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Before You Bid on Google Ads, Let’s Review the Basics of Microsoft Advertising Campaigns

Antonella Saravia

4 years ago



We’ve been eager to address some beginner’s doubts on Microsoft Advertising Campaigns. Below are basic features available to marketers and extremely useful when getting started.

Paid Search on Microsoft

Paul is the owner of a design studio. He wants to increase the foot traffic in his Miami shop. He adds relevant keywords to his ad campaigns. He knows these words and phrases are used when people search for the products and services relevant to his business. When these words are used in search inquiries, his ads will be pulled and featured on the Microsoft Search Network search results page.

This is the basic idea of how paid search advertising works, including Google Ads. Of course, the ins and outs are a bit more complicated, but the example above should give you a good idea of why marketers use it for their businesses. 

Once your ads have been triggered by a search query for placement, an auction occurs to determine which of all the marketers trying to be featured gets in. This placement is called an ad position and Microsoft Advertising offers a wide range of placements on its available network: Big, AOL, or the Yahoo search results page. 

The idea is to get as high above the search page as possible so that more customers see it. 

Securing this ad position in Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising is determined by a variety of factors:

  • The amount you bid for your keyword.
  • The amount the competition bid for that keyword.
  • Your ad’s relevance.
  • Your ad’s performance.

The ad spend or bid, mentioned above, is the price you are willing to pay for your keywords, the price you’d pay for each click generated. 

If you’re eligible and your bid wins the auction, you’ll be charged when the ad is clicked on.

TIP: Though the auction dynamic is similar, the Microsoft Advertising platform offers marketers a lower CPC rate than Google Ads.

Sounds interesting, right?

We think so, too.

Where it gets a little tricky is understanding how to carry your Microsoft Advertising strategy successfully with so many different factors that come into play. For example, there is a boatload of different types of ads that you can choose from, which we will discuss in the section below. Learning about these in detail is important so you understand which will be instrumental to your goals and worth the investment.

Before you improve your click-through-rate or conversion rates, let’s get you set on the basics of the Microsoft Advertising platform. 

Campaigns and Ad Types

Whether you are a marketer or an agency, partnering up with a Microsoft Advertising or Google Ads Partner agency will help you breeze through campaigns and ads. 

Agencies are well-versed in the benefits of each campaign and ad type that you will need to choose from. Their expertise can guide you, but ultimately you know what goals your business is aiming to achieve with the addition of these ads. 

Below is the hierarchy for the digital strategies that you will employ on Microsoft Advertising:

  • A Manager account holds one or more accounts. It has a number associated with your business name and your address. 
  • Accounts contain one or more campaigns. This hold basic information about currency, time zone, payment options, method of payment and the administrators of the account. 
  • Campaigns contain one or more ad groups that all share the same budget
  • Ad Groups contain one or more ads and keywords that are associated with your ads. 

Types of Microsoft Advertising Campaigns

Microsoft Advertising provides a range of settings that are not available on Google Ads allowing marketers to adjust on the campaign and ad group level. Your campaigns come with a variety of types to choose from:

  • Microsoft Advertising Search Campaigns: This campaign feature shows ads in the search network which includes Bing, AOL and Yahoo. The search network also includes other third party websites, owned and operated by Microsoft’s and Yahoo’s syndicated search partners.
  • Microsoft Advertising Shopping Campaigns: This campaign feature organizes, manages, bids and reports on Product Ads. Your Product Ads are created from the content of your Microsoft Merchant Center (BMC) catalogs, and include custom images, promotional text, pricing, and seller details. You add your products and place targeting parameters. 
  • Microsoft Advertising Audience Campaigns: These ads feature your product or brand to your target while they’re browsing a website, checking their email, or using mobile devices and apps.

Types of Microsoft Advertising Ads

There are different types of ads available on Microsoft Advertising ad to marketers. Each carrying out a different format and function.

  • Expanded Text Ads: These are mobile-optimized ad formats that enable you to provide a shortlist of options for copy so they can be optimized for more compelling calls to action for consumers and drive higher conversions to your business.

  • Dynamic Search Ads: When a user searches for a product or service relevant to your site, Microsoft Advertising will pull content from your website to create these ads. As best practice, organize dynamic search ads in a sole campaign. This will differentiate budgets and settings between expanded text ads and responsive search ads which are triggered by the keywords you bid on.
  • Responsive Search Ads: These ads are meant to show more text to your customers. This includes multiple headlines and descriptions. Over time, Microsoft Ads will automatically test different combinations and optimize best performing ads.

  • Product Ads: These are created using shopping campaigns. They are a great way to give ads more space on the search results page and make them more compelling to potential customers. Using product ads, you can enhance your ads with real-time, specific product information from your Microsoft Merchant Center store catalog.
  • Microsoft Audience Ads: This feature enables advertisers to get additional high-quality traffic from non-search placements as they are shown in the Microsoft Audience Network. These ads are engaging for users, integrate naturally into page content, and deliver visually rich ads for advertisers. 


This is the basic information to understand what your campaign consists of. We’ve only gotten started, but we were happy to keep it going to help you understand the advantages of Microsoft Advertising over Google Ads. Are you interested? Check out our Microsoft Advertising course on our Academy website. It’s a deep dive of the material we’ve reviewed together, and you can complete it on your own time.