in Search Engine Optimization

Using Bing Ads Intelligence to Turbocharge Your SEO Keyword Research

It is no surprise that the SEO industry often relies on tools intended for our paid search brethren, especially when it comes to keyword research. One particular paid search tool that can assist with SEO keyword research is Bing Ads Intelligence (BAI). Although it less well known than its Google counterpart, The Google Keyword Planner, Bing Ads Intelligence (BAI) provides an excellent toolset for keyword research right within Excel.

As an SEO tool, Bing Ads Intelligence excels (pun unintended) at providing fast and easy keyword ideas. However, the differences between the different methods for generating keyword ideas within the tool are not very clear. This post should serve as to a guide to understanding these methods, disseminate their differences, and demonstrate how they can be used for your SEO keyword research.

To get started, close out of Excel and download Bing Ads Intelligence from this page. Follow the on-screen installation instruction to add the plugin to Microsoft Excel.

Once installed, simply sign into your Bing Ads account from the designated navigation tab within Excel to get started using one of the best free keyword research tools available to SEOs.

Note: In order to use the plugin, you must have a Bing Ads account, but you are not required to be running a PPC campaign.


Find Keywords Based on Webpage Content

Bing Ads Intelligence can be used to determine relevant keywords for a pre-existing website page based on the page’s content.

To use this feature, list the page URL (or a maximum of 20 page URLs) in a column of an Excel spreadsheet, then navigate to the Bing Ads Intelligence menu tab and select More Research -> Webpage Keywords. The result will give you a list of keywords with a score ranging between 0 and 1, representing the likelihood that the keyword is relevant to the page.

This feature is really excellent to use with a list of competitors’ pages, for understanding their keyword focus.


Keyword Expansions: Getting Keyword Ideas from a Seed List

Another way that Bing Ads Intelligence can help you with your keyword research is with “Keyword Expansions”. Keyword expansions can be used to generate keyword ideas from an initial seed list of keywords. I recommend generating your seed keyword list by brainstorming the purpose of your website, trying to assume the role of the searcher and understand their search intent. Of course this is only a recommendation and your seed list can also be generated via the “Webpage Keywords” feature or another preferred means.

The Keyword Expansions feature is very similar to the “Get Ideas” feature in Google Keyword Planner. For the keyword “car”, you are presented with results like “car dealers” and “used cars”.

To use this feature, navigate to the Bing Ads Intelligence menu tab in Excel and choose More Research -> Keyword Expansions.


Note: The keywords generated by “Keyword Expansions” are the same as if you were to select “Keyword Suggestions” from the BAI tab. The difference is that the “Keyword Suggestions” option gives you additional PPC data like match type, average CPC, and search volume. The features can be used interchangeably.




Find Searched Phrases That Include Your Keyword

The “Searches With Your Keyword” feature is great for coming up with mid and long-tail keyword ideas. It finds phrases that contain your base keyword. For example using this feature on the keyword “fantasy football” (guess what day I wrote this on) will yield keyword phrases such as “top fantasy football players” and “free fantasy football cheat sheets”. If you run a fantasy football blog, you now have some great content ideas available to you.

To use the “Searches With Your Keyword” tool, go to More Research -> Searches With Your Keyword. This feature is limited to 5,000 source keywords at a time, but this shouldn’t make much of a difference given that the longer-tail keywords it produces are better for content ideas and not for keywords that would be used to optimize an existing page.


Associated Keywords: Other Keywords People Are Bidding On

The “Associated Keywords” feature finds other keywords that people are bidding on within the Bing and Yahoo ads network  for a given source keyword. Google AdWords will give you similar information, but only AFTER some time has elapsed on a paid campaign via the “Keyword Auction Insights”. This feature provides some interesting information, giving insight into what is basically the result of others people’s keyword research.

For example, “fantasy football” produced “football news”. This makes sense because people who are searching for information pertinent to their fantasy football team are going to want general player and football news and won’t necessarily be searching for just “fantasy football”. The limit for this feature is 20,000 keywords and it is accessible via More Research -> Associated Keywords.


Related Searches: Find Similar Keywords

The “Related Searches” feature provides insight into other keyword searches made by people within a search session. For example, a broad query for “Volkswagen” later becomes more refined within a single user session with a search for “Volkswagen Star Wars Commercial”.

The feature is accessible via More Research -> Related Searches and is limited to 5,000 input keywords at a time.


Age and Gender Information

Arguably the coolest feature of Bing Ads Intelligence is the ability to discern age and gender information for keywords. Although this data is sourced from Bing and Yahoo which represents a slightly different demographic than Google, it is still very interesting to explore this information within your keyword research.

To use this feature, navigate to the Bing Ads Intelligence tab and click More Research -> Age Group & Gender.


For example, the features indicates that the majority of people searching for “Engagement Rings” are women from the ages of 25-34, rather than the male counterparts that are responsible for buying them.

That is definitely some useful information to consider when making on-page content recommendations.

“Engagement Rings”

Age 18-24

Age 25-34

Age 35-49

Age 50-64

Age 65+










Keyword Research Templates:

BAI also provides some really useful user-generated “Keyword Research Templates” available to download from within the plugin. Below constitute some of my favorites:


  • “Geo Expander”
    • Geo Expander is great for doing local SEO keyword research. You can add local modifiers to a base keyword very easily. For example, All 50 states will automatically be appended to the keyphrase “cars in [state]”.
  • “Plural/Singular Keyword Generator”
    • For a list of 5,000 maximum keywords, this template will add the pluralized version.  For words like “child” the plural form is correctly represented as “children”.
  • “Word Order Optimizer”
    • For a keyphrase composed a multiple keywords, the Word Order Optimizer will generate all the ordered-variation of that phrase. For example, the phrase “Manhattan car dealer” will also yield “car dealer Manhattan”.
  • “Keyword List Generator”
    • This template is the same as using the new “Multiply keyword lists to get new keyword ideas” feature in Google Keyword Planner.  Keyword List Generator however, enables five lists to be multiplied together rather than the maximum of three allowed in Google Keyword Planner. This feature enables you to find every single keyphrase combination for a given set of keywords by combining different keyword lists.


Keyword List Generator Template in Bing Ads Intelligence


Google’s limited version of the Keyword List Template, the “multiply keywords” feature

Rock Your Keyword Research with Bing Ads Intelligence!

BAI is one of the best free tools out there for keyword research. It is capable of returning search volume information for Bing and Yahoo, but it is best used in SEO for coming up with keyword ideas. Once you have a comprehensive list of keywords, paste the keywords into your favorite text editor like Notepad (I’m a fan of Notepad++ on Windows and BBEdit for Mac users), and upload to Google Keyword Planner to get the associated Google Search Volumes. Good luck and enjoy rocking your keyword research with BAI.

This post originally appeared on Catalyst.

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  1. Hey Paul, good post and I must say, I got a bit giddy reading it. I hadn’t heard about all the features in BAI, or that it was a free tool, so I’m going be all over that like white on rice. Time to go get myself a Bing account! Cheers, Rob..