What is Bing Ads and How Does it Work?

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Bing is much like Google in that the search engine provides content around many different topics that interest people. Like any search engine, Bing ranks both organic and paid search listings (Bing Ads).

Bing Ads, recently rebranded to Microsoft Ads, offers display and text ads that appear on the search engine results page. Like Google Ads, Bing Ads can grow awareness of a business by increasing their online search visibility. With over 5 billion monthly searches in North America, Bing offers a strong advertising platform.

How Bing Ads Work?

Bing Ads works on a pay-per-click advertising model where ads appear in the search engine results pages. Like Google Ads, you determine how much you want to bid on keywords. Your ad appears when someone’s search query includes that keyword. Like any PPC ads, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

You can choose how closely you want someone’s search to match your keyword or phrase. In this instance, you can use different keyword match types like exact or broad match to trigger your ad.

When someone enters a search query, an auction determines which ads are shown and what position they’re placed on SERP. This is known as ad position, and it’s where your ad appears — on the top, bottom, or side of the results page. Your ad position is determined by a few factors. This includes how much you bid for a keyword, the amount the competition for the same keyword, the relevance of your ad to the search query and your ad’s performance.

Quality Score

Microsoft Ads use the quality score to determine how competitive ads are in the marketplace based on the relevancy of keywords, ads and landing pages to a search query. Quality score is calculated based on three components — expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience.

The expected click-through rate looks at how likely your ad will be clicked on and how well your keyword competes against other relevant keywords. It also considers the past performance of your keyword.

The ad relevancy score will tell you how relevant your ad is based on a person’s search query. This also includes the relevancy of the landing page that people are directed to after clicking your ad.

The landing page experience score refers to how likely your landing page will provide a good experience to people who visit your website after clicking your ad. Your page’s bounce rate also contributes to the landing page score. It considers how many times customers leave the ad’s landing page after a quick visit.

With Microsoft’s partnership with Verizon Media, Bing Ads now works on three popular search engines: Bing, AOL and Yahoo. When you create a Bing Ads campaign, it will be shared across all three search engine platforms.

Microsoft Search Network

The Microsoft Search Network uses enhanced audience-targeting capabilities to make it easier to connect your ads with the people that matter the most. All marketing campaigns are connected to all Bing-owned and partner sites like Yahoo and AOL along with third-party websites. Both search ads and Microsoft Audience Ads are distributed on the search network.

Microsoft Audience Ads is a native advertising solution that uses the Microsoft Audience Network and appears across devices on sites like MSN, Outlook.com and Microsoft Edge. The Microsoft Audience Ads uses data and machine learning across Microsoft properties. It takes information from intent signals like search activity, web activity, Microsoft demographics, Skye and LinkedIn professional information.

Why is Bing Ads Important?

Microsoft Ads provides a strong secondary advertising market that can be overlooked by many advertisers. Incrementally, it can provide advertisers the ability to reach additional audiences with less competition and with more advertising value.


With a single ad through Microsoft Ads, you can reach millions of unique searchers on the Bing Network who represent 296 million monthly desktop searches. This accounts for 21.9% of the search market in Canada. Even though Google is a clear favourite for the majority of users, Bing offers a strong advertising opportunity.


You trust Google to display your ads to a wealth of audiences and demographics. However, Google can be highly competitive and involves diligent monitoring of your campaigns. Bing Ads provides a lower risk option for your ad campaigns but still gives you access to a wide range of people with less keyword bidding competition than Google.

Affordable Advertising

With less competition for keywords, Bing Ads will most likely be cheaper over time. According to WordStream, the average cost per click for Bing Ads is $1.54 while the average cost per click of Google Ads was $2.69. The average cost per action saw Bing Ads at $41.44 while Google Ads averaged $48.96. Because of this, Microsoft Ads offers less risk to small and medium businesses looking to grow their awareness and increase revenue.

How to Create a Bing Ad

Joining Microsoft Advertising and creating your new ad is a simple process that starts with using your Microsoft account. If you don’t have one, you can easily create one by signing up with a new email. Once you have created your Microsoft account you will be directed to create your account where you will add information like business name, your first and last name, email address and more.

Bing Ads account setup

Create a Campaign

Next, you will have two options to create a new campaign — import from Google Ads or create a new campaign. If you already have a campaign with Google Ads, Microsoft makes it easy to transfer over an existing campaign. If you don’t already have an existing Google Ads Campaign, you’ll be asked to input information about the new campaign including the name, location and language.

Create a new Bing Ads campaign

When setting up your new campaign and selecting the location of where you want your ads to appear, you can select general countries to target or specific locations. By choosing specific locations, you can add certain locations by city or by postal code.

This is helpful if you have a location-based store and want to target customers who are generally close to your address. It’s important to note that the default radius is 25 miles, but this can be changed in Campaign Management after you set up your ad.

Location of where you want your Bing Ads advertisement to be seen

Selecting Your Ad Group Name

The next step is to select your ad group name along with the keywords you want to rank for. You can enter all keyword match types like broad match, +broad+match+modifier, “phrase match”, and [exact match] in the box provided.

Add keywords people search for to find your ad

When you click on “Create ad” you will be prompted to add all the necessary information to construct your ad. This is where you create your ad’s message along with including the landing page. You can also preview what your ad will look like based on its placement and device.

Create your ad by choosing your URL, title, and ad text

Set a Budget

Lastly, you will be able to set your budget for an ad based on the cost per click. You can add the maximum cost you’re willing to pay per click along with your maximum budget per day. Once completed, you will need to add a form of payment including your full business information and payment type.

Set your daily budget and per-click budget

Any time you create an ad campaign, you can view it by signing into your Microsoft Ads account. Once signed into your account, you will be able to view and manage your campaigns created under the “Campaigns” tab. You can create a new campaign by clicking on “Create campaign”.

Campaign overview of your ad that shows statistics like clicks, click-through rate, and impressions.

You can review your campaign settings by clicking on the left sidebar under “All Campaigns”. Once you click on your campaign you will see it’s status. You will see if it’s enabled or paused, the daily budget, and the location radius of where your ad will show. You can adjust this by using the ‘Settings’ tab.

Campaign ad settings

Bing Ads also offers advanced targeting settings where you can choose to increase your bids based on demographics and device types. There are five different age ranges along with gender to choose from. Your ad, by default, will show on all devices but you can increase your bids for certain devices. You can also schedule your ads for certain times of the day.

Bing Ads advanced settings to target age groups and device types.

Final Thoughts

Microsoft Advertising offers a strong alternative for your CPC advertising strategy and should not be overlooked. With millions of Bing users along with Yahoo and AOL, advertising with Microsoft could be worth your investment. Creating a Microsoft Ad account is simple and if you already have a Google Ads account, it only takes a couple of clicks to add your account. The combination of Microsoft Ads and Google Ads can be very effective in gaining an edge against your competitors with your paid search engine marketing.

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