custom audience pilot is global. The caveat is that

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Bing Ads Editor gets Review Extension support, better keyword import & more

A slew of helpful new changes have made their way into Bing Ads Editor’s new release, version v11.10. The changes enhance functionality, add features and alleviate issues within the Bing platform.
Support of Review Extensions
Thankfully, the new version of Bing Ads Editor supports Review Extensions and will be a godsend for paid search managers everywhere. No longer will advertisers be relegated to the web version for review extensions. The upgrade will allow for managing of the third-party reviews, along with implementing shared Review Extensions that can be added to multiple campaigns and ad groups.

Reviews will now be able to be easily copied/pasted, edited or associated between accounts. Advertisers will also be able to see columns within Ads Editor that show the associated campaigns and ad groups to help with insight and troubleshooting.
Smarter keyword import
One of the more annoying complications with Bing Ads Editor has been the inability for the software to differentiate between match types on a keyword list

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Bing Ads Editor now supports Enhanced CPC, exports to create expanded text ads

The latest version of Bing Ads Editor is out. Version 11.9 offers support for Enhanced CPC bidding and the ability to export standard text ads to a spreadsheet formatted for enhanced text ads.
If you’re not importing expanded text ads from AdWords, you can convert Bing Ads standard text ads to enhanced text ads (ETA) via Editor by selecting “Export as expanded text ads” from the Export tab in the Ads view. You’ll need to manually add a column titled “Title Part 2” to the Excel sheet. Once you update the ads to fit the ETA framework, import them back into Bing Ads Editor as Expanded Text Ads.

At the ad group or keyword level, you can select Enhanced CPC from the Bid Strategy drop-down in Editor instead of Manual CPC. Enhanced CPC adds an element of dynamic bidding in which bids may be increased automatically by up to 30 percent higher for searches deemed more likely to convert and up to

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Report: Google earns 78% of $36.7B US search ad revenues, soon to be 80%

Google’s domination of the US search ad market isn’t letting up. Thanks to mobile in particular, Google will take 77.8 percent of US search ad revenues this year. By next year, for every dollar spent on search advertising in the US, an even eight dimes will go to Google. The remaining 20 cents will be split up among Microsoft, Yahoo, Yelp, Amazon, Ask and AOL, according to eMarketer’s latest report on the US digital ad market.
“Google’s dominance in search, especially mobile search, is largely coming from the growing tendency of consumers to turn to their smartphones to look up everything from the details of a product to directions,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Monica Peart. “Google and mobile search as a whole will continue to benefit from this behavioral shift.”
Overall, search spending in the US is expected to increase 24 percent over the next three years, from $36.69 billion in 2017 to $45.63 billion in 2019.
Microsoft’s US search ad

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The value of search across the modern consumer decision journey

As disruptive technologies reshape the digital marketing landscape, advertisers are scrambling to stay relevant and top of mind with consumers. In this shifting landscape, paid search continues to evolve outside of the traditional search format as an omnipresent influencer throughout the entire consumer decision journey.
For years, search marketers have obsessed over bottom-of-the-funnel activity for its seemingly higher CTRs and conversion rates, in part fueled by last-click attribution. I’ve certainly been guilty of obsessing about conversions and bottom-of-the-funnel tactics, because they would win me incremental search budget in the future.
But most marketers today agree that it is essential for a brand to appear at all stages of the funnel — and thanks to some new findings from the Bing Ads research team, we now have even more visibility and hard data to show how paid search is driving brand affinity and recall across the decision journey.
Deconstructing modern decision journeys & query paths
In many ways, today’s search marketers must unlearn

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Bing rejected 130M ads in 2016, including 17M tech support scam ads

Bing Ads released its report on actions it took to keep malicious and misleading ads and advertisers off the search results in 2016. Its systems rejected 130 million ads (fewer than the 250 million were rejected in 2015) and banned 175,000 advertisers (more than the 150,000 banned the prior year).
Phishing ads, ads promoting tech support scams and counterfiet goods continued to be areas in which Bing continued to battle bad actors. More than 7,000 sites were blocked for potential phishing attacks, and a million ads were blocked for hocking counterfeit items. Bing Ads banned third-party tech support advertisers altogether last year after finding it difficult to weed out the good from the bad. Its systems blocked more than 17 million tech support scam ads in 2016.

Bing added a software download policy for ads and says it “ramped up systems that detect browser hijacking ads, phishing attempts, scareware ads, ads targeting the most common sites on the internet, and

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Commercial success: 3 last-minute PPC tips to pump up the effectiveness of Super Bowl LI TV ad buys

Ah, Super Bowl Sunday. There is no bigger day for football — or advertisers. And whether they’re on their couch or at a neighborhood watering hole, fans of both will be tuning in to Super Bowl LI in droves.
Sure, Super Bowl Sunday is about football. But the commercials share the spotlight. In fact, many Super Bowl viewers say they watch the game specifically for the commercials. Some (like me) skip the game entirely and just watch the commercials.
As we know, commercials can be the most memorable part of the big game, with water cooler talk continuing long after the last touchdown. It’s no wonder that brands spend an absolute fortune on them.
If you’re a brand that invested in TV for this year’s Super Bowl, how can you make the most of your TV spend? And what if your brand didn’t spend big for TV? How can you still benefit?
Read on for three tips to make the most out

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