Most often when you hear about keyword research you hear about products like WordTracker and Google Adwords but recently Microsoft also released a tool to help with Bing keyword research.  It is called Bing Ads Intelligence and it is a plugin for Microsoft Excel.

All you need to get started is some kind of Microsoft account – be it a Hotmail account, live account or some other way to “sign in” to Microsoft services.

Then, browse over to the Advertising Intelligence webpage and download the Excel addin.  It takes a few minutes to download and install, but once it is done you will see a new tab in Excel called “Bing Ads Intelligence”.

The first thing you are going to want to do is click the “sign in” button to sign into your account.  Once you are signed in you can begin to use the tool.

Basic Search Phrase Research

You can start by typing a few phrases into the spreadsheet.  Then highlight your terms and press the submit button underneath “Keyword Expansions” as this will create a new tab in your spreadsheet and return a list of other terms one could use for positioning and link building purposes.

You don’t necessarily need a large list of terms to get started here.  I entered 3 phrases important to my site and the tool returned 132 results.

One thing I did notice was that phrases with geographic identifiers (such as Kelowna Internet Marketing) don’t always work.  This is likely due to the search volume of certain phrases.  For example, if you live in a smaller area there are likely less searches performed for those phrases, therefore no data is returned.  It doesn’t mean the phrase does not have any searches performed, it just means the search threshold for the term is too low to warrant tracking and returning results.  In fact such a term could be extremely important in your area.

Analyze a Website for Suggestions

If you are unsure of the terms, perhaps a little competitive research would be in order.  This tool also gives you the ability to analyze the terms found on your website, or any other website, such as a competitor, and then return terms based on that analysis.

So open another tab, enter the url you want analyzed.  Highlight that cell and then hit the submit button underneath “Webpage Keywords”.  Not only will you get a list of terms Bing finds as relevant on that website, but you will also get a “score” field.  Score refers to how likely the keyword shown is relevant to the site in question.

Searches with Your Keywords

Sometimes there are terms you like that you feel are important to you, but you can’t think of other variations of the terms.  That’s where the “Searches with your Keywords” comes in.

Enter a phrase (such as “internet marketing”) and you will be returned a list of terms that have “internet marketing” in them.

This tab can be very handy to identify other search phrases which you could use to optimize or position your website as it will provide ideas you never thought of.  When I put in the phrase “internet marketing” the tool returned over 50 other phrases that contain “internet marketing”.   Very handy for generating a massive bucket of phrases to purchase ads on, or optimize for.

Associated Keywords

This button allows you to generate a list of phrases based on your input that other advertisers are bidding for.  Some may not be relevant to your business or website but another  avenue for additional phrases to optimize your site for, build links for, or add to your paid campaign.

Related Searches

This button returns a list of searches related to your chosen terms from Bing’s own related search results.

Similar to the “related searches” that appear elsewhere on the Bing search results page, this tool outputs a list of terms one could also consider when performing search phrase analysis.


Once you have used one or many of the above tools, it’s time to compile a list of terms and get the Bing searches performed for those phrases during the previous month.

You can further refine the criteria based on the device the search was performed on, such as was it a Computer the search was performed on, or a Tablet.

Keyword Categories

If you were so inclined, you could find out how Bing categorizes your chosen terms.  By selecting the “Keyword Categories” button Bing will provide a list of the phrases and how it categorizes them.  For my test phrases most of the categories were “Advertising & Marketing”, “Small Business” and “Web Design & Development” related terms.

Location, Gender & Age

Bing also provides 2 buttons – one for Location specific data, and one for Gender & Age based data.  With these 2 buttons you can get an idea of where the searches are being performed as well as who is performing them.

Handy for geo-targeting your paid campaign, but not as handy for an organic campaign.

That being said, the Age & Gender search results can help you better identify who might be searching for your product or service, allowing you to adjust your website to target them better, or adjust your online campaign in general to reach your target demographic.

Keyword Performance & Bid Estimation

Last but not least are the “Keyword Performance” and “Bid Estimation” buttons.

Even if you are not buying ads on Bing, these two buttons can be very helpful at providing insight into what your competition is doing on Bing.

Plus they give you a really great idea how competitive these terms are on Bing, not just on the paid site, but also organically.

That is because we can safely assume that if the “impressions” on a given search term are higher it is a highly searched for phrase.

Similarly, one could infer from the “average bid” that higher bids generally reflect more competitive search phrases.

Of course if you are considering managing a paid ad campaign on Bing then you will want to use the “Bid Estimation” tool to help you find the most appropriate terms, as well as determine a budget for those phrases based on the results shown.

For example, if I wanted to run an ad on Bing as an “internet marketing company” and I wanted my ad to appear highly in the paid ads, it would cost me between $2.32 and $9.26 per week to run such an ad on Bing.  Not a bad cost considering the exact same term on Google would cost me almost $220 per day!  Granted the reach on Google is greater, estimating over 1,500 impressions per day on the Google network, compared to just 61 daily impressions on Bing.


Whether you are considering purchasing ads on Bing, currently running a Bing advertising campaign, or just looking for some search phrase suggestions, the Bing Ads Intelligence addin for Excel is a great tool to have in your arsenal.

The best part is that it’s fast and the data appears in your spreadsheet.  No need to download a CSV, then import and format it in Excel.  It’s already done for you.

Even if you don’t like or use Bing and prefer to use a tool like Google Adwords for all your search phrase research, this tool can help.  You could use it to generate a list of suggestions and then copy those suggestions into Adwords to get Google traffic and costs and even more suggestions.

And best of all, it’s a free tool.  All you need to do is have a Microsoft account and set up a free Bing Ads account.