Bing SEO: How To Increase Your Search Traffic

The Big BingBing is the sleeping giant of the SEO world.

By the end of 2018, Bing had 8.36% of the
search engine market share!

And it doesn’t look like it’s stopping any time soon.

The platform has been growing and continues to grow all around the world-

bing search engine growth

(I call this moment the “Bing Bang”. It never caught on. But I’m still trying!)

This small but significant shift in power has created a new opportunity for SEOs.

So I’m going to show you how to take advantage of that change with my Bing SEO guide.

Is Bing SEO Traffic Valuable?

Many SEOs feel searches on Bing and Yahoo are not as valuable as searches on Google.

I’m not sure why this would be the case. They’re still people, right?

In my experience, they are just as valuable and even surpass Google.

I decided to dig into my own data.

Here’s what I found:

Bing SEO Traffic Performance

The data tells me everything I need to know.

Traffic coming from Bing:

  • Has a lower bounce rate
  • Visits more pages
  • Spends more time on site
  • Subscribes to my list more
  • Clicks more affiliate links

Check your own data before passing judgement though!

The Great Bing SEO Advantage

The best thing about change is – people hate change.

Change pushes people out of their comfort zones and humans are wired to avoid that.

So for those willing to evolve with change there is a great opportunity here.

Bing Google Ranking Factors

Since 1998 SEOs have purely focused on ranking sites in Google.

 That’s two decades of focus on one platform! 

This has made Google’s search market results highly competitive.

In that time Bing has been largely ignored.

And SEOs write off trying to improve their Bing rankings by saying…

“If you rank well in Google you’ll also rank well in Bing”.

But is that the case?

Well… not quite:

bing visibility

Their algorithms are remarkably different.

Just compare results for the same term and you will quickly see what I mean.

It’s important to understand those key differences to take advantage of ‘The Big Bing’

(it will catch on).

Free Tools And Resources For Bing Marketers

Unlike Google, Bing are SEO friendly.

They offer a range of free tools to help you understand and use their algorithm and it would be a good idea to take advantage of them.

#1 – Bing Webmaster Guidelines

Reading the Bing Webmaster Guidelines is the quickest way to get yourself up to speed.

You will learn all the dos and don’ts of Bing SEO.

It’s not as long/complicated as Google’s guidelines so won’t take you long to read.

#2 – Bing Webmaster Tools

The Bing Webmaster Tools is superb!

If you haven’t got your site setup there yet, do it now.

It provides an awesome suite of tools including a backlink explorer!

You can also see exactly…

  • Which keywords you rank for
  • How your site indexes
  • Diagnose problems and much more

As of right now you will also get $100 of free advertising credit to play with – sweet!

#3 – Bing SEO Analyzer

The Bing Website Analyzer is also a great tool to discover…

…especially if your pages are following Bing SEO best practices.

Just enter your URL and it will return a list of suggestions to improve your rankings.

#4 – Microsoft SEO Tool Kit

More of an unknown tool the free Microsoft SEO Tool Kit

This is a desktop application that spiders your website to find SEO problems.

It is very easy to use and well – it is 100% free so what is not to like!

#5 – Bing Webmaster Blog

Just like Google there is also a Bing Webmasters Blog

You should have a read through & subscribe.

Some of the posts are actually quite entertaining and often have some golden nuggets!

#6 – Bing Search Quality Blog

Imagine if Matt Cutts and the Google search quality/anti-spam team published a blog

Imagine if on that blog they shared what they’ve been trying & testing.

 Well Bing do exactly that! 

Their Search Quality Blog offers best practices and some amazing insights into the world of search.

#7 – Contacting The Bing Webmaster Team

Last but not least.

Perhaps one of the best tools…

Is the ability to contact the Bing webmaster team.

So if your site does have problems or gets hit for any reason.

You can easily get in touch with the team directly to work things out.

Bing Ranking Factors – The Complete Guide

So what makes Bing tick at its core?

Here’s a list of the most important factors to optimize your website for.

bing ranking factors

Let’s take a closer look at each of those points-

#1 – User Engagement Is Very Important

One of the strongest signals in Bing is user engagement.

They measure this through a term known as ‘pogo sticking’ which is when someone performs a search, clicks on a result and then clicks back to return to the search results.

Bing Pogo Sticking

So if lots of people visit your site from the search results and click the ‘back’ button –

This is a clear indication of a poor user experience to Bing.

However if lots of people visit your site from the search results and do not go back to them to continue searching – This is a very very strong signal.

#2 – Click Through Rates Matter

Bing also measures click-through rates from its search result pages.

They use that data combined with the user engagement data above to improve its results.

For example: (all things being equal)

If the #1 position gets a 20% click-through rate.

But

The #2 position gets 40% –

 This is a clear indication that the #2 result is more relevant.

This means you have to write your titles and descriptions with humans in mind.

But you also need to be specific with your keyword. Think keyword based click bait.

#3 – Social Signals Do Matter

There is a lot of debate on whether social media signals impact Google’s search rankings.

I can categorically tell you with 100% certainty – that they do.
 
I’ve been using them to rank consistently for the past 2 years.

I revealed exactly how at a recent conference.

Don’t get caught up in the change debate just make sure social signals are part of your social media SEO strategy now. They affect your rankings in both Bing AND Google.

But Bing has a much stronger reliance on social signals than Google.

You should use the power of social media to your advantage and you will see benefits in both search engines.

#4 – Bing Authorship

Google famously introduced (and then killed) Authorship allowing people to claim content they have written.

This meant Google could determine who are the true experts in any given industry. Granted they have killed Authorship for now (but are still tracking who is who via entities & schema data).

Bing also had it’s own version Authorship after they integrated Klout verified snapshots.

But Klout is now dead as well.
 
So instead you should take advantage of the Bing connected pages feature-

bing connected pages

Just add all of your profiles and hit the verify button.

Easy!
 

#5 – Backlinks Are Less Important (But Still Important)

Links aren’t held in such high regard as they are by Google.

But, they’re still playing a role in Bing SEO.

To quote a recent article from Search Engine Land:

“A Microsoft spokesperson from Bing told us, “There are a variety of factors that come into play with ranking signals, links being one of them.” They also explained that links are still a very important ranking signal, and they don’t see that changing any time soon.”

I’d recommend that you continue to build links to your site.

It will help you on the majority of search engines.

But pay close attention to Bing’s movements over the next few years.
 

#6 – Inbound Anchor Text Is More Important

Bing puts more emphasis on the anchor text usage than Google does.

If you want to rank for ‘Blue Widgets’ you need links that use ‘Blue Widgets’ as the anchor.

Bing isn’t as good as Google at keyword matching. While Google does well with recognizing synonyms and context around a keyword, Bing needs spoon feeding.

The risk here is that over optimising your anchor text will trip the Google Penguin filter.

So the trick here is…

Make sure that the links coming from high authority sites focus on exact anchors!

While the others use a mix of anchor terms.

That will allow you rank in Bing while dodging Google Penguin.

#7 – Keyword Domains Matter

Having your keyword in your domain name will help you to rank easier.

It isn’t critical but it does help.

Bing Keyword In Domain

However Google does have a filter for exact match domain names.

So it is best to use a domain that includes your keyword but isn’t an exact match.

The only problem with that is…

#8 – Page Authority Is More Important

The other thing that you will notice when comparing Google and Bing results – Bing doesn’t place as much weight on backlinks!

BUT: It does place weight on site authority.

It is much harder to rank a new domain in Bing than it is in Google.

Having an aged domain will give you an extra leg up across Bing’s results.

 So if you have an older domain that includes your keyword – you are golden!
 
If you just have an older domain your still in a strong position.

Where you don’t want to be is with a brand new domain.

#9 – PageRank Is Irrelevant

PageRank is a measurement of authority created in the early days of Google. It is not as relevant as it once was and hasn’t been updated for a long time now.

However it is important to note:

Google PageRank does not seem to have any correlation with Bing SEO rankings.

#10 – Content & Keyword Density Is Important

Bing prefers sites that have lots of unique quality content. They place much higher value on longer more engaging content than shorter content.

You need to feed Bing the specific keyword you want your page to rank for.
 
It is much better to focus on 1 page per keyword with Bing.

But again be careful you don’t trip Google Panda by offering duplicate content.

Bing also tries to eliminate duplicate content at the point of indexing. Redundant content is recognized and eliminated from search market result pages.

But may still be available in the index.

#11 – Site Structure & Code Is Important

Bing offer a few interesting pieces of advice around your site structure and coding.

First of all they advise that quality content should be organized close to the surface. In other words no content should be more than 3 clicks away from the homepage.

You should also use a broad to specific structure flow. So you might go with:

SEO > Link Building > Strategies or Garden > Furniture > Chairs
This will keep Bing happy when it comes to the site structure ranking factor.

#12 – General Onsite Optimisation

Onsite optimization is similar for Bing SEO as it is to Google.

You want to make sure you use:

  • Meta title
  • Description tags
  • Exact match keyword.

Bing places a lot of emphasis on title tags but keeps the user engagement signals in mind. You should only have one H1 tag per page to establish the main topic.

Then use the H2 and H3 tags to talk about subtopics.

It is also worth noting that sometimes Bing will swap out your meta description with your H1 tag in the search results so be creative with your headings.

Don’t just rely on exact headings.

#13 – HTTPS Is Not A Bing Ranking Factor

Google recently announced that HTTPS is now used as a ranking signal.

Although a very minor one.

Bing Lead Program Manager Vincent Wehren said that HTTPs is not a ranking factor. They don’t want to mess around with rankings based on a factor that has no real relevance.

How To Get Indexed In Bing

Recently Bing announced that instead of sitting and waiting for your page to get crawled…

You can actually submit your URL’s to its search engine for crawling and then indexing.

In the announcement they stated:

We believe that enabling this change will trigger a fundamental shift in the way that search engines, such as Bing, retrieve and are notified of new and updated content across the web.

Bing

So instead of 10 URL’s a day which was the previous allowance…

You can now submit up to 10000!
 
Let’s take a quick look at how you submit your URL’s.

This is a very easy process – You need to use the ‘Submit URL’s’ feature that can be found within ‘Configure My Site’ section in the Webmaster Tools.

Submit URL's To Bing

Or alternatively, you can use the ‘Submit URL API’ method.

Either way, using the new Bing submission tools means getting your sites indexed FAST.

Bing Penalties

We don’t know a whole lot about Bing’s penalties.

What we do know for sure is they are a much friendlier beast than Google.

There are certainly no crazy black and white animal updates to deal with here!

The Bing SEO Spam Filter

The Bing Index Quality team have published a few articles that are worth reading-

They show you actual case study examples with a lot of details about each update.

It is very important that you stay on top of your outbound link profile. Make sure that you are only linking to clean and related sites as Bing will punish you for this seriously.

Reciprocal linking will also get you in trouble.

If you have experience with ranking sites in Google you will know to avoid that practice.

Bing SEO spam detection methods are much further behind the times than Google’s.

How To Check If You Have A Bing Penalty

Bing makes it easy to see if your site has a penalty. Go to Bing Webmaster Tools.

Click on the ‘Summary Tool’ then look at the ‘Site Status’ section – if it shows Blocked:

Yes – your site has been penalised.

If this is the case then take a look at this post to get out of the penalty box.

Wrapping It Up

I hope now you can take Bing SEO seriously!

Check your own data and decide whether Bing SEO is worth it – It was for me!

You can use this part of the guide to optimize your site for Bing SEO.

We covered:

  • Why Bing SEO is valuable?
  • Free tools & resources
  • Bing ranking factors
  • Bing penalties

Now it’s over to you!

Do you get any traffic from Bing and Yahoo at the moment? If you do – how does it perform compared to Google traffic?

18 Responses

  1. Ritesh Benjwal
    6.11.2019

    Happy to see this amazing features of Bing. Now onwards i also work for bing.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 12th, 2019 at 4:39 am

      You should include Bing SEO in your SEO strategy for sure!

  2. Eniola Akinduyo
    6.2.2019

    happy I checked my inbox.
    your post came at the right time.

    I will try this out and see how it goes.

    keep sharing
    keep inspiring

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2019 at 12:49 am

      Let me know the results!

  3. Chris
    5.31.2019

    Thanks, once again Matthew for a very valuable article giving us so much useful information. Factors for ranking in Bing have always been a mystery to me. I will now be able to implement SEO for traffic from this source.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 31st, 2019 at 10:44 am

      No problem Chris, you should definitely include these factors in your SEO strategy!

  4. Scott
    5.30.2019

    This list is great! Just a heads up that the link to the Microsoft SEO Tool Kit doesn’t seem to work.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 30th, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      Updated thanks :)

  5. Patrick
    5.30.2019

    Great resources as usual.
    Pls check, the Microsoft SEO Tool Kit returned error message

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 30th, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      Thanks just fixed it up!

  6. Rhonda
    5.30.2019

    Thank you for all the information about Bing! I had forgotten about Bing and this is a wonderful wake-up call back to Bing! Love it! Thank you!

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 30th, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      I’m not saying focus on them, but they should be included :)

  7. Ayodele Taiwo
    5.30.2019

    Thank you for your quality information. I have bookmarked this page.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 30th, 2019 at 12:34 pm

      No problem

  8. Miss Nahdi
    5.30.2019

    WOW, Bing seems to be a lot cooler than Google. I never used Bing as a traffic source in my life before. But this post is compelling me to do so otherwise. Bookmarked this post and will now implement each and every step to start my Bing SEO journey. Wish me luck for a smooth sail. Thanks for sharing this useful info.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 30th, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      No problem, just make sure there part of your processes is all :)

  9. Jamiu Oloyede
    5.29.2019

    Hey Matt,

    Thank you for writing this article. It came at the right time because just two days ago, I added my new site: https://groupleads.net to bing webmasters and since then I have not taken the time to complete the verification and other things.

    This article is quite enlightening and i’m encouraged to finish everything this morning.

    Oh before I forgot, I active saw your post on facebook and I follow it back here.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 30th, 2019 at 12:34 pm

      Yeah go through and do that, add your social profiles and see what happens :)

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