Microsoft’s Raj Kapoor mapped Bing’s evolving local search strategy at the SMB Digital Marketing Conference, an approach that begins with mobile, infuses social and is geared toward “consumer task completion.”
Kapoor first noted the ubiquity of digital channels in the consumer purchase process, with more than 90 percent using some mode of online search to find local businesses. The location-aware and intent-capturing features of mobile devices have propelled the trend forward.
For consumers, Bing’s focus is on location extensions that enable task completion, whether that be finding a store (locators, mapping), making a call (click-to-call through Skype integration) or finding/buying a deal (a card-linked offers beta test). Bing is also integrating more social signals into search listings: Facebook posts, Quora Q&A and reviews from Yelp and TripAdvisor.
For SMBs, the key is simplicity with Bing Ads Express. The problem that Kapoor is trying solve: “How can a small business come to us quickly and we take care of everything else?” Part of that challenge is educating small merchants on the value of a mobile presence, and the efficiency of mobile campaigns tied to it. “When campaigns are mobile-optimized, they drive a disproportionate share of clicks and budget utilization.”