The AI Race & Why NOW Is The Time To Optimize For Bing | Ep. 19

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Who would have thought that in 2023, the year of our Lord, Bing would be having a coronation ceremony of its own alongside Prince Charles? With Bing at the forefront of conversation amidst the most revolutionary technology of our time, it’s safe to say that Bing is king of AI—for now.
 
We honestly can’t say this is a surprise. We called it a while back and are thinking of opening a psychic hotline in case this whole marketing thing doesn’t work out.
 
Here’s the truth. The online space is crowded, so what better way to get ahead of your competition than to begin optimizing for a search engine that is experiencing a major revival.
 
In this episode we’re going to help you apply what we know about AI and how it’s directly affecting the search landscape:
 
  1. The #1 thing business owners need to do to get started with Bing
  2. The important reason why you should be growing your Facebook Reviews
  3. Why you should be using videos in your content every chance you get
  4. Plus, more juicy & actionable steps
 
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Send us your questions, comments, feedback, praise! We can’t wait to hear from you!

Transcription: 

Devon Hayes: Hi, I’m Devon Hayes.

Amanda Joyce: And I’m Amanda Joyce. And today’s topic is the AI race, and why now is the time to optimize for being, and here’s why you should care. The search landscape is changing as a result of the AI race, and this is your opportunity to get ahead of your competition.

Devon Hayes: Welcome to Trade Secrets, where we demystify digital marketing to help contractors get the most bang for their marketing bucks.

Amanda Joyce: This is for you if you’re a contractor looking for actionable marketing insights.

Devon Hayes: Learn from home services, industry experts to elevate your business through simplified marketing strategies.

Amanda Joyce: Let’s dive into today’s trade secret.

Devon Hayes: Well, I don’t think we can talk about this topic enough. I think it’s riddled with AI is just everywhere. Every news piece, there’s tons of AI tools, obviously open AI’s ChatGPT opened the floodgates for AI, and now there’s so many tools out there that can do so many cool things. But today, we’re going to directly apply what we know and articles that have come out from Forbes that really talk about how that’s changing the search landscape and some actionable items that our contractors can jump into and get ahead of the curve from hopefully, their competition who hasn’t discovered this wonderful podcast yet.

Amanda Joyce: Exactly. Exactly. This can be one of your tricks of the trade, hopefully, that can really help you make yourself stand out. And it’s not necessarily going to impact you like today, but as this continues to take off, we feel like if you really take these couple tips we’re going to share with you guys today and work them into your marketing plan, that you’re going to be really patting yourself on the back a year or so from now as this AI race continues to unfold. None of us know what’s going to happen, but we definitely feel like you can take some small steps today that less forward-thinking business owners are not going to be taking. And if you do it, we think you’re going to be high-fiving us and telling us we’d love to hear from you later that you’re like, “Thanks for the hot tip guys. That really helped me out.”

Devon Hayes: Yeah. And let’s talk about where the idea for this specific podcast came from. So you found this article, Amanda, and it’s from Forbes and we’ll have it in the episode notes, but this is the headline. Google stock loses $57 billion amid Microsoft’s AI lead and reports it could be replaced by Bing on some smartphones. So get that. Imagine that instead of having Google or on your Samsung, if you’re not an Apple person, your automatic, what your search engine that’s preloaded on your phone when you factory settings would be bing not Google.

Amanda Joyce: Yeah.

Devon Hayes: What?

Amanda Joyce: Yeah. And you think about, there’s certain people, probably younger generations that would just get in there and the first thing they’d do is just change it back to Google and move on. But there are so many people that will never give it a second thought and whatever it comes pre-loaded with, they’re going to use it and talk about a shift that previously, even the last time we talked about this, we were talking about how they were just inching up on the market share and it’s like, we don’t really know what the implications of this are, but we’ll see. But something this big that’s like the smartphones we all walk around with, if they can slowly start getting market share of these. I know obviously this is an Apple, but slowly but surely, if they can start being the search engine of choice on mobile, talk about a game changer.

Devon Hayes: Yeah. And the reason they’re going to do that, it is because… I know you mentioned younger generations, they might want to just go right back to Google, but now maybe we’re the boomers and we would go back to Google, but the newer generations won’t because it’s integrated with ChatGPT, on the Bing interface.

Amanda Joyce: Exactly.

Devon Hayes: User behavior, search behavior, it’s all changing. And this would be a massive change to our little portable computers that we all carry around with us. But the bigger picture is, all right, say you’ve been focusing on SEO and search for however long. Now what? We’ve always neglected Bing. It was just like, I don’t know, it just wasn’t even a fraction of the market share of Google. And we’ve had clients focus specifically on Google Business profile reviews. We’ve always ignored Yelp. Nobody likes Yelp. And thank God, with all these updates, we still don’t like Yelp. We still don’t care about Yelp.

But Bing now, now it’s like, all right, and we talked about this in a previous episode and we freaking called this. Madame Cleo looked into the future, read the room, I saw it coming. So here it is. So now, if you’re working with an agency or if you’re not, we have some tips we’re going to cover today. Things that you can do yourself that are super easy. You don’t have to be an experienced SEO to do them, but it’s going to really tremendously impact your business and it’s really easy and it’s things you probably already know how to do. So yeah, so this is crazy, and that’s where this is all coming from. So you can understand why we’re pushing this topic.

Amanda Joyce: The method to the madness.

Devon Hayes: And bringing it up again.

Amanda Joyce: Yeah, absolutely.

Devon Hayes: Yeah.

Amanda Joyce: Because it is one of those things that for a lot of business owners, when they talk about marketing, they want to just focus on the fire at hand. What do I need to be doing right now to move the needle with my business and move on? But this is the thing that, not to beat a dead horse here, but if you do just put a few things in place right now, while everybody else is scrambling to catch up, you will hopefully be really dominating in your local landscape for what matters most to your business, while your competitors on the other hand are peeking over trying to figure out what it was you did to establish that dominance. Maybe when suddenly, they wake up from their sleep and realize a year from now that Bing has really started to take off.

Devon Hayes: Well, let’s be honest, when more of the mainstream marketers in this space, start catching on and seeing it because they’re always behind us. But when they catch on and they have those bigger platforms that can reach more contractors and help more people, maybe then, if you’re listening to us, thank you, we love you. But also maybe you’re ahead of the curve, because if you do this now, you have those months of that slow organic SEO growth. Bing, it’s still organic, and so it still has that slow grow. So you still have to anticipate that it’s going to take time, which makes taking these actions today even more important. So let’s dive into it. Well first of all, if you haven’t already claimed your Bing business profile, claim, your profile.

Amanda Joyce: Yes.

Devon Hayes: Yeah.

Amanda Joyce: We’ll have a link in the episode notes. I think it’s just bingplaces.com. They make it super easy. You can log in with your existing Google account or if you have a Microsoft account, I think I have one that I created in the ’90s.

Amanda Joyce: I created mine before I went to college.

Devon Hayes: Yeah. It’s been a little bit of time. It’s like a nice cast iron pan. It’s just well seasoned. So if you get an account or log into bingplaces.com and you can actually import your business from your Google Business profile, they make it really easy for you. And then you can even set the frequency that it stinks with your Google Business profile. So that’s step one, sign up for Bing Places. You don’t even have to type all the information, just pull it over from your existing account. Bing’s categories, they’re not the same as Google’s Google Business profile categories. So they have a lot of the same ones, but you might want to double check those. And it’s like, I think a five step next, next, next. So just choose your primary, choose your secondary, and just make sure that those best align with your primary and secondary services. That’s number one.

Amanda Joyce: Yep.

Devon Hayes: Amanda?

Amanda Joyce: Yep.

Amanda Joyce: Number two, Facebook reviews. This is something that, again, we’ve all been sleeping on. We as an agency as well have really encouraged all of our customers to really focus on growing their reviews in their Google Business profile. Don’t stop doing that, but it is time to start focusing on growing your Facebook reviews as well. And you might say, why is that? But it’s because that’s where Bing pulls those reviews from. So they’re going to pull your reviews from Facebook. So as you’re going out there and asking for reviews, whether you’re doing it automated or however it is, make sure that you’re really focusing on growing in Facebook as well as your Google Business profile. And I do feel like this is a really sneaky one that I think could really pay off a year from now when people are really leaning on Bing more. Talk about something that your competitors, nothing but time will help.

That’s the only way they’re going to be able to catch up with you, is just putting the time in and starting to grow those reviews. And if you’ve already done it, you’re going to be light years ahead of them. At that point you just have to maintain your pace. And if you’ve got 50 more reviews than everybody else in your general location, if you can just keep slowly growing your reviews while they’re just barely trying to catch up with you, you’re going to have a serious leg up when it really matters.

Devon Hayes: Yes, absolutely. So you might be asking, well, how many Facebook reviews do I need to get? How long do I need to push Facebook over my Google Business profile? I would suggest looking at the top competitors in your space, or if you’re light years behind them and they’re a giant contractor that’s been around forever, look in your proximity, which competitors are around your brick and mortar, and how many reviews do they have on Facebook and start there. I think that’d be a great goal to outshoot them by five reviews.

Obviously the higher star reviews the better, but start there. That would be a great place if the person closest to you, because you got to think about how important proximity is on search. So they’re going to serve one over the other. They’re not going to show two people that are basically right on top of each other. So start to beat out the people that are closest to you in proximity, and then you can look at the big fish and start chasing those guys. Sp that’s a great place to start. If you’re wondering cool, Facebook reviews. Got it. How many do I need? And with Facebook, Amanda, Bing also looks at engagement and post frequency in terms of ranking, right?

Amanda Joyce: Yeah, absolutely. So again, that’s another reminder that you don’t want to sleep on Facebook. I know you’re already probably focusing a bit on engagement. Hopefully you’re posting to your Facebook page and all that. But this is one of those signals that can really help you rank there. So make sure that you’re not just posting content just for the sake of posting content. Make sure you’re paying attention to what people are engaging with and you’re posting. You’re continuing to use that information to help guide what you are posting on Facebook and engage back, if people are actually getting on there and every once in a while, replying to what you’re posting, make sure you’re watching it and you’re engaging and encourage your employees to get on there and do it.

Sometimes maybe you’re not going to have a galvanized base of people that are just waiting for your next Facebook post to come out, but you can certainly ask your sales guys and people that have a vested interest in you growing your business digitally and driving more leads, put it back on them. Say, make sure you’re watching our profile and you’re commenting and engaging and sharing the content we’re sharing on Facebook, that’s going to really have a positive impact on your big results.

Devon Hayes: Pro-tip, shorts. Video shorts, those are getting lots of favoritism on social media platforms, which also help you with search. So having them engage is massively important. And then, yeah, try video shorts. Please try getting some more video in your content game. It sounds overwhelming, but realistically, listen, AI makes that a lot easier too. So that’s another tip there. And then the third one, Amanda, chef’s kiss. You’ve already been doing this for our clients because you’re brilliant. And again, Madame Cleo, for any millennials who don’t know who that is, she was a fortune-teller ’90s, ’80s, anyways. Okay, so tell us this little juicy nugget Bing ads.

Amanda Joyce: Yes. Run ads in Bing. Your cost per clicks and are going to be… You’re not even going to believe how much cheaper they are. The volume’s not as high, well, obviously, but the clicks are cheaper. And we do have some people reporting higher lead quality from Bing. So it definitely depends on your market, all those things. But if you can look at what’s working best for you in your Google ads and pick some of those really juicy keywords that are really working well on Google, bring them over into Bing and start running there. See what response rates you get and allow it to tell you. Look at it, and just allow it to speak to you and tell you what makes sense. But I promise you, you’re going to get some really inexpensive visibility and some way less expensive clicks through excuse me, through a Bing ads campaign. And again, it’s only going to help increase your visibility in this up and coming search engine that’s been around for a long time, but it’s making a comeback, it’s glowing up.

Devon Hayes: Yeah. And I want to highlight something you said there. You said that the lead quality is actually better. It’s been reported to be better, and that’s probably because you have less of your competition clicking on your ads just to drive up those costs, I would imagine, as part of it. But that’s something to really listen to, guys. The quality of the leads in Bing ads is better on a lot of accounts than what you’re getting from Google because of how saturated that is. And I feel like there’s a lot of spying going on too. So there’s a lot of empty clicks with people who never had any intention of converting, no matter how great your landing page or offer was. So that’s something to really think about. So it costs you less, and again, you mentioned less eyeballs, but the quality there. If your lead quality is people with this high commercial intent and they’re converting, that’s huge right there. So tell your agency, Bing ads, I want to get it going.

Amanda Joyce: Exactly. Let’s test it out.

Devon Hayes: Yeah.

Amanda Joyce: Because even if you’re only getting one or two leads a month out of it, if you have a small budget and you’re just running a little bit in Bing, if one or two of those actually converted to a project, my gosh, it’s definitely paying for itself and it’s worth the extra effort to do that.

Devon Hayes: And I guess maybe this is getting a little bit more in the weeds with it, but because you’ve worked in both platforms, is it pretty intuitive or would you still recommend having someone manage the Bing accounts? Because I know in Google Ads there’s a lot of ways to waste money pretty quickly in little hidden check boxes and all their suggestions that they give you. Would you say the Bing Ads interface is more friendly? Not to get us completely off-topic, but just curious.

Amanda Joyce: It’s the way a lot of things Bing has done over the years. It’s basically a replica of Google. They just look at what Google does and make it their own, but it’s pretty darn similar. They do have an option just the way they do with their business profiles to just pull your campaigns in from Google. So if you are managing it yourself and you’re like, “I can run a few keywords in Google. I don’t have the time to start thinking Bing too.” You can literally go in there and set it up so it’ll just update based upon what you’re doing in Google.

But again, because they are slightly different audiences, the volumes are different. If you do choose to do that, I would still go in and check on it directly. Don’t just treat it as if it’s all one big giant ad campaign that’s in a one cluster because they’re different. So if you’re going to do it, take a look at it directly. But again, that is a quick way to maybe save a little bit of time and pull over some of your strongest content from Google and run it in Bing.

Devon Hayes: Beautiful. So those three action items, those three takeaways. Number one, claim your business, your Bing business profile at bingplaces.com and sync it with your Google Business profile. Number two, start getting Facebook reviews and engaging more on Facebook. Number three, test out some Bing ads. Now, we’ve got a couple tips in here as well.

Amanda Joyce: Yes.

Devon Hayes: We didn’t want to cover these in ad nauseum because we wanted this content to be digestible. So if you are a little bit more advanced in the SEO space, this will make sense. Not that we expect every contractor to be, again, we wouldn’t know how to do your job, so we don’t expect you to know these things, but a lot of you really educate yourselves on this. So we just figured we’d throw these prot tips in here since we’re talking about it.

Amanda Joyce: Absolutely.

Devon Hayes: Yeah.

Amanda Joyce: So one being tap into Bing’s Webmaster tool. We’re going to include the link in our description here as well. It’s another great free tool, just the way Google offers us a ton of free tools. This is a great tool to tap into, to really understand your search rankings, your highest quality content, all that stuff. So again, check out that link. If you’re not already using Bing Webmaster, take advantage of it. And if you’re using an agency, just ask them and make sure that they’re doing it.

Devon Hayes: And it’s really easy to set up if you’re already using Google Search Console, again, you can import the data and import your settings over to Bing Webmaster Tools. The difference being Google Search Console, you see how you perform on Google, Bing Webmaster Tools. You see how you’re performing on Bing before they click through to your website. And then the other pro-tip, let’s see here.

Amanda Joyce: Take a look at their search quality blog. Bing is a little less tight lift about how you rank well on their engine than Google is. Over the years, Google’s gotten more open about it, but nonetheless, Bing pretty much just outlines what it is you need to do to please the Bing gods. So check out that blog, keep track of what they’re telling us, especially as AI continues to evolve and things change over there. It’s a great thing to just keep your eye on and make sure that if they’re suddenly telling you to do something different with your business profile or whatever, just keep a loose eye on it and that’ll help you make sure that you’re continuing to win the Bing race.

Devon Hayes: Beautiful. Well, I think that covers it. So thank you all very much for listening. And do I need to cover the action items one more time? I think we’re good.

Amanda Joyce: Let’s just rattle. I think we’re good. We’re good. They’re in the notes too. Go check them out. But we hope this is helpful. We hope this is digestible and easy things that you can put into play right now or tell whoever’s managing your marketing to put into play. And we hope you will be high-fiving us later because we really do think it’s going to pay off according to our crystal ball.

Devon Hayes: Yes. Thank you.

Amanda Joyce: That was today’s trade secret. Thanks for listening.

Devon Hayes: Did you find this helpful? We’re just getting started.

Amanda Joyce: Subscribe, and don’t miss our next reveal.

Devon Hayes: Until next time.