The Beginner’s Guide to Optimizing for Bing Search

On the surface, it doesn’t appear Bing gets much search traffic, but when you consider it also powers Yahoo, you start realizing that perhaps optimizing for Bing isn’t such a bad idea.

Here’s what Bing and Yahoo’s search traffic looks like compared to Google’s:

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Although even combined, they still represent a fraction of Google’s search traffic, that’s still a large audience that should be catered to.

Optimizing for Bing differs a little bit from optimizing for Google. The companies use different proprietary algorithms to produce results, and each weighs various factors differently.

Because Google is the largest search engine on the planet, most SEO guides focus specifically on how to rank for Google. This guide is meant to get you started with the competition, both Bing and Yahoo, which are powered by Bing’s search engine.

1. Claim your business

Just like on Google, you need to claim your business on both Bing and Yahoo to maximize local search results.

To do this, you need to visit Bing Places for Business and create or claim ownership over your business listing.

Yahoo’s local business search results utilize Bing’s business listings instead of its own, which show up as local business listings on a site called Yext. Eric Shanfelt does a great job explaining the complicated business structure Yahoo employs to deliver local business listings here—if you’re interested.

Still, you can register on Yext, instructions for which are included in Shanfelt’s blog.

Once you’ve registered your business with Bing, you’ll need to register your website the same way you did when registering it with Google, by indexing your site.

2. Get your site indexed

Since Bing is now in the driver’s seat, Bing’s Webmaster Tools replaced Yahoo Webmaster Tools, so you have to submit your site to only one place for both search engines.

Here’s what it looks like:

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First, you need to create a Bing login. You can use your Outlook (Hotmail if you’re grandfathered in from those days) or Microsoft login to do that.

Then, you can visit the Bing Website Submission page and fill out the forms as shown above to submit your website.

You’ll also need the URL address for the XML sitemap of your site.

Then, you need to verify ownership by copying and pasting the provided code into the proper section of WordPress.

Like anything Microsoft, Bing has an extensive set of instructions on how to do this on the Bing website.

Once you have everything registered, you should be indexed within a few minutes and start noticing traffic trickling in by the end of the year.

Download this quick beginner’s guide to optimizing for Bing search.

3. Tag and categorize your site

Like with any other search engine, tags and categories help make your content discoverable to the right audiences for the right searches.

WordPress makes adding tags and categories easy for each post and page created. These vital labels tell both robotic algorithms and human readers what to expect from the post, much like a title or header would.

Here’s what WordPress’s Tags and Categories look like:

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Both the slug and description of a tag help further explain the content’s purpose. These are signals used in sitemaps to identify sections. It’s helpful for search engines to identify content in order to deliver appropriate ad experiences through their platforms.

Of all the SEO tips and tricks, tags and categories are the most important as they give the overall picture of what your website is really about. Without them, bounce rates go up and organic search traffic goes down.

4. Use SEO keywords in proper context

The usage of relevant keywords has proven an important search ranking factor in search engines across the board, and Bing is no different. Here’s a chart of how Bing and Google compare to each other when it comes to keywords:

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While factors such as internal links are less important in Bing than Google, relevant, contextual keywords are still vital. This is why blogging is one of the most widely used forms of content marketing in the business world today.

Hire a professional ghostwriter or copywriter to ensure each page of your website is fully optimized with marketing slogans and other ad copy that gives descriptive information around the keywords you want to focus on.

For example, in the vaping industry, you’d want to describe features of your mechanical mod boxes so search engines understand what traffic to send your way.

Bing’s algorithms, like Google’s, take the surrounding 5-7 words for each keyword along with its density within the content into account when determining search rankings. You can’t just spam “Vape vape vape vape” to rank for vape products.

You need to offer “ejuice, mods, wicks, tanks, and other accessories” to really make an impact.

5. Connect to social networks

Another method you should be using to help drive Bing search results is integrating social media into your SEO strategy. This merging of social media and SEO is practiced successfully by 74 percent of marketing departments already.

To link social media accounts to WordPress, you need the Jetpack plugin, which is typically installed by default in managed WordPress sites hosted by providers such as GoDaddy. But it can also be installed manually. Search for it in WordPress plugins or find it on the WordPress website.

With Jetpack installed, you can link your social media accounts—Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, and more—to your blog to ensure every post is automatically promoted on those sites with backlinks.

Here’s what it looks like:

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Marketers often debate the importance of social signals in search engine rankings, despite the fact that several studies showed they do affect search results.

In Bing specifically, results viewed by your Facebook friends will often be featured in SERPs.

Whether or not it specifically helps Bing search results doesn’t matter. Why? Because social networks have large audiences you need to be in front of anyway.

Here’s a breakdown of the number of active social media users on each social platform:

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Whether you use social media marketing for improving your search results or not, understanding that these two aspects of your online presence go hand-in-hand is the most important takeaway.

6. Avoid black-hat techniques

As you well know, there are black-hat and white-hat SEO techniques. Black-hat techniques are tactics that, while may work, violate the search engine’s terms of usage and can get your website banned. White-hat techniques both work and follow the rules.

Don’t use black-hat SEO techniques on Bing as it’s not worth the risk.

These include keyword spamming, creating fake sites, and more. Here’s a chart of black-hat SEO tactics to avoid:

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These black-hat SEO techniques may sound like a good idea on paper, but they’re not sustainable. JC Penney was infamously removed from Google temporarily after being found using black-hat techniques by the NY Times.

Bing is no different. If your site is found to be using black-hat SEO, there’s a good chance you’ll be removed from the index and lose all the time and effort you put into building your rankings.

On Bing, this removal is especially problematic as the age of a website is a ranking factor that isn’t weighed heavily on Google. Sites that stay up longer are more likely to have results presented at the top of Bing SERPs, so a ban can be detrimental to Bing searches.

7. Feature great content

According to Search Engine Land, using a search engine is the most popular first action a customer takes before making a web-based purchase.

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If you want to be featured in those results, you’ll need great content to draw organic search traffic.

Bing especially looks at content quality, which is defined as authority, utility, and presentation. All web content needs to satisfy this trifecta to have a fighting chance to be the top Bing search result.

Content is king online, and to reign supreme on Bing, you need quality content to satisfy its strict requirements.

As laid out by Buffer, the ideal blog length is 1,600 words, which takes the average person about 7 minutes to digest and move on.

Each blog post you create for your website needs to be approximately 1,600 words of quality content to maximize your chances on Bing and Yahoo. This means it has to be well-researched, well-sourced, and well-cited, and it needs to include lots of great images.

If the quality of your content isn’t up to this standard, you’re basically wasting your time as you’re unlikely to rank well on Bing.

Conclusion

Although they may not draw the online traffic of Google, Bing and Yahoo combined are still a powerful search option used by people around the world.

Reaching this demographic requires focusing on contextual keywords and proper formatting. Users of Yahoo and Bing have been found to be more educated and make more money, so it’s the perfect place for businesses to reach their audiences.

Unlike Google, Bing traffic is more heavily influenced by Facebook, contextual keywords, and ad-free experiences. Site age is another important factor, so it can take time to build traffic on the search engine.

Have you had success ranking websites on Bing? What advanced strategies did you use to accomplish it?

Comments

  1. Thats another masterpiece from you Neil. We all seem to focus more on Google as far the SEO is concerned. But Bing also can be a good source of targeted traffic.

    • Excellent, helpful article, Neil. Despite Google’s obvious lead, Bing/Yahoo still attract many online searchers. It pays to add Bing/Yahoo to your indexing activity. Together with Google, Bing/Yahoo can boost your traffic results.

    • Julie Syl Kalungi :

      Another masterpiece indeed James.

      Wow Neil, I literally was looking at other Search engines to optimize my site for and right there in my Quicksprout Folder was this post!

      Thing is I recently changed blog themes and seem to have lost my Google analytics tag, and I cant seem to get it working properly again even though its still existing! Ohh well meantime we gotta keep serving So I am gonna pply some of the tips You shared here, Even if come I Already have been practicing and did Submit my site to Bing over 3 yrs ago! How does one find out of their content is ranking on Bing though? Its not something I have given much thought! Awesome post as always Neil! 🙂

      Julie Syl

    • Thanks, James.

  2. Thank You Neil.

    I have put it on my Jan’17 to do list.

    I have to play around with bing’s webmaster tool. But neil what’s bing’s stand on mobile search.

    • I can see the popularity of Bing search traffic by looking at your comments count on this post, Neil.

      Almost every blogger and SEO enthusiast forgot Bing optimization. Yes, that’s only a fraction of search traffic when compared to the giant search engine like Google but when you’re serious about getting better search results, you should focus on every channel.

      Another tip is to hire someone to specifically focus on your Bing SEO. That way you can save time and efforts by still driving traffic from additional sources.

      Great insights Neil!

    • Thanks Puneet. Maybe I’ll revisit and say 😉

  3. Great article Neil. I was avoiding bing.Now I will focus on Bing too.

  4. Hi Neil,
    Thanks for this timely post on utilizing the Bing potential. It’s good to have everything in place and not do too well than to do nothing at all.

    If one can get one’s ranked in both Google and Bing, it would really be great for one’s business.

    Like you rightly said, all forms of black hat practices must be avoided like the leper because they set one several years back if detected by the search engines and one’s site is penalized. It’s better to be patient and put in your best than to depend on those potentially destructive practices.

    For me, great content remains the key ? and that is the reason I am on your site now. People love ? rich content, and if you can provide them then you are sure of an audience that would trust you.

    Social media continues to play a major role in traffic generation especially if done the right way. Getting competent hands to help you in setting up your social media accounts would be Nice.

    Thanks once again for the write-up. I wish you Merry Christmas ?

  5. I’ve noticed that Bing rankings are definitely easier to achieve, and I find that more of the top sites in Bing will have spammier links pointed to them than in Google’s results.

  6. Another masterppiece from you Neil. I particulaly like the area where you specifically mention the weight of social signals as far as Bing seach engine is concerned.

    I think this same issue was raised in 2012 when Bing’s featured in an interview with searchenginewatch’s Danny sullivan. Here was the response:

    We take into consideration how often a link has been tweeted or retweeted, as well as the authority of the Twitter users that shared the link.

  7. Shaveta Agrawal :

    Hey Neil. Another masterpiece from you. However can you help provide more geographical data for bing search specifically India.

  8. Hey Neil,

    A great article again by you. Thanks Neil for sharing this awesome article. As I think that after Google, bing would be there for all the process in future so we should also Optimize Bing for the blogs as well as Google.

    Thanks –
    Akshit Wadhwa

  9. Great article Neal! I guess I didn’t really understand how many different factors accounted for getting rankings in Bing, I just thought they kind of rode the coattails of Google. Now I know why I haven’t gotten much in my results trying to also optimize for Bing. Thanks for the lesson!

  10. Sorry, that was the wrong URL above.

    Great article Neal! I guess I didn’t really understand how many different factors accounted for getting rankings in Bing, I just thought they kind of rode the coattails of Google. Now I know why I haven’t gotten much in my results trying to also optimize for Bing. Thanks for the lesson!

  11. MacKenzie from Great Whyte :

    Thank you for another great post Neil!

    I knew that there had to be some way to rank in Bing but never encounter articles breaking it down like this!

  12. I never focused on bing before and found this post very useful, Thanks for sharing 🙂

  13. Hi Neil,

    Frankly speaking, I never cared about Bing and optimizing posts for Google has always been my priority.

    However, after reading this article I am thinking of spending more time and optimize for Bing as well. An increase of 6% in traffic is always good to have.

  14. Bing pay a lots of attention towards EMD aka exact match domian and on ccTDL.
    I have tested this and worked like a charm
    There is one cons about Bing is very slow in crawling for Newly built website.

    Regard
    Vicky

  15. Thank you for another great post

  16. Kalpana Sharma :

    Hi Neil,

    This is really a very helpful article. Till the date, I was just focused on Google only but after reading this wonderful article I am going to optimize my site for Bing also. I will follow all the tips you mentioned here.
    Thank you for sharing this guide with us.

  17. Very Interesting article.

  18. Thank you for this. Bing says it cant find my business

  19. Thats really good. Good luck.

  20. Thanks for sharing such very informative article

  21. Still, all those tips are very similar to guide about Google search engine. So i would say, that the best way is optimizing for Google with few adjustments for Bing and Yahoo – with knowledge from your great post 🙂

  22. Getting Bnig’s traffic is one of the areas to look out for in 2017. I seems not to have uptimized my site for bing at all. Thanks for this wonderful hint.

  23. This is helpful article till the date i have seen, I just focused on Google only but after reading this article I’m going to optimize my site for Bing also. I will follow all the tips you mentioned here.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

  24. Thanks Neil for sharing bing optimization guides

  25. cbse sample paper :

    Hi Neil , We never thought to optimize our website for bing. This article is just a reminder for me to check all these listed point for my site. Right now i have more than 560 links indexed by Google where as bing is only able to index 6 links on my site. Any idea what is wrong with my website.

  26. Super interesting article Neil and definitely something I should look more into. Do you have any data on how much market share Bing has in different countries and whether or not that market share is rising or declining? Would be interesting to hear.

  27. I use Bing more and more everyday. I like to have it as my default search engine because of the nice pictures everyday and the news they feature at the bottom. I also of course, take advantage of the rewards.
    The Bing Webmasters tool is just as complete as Google’s and gives you many practical options to discover your inbound links, research keywords, etc… I love to spend time there.

  28. Yes , we are not SEO’s for Google only.SEO means for all search engines, Google is the leader not monarch.

    What about duck duckgo, Baidu, y and ex Mr Neil?

    Again a master piece from you

  29. Yandex typo error

  30. Great tips that will help site owners organically grow their blogs … awesome post!

  31. Great post to rank our site in Bing search engine.

  32. Dentist Manager :

    Good guideline for those who target in Bing …

  33. Hey Neil,

    Thanks for the great post. I love reading your blog posts and inspired a lot by your way of writing.

  34. Thanks for the post.
    Since the ranking approach of Bing and Google are different, is it wise to focus on the two? Or is it better to focus on one?

  35. Is it worth the time to optimize for Bing? I know that people use it but the percentages are way too high for Google.

  36. Hey neil, I need a detailed article about bing ads.

  37. very useful article!thanks sharing this good post!

  38. Excellent article. I look forward to reading more about your work in future.

  39. Hello Neil another amazing article from you. All your posts are too interesting cant wait to visit your blog daily. I already subscribed to your blog.

  40. Wow – great article! I didn’t consider Bing as a big deal until I read this post. I was too focused on Google. Thanks for the great info. Minutes after reading this post I verified my business on Bing and set up my profile. Many thanks!!!

  41. Thanks for sharing!

    I use bing webmaster tools and it really works.

    Vender carros: https://seucarro.net/vender/

    Once again thank you!

  42. Thanks for this helpful Blog.
    I used a WordPress plugin that I found interesting. So I would like to recommend it.
    The plugin helps me quickly create and customize images before inserting them in my blog post.

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