Bing Native Ads: How To Review & Optimize Performance

Bing Native Ads became available in beta to the US market in July 2015 and were made available in additional markets later that year. If you’re unfamiliar with Native ads, they are ads that show on relevant MSN web pages based on the following user intent signals:

  • Users’ interests expressed by their prior search queries
  • Intent signals from the content of the experience in which the users are at any given point
  • User actions like looking for products or taking actions on advertiser sites

These ads have been available for some time now (though it’s not possible to have a Native-only campaign at this point), and I think it’s safe to say that reviewing Native performance for all accounts is a good idea. However, the process of reviewing Native performance in the Bing Ads interface isn’t obvious, so I thought I’d provide a walk-through.

The Performance Data

Bing provides a Native performance summary row in the interface at the bottom of the Campaigns, Ad Groups, Ads and Keywords tabs. While this is helpful in getting a snapshot view of how Native ads are performing, this information isn’t so helpful in informing your decisions about whether Native bid modifiers are needed at the campaign or ad group level.

To see Native performance at a more granular level, head to the Reports tab at the top. Then choose ‘Ad’ under ‘Report Type,’ ‘Summary’ under ‘Unit of Time’ and set the date range you want to review:



From there, scroll down to the bottom and ensure that the ‘Ad distribution’ column is part of your report, then download the report. Once you have the data, you can easily create a pivot table to review Native performance by campaign or even ad group.

Adjusting Bid Modifiers

Once you’ve analyzed the data by campaign or ad group, you can add bid modifiers if needed, based on performance, at either level. If you want to add modifiers at the campaign level, just click-through the campaign and go to the Settings tab; scroll to the bottom and add your modifier under Other settings > Native Ads Bids:



You can add modifiers ranging from -100%, which will keep the campaign or ad group from showing Native ads, to +900%. If you want to add modifiers at the ad group level, you simply click-through the ad group you want to adjust and follow the same process as campaign-level additions.

Creating Native Ads

Although regular Search text ads will show as Native ads, Bing provides the option to create Native-preferred ads. Since Native ads differ in how and where they are shown, there’s value in creating Native-preferred ads so you can optimize and customize their messaging accordingly. To create these ads, you simply mark the check box by Preferences which says ‘Prefer native ad format’ when you’re creating new ads.


Adding Image Extensions

Remember, Native ads are basically Display ads, so including attention grabbing yet tasteful images can help drive more ad clicks. To add Image Extensions, just head to the Ad Extensions tab and choose Image Extensions from the drop down menu:


You can review specs and tips for image extensions here under ‘Add image extensions.’

Ultimately, reviewing Native performance and optimizing accordingly should not be neglected. If you’re seeing a high volume of traffic to Native ads then consider launching separate Native-preferred ads to tailor the messaging. If you’re hardly seeing any Native traffic, try boosting the Native bid modifier in a few test campaigns to see if you can drive good results. If you’ve already reviewed Native performance, have added bid modifiers as needed based on performance and are testing Native-preferred ads then take it to the next level by testing Image Extensions. Whatever you do, don’t neglect this piece of your Bing campaigns.

What results have you seen so far with Native ads? Let us know in the comments!