Anna Hughes

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Bing Ads

Summer travelers are mobile and local

bing ads mobile2015 is set to become a watershed year for the travel industry. According to eMarketer, travel advertisers are expected to spend almost exactly as much (49%) on mobile ads this year as they will spend on other digital platforms. 1

Furthermore, 50% of all spending on digital travel ads is expected to go to paid search this year. 1

But mobile is having an even bigger impact on the way travelers spend their time and money. When travelers are visiting your town, they’re local, and they’re going to use their smartphones to search for local activities. The good news for you: the majority of the money they will spend on their vacation will be spent during their trip on local businesses.

Reach them before and during the trip

Your local business’ efforts to capture vacationers’ dollars used to be limited to brochures in hotel lobbies, print ads, or the concierge’s memory. Now you can offer your unique, local experience directly to travelers both before and during their trip.

Pre-trip planning: Target by location + keyword intent

bing ads mobile localIntent or interest targeting, when combined with location targeting, allows you to focus on specific audiences you most want to reach during the planning phase of their trip. Zeroing in on searchers by both their current location and trip-planning keywords, your ads will display to the right audience with the right intent.

For example, if your market research has found that travelers from San Francisco spend the most when visiting Seattle, you may want to serve ads to San Francisco searchers who are looking for “Seattle hotels.” This has the potential to significantly improve CTR.

If you think this may limit your overall reach, you can try a different approach. To bump up your potential volume of impressions, see Lucy Wang’s recent article about improvements to our matching technology for geography and product intent (among other parameters): Broad Match: The ultimate volume player.

During the trip: Use location targeting

bing ads mobile localWherever you are, you’re local. At least that’s how it looks from a smartphone’s perspective, and local searches are growing: use of terms like “nearby” or “closest” or “near me” are on the rise.

These days, no traveler arrives in your town without their mobile phone and their thumbs ready to click on the search icon. Local businesses can capitalize on these “temporary locals” as they search for restaurants, concerts, sightseeing tours, outdoor activities, and other local attractions.

bing ads mobile local

For more details, see the three minute video on Location Targeting.

Who will win in 2015?

The big winners this year will be those who move the traveler closer to the conversion action at the very moment they show intent. Savvy ad copy, targeting, and using call extensions and location extensions in your ads can significantly increase your conversion potential.

Get all the Yahoo Bing Network travel tips in our mobile insights presentation and infographic.

[1] eMarketer. The US Travel Industry 2015: Digital Ad Spending Forecast, May 2015. Includes both leisure and business travel.

[2] Skift. Megatrends Defining Travel in 2015: Yearbook / Issue: 01

[3] Bing Ads internal data for summer 2014. Local attractions include aquariums, museums, national parks and monuments, theme parks. Events and tickets include dinner theaters, music concerts, theater and fine arts, ticket agencies.

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How to Reach Your Local and Mobile Customers with Bing Ads

When was the last time you looked at your mobile device? If you’re like half of the entire population in the U.S.,1 you check your smartphone around 150 times a day.2 In a 15-hour day, that’s once every 6 minutes (lately, I think I check mine even more often than that!). Your customers are no different.

Today, we’re going to talk about reaching your customer where they spend an incredible amount of time – on their mobile devices.

 Search is Shifting

Right now, mobile devices account for about 37% of all searches; by 2017, mobile devices will drive roughly 50% of all searches.3 Did you ever think that mobile search would grow this fast?

Three extremely bright spots in mobile search are laying the groundwork for the future:

  1. Local search
  2. A lightning-fast conversion rate
  3. "Showrooming"


Local Search and Mobile Search are the Same Thing

79% of mobile phone owners and 81% of tablet owners use those devices for local search4 (that’s about 120 million people). Nearly 80% of local mobile searches turn into purchases.4 These are local searches, and most of them turn into purchases.

To spell this out even more, if you are advertising a local service or business via search, chances are that most of the searches on your keywords will turn into purchases (depending on how competitive and compelling your ads are). With odds like this, you’re losing money if you don’t have a PPC campaign that’s mobile-targeted.

Mobile Search Converts Whip-Fast

Of that 80% of local searches on mobile that become purchases, these purchases happen within 5 hours of the original search.5 Searches that happen via desktop will typically take weeks to become an actual purchase. Now, via mobile, those conversions can and do happen between breakfast and dinner. This break-neck conversion speed should be driving every advertiser to invest in mobile search.

Can "Showrooming" Boost Your Business?

84% of smartphone shoppers use their device to help them shop while they're in a store.6 “Help shop” is another way of saying “look for better prices and discounts.” Some say this is disruptive to the in-store shopping experience – we say it can enable a better shopping experience. Use these "showrooming" opportunities to advertise to your in-store customer with discounts and coupons that point them to the check-out counter. After all, a recent Gallup poll7 reports that of those who had “showroomed” in a retail store, only 6% made purchases online instead.

Since "showrooming" is here to stay (it’s embraced by all age groups, particularly those with higher disposable incomes: 52% of 44-53 year olds actively showroom, and 51% of those 54+ do8) marketers need to get a quick grip on how to turn this consumer habit into a boost for their businesses. Mobile-targeted paid search with geographical targets and location extensions enabled is a strong bet.

Bing Ads Mobile Fans

We are always delighted when our advertising partners see the value of the Yahoo Bing Network. In March of this year, Ignition One published a report that looks at the campaigns running through its digital marketing platform. In it, they report that the Yahoo Bing Network is growing impressions and clicks faster than Google, at a much more efficient CPC.

“Nearly across the board, we are seeing great efficiencies in both smartphone and tablet advertising for Yahoo Bing when compared to Google. This efficiency is due to the higher level of control allowed in Yahoo Bing as compared to post-Enhanced Campaign Google.”

Bing serves ads across the entire Yahoo Bing Network and on all mobile devices including iOS, Android and Windows Phone, making it the 2nd largest mobile search ad platform in the world.9 Review your campaigns today to make sure they – and your business – are reaching on-the-go customers when they’re searching for you.

Not sure if you’re running mobile ads on Bing? Here’s how to check:

  1. Go to the Campaign Settings tab
  2. Expand Advanced Targeting Options.
  3. Click Device, check the box next to Smartphones and other mobile devices with full browsers.

If you’re already opted in, you can also take these quick steps to make your mobile ads even stronger:

  1. Add budget to cover your mobile ads.
  2. Enable Ad Extensions: Sitelinks, Location, click-to-call.
  3. Choose mobile-specific keywords that target key mobile scenarios, e.g. when consumers are looking for your location, for your contact information, or for specific products.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave them below!


1. comScore March 2014

2. ExactTarget 2014 Mobile Behavior Support

3. eMarketer March 2013

4. comScore, Neustar Localeze, 15 miles, Local Search Study April 2014

5. Microsoft internal data 2014, 70% of mobile conversions happen within 5 hours

6. Google Shopper Marketing Agency Council and M/A/R/C Research, May 2013

7. Gallup “Showrooming Affecting US Retail Sales” November 2013

8. ThriveAnalytics, April 2014

9. comScore, January 2014

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