Skip to content

Keywords are single words or phrases that, when typed by a customer, trigger ads to display. Obviously, choosing the right keywords is an important part of any campaign’s success.

After reading this training, you will understand how to:

  • Choose keywords following best practices.
  • Create and manage your keywords list.
  • Use Bing Ads keyword research tools to optimise your keywords list.

The basics

Before you select your keywords, you should spend time solidifying your destination page and ad copy. Bing Ads will leverage both of them in order to help you build your list with highly relevant keywords. A keyword can be just a single word, several words or even a phrase. In the context of search advertising, all of these are simply referred to as a keyword.

Building a quality keyword list

Choose words and phrases that describe your business and any variations of those words or phrases. Search your web page and your competitors’ web pages for relevant keywords.

Creating a new keyword list

With your destination page and ad copy completed, create a new campaign. To add keywords, click Campaigns at the top of the page then click Keywords, and Add Keywords.

You can type them manually with Enter keywords selected, or you can let Bing Ads suggest keywords by way of the Research keywords link.

With Research Keywords selected, you can start with your own keyword then let Bing Ads find others that are relevant to yours. You can also choose to let Bing Ads scan any domain or webpage, including your website or destination page, to extract keyword suggestions.

Either way, you’ll have a list of keywords to choose from. Select the keywords you’d like to include by first clicking the checkbox and then clicking Add. The number of searches on that keyword recorded in the previous month also appears in the list of suggestions.

After you have selected your keywords, be sure to click Save at the bottom of the page, and continue following the prompts to finish setting up your campaign.

Screenshot of Add keywords screen.

Negative keywords

Negative keywords are a way to define exceptions to when your ad will be triggered. For instance, if your ad sells shoes and you’ve specified “tennis shoes” as a keyword, you can prevent your ad from being displayed in response to a search on “tennis courts” by adding “courts” as a negative keyword.

Setting bid amounts

The exact location and position of your ad depends on how it ranks against competing bids. If your bid is not high enough, you might not get the space you want, such as on the first page of search results. When adding your keywords, Bing Ads will provide you estimated minimum bids that can help get your ads shown in the preferred locations on Bing Network. These bid suggestions are labeled First pageMainline and Best position bids. You can adjust this amount as you see fit.

Read What is "ad position"? to learn more.

Keyword tools

There are additional tools at your disposal for research and optimisation of your keyword lists. Click the Tools link at the top of the page to find Research keywords.

The Research keyword tool begins with similar capabilities you experienced when adding keywords to a new campaign or ad group. However, it goes even further by adding refining filters, such as language, country/region, device or brand name.

After you’ve generated suggested keywords, your list contains performance data that helps you select the best keywords for meeting your marketing strategy. Columns such as search count, click-through-rate (CTR) percentage and average cost-per-click (CPC) in the selected market and language give you important insights about what will work for you.

After you select your keywords, you can identify your preferred match types and bids for each keyword.

Additional settings

Continuing further, you’ll come to the Add to ad group screen, where you can choose the account, campaign and ad group in which to add these keywords.

You’ll use the Ad Preview and Diagnostics tool, located in the Tools menu, to see what your ad looks like against other pay-per-click (PPC) advertisers and organic search results. This tool is a simulation. It is not an active webpage where you could affect data or accidentally charge yourself for clicking an ad.

Disapproved keywords

Keywords that do not meet Bing Ads policies are given a disapproved status. You will be alerted to any issues with your keywords in the Delivery column of your keywords list at which time you can either fix the issue or request an exception.

Bing Ads Intelligence

An even more powerful tool for working with keywords is Bing Ads Intelligence. To download and install, click the Tools tab and find it by the link “Bing Ads Intelligence.” This tool seamlessly operates in Microsoft Office Excel 2013, 2010 and 2007 and provides many features and templates for researching keywords.


The words and phrases you include in your keywords list help determine whether or not a customer will see your ad. Be sure to focus on keyword relevancy to maximise the effectiveness of your strategy. When choosing keywords, remember these points:

  • Search different websites, in addition to your own, to find more keywords.
  • Set keyword match types and add negative keywords.
  • Use Bing Ads keyword tools to help optimise and find new keywords for your campaigns.

Thanks for reading this training on choosing keywords. 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.