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Bing Ads Reporting Series: Understanding the Share of Voice Report in Bing Ads

This is the second article in a regular series about using the various reports and graphs in Bing Ads. These articles quickly summarize the data provided by a particular Bing Ads report and give you ideas on how to use that data.

My first article received a great response, including a request for a blog about the Share of Voice (SOV) report. I’m very happy to oblige! You'll find the Share of Voice (SOV) report located in "Performance Reports" within Bing Ads, it'll help you answer questions around whether there are more impressions for your keywords and if so, how you can capture them.

Using the Data

The SOV report tells you what percentage of impressions for the total marketplace you are not receiving and, just as importantly, why you’re losing out.

For example, let’s say for the keyword flowers, the Yahoo Bing Network served 10,000 impressions. You received 100 of those impressions, or 1%. The SOV report would tell you that you lost 99% of the possible impressions. You have a lot of opportunity for additional market share!

On the other hand, let’s instead say your received 5,000 impressions. That means your ads were displayed 50% of the time anyone searched for flowers. That’s a good solid number and not something you’d necessarily need to act upon.

(NOTE: Your impression share is calculated based on total “eligible” market impressions. That is, it takes into account certain limitations such as targeting. So in the above example, if you had targeted “Washington,” those 10,000 impressions were all impressions in Washington. Impressions that don’t meet your targeting criteria are filtered out prior to calculating your SOV.)

In addition to telling you the percentage of impressions you lost, the SOV report also tells you why. Maybe your bid for that keyword is too low, or maybe you’re losing impressions because of a low budget that is being depleted too quickly. This information is provided by the following fields in the SOV report:

  • Impression share lost to budget (%)
  • Impression share lost to rank (%)
  • Impression share lost to landing page relevance (%)
  • Impression share lost to keyword relevance (%)
  • Impression share lost to bid (%)

These numbers combined with the share that you actually are receiving will add up to 100%. In other words:


Use this information to determine if:

1. For any given keyword, there is room for you to gain additional share, and

2. If there is, where you can focus your efforts in order to get that additional share.

Given the specific categories above, it’s often straightforward as to the action that needs to be taken. But at the risk of pointing out what is probably very obvious, here are some examples of what you can do to address each of the categories:


Example action

  Losing share due to budget

  Increase your budget.

  Losing share due to rank

  Increase your bid and improve your quality score. You can find more ideas here.

  Losing share due to landing page relevance

  Improve your landing page and ad relevance. Here are some ideas.

  Losing share due to keyword relevance

  Remove underperforming keywords and use negative keywords. This article has some other ideas.

  Losing share due to bid

  Increase your bid.

Our example – continued

Remember our first flowers example above, where we are only receiving 1% of the impressions. If that were the case, maybe our SOV report looks like this:

  • Impression share lost to budget (%): 5%
  • Impression share lost to rank (%): 25%
  • Impression share lost to landing page relevance (%): 10%
  • Impression share lost to keyword relevance (%): 10%
  • Impression share lost to bid (%): 49%

Wow! Looks like we really need to increase our bid for the keyword flowers. Not only will that help with the last item, it will also very likely help with the second item (lost to rank) as well. Further, it doesn’t appear we are running out of budget, so increasing our bid seems like a very likely first step.


There is no magic number or firm baseline as to how much market share is enough. That depends on a variety of factors, including the product or service you’re advertising, the number of competitors advertising the same thing, and the size of your business. So rather than focusing on a specific baseline number, look at your campaign as a whole instead, comparing your keywords to one another. Identify keywords whose market share is significantly lower than the others and work to improve those.

While it’s possible for a small local business that’s advertising a local product or service to get 100% of the impression share, that does not necessarily have to be your goal. I’d suggest that you take a realistic look at your competition and then set your goals accordingly. Although 100% impression share might not be feasible, don’t lose out on your fair share either!

Once again, I look forward to your comments on this article, as well as suggestions for future articles about your favorite (or most mysterious) reports.

Happy advertising! And please keep your requests coming via adding your comments below.