Microsoft Search Advertising

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Ben Lund

Ben Lund is a 14+ year digital advertising vet who founded Rise Marketing Group. Outside of managing his agency, he offers advertising courses on SkillShare and routinely shares his best practices on DIYDigitalStrategy.com
Ben Lund
Read My Post

This blog post is for any advertiser that is currently advertising on Google Ads, but wants to scale their search advertising. If search ads are working for you (which should be the case for most advertisers), the next area to scale your advertising is Microsoft, which serves ads on Bing and their partner network.

Why Microsoft Ads?

  • Google Search is the market leader, but they don’t own all of the market share as it pertains to search advertising. Bing is the next player, in terms of market share. As you can see by this study, in October of 2018 Google had 63% market share of search within the United States, and Microsoft (i.e. Bing ), had 24% market share. To translate, just by moving your Google Ads to Microsoft Ads, you can get an extra 24% of traffic, and most importantly, 24% of conversions.
  • If you’re used to Google Search Ads, Microsoft Ads will be a super easy transition. Microsoft Ads pretty much mirrors Google Ads completely. There isn’t any steep learning curve to get more customers for your business through Bing.

How do I get Started?

Once you create a Microsoft Ads account, there is a super simple way to import your Google ads directly into Microsoft. You don’t have to worry about re-creating all of your finely crafted Google Search campaigns into the Microsoft platform, rather Microsoft addressed this with a super awesome tool.

When you log into Microsoft Search Ads, you’ll see there is a solution for “importing campaigns”. Upon click, there is an option to Import from Google Ads. From there, you’ll be asked to log into your Google account, and can simply check which account and campaigns you want to import.

From my experience, this works EXTREMELY well. Campaigns are imported, including keywords, ads, campaign settings, bids, etc. This means, within 20 minutes you can import all of your campaigns and start advertising on Bing and reap in that extra 24% of customers.

Microsoft search ads import

What else should I know about?

Once you’re ready to advertise on Bing, there a few points I want to cover, to make sure you maximize your performance.

  • Conversion tracking: This is a critical piece. I never advise to advertise unless an advertiser has conversion tracking setup. Within the left hand side panel, you’ll see an option for conversion tracking. I strongly recommend to implement the Microsoft pixel, which will accomplish two items. First, you’ll be able to identify how many customers or leads you’re driving with you campaigns. Secondly, you’ll be able to create remarketing lists. This is very helpful as you can append audience bid adjustments to you search campaigns. For example, if someone has previously been to your site, you can increase bids for this audience as they are much more likely to convert, than someone who is “cold” and has never been to your site before.
  • Performance:  For some advertisers, Microsoft just outperforms Google Ads from a Cost per Conversion and Conversion Rate perspective. Understand that the audiences on Google and Bing differ and what I’m seeing is that users on Bing tend to be older, thus may have more disposable income. This can translate into better performance. However, understand that each advertiser us unique and what works for one client may not work for another.
  • Yahoo!: Yahoo? Why would I write about Yahoo! within this blog post, when this is all about Bing? Well, come March 2019, inventory on Yahoo.com will be managed through the Microsoft Ads platform. This means, that you don’t have to open up another search account through Yahoo! Gemini (Yahoo!’s soon to be legacy search platform), rather your ads will automatically serve on Yahoo!. The benefit is you’ll get even more traffic. Albeit, the traffic on Yahoo! will be pretty small in comparison to Bing, and even more so vs. Google, but more is always more!
  • Email Targeting: To all of the sophisticated Google Ads advertisers who experienced the power of Customer Match, I’m sorry to share that Microsoft Ads currently doesn’t have the capability to upload emails as another audience for your search ads. This isn’t a show stopper, but something to be aware of, for any of the more advanced advertisers. However, I’m certain that Microsoft is currently building this out.

Summary

To summarize, if you’re getting good performance out of your Google Search campaigns, I strongly recommend to give Microsoft Ads a try. You’ll likely find that you’ll get more traffic and customers, with very similar performance to Google Ads. I have seen instances where Microsoft can outperform Google, but generally speaking, you’ll get more of the same performance. With Microsoft’s import tools, it’s super easy to get up and running, the only timely aspect is implementing the appropriate conversion tracking.

By Ben Lund

Ben Lund is a 14+ year digital advertising vet who founded Rise Marketing Group. Outside of managing his agency, he offers advertising courses on SkillShare and routinely shares his best practices on DIYDigitalStrategy.com

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