Microsoft Advertising's Language Targeting Settings

Microsoft Advertising has two targeting options that are somewhat similar, but operate differently:

  • Geography Targeting: This is a setting that targets a user’s geographical location. This can be set at the campaign or ad group level (generally set at campaign) and can be edited at any point in both the platform and Microsoft Ads.
  • Language Targeting: This is a setting that targets a user’s geographical language settings (e.g. English (US), English (CA), Spanish (US)). As you can see, even though this is a language setting, it does limit the geographical location of your ads as well. This is set at the ad group level and can not be edited after creation in either the platform or Microsoft Ads.

The language targeting option might cause issues, as it is not explicitly stated to be a geography target and there’s no way to edit once an ad group is set. The platform does offer a way to select this setting upon creation, however it is only available through the application interface, not a bulk sheet. This would force you to create each ad group one at a time, which is not scalable.

How To Ensure Accurate Language Targeting

The below process can be followed to ensure accurate language targeting in both the platform and Microsoft Ads:

  1. Create necessary campaigns through the platform and post to the publisher.
  2. Utilizing the AdCenter Desktop Tool, create all ad groups, making sure to change the language targeting setting before creation (for help on this, please turn to your Microsoft reps).
  3. After the ad groups are created in Microsoft Ads, log into your platform account and perform a manual sync of affected campaigns. Please see our Manual Sync article for more information.
  4. After the sync is complete, all ad groups will be in the platform with the correct language targeting.
  5. Create ads and keywords through the platform as usual.

Written by Marketing @ Marin Software

Last published at: June 27th, 2023