Here’s how to improve your site and reach more of your target audience with Bing Webmaster Tools.
Here, you’ll find:
- Why marketers should pay attention to Bing
- What Bing Webmaster Tools are all about
- Benefits of using Bing Webmaster Tools
- How to get started with these tools
Living in Google’s shadow is tough. But while Microsoft’s search engine Bing may not pull quite the numbers that Google does, it’s still worth your attention as a digital marketer.
That’s because Bing attracts almost a billion unique monthly visitors itself. Meaning, it’s possible that a large segment of your target audience uses or has used Bing for searching.
Bing Webmaster Tools is the search engine’s own version of Google Search Console. Armed with a user-friendly interface, the service allows you to manage your website, improve SEO efforts, and more.
While Bing owns a little over 6% of the search engine market share, it’s still a powerful engine with high potential. (Image via Unsplash)
Why Bing can’t be ignored
In the race to win the top spots on Google’s result pages, many companies overlook the power of Bing. Here are a few points to consider when deciding whether to dig deeper into Bing and its Webmaster Tools:
- Bing is the default search engine for all Microsoft devices (that’s more than a billion just for Windows 10).
- Bing is behind voice searches by Cortana and Alexa.
- They partner with smaller search engines like Yahoo, AOL, and DuckDuckGo.
- Bing has highly optimized image and video search features that some say are better than Google’s.
- The majority of Bing’s visitors are in the 45-54 age range, which allows you to reach certain parts of your audience that can be less accessible on Google.
- Bing has a less expensive (about 30%) CPC than Google Ads.
- More than 500,000 advertisers work with Bing.
While Bing owns a little over 6% of the search engine market share, it’s still a powerful engine with high potential.
What is Bing Webmaster Tools?
Bing Webmaster Tools is a free service that allows you to add your website to Bing’s crawlers to improve visibility and climb to the search engine’s top result pages. It also helps you manage your website’s presence and monitor its condition.
Webmaster Tools also lets you obtain and analyze important information about your website’s health and optimization. This includes:
- Conducting keyword research
- Receiving warnings about the safety of your website (e.g. malware, spam)
- Figuring out how many webpages are indexed by Bing
- Monitoring and analyzing your backlinks
- Checking which keywords your website ranks for on Bing
- Finding out how Bing crawls and indexes your website
- Submitting new pages to be crawled
- Removing content you don’t want to index with the Content Removal tool
- Submitting sitemaps to Bing
- Creating a customized crawling pattern (with the Crawl Control option)
- Notifying Bing about low-quality links pointing to your website
- Connecting the website to your corresponding social media accounts
- Connecting your website to your app, if applicable
- Analyzing your site’s efficiency on the search engine and specific pages to improve SEO performance
When it comes to SEO, it could be argued that Bing Webmaster Tools is more advanced in some ways than Google Search Console. You can perform a variety of SEO-related tasks without leaving the dashboard or relying on external tools.
A look at the keyword research section of the Bing Webmaster Tools dashboard. (Image via Bing)
Key benefits of using Bing Webmaster Tools
Besides offering a comprehensive set of tools for website analysis and SEO, Bing Webmaster Tools come with a variety of other benefits for digital marketers.
A user-friendly interface
Bing has created a user-friendly all-encompassing dashboard that rivals (if not surpasses) Google’s. You can get a full view of all the necessary settings and parameters with just one glance. While seemingly a small benefit, this feature can save you a lot of time when looking for specific information.
High-quality reporting tools
Another time-saving feature offered by Bing is comprehensive reporting. Here’s a look at the reports offered by Bing.
- Page traffic report: Page-level search performance metrics for the top pages in organic search
- Site explorer: Information about the number of URLs discovered by Bing, URLs that appear on search results, and number of clicks received from search results
- Keyword search report: List of keywords (from organic search) that drive impressions and clicks to your website
- SEO reports: SEO analysis of your website and recommendations to improve search engine visibility
- Mobile-friendliness report: A list of areas that need improvement to comply with Bing’s best mobile-friendliness practices
- Crawl information report: An indication of crawl errors on your website
Bing Business Listings (Bing Places)
Bing Places is the search engine’s version of Google My Business. You can claim and manage your business listings directly from the Webmaster Tools dashboard. This simple shortcut can save you time spent managing listings and improves your local SEO efforts.
Pro tip: You can easily import your Google Search Console and Google My Business listings and profiles to set up Bing Webmaster Tools and Bing Places.
Getting started with Bing Webmaster Tools is mostly intuitive, especially if you have experience with Google Search Console. (Image via Unsplash)
Getting started with Bing Webmaster Tools
Getting started with this service is easy. Just go to the Bing Webmasters homepage and click “get started.” You can sign up using your existing Microsoft, Google, or Facebook account.
The first thing to do is submit your website’s URL to Bing. From there, you can verify the ownership of your website through one of the following options:
- XML file authentication
- Meta tag authentication
- CNAME record via hosting provider
The instructions on how to do it will show up on the screen once you choose the method. When the verification is complete, you can upload your sitemaps and start using the service.
Getting started with Bing Webmaster Tools is mostly intuitive, especially if you have experience with Google Search Console.
Bing is the second-largest search engine in the world. Ignoring it could mean failing to reach certain segments of your target audience and falling behind the competition.
Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Search Console and, in some ways, it’s better. Bing did an excellent job creating a comprehensive, user-friendly, report-filled service that allows you to manage your website and improve its visibility.