Bing Offers More Clicks and Conversions for Smaller Costs

According to WebVisible

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Bing topped Google in terms of value delivered to small business customers advertising through Microsoft’s search/decision engine in the first quarter of 2010, according to a Software as a Service (SaaS) company dealing with local online advertising. WebVisible offered an insight into the share of search spending among its small business customers in the State of Small Business Online Advertising Q1 2010 report released earlier this week. In the multifaceted search engine measuring contest, query volume is only a single aspect by which Bing, Google and Yahoo are compared, with the share of spending on search engine advertising offering a perspective over how successfully monetized Internet search services are.

Because of its dominance on the search engine market, Google also owns the lion’s share of ad spending. However, according to WebVisible CEO Kirsten Mangers, Bing brings to the table the highest click-through rates for costs that are inferior to those of its Mountain View-based search rival.

The conclusions in the State of Small Business Online Advertising Q1 2010 report are based on data gathered from over 12,000 individual advertisers in the first few months of 2010. The statistics harvested from the WebVisible Geneva Technology Platform designed to help small business advertisers manage online advertising programs, indicate that over $23 million were spent by the company’s customers in US on ads through search engines in Q1 2010.

“The average small business advertiser spent $2,201 on search advertising with WebVisible in Q1 2010,” the report noted. While the figure is only a 2.4% growth compared to the last quarter of 2009, it also represents a 91% increase over the same period of the past year. In fact, search spending is on a growing trend year over year (YoY), up 111% in Q4 2009 and 91% in Q3 2009.

Statistics offered by WebVisible reveal that Bing accounted for 11.3% of search spending in Q1 2010, a 10% increase over the previous quarter. Google’s share also got a small boost, of 3%, to 60.3% from 56.1% in Q4 2009. In contrast, Yahoo saw its spending share drop by no less than 9% to 25.6%, as small businesses chose to advertise with Google and Bing, in the detriment of other search engines.

“Click-Through Rates (CTR) continued its steady YoY improvement in Q1 2010 with Google’s CTR up 29%, Yahoo!’s CTR up 138%, and Bing’s CTR up 53% since Q1 2009. On a QoQ basis, Google’s and Bing’s CTR was flat in Q1 2010 while Yahoo! showed a drop of 10%, possibly related to the decreased advertiser spending mentioned above,” it is added in the report.

Bing’s Cost-per-Click prices dropped by 14% in a year, while Google’s decreased only by 8.4%, with Yahoo requesting advertisers to pay 15.1% less than a year ago. This although CPCs increased between Q4 2009 to Q1 2010 by 2.9% (Google) and 3.1% (Bing), while Yahoo’s dropped further by 4.5%.

“Our job is to deliver to our advertisers the most new-business leads from interested buyers for the least money – no matter where those leads come from. WebVisible’s Geneva Technology Platform remains agnostic – our neutrality is what inspired the name Geneva – and is designed to find the best value for our local advertisers,” Mangers told Softpedia.

“Advertising follows audience, and Google obviously has the largest audience around the world. But that also means that Google often has a higher cost-per-click, and that it might not always be the most efficient buy. At the moment, there’s less competition for Bing’s ad units, so it can deliver more results. In this business, costs change by the second, so it’s important for our system to identify the best possible price at any given time,” she added.

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By    17 Apr 2010, 11:19 GMT