Understanding Bing SEO

Posted on in Blog

It’s true – Bing is not the most popular search engine on the planet. Far from it. But you may not know just how many searches Bing actually handles. Bing provides the power behind several other search tools and platforms, including:

  • Bing search
  • Yahoo! search
  • AOL search
  • Xbox search
  • Microsoft Office and Outlook search
  • Skype search
  • Alexa (which accounts for 70% of US-based voice searches)
  • Cortana

So, all tools and platforms combined, Bing powers approximately one-third of US-based searches.

Additionally, Bing’s users tend to be more, shall we say, mature than Google users. This age differential (along with having more disposable income and free time) may be the reason Bing users tend to convert better than Google users. Here’s an example from a Oneupweb client’s January 2021 performance report. While Bing only accounted for 3.33% of the client’s organic sessions for the month, it achieved 7.03% of their goal completions. Bing’s goal conversion rate far outpaces all other search engines.

a google analytics chart showing bing as the third major referrer of traffic

If you have been ignoring that relatively small Bing contingent on your organic performance reports and during your marketing planning, it could be costing you. It’s time to consider incorporating some Bing search engine optimization (SEO) into your digital marketing strategy.

Bing SEO Tips and Tricks

There’s some good news for those who diligently optimize their websites for Google search. Both Bing and Google use the BERT algorithm, so some of your Google optimization strategies are already working for Bing. Publishing reader-centered, high-quality content is a great strategy for both Google and Bing.

However, there are some distinct differences between how Google and Bing algorithms decide what pages rank where on their search engine results pages (SERPs).

How to Optimize for Bing

Many of the best Bing SEO tips revolve around techniques for keyword use, local listings and social media. Consider these six Bing SEO optimization strategies when you’re ready to focus on this underappreciated traffic channel:

  1. Publish location details in a prominent place, such as Bing Places. Start by claiming your business listing on Bing Places and completing the entire profile. The more information you provide in Bing Places, the better your chances of ranking well in local Bing searches.
  2. Be a little old-school. Bing uses on-page SEO differently than Google. Specifically, Bing prioritizes things Google has evolved away from in recent years. For example, exact keyword matches in page titles, sub-headers and on-page content are a must for improving Bing SEO performance. If you really want to attract more Bing traffic, you may find yourself trying to achieve more exact-match keywords on the page (without sounding unnatural).
  3. Optimize meta descriptions. Google stopped considering meta descriptions in their algorithm long ago. Not true for Bing. A well-written meta description that includes a target keyword or two can provide a ranking boost for its page in Bing search properties.
  4. Consider a domain name that includes exact-match keywords. This gives you an advantage in the Bing SERP. Google’s SERPs are far more diverse when it comes to domains.
  5. Maintain a genuine social media presence for your business. Social signals matter more to the Bing algorithm than they do for Google. To that end, if you do nothing else on social media for your company, make sure your business ranks in Facebook’s local search engine.
  6. Consistently publish great content. Focus on quality over quantity. Make it scannable, readable and well-researched. The content should be thorough and robust, not fluffy. Bing also prefers pages that include lots of related images – and don’t forget the ALT text.

Try running a simple experiment: Identify the pages your Bing users land on most often, and optimize a few of those pages using the Bing SEO tips above. Track performance closely for several months to watch for any significant changes in Bing sessions, goal completions and other metrics that are important to your business. Also track changes in how Google users interact with these pages during the experiment. If the overall results are positive, you may have a winning strategy on your hands.

Using Bing Webmaster Tools for SEO

Using Bing Webmaster Tools to improve URL indexing and technical SEO performance is another excellent strategy. If you already work with Google Search Console, many of the features in Bing Webmaster Tools will be familiar. Bing’s tool offers many of the same functions as Google Search Console, such as the URL and sitemap submission tools, URL removal/blocking tools, and search performance reports.

Bing Webmaster Tools also offers some helpful resources you won’t find in Google Search Console, including:

  • A Backlinks tool, which shows the domains that currently link to your website. The tool also allows you to disavow spammy backlinks to avoid or reverse manual actions.
  • A Keyword Research tool, to help you identify keyword targeting opportunities for your website.
  • A Robots.txt analyzer, which helps maximize your crawl budget and ensure that your important pages are always crawled and indexed by Bing.
  • A Crawl Control function, where you can tell Bingbot when you want it to crawl your site to avoid bogging down your server during your website’s busy times.
  • A Site Scan tool for identifying technical SEO issues that could be negatively affecting site performance (such as all your pages that are missing meta descriptions, a valuable aspect for Bing ranking).

Trust Pros to Maintain Your Bing SEO

Want an expert to handle the SEO marketing strategy work for you? Oneupweb specializes in all things SEO, including Bing SEO optimization strategies and the technical details that many agencies overlook. Let our team do the heavy lifting and get you the results you want. Give us a call at (231) 922-9977, or complete our contact form. We can’t wait to chat with you.

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