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Microsoft Bing Advertising: a Guide to Getting Started

Microsoft Bing Advertising: a Guide to Getting Started

If you’re advertising on search, relying solely on Google Ads could mean missing out on additional opportunities to reach your market with Microsoft Bing Advertising.

Bing has 9% of the global search market and, while that might not sound like much, it serves over a billion unique visitors monthly, more than the combined monthly active users on Pinterest and X (formerly Twitter).

As such, it’s likely to be well worth adding Bing advertising as an additional marketing channel for your business.

After all, once set up, apart from regular monitoring and making adjustments where necessary, it’s largely set-and-forget.

But how do you get started?

This guide shows you exactly that, including a step-by-step walkthrough for starting your first campaign.

From understanding Bing Ads' unique benefits to setting up and optimizing your campaigns, you'll learn how to leverage this platform effectively to grow your business.

Let's get started!

Understanding Microsoft Bing Advertising

What Is Bing Advertising?

Bing Advertising, part of Microsoft Ads, functions similarly to Google Ads by displaying ads on Bing SERPs and partner networks like Yahoo and AOL.

Bing is a solid second in the search engine market and can expand your reach beyond Google.

Statistics of Microsoft Bing users versus other search engines

User Statistics and Market Share

Despite Google's 84% hold on the global search market, Bing captures 9% and attracts over a billion unique visitors monthly.

Its user base is generally older and more affluent, making it ideal for targeting a mature, financially stable audience.

Microsoft Bing advertising homepage site

Why Choose Bing Ads?

Extended Reach

While Google Ads provides extensive reach, Bing Ads also offers significant visibility through its network.

The search engine not only powers its own searches but also those of Yahoo, AOL and other smaller search engines, significantly expanding the reach you’re able to achieve.

In addition, Microsoft devices default to Bing, and Microsoft 365 users have integrated Bing search through Cortana, creating a built-in audience that naturally drives traffic to your ads.

Demographic Insights

Bing's user base is generally older and more affluent, with many users over 45 reporting higher household incomes.

This demographic is often under-targeted but has substantial purchasing power, making Bing Ads ideal for reaching a lucrative audience.

[Demographic insights about Bing’s user base demographic-insights-bing-user-base.jpg]

Lower Competition and Costs

With fewer advertisers competing for the same keywords, Bing Ads offers potentially improved ad placements at lower cost-per-click (CPC) rates compared to Google Ads.

This can result in a more budget-friendly, cost-effective advertising campaign than Google Ads, and provide you with a higher ROI.

Targeting Precision

Bing Ads excels in advanced targeting options, such as allowing for:

  • Detailed adjustments at the ad group level
  • Precise scheduling based on local time zones
  • Geographic targeting

In addition, Bing Ads gives you more direct control over targeting specific devices or operating systems, which is particularly useful for campaigns requiring detailed audience segmentation.

Unique Features

One of the standout features of Bing Ads is its integration with LinkedIn, enabling highly targeted B2B advertising.

This feature means you can reach specific professional audiences that Google Ads can't target as precisely.

Getting Started with Smart Campaigns

Smart Campaigns are designed for simplicity, and use Microsoft’s AI to help manage your advertising efforts efficiently.

Here are the 8 steps you need to get started:

  1. Visit the Microsoft advertising website — go to the Microsoft Advertising website and choose 'Sign Up' or 'Sign In'. Follow the prompts to create your account.
  2. Define your campaign goal — Microsoft will ask you to set a goal for your campaign, such as driving website conversions or promoting product sales. Select the option that aligns with your business objectives and click 'Next'.
  3. Provide business details and target locations — enter your business information and specify the target locations for your ads. This ensures your ads reach the right audience. You can expand your targeting to multiple locations or go global.
  4. **Keyword suggestions **Microsoft will suggest keywords related to your services. For enhanced targeting, utilize the Microsoft Keyword Planner to refine your keywords.
  5. Create your ad — fill in the text fields for your ad. A preview will show how your ad will appear, and it will alert you if the text exceeds the recommended limit. Include your business phone number if applicable.
  6. Set your budget — adjust your budget using the slider to compare with the average spending in your industry. The Estimated Performance tool will provide a glimpse of expected monthly impressions and clicks.
  7. Enter contact and payment information — provide your contact details and payment information. Once complete, submit your campaign for review.
  8. Campaign Review and Launch — your campaign will typically go live within a day after review. Once live, you can monitor its performance and adjust as needed.

Switching to Expert Mode

For those seeking more control and customization, Expert Mode offers a comprehensive suite of tools that gives you just that.

Here’s how to switch and what to expect:

  1. Switch to expert mode — navigate to the Tools menu at the top of your screen and select 'Switch to Expert Mode'. Confirm your choice when prompted.
  2. Targeting and budget setup — in Expert Mode, you can target specific URLs or import data from Google Ads or Facebook Ads accounts. Decide on your campaign budget and bidding strategy, then confirm your settings.
  3. Ad groups and keywords — create your ad groups by including relevant keywords. Microsoft provides keyword suggestions to enhance your strategy.
  4. Ad creation — develop your ads by filling in the headlines and descriptions. Microsoft will offer tips to optimize your ad's performance. Once you're satisfied, proceed to the next step.
  5. Business and payment details — enter your business details and payment information. Follow the prompts to complete the setup.
  6. Monitor and adjust — once your campaign is live, access the Expert Mode dashboard to monitor analytics, adjust budgets, and edit campaigns as needed.

8 Steps to Create Effective Ads with Microsoft Bing Advertising

Creating effective ads is essential for capturing your audience's attention and driving conversions.

As on any other ad platform, a well-crafted ad is instrumental to the success of your campaign on Microsoft Bing Ads.

Here are some key strategies to ensure your ads perform optimally…

1. Choose the Right Keywords

The foundation of any successful ad campaign is selecting the right keywords for your ads, so that your ads show when particular search terms are used.

A big part of that is choosing keywords based on the terms your potential customers are likely to use when searching for your products or services.

Tools like the Microsoft Keyword Planner can help you identify high-performing keywords for your business.

2. Ensure Ads Are Relevant

Relevance of your ads to your chosen keywords, and to the expectations of your target audience, is crucial for the success of your ads.

That’s because when your ads are relevant, they are more likely to attract clicks and improve your ad's quality score.

A higher quality score can mean better ad placements and lower costs per click, both of which enhance the overall performance of your campaign.

3. Target the Right Audience

Use Bing Advertising’s audience targeting functionality to reach your market based on demographics, interests, or behaviors.

Implement remarketing strategies to re-engage users who have previously interacted with your website or ads.

4. Use Compelling Ad Copy

Want to capture your audience’s interest? Then craft compelling ad copy.

Here are three of the main ways to achieve that:

  • Use clear, concise, and engaging headlines and descriptions
  • Highlight the unique selling points of your product or service
  • Use persuasive language—why should someone click on your ad, over and above any other? Make the benefits you offer clear.

And once someone’s on your website, use a strong call-to-action (CTA) to explicitly direct your audience on what to do next, such as signing up for a newsletter, or making a purchase.

5. Make Ads Visually Appealing

Including high-quality visuals in your ads, where permitted, can significantly enhance their effectiveness, simply because visuals attract attention and can be processed by the brain far more quickly.

Ensure that your visuals are relevant to your ad content and resonate with your target audience.

6. Use Ad Extensions

Utilize ad extensions to provide additional information and increase the visibility of your ads.

Ad extensions can include links to specific pages on your website, your business's phone number, location details, and more.

These extensions make your ads more informative and appealing, and improve the chances of someone engaging with your ad.

7. Ad Scheduling and Geographic Targeting

Optimize your ad visibility by customizing when and where your ads appear.

That means you need to:

  • Use ad scheduling to display your ads during peak times when your target audience is most active. To identify these optimal times, analyze the data for your ads.
  • Adjust your geographic targeting based on regional performance data. Increase your ad spend in high-performing areas and reduce it in regions with lower engagement.

8. Continuously Optimize

Once your ads are live, the real work begins.

The fact is that until you start to optimize your ads, you’re largely relying on guesswork.

But through the process of optimization, you tune your ads based on the actual data you receive, such as click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates, from running your ads—in other words, what works best for your market based on evidence.

It’s a continuous process. By regularly optimizing your ads—in other words, updating and refining them, such as your ad copy, keywords, and targeting settings—you ensure they remain effective and relevant to your audience.

Here are some of the key ways to approach it:

Regularly Monitor Performance

Track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and cost per click (CPC) on a regular basis.

These metrics provide insights into how well your ads are performing and help identify areas that could potentially be improved.

Use Bing Ads' built-in analytics tools to access detailed performance data and gain a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of your campaign.

Adjust Your Bid and Budget

Adjusting your bid and budget is vital for maximizing your return on investment (ROI).

At its simplest, it means allocating more budget to high-performing ads and reducing spending on ads that aren't delivering the results you’re looking for.

Getting a little more advanced, you can experiment with different bidding strategies, such as manual bidding or automated bidding, and see which approach works best for your campaign goals.

A/B Test Ads

A/B testing is one of the most valuable strategies you can use for optimizing your ads.

Essentially, it means creating multiple versions of your ads and testing them to see which variants perform best.

It’s important that you only change one element at a time—such as the call-to-action, ad copy, or visuals—to measure the impact of each change accurately.

Optimize for Different Devices

Different devices can generate varying conversion rates. For example, the attention span of someone on a mobile device is far shorter than someone on a desktop.

Analyze your ad performance across different devices—desktop, mobile, and tablet, and optimize your campaigns accordingly.

If mobile users have a higher conversion rate, consider increasing your bid adjustments for mobile traffic.

Ensure your landing pages are mobile-friendly to enhance the user experience and drive more conversions from mobile users.

Continuous Keyword Management

Regularly review and update the list of keywords your ads target to ensure it remains relevant and effective:

  • Use Microsoft’s Keyword Planner to find new keywords your target audience are searching for, but that you’re not currently targeting with ads
  • Identify negative keywords that may be wasting your budget, and ensure your ads stop showing for them.

To Conclude

Starting with Bing Advertising doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s as simple as setting up your account, creating compelling ads, and then tweaking things to improve performance.

Don’t expect an ad campaign to be perfect from the get-go. Just start… and then gradually improve things as your campaign collects data.

Ready to give Microsoft Bing Advertising a go? Follow the info in this post, and you’ll be well on your way to launching successful campaigns to help grow your business and reach new customers efficiently.

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Steve Shaw is the founder of EverywhereMarketer, and has ran online businesses for over 20 years, serving over 13,000 customers in 137 countries. EverywhereMarketer helps you grow online visibility, attract more customers and grow your business across multiple channels.

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