Ultimate Microsoft Bing Ads Guide

Ultimate Microsoft Ads (Formerly Bing Ads): Maximize Your ROI in 2024

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Maximize your digital marketing impact with Bing’s substantial audience. This Microsoft Bing Ads guide cuts straight to the chase, offering pragmatic advice on establishing campaigns, selecting effective ads, and refining targeting to drive traffic and sales. Set up for success, you’ll find out exactly how to enhance ad performance and achieve a higher ROI with Microsoft Advertising.

Key Takeaways

  • Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) offers a wide array of ad formats across its Search Network, with an estimated 7.3 billion monthly searches, making it a viable platform for advertisers to target niche audiences and maximize ROI.
  • Advertisers can import Google Ads campaigns into Microsoft Advertising for increased ease of use, and benefit from lower competition and cost-effective placements, with unique user demographics that may not be captured by Google Ads.
  • Bing Ads features advanced options for audience targeting, ad scheduling, and conversion tracking, with the benefits of a less competitive environment and often lower CPC compared to Google Ads, presenting a valuable opportunity for higher ROI.

Understanding Microsoft Advertising (Bing Ads)

Illustration of Microsoft Bing Ads Guide

Microsoft Advertising, formerly Bing Ads, is a robust search engine advertising platform that rivals Google Ads in functionality and reach. With its evolution from formerly Bing Ads, it now offers a plethora of ad formats and placements, providing advertisers with a myriad of options to effectively target their audiences. Some of the ad formats and placements offered by Microsoft Advertising include:

  • Search ads
  • Native ads
  • Display ads
  • Video ads
  • Shopping ads

Microsoft Advertising showcases these Microsoft ads across the comprehensive Microsoft Search Network that includes Bing, Yahoo, AOL, partner sites, and more.

With an estimated reach of around 7.3 billion monthly searches, Microsoft Advertising is a compelling platform that can help businesses engage with their target audiences and optimize their return on investment through a well-crafted Microsoft Ads campaign.

The Evolution of Bing Ads to Microsoft Advertising

The transformation from Bing Ads to Microsoft Advertising in April 2019 marked a significant turning point. The rebranding not only signified a shift in the platform’s focus towards search advertising, but also introduced a host of new features and ad formats to the mix. The decision to evolve was driven primarily by the platform’s ambition to offer users a more comprehensive array of advertising options and enhance its marketing solutions.

One notable change was the platform’s capability to import existing Google Ads campaigns, a move aimed at making it easier for advertisers to broaden their reach across both platforms. This move was well-received, with users recognizing it as a significant advancement in the realm of search advertising.

Benefits of Advertising on Microsoft Advertising

There are numerous advantages to using Microsoft Advertising. Here are a few:

  • Bing holds a market share of 6.7%, making it the second-largest search engine worldwide.
  • Microsoft Advertising offers a unique blend of audience demographics that may not be covered by Google Ads.
  • By utilizing Microsoft Advertising, you can tap into this niche audience, enhancing your visibility and reach.

Moreover, Microsoft Advertising offers an array of ad formats, such as Display ads and native ads, which are designed to grab user attention and increase engagement. With lower competition and more cost-effective ad placements, Microsoft Advertising provides access to an additional 44 million desktop users not reached by Google Ads, thus presenting a significant advantage over its competitors. Understanding these demographics and leveraging audience targeting is essential for reaching the right audience and maximizing your return on investment.

Setting Up Your Microsoft Advertising Account

Illustration of Setting Up Microsoft Advertising Account

Now that you have a grasp on the advantages of Microsoft Advertising, let’s delve into how you can set up your account. The setup process is user-friendly and intuitive. From creating your account, signing in, to navigating the dashboard, each step is designed to ensure a smooth experience for users.

Account Creation and Sign In

Creating a Microsoft Advertising account is a straightforward task. All you need to do is:

  1. Visit the Microsoft Advertising website
  2. Click ‘Sign Up Now’
  3. Select ‘Create One’ to kickstart the process of creating a new account
  4. During this process, you will be required to enter your billing and payment details
  5. Rest assured, the sign-up process is free, and there’s a verification procedure in place to confirm your identity.

Once your account is up and running, signing in is just as easy. Simply visit the Microsoft Advertising website and click on ‘Sign in’. Alternatively, if you have a work account, you can use that to sign in as well. If you need assistance at any point, Microsoft offers a live chat and call function to provide support and guidance.

Navigating the Dashboard

Even beginners will find the Microsoft Advertising dashboard easy to navigate. The dashboard is equipped with a myriad of features, including:

  • Performance trends
  • Key metrics
  • Campaign import tools from Google Ads
  • Global or local advertising options

All designed to equip you with the tools you need to run successful ad campaigns.

To access the myriad of management and analytics tools on the dashboard, you need to navigate to the ‘Tools’ section. For advanced tracking, you can use the Universal Event Tracking (UET) Dashboard. Plus, if you’re running Smart Campaigns, you’ll enjoy a simplified dashboard that integrates the management of ad campaigns and social accounts across different platforms.

And if you ever want to check how your ads look like in search results, Microsoft Advertising provides the Ad Preview and Diagnostics Tool, which allows you to preview your ads without impacting impression or click statistics.

Creating Your First Microsoft Ads Campaign

Photo of Creating Bing Ads Campaign

After setting up your account and getting acquainted with the dashboard, you can begin creating your first Bing Ads campaign. This involves:

  1. Setting campaign goals
  2. Researching keywords
  3. Creating and optimizing your ads
  4. Deciding on your bidding strategies

Each step is crucial in ensuring the success of your campaign.

Campaign Goals and Settings

Defining your campaign goals is a crucial step in planning your campaign. You need to know what you want to achieve, whether it’s driving traffic to your website, increasing conversions, generating leads, or boosting brand awareness. Once you’ve set your goals, you can then configure your campaign settings to meet these objectives. This includes setting your bids, selecting your target audience, choosing where and when your ads will appear, and deciding on your budget.

To set up your Google Ads campaign, follow these steps:

  1. Head over to the ‘Campaigns’ page and select ‘Create Campaign’.
  2. Define your campaign objective and follow the guided instructions.
  3. Strategically organize your ad groups and keywords to ensure your ads are easily discoverable and relevant to your target audience.

Keyword Research and Selection

Opting for the correct keywords plays a pivotal role in defining your ad’s target audience. Bing provides various keyword match types such as:

  • Broad Match
  • Phrase Match
  • Exact Match
  • Negative Match

These options allow you to reach your intended users effectively.

To come up with keyword ideas, Bing offers tools such as scanning a specific website URL for potential keywords. The use of negative keywords also plays a crucial role in preventing irrelevant traffic that does not lead to conversions.

By using the Microsoft Advertising’s keyword planner, you can:

  • Discover keyword suggestions
  • Understand search volumes
  • Monitor trends
  • Estimate costs

All of these are essential in pinpointing the right keywords to bid on.

Ad Creation and Optimization

Ad creation is the next step after you have selected your keywords. Microsoft Advertising offers a variety of ad formats, including:

  • Responsive Search Ads, which dynamically create compelling ad variations
  • Dynamic Search Ads, which automatically generate ads based on your website content
  • Expanded Text Ads, which allow you to create longer, more detailed ads
  • Product Ads, which showcase your products with images and pricing information

By utilizing these ad formats, you can create ads that engage and captivate your audience.

To further enhance your ads, you can use ad extensions to provide additional information, such as calls-to-action. The ad preview feature also allows you to assess your ads in real-time and make any necessary adjustments. Remember, the key to ad creation is to test different versions continually and use the insights gained to refine your ads.

Bidding Strategies and Budget Management

Deciding on your bidding strategy and managing your budget is the last step in setting up your campaign. Start with a daily budget, typically around $50, and consider metrics such as ROI and customer acquisition costs when setting your bids.

Microsoft Bing Ads provides insights into competitor budget ranges and performance projections to help you make informed decisions. The platform also offers various bidding strategies to choose from, including Manual CPC, Target CPA, and Maximize Conversions.

By opting for single keyword ad groups, you can manage your bid and ad at the keyword level, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness.

Advanced Bing Ads Features

Illustration of Advanced Bing Ads Features

Once you become more familiar with Microsoft Advertising, you can delve into its advanced features. These features enable you to:

  • Import campaigns from Google Ads
  • Fine-tune your campaigns using expert mode
  • Create effective ads
  • Utilize audience targeting options
  • Track conversions and optimize your campaigns
  • Access detailed reporting and analytics

These advanced features can help you maximize the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns.

Audience Targeting and Segmentation

Audience targeting and segmentation is among the advanced features offered by Microsoft Advertising, including Microsoft Audience Ads. This feature allows you to refine your focus across different campaign types such as shopping and audience campaigns, as well as dynamic search. By creating an association in the Audiences tab and selecting the desired In-market Audience for your ad group, you can effectively reach your intended users.

This feature lets you target specific demographics, giving you the ability to reach users who are more likely to be interested in your products or services. By targeting the right audience, you can increase engagement rates, amplify conversions, and improve return on investment.

Ad Scheduling and Location Targeting

You can also utilize other advanced features such as ad scheduling and location targeting to fine-tune your ad delivery. Ad scheduling allows you to determine the specific days and times when your campaigns are active, ensuring that your ads are displayed when your target audience is most likely to see them.

On the other hand, location targeting enables you to focus on specific geographic areas, such as zip codes and cities. This ensures that your ads are displayed to users in locations that are most relevant to your business, enhancing ad relevance, improving ad performance, controlling ad delivery, and reducing wasted ad spend.

Conversion Tracking and Analytics

To monitor and enhance campaign performance, conversion tracking and analytics are indispensable. By creating a Universal Event Tracking (UET) tag and placing it on your website, you can monitor user behavior post-click, such as:

  • Making purchases
  • Signing up for a newsletter
  • Requesting a quote
  • Adding items to a shopping cart
  • Watching a video

This data will provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your campaigns and help you optimize your marketing strategies.

Microsoft Advertising provides a range of analytics reports that give valuable insights into the reach and engagement of your campaigns with the intended audience segments. By understanding these metrics, you can make informed decisions to improve your campaigns.

Tips for Success with Bing Ads

Illustration of Tips for Success with Bing Ads

Now that you’ve learned about Microsoft Advertising and its features, let’s look at some practical tips that can help you achieve success with your Bing Ads. These tips revolve around continual optimization, utilizing ad extensions, and monitoring your quality score.

Continual Optimization and Testing

Ongoing optimization and testing are key to achieving better campaign results over time. Regular experimentation with bid strategies, such as Maximize Clicks, and the consistent adjustment and optimization of campaign settings can lead to considerable improvements in your campaign performance.

Allocating your budget towards smart bidding tactics like Maximize Clicks, using Campaign Experiments for A/B testing various elements like ad copy, landing pages, and bidding strategies, and continuously testing different versions of ads and landing pages are just a few ways you can continually optimize and test your campaigns for improved results.

Utilizing Ad Extensions

By offering extra information and potentially increasing click-through rates, ad extensions can add value to your Bing Ads campaign. By incorporating all extensions relevant to your business and enabling universal extensions such as structured snippets, sitelink, and callout extensions for every campaign or ad group, you can ensure that your ads are given additional ad space, thereby increasing visibility.

To add ad extensions to your ads, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the main menu and select All campaigns.
  2. Choose Ads & extensions.
  3. Once in the Extensions tab, select the type of extension you wish to add.
  4. Proceed with the setup following the provided instructions.

Monitoring Quality Score

Increasing ad visibility and reducing costs heavily depend on monitoring and enhancing your quality score. The quality score is a measure that evaluates the performance of your ad in relation to others, considering factors such as click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience.

By monitoring your quality score, you can measure the relevance of your keywords, ads, and landing pages to customer search terms, which can help you optimize these elements and improve your score. You can review your quality score by navigating to the Keywords tab on the Campaigns page and locating the Qual. Score column.

Comparing Bing Ads and Google Ads

Now that you’re well-versed in the benefits and features of Microsoft Advertising, let’s take a moment to compare it with Google Ads. While both platforms offer similar features and capabilities, there are some notable differences, particularly in terms of market share, cost-effectiveness, and platform features.

Market Share and Audience Reach

Google Ads clearly lead in terms of market share and audience reach. However, this doesn’t mean that Bing Ads falls short. In fact, Bing Ads offers the opportunity to target a specific set of consumers that are not reached by Google Ads, thus capturing a distinct segment of the market share.

Bing Ads also holds a significant share of the market, reaching 34% of the desktop search engine market worldwide. The audience of Bing Ads typically consists of:

  • Slightly older individuals, with an average age of 45, compared to the US average of 38
  • Higher levels of education, with a higher representation of blue-collar workers
  • Tendency towards an older and more affluent demographic

Cost-Effectiveness and Competition

Bing Ads takes the lead in terms of cost-effectiveness and competition. With lower competition levels compared to Google Ads, Bing Ads offers more affordable clicks and better value for advertisers.

The average cost per click on Bing Ads can be up to 70% lower compared to Google Ads. This, coupled with the fact that Bing Ads presents lower competition, can lead to a higher ROI when effectively used.

Platform Features and Capabilities

Bing Ads and Google Ads both provide a variety of features and capabilities. However, Bing Ads presents several unique features, including the Bing Ads Editor, which allows users to:

  • Manage multiple accounts concurrently
  • Execute bulk modifications with editing tools
  • Easily copy and paste keywords and ads
  • Utilize exclusive extensions
  • Implement ad customizers by audience
  • Target search partners at the ad group level, enabling more refined targeting compared to Google Ads.

The differences extend to ad scheduling and keyword selection processes as well. Bing Ads provides more detailed ad scheduling options at the ad group level and prioritizes choosing the right keywords to trigger ads in relevant search results, while Google Ads emphasizes selecting specific keywords that directly relate to the ad’s theme.


In conclusion, Microsoft Advertising, formerly Bing Ads, is a powerful advertising platform that offers a range of features and benefits, from its diverse ad formats and extensive audience reach to its cost-effectiveness and unique platform features. While Google Ads may hold a larger market share, Microsoft Advertising provides a unique opportunity to reach a distinct audience segment that is not reached by Google Ads. By leveraging the features of Microsoft Advertising, continually optimizing and testing your campaigns, and keeping an eye on your quality score, you can maximize your advertising efforts and achieve a higher return on investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I spend on Bing Ads?

You should budget around $41.44 for the Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) on Bing Ads, which is approximately 30% lower than AdWords. Adjust your budget based on your industry and advertising goals.

What is Bing Ads called now?

Bing Ads is now called Microsoft Ads.

Is Bing worth advertising on?

Advertising on Bing may be worth considering due to its lower Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) and lower-cost clicks (CPC), which can lead to more cost-effective conversions compared to Google.

What is Microsoft Ads previously known as?

Microsoft Ads was previously known as Bing Ads.

How does Bing Ads compare to Google Ads in terms of market share?

Bing Ads captures a distinct market segment not reached by Google Ads, although Google Ads holds a larger market share.

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Cam Morales

Cam is the Founder & CEO of Brandafy.com, Bix Marketing.com and EcomUpstart - he built two 7 figure businesses since he started his entrepreneurship journey in 2016. He now helps others launch ecommerce stores and other online businesses.

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