When we think about SEO or search engine, the first thing that comes to mind is Google. If you also think the same way, congratulations you are not insane!
When you focus on SEO, you probably optimize your site for Google to rank higher. Most of us don’t even think of optimizing for other search engines like bing.
Bing is the underdog in the world of SEO that most people tend to avoid.
Even after having over 8.34% of the search engine market share in 2021, Bing is often left out of the SEO strategy.
It is understandable why people would focus on optimizing their site for Google.
All search engines when combined together don’t even have one-fourth of the search traffic that Google has.
So on the surface, it is not a bad idea if you only focus on Google and can actually rank on top of Google SERPs.
But considering the number of people who still use Bing, perhaps it is not a bad idea to optimize your website for this underperforming platform.
The best part about optimizing your website for Bing is you don’t have to do a lot of work to rank high on Bing.
The amount of traffic you get from Bing might be small compared to Google but very significant.
While most digital marketers and SEOs will be busy optimizing for Google, you can grab the opportunity to rank on top of Bing.
Why Bing is Important
Compared to Google, Bing has very low competition. This makes it easy to rank your pages on Bing search engine. Also, Bing has a decent market share in the US.
Optimizing your website for Bing can give you an edge. You will see a spike in your search traffic once your content starts to rank.
According to search engine analysts, Bing has much more stable traffic.
Traffic from Bing has lower bounce rates and the CTR is usually higher than Google. Also, website visitors from Bing click more affiliate links than Google users.
The search engine algorithm for Bing and Google are a bit different but the search engine optimization strategy remains quite the same. You don’t have to do any extra work to rank on Bing.
Also, when you optimize your site for Bing, your Google search results ranking also improves.
Bing has always been open about its ranking factors and algorithms. So it is much easier to rank on Bing knowing all the factors that influence search ranking.
Just like most SEOs, I was also very ignorant about Bing.
But after watching one of my website’s performance on Bing compared to Google, I was amazed. My website performed much better on Bing without even optimizing my site for Bing.
I’ve spent years optimizing my site for Google without realizing a significant chunk of traffic was coming from organic Bing search.
I looked into the data and found out that the organic traffic coming from Bing is of high quality. The click-through rate and conversion rate were much higher than Google.
There is an ongoing debate about whether traffic coming from Bing has any real value.
Let me clear this misconception.
The amount of traffic coming from mobile devices is very low on Bing compared to Google.
Most android users have Chrome installed on their mobile phone and they prefer to use it over any other browser.
So clearly the amount of traffic coming from mobile devices is very high on Google and is increasing.
But there is a problem with mobile search traffic. It is very fickle. They take a quick glance and vanish in thin air.
Most mobile users use a search engine with transactional intent. If you are running an eCommerce site, it’s good news for you.
But when it comes to a commercial investigation or informational search, people prefer to use a desktop. So the quality of traffic coming from a desktop is much better than traffic from mobile devices.
As most Bing users are on a desktop, the engagement and conversion rates are much higher.
People who are using Bing are mostly looking for information on a topic or looking for information about a product before buying it.
This is the reason the conversion rates, CTR, and average time on page is higher on Bing.
Optimizing Content & Web Pages For Bing
Optimizing your web pages for Bing is not much different from optimizing for Google. So there is a great opportunity to increase your website traffic without doing much work.
The algorithms for both search engines are quite different. Although both of those search engines use the BERT algorithm. So when you optimize for bing, your search ranking changes for both.
Over the years Google has made a lot of effort changing their algorithm to create a better search experience.
So after every algorithm update from Google, you can see a fluctuation in your search ranking. If you can’t keep up with the change, you won’t be able to rank on top of Google SERPs.
On the other hand, Bing barely rolls out any major algorithm update. This has been a major issue for Bing. Over the years Bing couldn’t figure out how to be a user-friendly search engine.
But Bing has always been bliss for SEOs as it is very easy to optimize for Bing and you can see results much quicker.
There are so many advantages of optimizing your content for Bing.
Searching images on Bing is much more efficient and easier. Bing provides high-quality results for image search. You can also see all the necessary metadata of an image along with licensing information.
Also, Bing is preferable for video search even though YouTube is owned by Google. When you look for videos on Bing the search results show up as thumbnail grid. So you can search for videos without even leaving the search engine.
According to net market share, Google is still dominating the search engine race with a 70.38% market share. However, Google has seen a slight drop in its traffic in 2020.
On the other hand, there has been an increase in Bing’s market share. So this shows that Bing is still a growing community.
Free SEO Tools For Bing Marketers
Just like I’ve mentioned before, Bing is an SEO friendly platform with lots of opportunities.
To help SEOs and digital marketers better understand their algorithm, Bing has provided some free SEO tools.
Using these free SEO tools you can improve your SEO by diagnosing your website.
Before using these tools, make sure to read the Bing Webmaster Guidelines to have a better understanding of their search algorithm.
Knowing Bing Webmaster Guidelines will help you optimize your website better with the help of free SEO tools.
1. Bing Webmaster Tools
The first thing you will have to do is verify your site’s ownership with Bing webmaster tools. This is an awesome free SEO tool that is often overlooked by SEOs and digital marketers.
Bing webmaster tools provide an easy way to monitor your website’s performance by providing an in-depth report.
Because of the user-friendly interface, Bing webmaster tools have become widely popular in the SEO community. Also, Bing’s dashboard provides more information compared to Google.
With Bing Webmaster Tools you can –
- Index your website
- Get an In-depth SEO report
- Search keywords
- Check backlinks
- Inspect URL
- Look into the search performance
- Scan site for SEO
2. Bing SEO Analyzer
If you want an audit of your website and check for optimization opportunities, you can use the Bing SEO analyzer.
This free SEO tool will help you discover both issues and opportunities on your website.
Using the Bing SEO analyzer you can easily find redirects, broken links, or those blocked by robots.txt files.
To learn more about the Bing algorithm and SEO best practices you can read the Bing webmaster blog. There are a lot of important articles that will guide you through the SEO process.
Bing Seach Ranking Factors & Algorithm
Unlike Google, Bing is really open about their ranking factors and how their search engine algorithm works. Now you can know the factors involved in ranking a web page.
Bing’s Webmaster guidelines have an entire section featuring all the factors involved in ranking content.
Although the algorithm is quite different from Google, ranking factors are nearly the same.
If you are a website owner or an SEO, you should know what can affect your site’s ranking in search engines.
If you are looking to generate some traffic from Bing, you need to optimize your website content and web pages.
Here are the important ranking factors that affect Bing’s search engine results directly.
Domain-Level Ranking Factors
- Domain Age: Older domains have an upper hand when it comes to ranking as they have more credibility. It takes some time for a brand new website to rank unless they have some amazing content.
- Keywords in Domain: Having a keyword in your domain won’t give you any additional advantage. People might find your site relevant and click on your content but it is not a ranking factor.
- Domain History: A domain with a bad history might not rank well on Bing. If your domain has a previous owner and has been spammed or used for contents that don’t comply with Bing’s policy, your site might not rank high.
- Country TLD: Having a ccTLD can help with Geo-targeting but doesn’t directly affect your SERP position.
Page-Level Ranking Factors
- Content Relevance: Bing prefers content that is relevant to search query and content that matches searcher’s intent.
- Quality Content: Your content is the most important part of your website. All search engines reward quality content. Make sure your content is unique and easy to understand.
- Page-load Time: The time it takes for a web page of your website to load is very important. Bing prefers sites with low page-load time. The faster your web page, the better result you will see in your ranking.
- User Engagement: User engagement is a very important ranking signal. Bing uses an algorithm called ‘Pogo Sticking’ to understand user engagement.
When someone performs a search through Bing it sees if a searcher is clicking on a search result for a given search query, and if so, which result.
It also measures the time a searcher spends on a website and if they click back to see the search result. This is quite similar to Google’s ‘bounce rate’.
If you have a higher bounce rate or “pogo-sticking” it means your site is giving a bad user experience.
Make sure to create content that people will spend time reading.
- Fresh Content: Just like Google. BIng also prefer fresh content. Especially contents that need to be updated with time. People like to see the latest data and so does the search engine.
Make sure to update all your own content. Also, when you update your content, try to add new pieces of information instead of just changing your title.
- Targeted Contents: Targeted contents rank more easily than contents without any target audience. Content that is based on certain demographics generally ranks higher because of low competition.
- Click-Through Rates: Bing also measures click-through rates and average session duration to better understand the user experience. Sites with high CTR often get priority on the search results page.
- Social Signals: Social signals are not a direct search ranking factor but have a lot to do to increase search results.
Contents that are widely shared are considered to be quality content. People usually share content they like or find insightful.
So when your content is shared on the internet it sends a signal to the Bing search engine which helps the search engine understand the value of the content.