Microsoft Ads - it's not all about Google

Ellie Burns Written by Ellie Burns

5 min read   -  22nd September, 2023

Microsoft Ads - it's not all about Google

Meet Microsoft Ads. You’ve probably already come across them when they used to be known as Bing Ads. On the surface, they’re just Microsoft’s answer to Google Ads. But if you’ve been dismissing them you could have been losing out on a lucrative revenue stream. 

Let us explain.

What are Microsoft Ads?

In short, they’re digital adverts (much like Google Ads) created by companies and users that show up across Bing and its partner networks.

Microsoft advertising

Why consider using Microsoft Ads?

Currently, they have a significant reach of around 9% of worldwide search engine usage. That’s a pretty big chunk of users and searches that you could be making the most of for your digital campaigns.

In essence, there are over 1 billion unique active users on Microsoft every month. Just think of what you could achieve by appearing at the top of the search results for potentially billions of users. It’s all possible, with Microsoft Ads. This is the best way to control your brand identity in a small but impactful corner of the Internet.


Microsoft billions of users

Microsoft Ads vs Google Ads

Let’s get to know Microsoft Ads in relation to what Google has to offer. The differences and benefits might surprise you! Microsoft Ads are so much more than just a competitor.

1. Similarities

Impressive reach

9% of the global search engine usage is no small feat. Microsoft Ad’s placement opportunities for paid campaigns include Bing, Yahoo, AOL, and others. So it’s never just a case of showing up on This reach also includes integration with the Microsoft Ecosystem, which interacts directly with tools like Microsoft Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn. This diverse placement and great tracking opportunities maximise your targeting efficiency.


Ad types

Like Google Ads, Microsoft Ads uses keyword-based targeting with its search ad campaigns. But you don’t just get search ads. You can create product ads, responsive search ads, app install, and dynamic search ads to capture and retain users' attention across multiple touchpoints. These ads are all quite similar in style to what you’ll be familiar with in Google Ads, so starting a campaign in Microsoft is an easy transition.

2. Main differences

Where Microsoft Ads really excels is in their differences to Google Ads. Read on to discover some key benefits found within the differences between each platform.


Different search engines

We previously mentioned the platforms that Microsoft Ads cover. It’s worth remembering that this is a hugely active space for digital marketing, with marketers in 2022 spending $11.59 billion exclusively on Microsoft Ads. You don’t want to miss out on a sector of the digital marketing industry that has seen a 67% increase from 2021-2022, so make the most of your opportunities with Microsoft Ads.



You know LinkedIn is a treasure trove of highly specific data on its users, covering data points like locations, interests, and industries? You can take all of that data and apply it directly to your next marketing campaign. 

This is because Microsoft Ads pulls data directly from LinkedIn. Data that you can then use in campaigns focusing on job types, industries, or even companies. Looking to create a campaign that is niche, B2B, and only in one specific subset of an industry? This is the ad platform for you.

Google, by comparison, cannot offer this as a targeting option directly like Microsoft does.



It’s been said that users who interact with Microsoft Ads may be more open to spending more online. This lies in the demographics of the platform, as Bing users tend to be often slightly older professionals, browsing online. Compare that to the younger user base found on Google, often searching at home, away from the focused searches of the workplace.


Cost and competition 

Of course, one of the best opportunities with Microsoft Ads lies in its size. As there is significantly lower competition compared to Google Ads, you could be in a position to monopolise keywords that were unaffordable on Google Ads. 

With this benefit also comes a lower CPC, and the potential for lower cost per conversion. We’d call that a win-win.


Microsoft Ads vs Google Ads

Targeting in Microsoft Ads

Here’s an overview on the targeting you can find in Microsoft Ads.

1. Keywords

Get clever with chosen keywords for each ad, including long-tail keywords and various match types.

2. Demographics

You can target your ads based on age, gender, and income bracket.

3. Device types

Break it all down to focus on desktop computers, mobile phones, or tablets. Microsoft Ads also allows you to target based on the type of operating system of the user, something Google has never been able to offer!

4. Location

Showcase your ads to only the most relevant users, targeting geographic locations and radius targeting.

5. Retargeting

Just like Google Ads, you can show ads to users who’ve previously clicked on your ads, returning customers, and more. Create custom audiences based on criteria of your choosing, or select In-Market Audiences or Similar Audiences to bring in relevant users.


Microsoft ads retargeting audiences

Reporting in Microsoft Ads

There’s a wealth of reporting features to be found in Microsoft Ads. Switch to Expert mode to get the best options.

1. Dashboard

Your overview of key metrics from your campaigns, along with recent changes and developments.

2. Customisable reports

Select specific date ranges, dimensions, and metrics to tailor reports for you and your clients.

3. Segmentation

Break up the mass of data at your fingertips, segmenting by date, campaigns, ad groups, keywords, devices, and locations.

4. Visualised data sets

Everyone loves a good graph to showcase those recent wins! Present graphs and charts to your clients directly from customised data sets, as well as your trusted tables.

Of course, everything can then be exported for quick sharing with clients and colleagues in various formats, including CSV and Excel.


Microsoft ads visualised data sets

The key benefits of Microsoft Ads

We think the top 3 benefits of Microsoft Ads alone make it a vital part of any comprehensive digital marketing strategy.

1. Less competition

If you’re looking to take up space at the top of the search results, you can do this for a fraction of the cost you’d have to pay on Google Ads.

2. LinkedIn integration

Make the most of Microsoft’s closeness with LinkedIn (spoiler: they own it!) Tap into the user data found in LinkedIn for some hyper-specific ad targeting, found nowhere else.

3. Bing and Yahoo Search Networks

Reach a combined audience of millions, combining the extensive search networks from Bing and Yahoo. It’s a significant chunk of the Internet to be advertising to.


Yahoo and Bing network

Summary of Microsoft Ads

Whether you’re looking to bring in a new audience to your brand, see what results you can get from a small and powerful slice of the Internet, or want to see just how useful LinkedIn data can be, Microsoft Ads are well worth your attention.

This guide has just skimmed the surface of what you can achieve with campaigns on Bing and Yahoo; the rest is up to you! Well unless you’d like us to help. We’re well-versed in Microsoft Ad campaigns. Get in touch if you’d like to find out more.

It starts with discovery

Speak to us today and let’s start growing your business.

Get in touch Get in touch

It starts with discovery

Speak to us today and let’s start growing your business.