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Bing Ads Targeting Options: The Complete Guide

Using Bing (Microsoft) Ads can help you elevate your digital marketing campaigns by allowing you much leverage over your targeting. 

Like Google Ads, Bing Ads give you the option to pinpoint your audience via their targeting options, allowing you to create a Bing ads campaign that reaches the right audiences at the right times. Here’s how to get started….

Bing Ads Targeting Basics

Geographic Location

You may better know Microsoft Ads as Bing Ads (its former name). How they work is they allow you to advertise your brand by creating targeted digital campaigns that can then be displayed on Bing, Yahoo, AOL, and so on. You can also include geotargeting to your campaigns here by going to ‘Campaigns’ > ’Settings’ > ‘Edit Locations Target’, then selecting the locations you wish to include (or exclude), and finally who you want your ad to be targeted at. 

Those familiar with Google Ads will be pleased to know that Microsoft Ads are similar insofar as they allow you to choose between focusing on an audience in your targeted locations, audiences viewing or searching for pages in your targeted locations, or both.

Also, you can target and change your bid adjustment for:

  • United States and Canada
  • All available countries/regions
  • Selected cities, states/provinces, countries/regions, and postal codes by searching for your specific location and clicking ‘Target’ or ‘Exclude’ from the search results.


With Microsoft/Bing Ads, you can display your campaigns to a select group of searchers based on various demographic factors. These searchers have the data which Microsoft can then pluck to help you target various audiences based on their specific demographics. Bing can also track user information based on what they are putting into the various Microsoft search engines. This gives you leverage to target either numerous demographic groups or just one particular group.

When it comes to targeting your ads, you can either target at a campaign level or a group level. Which one you opt for depends on the specific demographics and keywords used for your campaign. Also, Bing Ads has superiority over Google Adwords here because you actually have more control over the demographic targeting. With this in mind, it can take more than one attempt to get your targeting spot-on, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t nail it the first time.

If you want to target a specific audience to increase ad visibility to them, you will need to up your bid increments by 10%. This is known as Bid Boosting and it can play a key role in your demographic targeting. It can be useful when targeting an audience based on all types of demographic and non-demographic information (such as what days to display the ads on, and what times throughout the day).

If you want to target your ads to audiences based on age or gender, here’s how: 

  • Click ‘Advanced Campaign Settings’. 
  • Click ‘Demographic’. Here, you can increase bid adjustments up to 900% and decrease them by as much as 90%. Keep in mind that when you make bid adjustments to age-group and gender, your ads will appear more frequently for the targeted demographic, but will still also appear for non-targeted demographics.
  • Click ‘Save’.


Brands are using cross-device targeting to reach their audiences on any device (desktop, smartphone, iPad, etc), which gives them (the brand) ad reach autonomy. You can also adjust your bid types per device type to optimise your campaign and ensure the best performance and success rate.

The benefits of device-targeting include:

  • Opting for mobile targeting allows you to target audiences when they are most likely to be using their smartphone (i.e.: during their commute, etc.).
  • Bid/cost control. You can manage your bids and make necessary adjustments on the best-performing device (monitor your KPIs for this information).
  • Target flexibility. You can include your device targeting with demographic targeting, and so on.

To target by device type:

  • Click ‘Advanced Campaign Settings’. 
  • Click ‘Device’. You can target desktop (including laptop) computers (bid adjustments -100% to +900%), tablets (-100% to +900%), or smartphones (-100% to +900%).
  • Click ‘Save’.

To target by specific day or time of day: 

  • Click ‘Advanced Campaign Settings’
  • Click ‘Ad Schedule’. You can increase bid adjustments up to 900% and decrease them by as much as 90%. 

Please note: when targeting by time, you are targeting the searcher’s local time zone, not yours.

Bid Adjustment

Bid adjustments can be important for a campaign and can often define whether or not the outcome is successful. Tweaking a bid on a keyword can potentially rapidly enhance the outreach of your campaign to the right audiences. This can also put you in a better position to that of your competitors.

Bid adjusting isn’t just an option for keywords either. You can amend the bid types for any of your specific target settings. Think of it this way: bid adjustments mean better display to the most relevant audience for your campaign, resulting in more conversions.

Ad Targeting Exceptions

When using the Microsoft Ad targeting options, it is important to be aware of the following: 

  • Your search ads will be, by default, displayed to leads who use browsers on smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. Incremental bids can be utilised for all device types.
  • With location targeting, Microsoft will display your ads to users in, searching for, or viewing pages per your targeted location (unless specified otherwise).
  • Targeting via age or gender allows you to advertise on a more competitive level.
  • Targeting via time of day will display your ads to a user at a set time in their time zone. You can also schedule your ads to 15-minute increments throughout the day and adjust your bids based on peak or low traffic volumes.

Final Thoughts

When creating your first Bing Ads campaign for ad targeting, it is wise to set your basic targets at the campaign level then clarify your targets at the ad group level. You can use both for your targeting for your campaign – there is no conflict. Keep in mind that campaign targets apply to all ad groups per campaign and ad group targets overrule campaign targets per ad group. Our Bing ads agency always makes sure to follow theses best practices.

Key points:

  • Consider bid adjustments for your most important targeted customers to increase conversion chances.
  • Target your ads by geographical location, day of the week/day, gender and age, and device.
  • Set both location (country) and language targeting criteria for your ad to be displayed.

If you’d like to learn more about how we help B2B SaaS and Tech companies grow their MRR through Bing ads, contact us online or send us an email today at to speak with someone on our team.

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