Being the second largest search engine, Bing is a great source of relevant traffic. As it’s usually less competitive than Google, optimization in Bing is easier and more productive, which further helps in bringing highly convertible organic traffic to site.
In general, Bing shares similar optimization techniques with Google, which makes Bing SEO easy to implement if you’ve done it once in Google.
Why optimize for Bing?
Bing currently ranks as the second largest search engine, taking around 3% of worldwide traffic.
Powering Yahoo! Search and Microsoft News, Bing offers all features essential for modern search engines: mobile search, news aggregation, image, video and map search, etc.
Note- Bing search engine is currently named Microsoft Bing, created and operated by Microsoft, it replaces their former Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search.
Being a far distant competitor to Google, Bing works hard to stand out and provide users with the best experience possible. Just like Google, it finetunes its algorithms to guide users through rich results and help them find what they need quickly (delivering a more immersive experience to save searchers time, they say).
Bing pays much attention to local ranking. Business entities with a physical location can fill in the Bing places for business, and searchers can save their visited places or companies found in Bing maps.
Hitting into a ranking video on Bing, a user is offered to save it to the viewing list to watch later. There are several reasons why site owners should pay attention to their Bing optimization.
First of all, Bing is worth optimizing for because, in plain figures, it means a lot of relevant and high-quality traffic. Bing is less competitive than Google and boasts highly convertible traffic.
For example, if you’re choosing the right keywords to optimize for, you will notice that keyword difficulty is often lower in Bing than in Google. You can check it by running keyword research software, such as Rank Tracker here.
Secondly, doing Bing SEO is easier than you may think because this search engine is as SEO-friendly as Google. It tweaks all modern technologies to provide insights and analytics.
The in-built Bing Webmaster tools resemble the Search Console with similar great features to rank your site up, and some of them really make a difference and provide a helping hand to content writers and SEOs. There are tools in Bing for technical SEO like:
- Search performance report showing your site’s ranking average position, impressions in search, and clicks.
- URL submission tool that helps Bing discover your pages quicker.
- Site Explorer tool to review your site structure and hierarchy.
- Site scan tool to detect technical errors.
- Backlinks report that shows your site backlink profile, as well as the disavow tool to hide bad backlinks from the search engine.
- A keyword research tool that shows search trend charts, impressions
- SEO reports tool with an in-built SEO analyzer that lists pages alongside SEO errors on them. The reports are generated automatically once a fortnight and accessible through the webmaster account.
- Microsoft Clarity tool with sessions playback and heatmaps, giving clues to users’ behavior and engagement on the pages.
There are also some specific features that make Bing differ from its dominating competitor. The webmaster guidelines to optimize for Bing are pretty explicit about its ranking factors and pitfalls for ranking.
On-page optimization in Bing
First, it seems to use keyword matching more straightforwardly than Google does. Both search engines have implemented natural language processing algorithms to define the relevance of content to the searcher query. This means that old good keyword stuffing or cloaking won’t do.
However, for Bing, the presence of target keywords is crucial to rank up on SERPs.
So, make sure you include your target keywords in titles, headings, descriptions, URLs, and the first paragraphs of your content.
You can find keywords using the in-built keyword tool with autofill and predict functions. For broader keyword research, you may as well run Rank Tracker. The tool allows searching lots of keyword sources like related searches, autocomplete tools, related questions, keyword gap, and tons more.
Besides, you will be able to compare estimates for the keyword difficulty, cost per click, advertising value, etc. Bing uses user engagement as a ranking factor, so there’s no use misleading searchers to click on a result to just pop onto an irrelevant page and bounce. So, optimize your pages wisely with the correct keywords that meet user intent.
Site’s credibility and authority
Bing uses several credibility factors to rank up or, on the contrary, to demote a site. Webmaster guidelines point out that site editors should avoid malicious language(including derogatory, vulgar, or name-calling) and stick to a neutral tone.
A sign of quality is citing sources for data and quotes (that means sites should have good-quality outgoing links as well).
Texts should not contain duplicate content or automatically generated content. The freshness of content is appreciated (especially that online content gets outdated in a wink of an eye).
As for content length, there is no guarantee that a certain word count in an article would bring better results. However, there are some averages that indicate tendencies about the best-ranking content. The average length of content that ranks well is 2100 - 2400 words, which should be enough to develop the topic in-depth.
Technical SEO errors are critical
Just like for any other search engine, technical errors prevent crawlers from accessing your site resources. Running a site crawl with webmaster tools or with a site crawler (for example, Website Auditor) will discover errors like duplicates, broken links, missing alt texts, uncrawlable resources, errors in structured data.
Pay attention to page load and user experience. If pages load too long, the bounce rate may increase, which will lead your site to a worse ranking on both Google and Bing.
Bing search is remarkable for its breathtaking image results. Pay attention to your image and video optimization: they should go in high-quality, optimized for the web, captioned with titles and alt texts. This will increase your pages’ chances to turn up in Bing image results.
In website auditor, you can start a separate crawl to check how Bingbot sees your pages. Besides, you can quickly generate your sitemap and robot.txt file with specific instructions for Bingbot.
Social media activity affects ranks
Unlike Google, Bing is pretty open about the fact that social media presence is vital for a page to rank. However, it warns that social media links may spoil the site’s reputation.
For example, social media schemes like automatic following and click-baiting can be easily guessed by algorithms, and thus, the website’s value can be deprecated.
The best practice is to put more effort into building up your social media audience organically through regular social posting, hashtags, and user interactivity. Pay attention that each social network offers benefits for different kinds of content.
For example, Twitter boxes are useful for authors, bloggers, and news resources, images are actionable on Instagram and Pinterest, whereas videos are great for ranking on viewing platforms like YouTube or TikTok.
Optimizing for Bing follows similar paths and techniques that SEOs do in Google. Site owners should not miss the opportunity to use Bing webmaster tools to check their indexing and performance in Bing.
For some reason or another, ranks on Google and Bing may differ because Bing has its own optimization rules.
Verify Webmaster tools, check errors and warnings, examine the site’s performance, track your organic ranks, and you will easily shape the right SEO strategy to become successful in Bing search.