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How YP And Microsoft Bing Are Adapting To Voice-Activated Search Strategies

We are working closely with Bing on the strategies for how to use Cortana to get quality, targeted leads for businesses, says YP Ad Products VP Rich Maraschi.

As Microsoft has aimed a number of updated tools for developers across Apple iOS, Google Android, and its own Windows suite to power Internet of Things devices and its Alexa/Siri rival Cortana, the Redmond software giant has also seen its Bing search platform adapt to those emerging areas as well.

To advance its efforts in connected intelligence on behalf of local businesses, Bing, which claims to powers nearly one in three U.S. searches, has seen its partnership with YP evolve.

Aside from developing new features between YP and Bing, the two companies are also doing some educating for local businesses looking to take advantage of IoT and voice-search, notes Rich Maraschi, VP, Advertising Products at YP, The Real Yellow Pages.

GeoMarketing: How has YP’s and Bing’s relationship evolved? How do the companies work together, complement each other in terms of working on behalf of local marketers and local consumers?

Rich Maraschi: YP is committed to connecting local businesses with ready-to-buy consumers through integrated solutions and local market expertise. As a Bing Elite Partner, YP receives exclusive training, resources and updates on the Bing Ads platform so we can use this knowledge to deliver more leads our clients.

YP managed more than half a million search campaigns last year, and on average, for clients that measured cost per lead, they experienced a 13 percent overall improvement.

In addition, YP worked with Bing on events for advertisers, conducted training and contests for campaign management and drove technology innovation. We continue to collaborate with Bing on best practices, new strategies, running various pilots and experiments to deliver more quality traffic that converts.

How do YP and Bing view the rise of connected intelligent devices and assistants (such as Microsoft’s Cortana) in terms of the local marketing and discovery on behalf of local businesses?

YP’s relationship with Bing and Microsoft gives us access to new features and avenues to help us optimize search campaigns to deliver more quality leads for our advertisers.

Voice search is an emerging channel for small businesses to use to connect with consumers. We are working closely with Bing on the strategies for how to use Cortana to get quality, targeted leads for businesses.

Are there any particular programs in place to take advantage of the Microsoft Cortana on behalf of local marketing initiatives?

As consumer behavior evolves, local businesses must make sure they are reaching their audience where they are and how they’re searching.

Voice-based search is growing in popularity.

In order for businesses to turn those searches into leads, voice-based search strategies have to include location and mobile-based tactics, such as multi-token keywords with locations and services, more conversational search phrases, high-speed mobile site with prominent locations and click-to-call numbers.

Because so many voice searches are done as “near-me,” it’s also important to keep in mind that a business must have accurate and consistent information across all sites and directories. This includes a business name, address and phone number. Incorrect or incomplete information could cause a business not to show up in a search.

While the relationship between Bing and Cortana would seem obvious, is there any connection or value seen in working within Amazon Echo/Alexa by YP and Bing for these kinds of voice-activated, local discovery/local marketing programs?

With millions of users across yellowpages.com, the YP app and The Real Yellow Pages, YP is committed to connecting local businesses with consumers wherever they are, on whatever device or medium they’re using. We rely on best-in-class partners like Bing and Microsoft to help us expand our reach beyond our owned and operated channels and continue to assess other relationships as they make sense.

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.