The Beginner’s Guide to Using Microsoft Ads for Small eCommerce Business Owners
Running a small business comes with its own set of obstacles. You generally don't have an in-house media team or a large advertising budget if you have fewer than ten employees. It is now possible to work within your budget using Microsoft Advertising. Running ads on Microsoft Ads can help entrepreneurs like you accomplish and even exceed their business goals.
When you mention the term "search engine," most people assume you're referring to Google. Google is the market leader, but Microsoft's search engine network should not be overlooked. Despite being in Google's shadow, Microsoft has been improving its search offering, and the arrival of Microsoft Advertising is assisting.
While Google Ads continues to be the most popular search ad service, Microsoft Advertising (previously known as Bing Ads) is a close second, with over a billion monthly users.
However, if you're new to search ads, it can be confusing. Don't be concerned. We've got your back. In this article, we'll go over all of the fundamentals you'll need to know to get started with your own Microsoft Ads campaigns.
What are Microsoft Ads?
Microsoft Ads is a pay-per-click (PPC) platform that lets businesses advertise their products and services on both the Bing search network and other networks that Microsoft Ads works with (Yahoo and AOL). The adverts can be found at the top, bottom, or side of the Bing search results page. Microsoft Ads allows businesses to access a broad spectrum of potential customers, particularly demographic groups that are difficult to reach on other platforms.
In terms of how they work and how they are set up, Microsoft Ads and Google Ads are similar. You place a bid on certain keywords that you believe people will search for, then wait for Bing to match them to searches made on its platform. If your ad matches a search, the search engine will display it alongside organic search results.
Microsoft Advertising vs Google Ads
Using Microsoft Advertising or Google Ads to promote your goods or services can be a highly effective marketing strategy. If you know the distinctions between both, you'll have a better notion of what each can provide your business and why it would be a good idea to advertise on both.
- Reach. It's no secret that Google has dominated the search engine business, resulting in higher search volumes and a broader audience. But this doesn't mean you should look past Microsoft. The Bing network is also rapidly expanding. Bing now holds 34% of the global desktop search engine market share, with 5.4 billion searches each month on the Bing Network.
- Local. Having a free Google My Business page can help your business stand out in local searches and on Google Maps. Meanwhile, Bing Places for Business provides a free listing profile for customers who search using Bing or Bing Maps and are looking for a business like yours.
- Cost-per-click (CPC). For both Google and Microsoft Ads, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, which is how the PPC model works. However, Microsoft Advertising expenses are often lower because there are also fewer audiences (as of this moment).
- Ease of use. In terms of PPC advertising, both Google and Microsoft have similar capabilities and tools. If you're already familiar with Google Ads, switching to Microsoft Advertising should be a breeze.
Microsoft Advertising is currently the only digital advertising platform (other than LinkedIn) that offers LinkedIn Profile Targeting. Meaning, it allows you to target highly relevant audiences based on the information in their LinkedIn profiles (eg company, job function and industry) which would be extremely helpful if you are going for B2B audiences or professionals in the industry.
Small businesses, in our opinion, need all the help they can get. Make no mistake: You don't always have to choose between the two. For a small investment in time, budget, and knowledge you may realize that both approaches can help your business reach a larger audience at a lower cost.
Benefits of Microsoft Advertising for small business owners
- You can target your ads to appear when someone searches for your product or service within your area of business.
- Using ad extensions, you may provide customers with extra details about your company's products or services.
- Allows you to easily import Google Ads campaigns.
- Because there is no minimum spending budget, you can maintain complete control over your budget.
- You only pay if someone clicks on your ad. As a result, Microsoft Advertising is an affordable option for businesses of all sizes.
- By enabling your bids to automatically modify based on factors such as device, location, and time, you can save time and keep a close eye on your budget.
- Microsoft Advertising professionals will provide you with one-on-one coaching to help you generate more leads.
Microsoft Ads Cost
Microsoft Advertising is a pay-per-click (PPC) platform that allows you to create and maintain campaigns without upfront costs. If you have experience with Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising marks a more cost-effective alternative for many businesses.
Compared to Google Ads, the Microsoft Search Network offers a smaller audience for marketers to target. This means that there are less active advertisers competing for the same keywords — which is good news for marketers on a budget. While the Microsoft Search Network may not have as many users as Google Ads, it does offer lower costs per click (CPC). In fact, Microsoft Advertising might have a CPC that is up to 70% cheaper than Google Ads.
How to start your first campaign
- Start by making an ad account with Microsoft ads.
If you don’t have an account yet, go to the Microsoft Ads homepage, click the green Sign Up Now button on the right side of the page.
Fill in the information that is needed, like your email address, phone number, and business location, by following the instructions and following the steps.
Once you're done, read and agree to the terms and conditions. Then, choose Create a New Campaign.
- Set your campaign goal. Microsoft Ads will ask you to choose a campaign goal. Options include:
- Visits to my website
- Phone calls to my business
- Visits to my business location(s)
- Conversions in my website
- Sell products online
Any goal you choose will let you start a campaign, but make sure to align it with your own business goals. If you want to boost your online sales, for example, choosing "sell products online" as your campaign goal is the best option.
- Choose the keywords you want to bid on.
There is a tool called Microsoft's Keyword Planner that you can use to do very detailed keyword research. Start by typing in the keywords that best describe or are associated with your products and services. Then, look at the results that come up. Make a list of keywords to employ in your campaign based on your results.
- Decide what targeting options you want to use. You can target your local area, specific times of day, or different types of devices when you send a text message (e.g. desktop or smartphone).
Microsoft also lets you choose from two types of ads: search ads and audience ads. Ads that show up at the top of search results are called search ads. Audience ads are non-search placements that show up on sites like Microsoft Edge, MSN, Outlook, and other partner sites. These can be banners inside articles, for example.
- Write an amazing ad for each keyword. Next, the platform will ask you to make your first ad. You'll be sent to a page with the following options:
- Your business name
- Image (up to six, ads display one at a time)
- A long headline (90 characters max)
- A short headline (30 characters max)
- Ad text (90 characters max)
- Final URLs (for desktop and mobile)
Once added, click Save to proceed further.
- Set a budget and start the campaign. When you use Microsoft Ads, they will ask you how much budget you want to spend each day. Enter a reasonable amount or one that's within your budget. This is the amount you'll pay each day until your ads are live
Microsoft will use your budget to estimate the number of clicks and impressions your ad may receive. Below the daily budget section, you'll see your monthly maximum, which is the most Microsoft Ads will charge you in a month.
- Click Save to launch your first Microsoft Ads campaign. Your ads will show when people search for your targeted keywords on Bing, AOL, Yahoo, and syndicated partner sites (like MSN and Outlook).
- Monitor ad performance. Make sure to track the performance of your campaign so you can identify which of your ads are more popular with your target audience. This will help you focus on improving those ads to obtain even greater results. To increase the success of your campaigns and where you advertise, make adjustments where you see fit.
How to import from Google Ads to Microsoft Ads
If you have an existing Google Ads account, you may want to import your ads and ad groups to Microsoft Ads. To do so, follow these steps:
- Go to the Campaigns page.
- Click Import from Google Ads.
- Sign in with the username and password for the Google Ads account you want to import from and allow Microsoft to import ads.
- The next page will tell you how many campaigns, ad groups, ads and keywords are eligible for import. If there is anything missing from the list, it means that we can't import it into Microsoft Ads. The tool will tell you why something isn't eligible for import so that you can try fixing it if needed.
If everything is good to go, click Import campaigns.
We hope this guide has helped you pick up some tips to improve your search engine and PPC marketing, and you can use these tips whenever it’s time for you to make changes to your business’s campaign setup and optimization.
Bing's pay-per-click advertising is:
Budget-friendly. Bing Ads will enable you to set a limit daily expenditure to control your costs.
Cost-efficient. Bing Ads will only charge you for the advertising consumers click on (meaning you only pay for leads) (meaning you only pay for leads)
Flexible. Ads can cost as little as a few dollars or as much as several thousand dollars every day.
Targeted. Microsoft Advertising utilizes keyword and audience targeting to make sure your ads only display in search results relating to your product, service, or brand.
We want to empower small eCommerce owners like yourself to do more with less, so let us know if you have any questions or need help in setting up a Bing Ads campaign.
Need eCommerce Solutions?
With over 400 clients served, Webinopoly is a leading web development agency with an experienced team of designers, developers, and marketers. Webinopoly combines a deep understanding of the eCommerce industry and its latest trends with proven success in building attractive and successful online stores. We specialize in custom BigCommerce and Shopify theme design, website development, marketing, and SEO.
If you’d like to learn more about what we can do or view our portfolio, please click on the links below: