Bing can help you maximize your online reach and capture traffic you might miss with Google.
Here, you’ll find:
- The benefits of advertising on both Google and Bing
- How the Microsoft Ads platform compares to Google Ads
- Tips to create top-quality ads for Bing
- How Quality Score plays a role
Many businesses raise an eyebrow when first introduced to the idea of using Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) to attract new customers.
But you might be surprised to learn all that the Bing search engine has to offer.
According to recent Statista data, Bing attracts over one billion users per month worldwide. The numbers continue growing as Microsoft Advertising expands by launching in new markets.
If you want to capture the large batch of users out there who use Bing, it’s necessary to explore Microsoft Ads.
Microsoft Advertising vs. Google Ads
Of course, there are plenty of similarities to be found between Google Ads and Microsoft Ads, which show up on the Bing search engine.
They’re both used to push highly relevant ads to users, with the goal of using targeted marketing to help attract more high-quality leads who are more likely to make a purchase. However, there are also a few key differences to keep in mind.
One notable difference is that, while Google Ads has a balanced network of both PPC (or paid search) and display ads, Bing has a much more limited display ad network that’s relegated to Microsoft-owned products including Windows operating systems, Outlook, Microsoft Edge, and Xbox.
You may also find that each platform uses a different language to describe its functions and metrics. For example, Google tends to use cost per acquisition (CPA) along with the cost of conversion, while Microsoft Ads only uses the term CPA.
Other notable differences include:
- Ad scheduling – Google Ads uses your time zone to schedule ads, while Microsoft Ads uses the ad viewer’s time zone.
- Search partner targeting – Both Google and Microsoft Ads let you place your ads beyond the search engine results page (SERP). However, the way you select partner networks is different. Google gives you a choice to expand to these networks while Bing allows you to target Bing and Yahoo, just search partners, or both.
- Close search variants – Google uses close search variants of keywords by default. Microsoft Ads allows this as an option.
Using both platforms can provide a noticeable boost to your marketing campaigns. However, it’s important to know how to use Microsoft Ads properly if you want to make the most of it and effectively supplement your Google Ads campaign.
Next, let’s dig into some best practices that’ll help you create winning ads to attract the ideal Bing searcher.
1. Import high-performing Google Ads campaigns to Microsoft Ads
To make your job easier, Microsoft Advertising allows you to import Google Ads campaigns seamlessly. Simply use the import feature to carry your campaigns over to Microsoft’s ad platform.
While you can test your most successful Google Ads campaigns using Bing, keep in mind things may look and work a little differently when creating ads on Microsoft.
Knowing the subtle differences when importing can help you transition from one platform to the other and use both to your advantage.
Things to check after the import include:
- Bids and budgets
- Negative keywords
- Targeting options
As you make adjustments to your Google Ads campaign, you can apply them to the Microsoft Ads campaign through import.
Keep in mind that things you can’t import include:
- Video campaigns (since they’re done through YouTube)
- Retargeting lists
- Age targeting
- Exact location targeting
You can import changes to the Microsoft Ads campaign on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This can cut the time you spend on Microsoft Ad campaign management dramatically.
2. Create high-quality copy and images for your ads
You should always optimize your ads for people, not search engines. Keywords are important, but you’re ultimately creating ads to appeal directly to your target audience. With this goal in mind, try to:
- Use on-brand colors that attract attention
- Highlight product, service, or brand elements through images
- Create ads using high-quality images without pixelation
- Use images of people without accompanying text or logos
- Keep ads clean and simple so you don’t overwhelm the user
- Avoid lengthy headlines — stick to concise, easy-to-read phrases
3. Start broad and specify your audience based on results
To pinpoint the ideal audience, it’s a good idea to begin with a broad ad campaign that targets as many users as possible without going over your available budget.
From there, you can begin to narrow down your audience based on the demographics and other traits of users that are likely to click on your ads.
In the process, you can create more valuable ads that target the people who are most likely to be interested in your product or service offerings.
4. Make the most of your budget
Even if you’ve maxed out your Google Ads budget, you can still tailor your budget to help you perform well on Bing.
Thanks largely to the lighter competition you’ll find on Bing, you could discover that a smaller budget takes you much farther on the platform than it would with Google.
You’re also likely to find less expensive costs per acquisition (CPAs) with Microsoft Ads while targeting potentially millions of daily search engine users.
5. Know your target audience on Bing
You might find that your Bing audience is different from your Google audience. If so, you should tailor your campaign audiences accordingly. Bing’s demographic tends to include older users who aren’t as quick to go to Google if Bing is their default search engine.
While you may think this means your audience is potentially less tech-savvy, know that many of these users have accumulated more wealth and are willing to spend more money online than their younger counterparts.
The fact that your audience on Bing is likely different from your Google audience only further emphasizes the importance of using both.
6. Make use of the UET tag
Microsoft Ads enables you to set up customized event and conversion actions using Universal Event Tracking (UET). With the help of this tool, you can create custom audiences as people perform certain actions.
For example, you might create an audience that spends a certain amount of time on landing pages or visits only a few other pages before leaving your website after clicking on an ad.
With a better understanding of user behavior through UET tags, you can cater campaigns to specific individuals to improve your campaigns’ overall performance.
7. Keep an eye on your Quality Score
Page or domain authority is a key component of a successful Bing campaign. That’s because it helps gauge the authoritativeness and popularity of a website.
You can use Bing’s Quality Score metric to determine how much influence your website has on the search engine, which can help you determine your ads’ competitiveness.
Heads up: Without any adjustments, you may find that your Quality Score in Microsoft Ads is lower than what you have in Google Ads.
The Quality Score ranges from 1 to 10, with the best score being 10. If you notice that your Quality Score is suffering, try to adjust your ads by:
- Conducting more keyword research
- Ensuring your published content is well-written, accurate, and updated
- Optimizing your landing pages
- Checking your ad group targeting
8. Take advantage of in-market audiences
Similar to Google Ads, Microsoft Ads offers marketers an intent-based targeting feature that brings the campaign to conversion-ready audiences. Bing uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create lists of users who have shown interest in purchasing items and services similar to yours.
In-market audiences allow you to reach potential buyers without running complex targeting campaigns. Not only does this feature save money and help increase conversions, but setup is easy.
Microsoft is constantly adding new in-market audience categories, so if your industry isn’t there yet, continue monitoring the updates.
Keep in mind that Microsoft Ads in-market audience categories are different from in-market audiences on Google Ads. Adjust the settings for each one manually so you don’t miss out on some categories by assuming they’re the same.
9. Import campaigns from Facebook Ads
As of summer 2021, you can import Facebook Ads campaigns to Microsoft.
This feature can be especially useful for marketers who have a robust Facebook Ads campaign going. However, not all elements of the campaign can be imported in full — you still need to adjust some aspects manually.
Pro tip: Before allowing your imported Facebook campaign to appear on the Microsoft Audience Network, you have to preview all assets such as images, logos, and videos.
10. Explore video extensions
Microsoft Ads allows using videos as an extension feature on the search ads. Your video will appear next to your ad on the SERP, making it more appealing and engaging to the viewer.
The extension video has a call-to-action (CTA) button that takes the user to the landing page of your choice. Don’t forget to add captions to the video to improve its accessibility.
The cost per click for clicking on the video is the same as for clicking on an ad, but only for the first click. If the same user clicks to watch the video again, it’s free.
Using a combination of Microsoft Advertising and Google Ads can help you find better paid-search success and maximize your business’s overall reach online.
Leveraging these best practices, taking the time to develop high-quality ad campaigns, and understanding your target audience on Bing can help you craft ads that are highly effective, no matter the search engine.
This post has been updated and was originally published in August 2020.