SEO Glossary: Microsoft Advertising

In a nutshell: What is Microsoft Advertising?

Microsoft Advertising enables advertisers to place online advertising campaigns in the search engines of Bing, Yahoo and other partner websites. As an alternative to Google Ads, payment is also made per ad click.


What is Microsoft Advertising?

Microsoft Advertising is a platform from Microsoft that is used to place paid online advertising campaigns via a network of search engines and in MSN search results.


Ads appear simultaneously in these search engines:


  • Bing
  • Ecosia
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Yahoo


It is also the smaller counterpart to Google Ads. Microsoft Advertising is also a pay-per-click advertising platform for companies that want to advertise their products or services.


The history of Microsoft Ads


Before the company was taken over by the Microsoft Group, Microsoft Advertising was still called Bing Ads. It was launched in 2006 and has a similar design to Google Ads.


The pay-per-click model was initially intended for Microsoft's MSN search engine. This was followed by the MSN adCenter, which was later used for the Bing search engine under the name Microsoft adCenter.


The advertising is now displayed via the Microsoft Search Network and therefore via the search engines Bing, Yahoo, MSN and AOL. There are also partnerships with the Ecosia search engine, Amazon and Apple.


How does Microsoft Advertising work?


Advertisers have a wide range of options for monitoring and optimizing their advertising measures. Advertising can be displayed in various ad formats such as responsive search ads, display ads or shopping ads.


Billing is based on cost-per-click (CPC) and depends on the competition and the quality of the ad. This means that advertisers pay per customer click on their ad.


With Microsoft Ads, a bid is therefore placed for a keyword. The ads can also be displayed at different times and in different places. They can be adapted precisely to the target group .


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Ad formats for Microsoft Ads


Microsoft Advertising offers advertisers two different ad types, each of which is displayed on different platforms: Search ads and content ads.


Search ads


They are tailored to the user's search query and are displayed in the search results of Bing and Yahoo search engines as well as partners such as Ecosia.


The user's search determines which ad appears. In the shopping search, images and price information are displayed in the ad.


Content displays


They are aligned with the content opened by the user and are placed in the Microsoft Audience Network. They are then displayed on LinkedIn or Yahoo Finance, for example.


The bids are based on keywords and website or network placements and not on a specific advertising platform, which therefore cannot be selected by the user.


Advertisers can customize the ads using keywords, location, language and timing, and specify the target audience based on geographic and socio-demographic data.


The click prices are calculated from the ratio of clicks to impressions(CTR), the quality factor and the number of bidders and their bids.


Tools at Microsoft Advertising


Microsoft offers its advertising customers a wide range of options for optimizing the performance of advertising measures.


The heart of campaign management with Microsoft is the Editor - a desktop tool used to manage campaigns and keywords.


Users can also use the Microsoft Advertising Intelligence tool to manage and optimize lists of keywords with up to 200,000 key terms.


Windows users should be able to use the desktop tools even more easily thanks to the Windows-typical user interface .


Google Ads customers can also import the keywords and ad texts into their own Microsoft Advertising account.


Who is Microsoft Ads interesting for?


By using Microsoft Advertising, advertisers can acquire new customers in the long term and thus expand their own customer base.


Microsoft Ads is particularly attractive for internationally operating companies, as the market share outside Germany is larger.


In addition, Bing is usually the default search engine on many Windows company computers. Employees then mainly use the search engine automatically to find relevant information.


For small to medium-sized companies that want to advertise cost-effectively, Microsoft Advertising offers an attractive alternative to the Google Ads network.


Microsoft Advertising vs. Google Ads


Microsoft Ads is very similar to Google Ads in many respects, making it a good alternative to Google.


However, Google has a larger market share (97%) and therefore also a higher search volume - despite the partnerships between Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.


In contrast, advertising via Bing, Yahoo and Co. is generally cheaper. Ideally, however, website operators should advertise on both Google Ads and Microsoft Ads.


This is because a keyword that has a particularly high search volume on Google and therefore high click prices could be cheaper on Microsoft Advertising with a lower budget.


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Conclusion: What is Microsoft Advertising?


Microsoft Advertising offers an attractive alternative to Google Ads and is particularly suitable for companies that want to acquire new customers in the long term.


The ability to advertise in various search engines and on partner websites allows advertisers to reach a wider target group.


The platform has a user-friendly design and a similar structure to Google Ads, but is more cost-effective, although the latter has a greater reach. Microsoft Advertising has various ad formats, targeted targeting and performance optimization tools.


For optimum advertising results, it is therefore advisable to use both platforms in parallel for targeted marketing with different budgets and target groups.

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