Microsoft Refreshes Bing Ads Dashboard

In an effort to make its online advertising platform easier to use, Microsoft narrows the user experience gap between Bing Ads and Google's rival ad platform.

Bing Ads dashboard

Microsoft is giving the Bing Ads user interface a major redesign.

This month, the company is rolling out a new Web interface, announced Dare Obasanjo, group program manager of Bing Ads Applications and Developer Platform, in a company blog post. Rather than rearranging some pixels, his team is adding new features aimed at helping users better track their online advertising campaigns.

"The changes, which reflect the feedback of our customers, go far beyond just a new look," wrote Obasanjo. Joining the simplified navigation are "a number of existing features … revamped to make you more efficient including negative keywords, opportunities and change history," he added.

The updates are immediately available to "a small set of users" and will be successively switched on for more users in the coming weeks, he said.

Accompanying Obasanjo's post are before-and-after screenshots that show a dramatic change between the old and new Bing Ads user interface (UI). Notably, they reveal a UI that bears a resemblance to Google AdWords and AdSense. Instead of rows and columns, the Bing Ads campaign summary page takes a page from Google and now displays a customizable "multi-metric" trend chart that provides an at-a-glance view of key campaign metrics.

Users can use the new charts to compare up to six metrics at once. "You'll be able to simultaneously see key performance indicators such as spend, clicks, impressions, conversion rate, and average CPC," explained Obasanjo.

The update's streamlined navigation makes it easier to get around, said Obasanjo. "We have consolidated Bing Ads Tools options into an easy-to-access location. Instead of being directed to separate pages for various tools, now you can easily access EVERYTHING via one click on the Tools dropdown link ... from any page," he said.

In terms of added functionality, the update includes shared libraries, which Obasanjo described as "libraries of entities such as negative keyword lists, which you can share across campaigns and ad groups." It's a time-saving feature that can help eliminate duplicate work for advertisers that avoid certain keywords as part of their ad optimization processes.

"With shared negative keyword lists you will no longer have to maintain redundant negative keyword lists across campaigns, but instead will be able to create a single list that can be shared by two or more campaigns," stated Obasanjo.

The refreshed Opportunities page now displays keyword and ad suggestions, along with their predicted effect, in a single view. Also in the works is an "overhauled" change history tool that offers insights into successful or underperforming campaigns. A redesigned Change History tab and set of new filters allow users to match changes in ad performance to actions taken in Bing Ads.

Microsoft also plans to make it easier for marketers to restore settings after ill-advised changes. Obasanjo wrote that in an upcoming release, Bing Ads will enable users to "undo a subset of changes from right within the change history grid, thus allowing you to take action inline without navigating away to a different page."

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...