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Studies show impressions have a much greater impact when they achieve a higher rank on the page. Making quality bids is one way to influence a higher rank on the page. To assist with bidding decisions, Bing Ads has tools that suggest bid amounts and estimate click traffic.

After reading this training, you will understand how to:

  • Set an initial keyword bid when adding it into an ad group.
  • Update keyword bids by receiving inline bid suggestions in keyword grid.
  • Update keyword bids by leveraging Bid Landscape for better performance.
  • Adjust keyword bid per targeting criteria.


The heart of online advertising is matching relevant ads with potential customers. Bids are just one of several factors that affect your ad’s position. Along with bids, keyword relevance and quality score are critical variables that determine ad rank. However, fully understanding bidding is important because it’s possible to overpay for performance when trying to display your ad in the mainline (A) and sidebar (B) locations.

Screenshot of a search engine results page with two areas highlighted: A) the mainline ad area at top of page; B) the sidebar ad area in the right column.

When creating your bids, keep in mind:

  • Your keyword bid is the maximum price you are willing to pay each time your ad is clicked. Your actual cost may be much lower.
  • Your budget affects the number of times your ad can be clicked in a given day or month.
  • Keyword bids are not static. It’s good practice to constantly review and adjust your keyword bids based on actual results as well as estimated results.

Flexible bidding tools

In order to get the best performance at the lowest cost, Bing Ads provides the following tools and techniques for customising your bid strategy.

  • Control bidding by separating default bids for the search network and content networks.
  • Choose individual keyword bids, overriding the default bid set at the ad-group level.
  • Use match types to bid on individual keywords based on how closely a search query matches your keyword.
  • Use suggested bid amounts to help meet a specific placement on the page.
  • Use bid landscape to help you adjust bid to optimise for performance.
  • Set incremental bids if the user meets one or more of your targeting criteria.

Setting keyword bids

When you first create a new campaign or ad group and define your initial set of keywords, you’ll also enter the ad group’s default bids for the search and content networks. Keywords which have not had their bids overridden will be set to their respective ad group’s default bid.

When creating a new keyword list, you can override the ad group default bid by selecting unique bids for chosen keywords. After clicking the add button from the Keywords tab and inputting your new keyword list, you can choose bids based on the various page positions: first pagemainline or best position. You can also set a custom value.

  • Best position: The first position in the mainline location. Mainline ads appear just above the organic search results in the center column of the page.
  • Mainline: Any position in the mainline location.
  • First page: Any position on the first page, including the mainline or sidebar locations.
Screenshot of the Enter Keywords screen in Bing Ads. Keywords "women running shoes" are entered with a first page 20-cent bid position selected.

Updating keyword bids

Search engine marketing is not a “set it and forget it” activity. You should monitor and adjust your campaigns as needed. Sooner or later, you’ll want to change your bid amounts for keywords. When that time comes, there are two estimation methods to help you decide keyword bid amounts. You can adjust your bid amounts by:

  • Choosing a results page location and set the bid amount by leveraging inline bid suggestion.
  • Setting your own bid amount by leveraging the bid landscape tool.

Inline bid suggestions

You can view estimated bid suggestions and how to adjust those bids to meet your performance goals seamlessly in your keywords grid. You can also get additional keyword delivery status insights for effective optimisation.

Inline bid suggestions is a feature in the Bing Ads Web UI that estimates how much you would have to bid for your ad to show up on the front page, mainline and best position.

In your Campaigns page, click the Keywords tab, and then the Columns icon on the right side of the tool bar to customise the insights you want to see in your keywords grid. From here, use the Modify columns link and add these three bid estimation columns (Est. first page bid, Est. mainline bid, and Est. best position bid) and click “Apply.” By clicking the Save this set of columns checkbox, you can rename and save this view including inline bid suggestions for easy access in the future.

Screenshot of the Modify Columns tool.

The estimated bids to reach first page, mainline and best position for each of your keywords will then be located directly in your keywords grid. Here you can see how to update your bid for your position goal. Also, for example, if you find a “below first page bid” alert under the Delivery column, simply scroll over to see what you should bid for the first page.*

Screenshot of results for estimated bids to reach first page, mainline and best position for each of your keywords.

* You may see your current bid lower than the first page bid suggestion even though your current average position is well above first page (even on best position).

Screenshot of a below first page bid alert even when average position is better than the first page.

The key is that for a first page bid suggestion, we take into consideration a reasonable amount of impressions you can get aside from the average position. You may get a good average position with a very low bid on a small fraction of impressions. This could be due to a couple of reasons:

  • This is a brand term that gets you into a high position as long as you have the chance to show.
  • You win less competitive impressions at a good position (e.g., midnight) but fall out on all the other more competitive impressions with the low bid. In calculating the average position, only the impressed auctions are taken into account resulting in a good average position.

Since we consider a reasonable amount of impressions to determine a bid suggestion, the bid suggestion can be higher than your current bid setting. Therefore, even if your current bid may be winning a small amount of traffic on a good position there may still be an opportunity to gain more traffic.

Not only can you see the estimated bid suggestions for a particular keyword right there in your grid, but you can learn how to best to change the bid by clicking the icon under your Current bid value to instantly view its bid landscape as well.

Using bid landscapes

The bid landscape feature is designed to give you more bidding power with less guesswork.

Bid landscape shows you how different estimated bids would have impacted your impressions and clicks over the previous seven days. If, based on this information, you want to raise or lower your bid, you can then select one of the estimated bids, or enter your own custom bid.

Screenshot of the bid landscape feature.

The bid landscape is simple to use:

  1. On the Keywords tab of the Campaigns page, if there is sufficient data for your keyword bids, a small graph icon will appear below your current bid.
  2. Click on this icon and you'll see a graph with a click-cost curve or a bid-impression curve. This data shows an estimate of the impressions, clicks and top impressions you would have received in a historical seven-day window for a given bid.
  3. You can leave a keyword bid as is, or make a change. To change your bid, select the appropriate value in the left column and click Save. If you want to enter your own bid, you can do so in the last row.

It’s important to remember that estimation is based on all auction data from the previous seven days. For example, if your keyword bid is $0.50 U.S. dollars, estimation shows you how your $0.50 U.S. dollar bid would have performed based on data from the last seven days. For comparison purposes, if you change your bid to $1 U.S. dollar, you’ll see what your results would have been with a $1 U.S. dollar bid. Although the estimation does not predict future performance of bids, looking at hypothetical bids in relation to real data can give you valuable insight into trends and probable results.

Incremental bids

Whether you’re using ad group default bids, or you’ve customised your bids based on estimations, you can also set incremental bids at the ad-group level to increase the chance that your ads are seen by your target customers. The incremental bid amount can be set to either increase or decrease (in one percent increments) your keyword bid when a targeted customer triggers the ad.

Screenshot of where incremental bids can be modified.


As an advertiser, you want your ad to display at or near the top of the search results page. Optimal keyword bids are critical for achieving a high rank while not overpaying. Bing Ads provides tools that allow you to analyse estimated results and apply informed keyword bids. As you work with your bidding strategy, remember these key points:

  • Use the bid and traffic estimation tools to help you place optimal bids.
  • Monitor and adjust your campaigns as needed.
  • Adjust bids using bid landscape.

Thanks for reading this training on bidding and traffic estimation. Continue your training or take the Bing Ads Accredited Professional exam to become accredited.


Please note all features in this training may not be available in your market.