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Campaigns and ad groups – along with importing campaigns from other search engines – make it easy to organise, manage and monitor your search advertising with Microsoft Advertising, as well as run campaigns from other search advertising tools. Google Import makes copying campaigns from Google Ads easy, helping you reach more customers instantly.

This overview explains how campaigns and ad groups work to help you execute marketing strategies that get better results.

After reading this Study Guide, you will understand how to:

  • Structure your Microsoft Advertising campaigns and ad groups 
  • Organise your accounts
  • Use the Google Import tool to import Google Ads
  • Create limits for accounts, campaigns and ad groups 

Structuring Microsoft Advertising campaigns and ad groups

Microsoft Advertising has four levels of organisation: customer, accounts, campaigns and ad groups.

A customer contains one or more accounts. A customer has a customer ID, which is associated with your business name and your address. At the customer level, at least one person is designated as the Super Admin. Super Admins have administrative access to all accounts.

Accounts contain one or more campaigns and include information about currency, time zone, whether you want to pay in advance (prepay) or pay later (postpay), your form of payment (primary payment method), and the people who have access to each account (users).

Campaigns contain one or more ad groups, which share a campaign budget. Campaign types include Search, Shopping and Dynamic Search Ads. See targeting searches automatically with Dynamic Search Ads and Create product ads in a shopping campaign for more information.

Ad groups contain one or more closely related ads and the keywords associated with those ads.

Left diagram showing a path from company, to account, to three campaigns with separate budgets/Right diagram showing a path from campaign, to ad groups, to ads, to keywords.

Create a new ad group

Learn about ad groups and how to create ad groups to organise your campaigns by specific products or services that you offer. Ad groups are the best way to organise your campaigns by specific products or services that you offer. An ad group contains a set of keywords and ads that are related to a common theme. Not only do they make it easier to manage related ads and keywords, well-organised ad groups make your ads more relevant to users’ searches. 

For example, Sarah owns a toy store and wants to create ads to highlight specials she will be offering. She could create different ad groups for 'electronics for kids' and 'ride-on toys', which will each contain different sets of keywords and ads. When she wants to make adjustments to these ads, she can easily make changes to all the ads in a given ad group simultaneously.

Ad group structure

Learn more about how to create and edit a new ad group.

Organising your accounts and campaigns

When you sign up for Microsoft Advertising, you will be given a customer ID and your first account will be created. You can create additional accounts at any time. Generally, one account is all you will need. However, you might want to set up separate accounts if you:

  • Have more than one business
  • Want to market your products in multiple countries and languages
  • Are an agency managing accounts for other businesses
Here are some suggestions on organising your account:
  • A good place to look when you are organising your ad groups is at the structure of your website, since it already reflects how you organise and sell your products.
  • Are you a Google Ads customer? If so, the organisation of your advertising campaign is essentially the same, except in Microsoft Advertising you can have multiple accounts under one customer.

The following is an example to illustrate a customer with multiple accounts.

Example organisation

Basics of importing campaigns

Compatibility between search advertising platforms is important. If you already have campaigns in other online advertising programmes, you can import them to Microsoft Advertising, saving you the trouble of having to set them up from scratch. For example, you can import directly from your Google Ads account, or you can create an import file and upload it to Microsoft Advertising.

There are two easy ways to get your campaigns quickly over to Microsoft Advertising: one, import using Microsoft Advertising Editor with a spreadsheet, or two, import using only your Google Ads login and password credentials – no spreadsheets needed.

Import from Google Ads

The Google Import tool allows advertisers to import 5 million keywords plus 4 million ads. You can also import 3 million ad group product partitions and 2 million negative keywords (ad group level and campaign level combined).

You can do this by following three steps. First, sign in to Microsoft Advertising. Then click Import from Google Ads. Follow the steps to import your campaigns.

Import Google AdWords

(Another option is to import Google Ads using Microsoft Advertising Editor. Simply Click Import from Google, and finish by following the steps to import your campaigns.)

Import Google AdWords

You can decide if you would like to import all existing and new campaigns from Google Ads or just specific campaigns.

Import new items at a more granular level when you click Show advanced options. Select particular items to import, including new entities like negative keyword lists.

Determine which targeting settings and ad extensions you would like to import, including importing In-market Audiences through ‘Audience targets’.

Watch this step-by-step video demonstration to learn how to import campaigns from Google Ads to Microsoft Advertising.

Note: Before you begin importing campaigns from Google Ads to Microsoft Advertising, be sure to review Importing your campaigns: Requirements. When you're finished importing, you can view your data and will have the opportunity to fix any issues.

You can import from Google Ads:

  • 10 thousand Campaigns
  • 1 million Ad Groups
  • 5 million keywords
  • 4 million ads
  • 2 million ad group-level and campaign-level negative keywords combined
  • 2 million ad group product partitions
  • 200,000 all other entities combined

Things to know about Google Import

information

Microsoft Advertising does not save your Google Ads sign-in information or use that information for any purpose other than the import process.


When importing an ads campaign that has multiple targeting languages, Microsoft Advertising will select the highest ranked language based on data collected from the Microsoft Advertising marketplace. If none of your Google Ads target languages are supported in Microsoft Advertising, the campaign will not be imported and Microsoft Advertising will flag the campaign as an error. Stay tuned; multiple language targeting parity with Google Ads is coming soon!


When importing location targets from Google Ads to Microsoft Advertising, the location targets must match to a corresponding location. However, if a location target from Google Ads does not exist in Microsoft Advertising, campaigns targeting those locations will be mapped to the parent location if matched. Unmatched locations are not imported, but the corresponding campaigns may be active.

Device targeting

Expanded Device Targeting will now be imported and have the same values as Google Ads, allowing you to get more bid adjustment flexibility and improve your return on ad spend. Bid modifiers range from -100% to +900% on desktop, mobile and tablet.

The following is a chart comparing the Import feature between Microsoft Advertising and Google Ads:

Import file template

Importing from a file

Some Microsoft Advertising users are currently unable to import campaigns directly from Google Ads. If you have Google 2-step verification, you need to create an application-specific password for Microsoft Advertising. If you are still unable to import directly after several attempts, follow these steps to import campaigns using an import file:

Create a Microsoft Excel or CSV (comma-separated values) import file. You can download the import file template here. In Microsoft Advertising, click Import Campaigns, and then click Import from file. If you have imported from a file in the past 90 days, you will see a table that tells you the Date/Time and Uploaded file.


Import file template

Another useful feature is the option to select when you want to import your Google Ads data into your Microsoft Advertising account. Select whether you want to import now, once at a later date and time, or on a recurring basis (Daily, Weekly or Monthly). Give your import a name, and decide how you want to be notified of the import and any possible changes/errors.

Schedule imports

Review your import, when it was created and when you have it scheduled to run. Select Edit to make changes to the import or click Run now to have the import process run immediately. Go over previous imports that have run in the last 90 days.

The Import Summary confirms that your import has been scheduled, when it will run and how often it will sync.

Some specific situations require special attention during import. There are also some items that you will need to re-create using Microsoft Advertising, such as Automated rules, Ad-group-level Sitelink Extensions, Ad-group-level App Extensions, Ad-group-level Location Extensions, Ad-group-level Call Ad Extensions, Remarketing lists and associations, and IP exclusions.

Read more about items you should check after import.

Limits for accounts, campaigns and ad groups

There are limits on the number of items you can have at each level. This information can be useful in organising your advertising campaigns, particularly if you plan on importing from Google Ads.

This level... Can contain up to...


  • 15 users
  • 6 accounts
  • 50,000,000 keywords


  • 10,000 campaigns
  • 5,000,000 keywords (and product targets combined)
  • 5 million negative keywords
  • 20 negative keyword lists (max. 5,000 keywords per list)
  • 200,000 Sitelink Extensions
  • 150,000 Ad Extensions (excluding Sitelink Extensions)


  • 20,000 ad groups
  • 20,000 negative keywords
  • 10,000 location targets
  • 5,000 shared negative keywords
  • 2,500 website exclusions
  • 100 IP exclusions
  • 1 Call Extension
  • 20 Sitelink Extensions
  • 6 Image Extensions

Ad groups

  • 100 ads, including text or product
  • 20,000 keywords (and product targets combined)
  • 20,000 negative keywords
  • 10,000 location targets
  • 6 Image Extensions

Managing Microsoft Advertising campaigns and ad groups

Once you have finished creating or importing your campaign, you can make changes to many of the campaign and ad group settings.

Edit campaigns: To quickly change the campaign name, status or budget, go to the Campaigns page, click the tick box in the row of the campaign you want to change, and then click the Edit dropdown followed by the Edit selected rows link.

Alternatively, from the Campaigns page, you can hover over the field in the row you wish to change and click the Pen icon. To change more advanced settings, like campaign targeting, budget options and exclusions, go to the Campaigns page, click the name of the campaign and click the Settings link.

Edit ad groups: To quickly change an ad group name, status, search bid or ad schedule, go to the Campaigns page, select the Ad groups tab, tick the tick box in the row next to the ad group name, and then click the Edit link followed by the Edit selected rows link.

Alternatively, hover over the field you wish to change in the ad group’s row and click the Pen icon. To change more advanced ad group settings, like the ad group targeting, ad distribution, pricing, schedule and ad rotation, click on the name of the ad group and then click the Settings link.

When importing a Google Ads campaign that contains multiple target languages, Microsoft Advertising will select the campaign language with the largest market as your ad group target language. If none of your Google Ads target languages are supported in Microsoft Advertising, Microsoft Advertising will flag the campaign as an error.

If you are taking advantage of the new Expanded text ads option, you will need to review whether you need to set an account-level tracking template. To do this, select the account into which you want to import your Expanded Text Ads. The account should include the campaign and ad group specified in the import file.


As you set up your campaigns and ad groups, or import campaigns, keep these key points in mind:

  • Align your campaigns with your business groups or products.
  • Manage your campaigns and ad groups from the Campaigns page.
  • Take advantage of the Google Import tool to import Google Ads campaigns.
  • Create an upload file and import it to Microsoft Advertising.

Thanks for reading this Study Guide, Introduction to campaigns, ad groups and Import from Google Ads. Continue studying or take the Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional exam to become certified.

Please note all features in this Study Guide may not be available in your market.