When it comes to search engines, high rankings are essential. The top pages tend to get the majority of traffic, which translates to more attention and subsequently more conversion. Pages that are not lucky enough to secure the top spots on SERPs usually go unnoticed, except by random users that decide to scroll down a little further or click on the next page. Unfortunately, these visitors rarely become customers. What this means for SEOs is that the competition for the top of SERPs is fierce, especially in Google.
Luckily, Google is not the only search engine with millions of users. In order to get an edge and secure some additional traffic, some SEOs have decided to diversify their approach and optimize for higher rankings in other search engines as well. The most popular target is the second biggest search engine in the world – Bing. If you are interested in expanding your SEO efforts, take a look at some simple steps that can help you rank on the world’s second most popular search engine.
Index Your Website
The first step of showing up on Bing searches is getting indexed in Bing. Bing has clearly stated that indexation is important for showing up in search results and generating traffic. Logically, before you look into other ranking factors, you must make sure this critical step is done. If you are interested in finding out how many pages are currently indexed by Bing, you can conduct a test by opening the Bings browser and typing in your website domain and it will instantly show the number of pages indexed on the site at the top of the SERP. Generally speaking, if a website is indexed in Google, a good portion of pages will be indexed by Bing as well.
If a website is brand new or has just not been indexed by Bing, you can speed up the process by submitting it to Bing. Bing recommends that pages are submitted for indexing as soon as they are published, or the content on them is updated. Once that is done, it is best practice to set up Bing Crawl Control to crawl the website periodically. The typical crawl rate is quite low, so if a site has a lot of content or frequently updates pages, it is a good idea to make crawls more frequent. Bing recommends users enable a deep crawl so that as much content is indexed. You can make the process simpler with a sitemap. Do this by including a path in robot.txt or by submitting the sitemap directly to Bing through webmaster tools.
Keywords in the Domain and URLs
While having exact matching keywords has minimal impact on Google, it is a more significant ranking factor in Bing. Including exact match keywords into your domain can help a site rank higher. The problem with this tactic is that these domain names are highly competitive, and securing them can be difficult. If you are having difficulties finding the exact match keyword for the .com version, you can opt for other top-level domain extensions. Combining keywords with various domains such as the .org, the .net, the .co versions can still increase traffic in Bing.
Choosing a domain name with exact match keywords is excellent advice for those creating brand-new sites. However, this is not always the case. If you already have a website and are looking into getting a boost on Bing, you can use exact match keywords in URLs. Adding keywords into URLs whenever possible will still help a page rank in SERPs. Next time you are publishing content, consider strategically adding a keyword to the URL for an extra boost.
Domain Authority Matters
Bing is very different when it comes to Google on the ground of ranking certain domains. While Google does value authority, it will still rank newer pages that have high-quality content and meet the necessary technical requirements. Bing, on the other hand, is a little bit more selective about the domains it ranks. It prefers authoritative links more than Google. This means that official domains, such as .gov and .edu sites, have a higher chance of making it to the top of SERPs (if they put out good content). When it comes to other websites, Bing will take into account older, more established websites. This is because older websites usually follow all the necessary SEO rules, and have already established themselves as trustworthy sites in their niche.
Add Exact Keyword in the Right Areas
We have already covered the importance of having exact keywords in the domain name or the URL. It is also vital to add keywords in the right areas of the page. Experienced SEOs might find many of these ranking factors familiar to older Google practices before the introduction of algorithms centered around semantic search and user intent. Unlike Google, Bing is not as focused on semantics. The tactic of merely sitting back and allowing the search engine to make sense of the page will not work on Bing (it is not the best tactic for Google either). The best approach here is to conduct keyword research and integrate the right keywords naturally into fundamental areas. These include:
- Heading tags (Heading 1, Heading 2, etc.)
- Title tags
- Meta description
- The first paragraph of the page
- Throughout the content (Naturally)
If you do this in a way that is not spammy and intrusive, you will likely see increased rankings on not only Bing but also Google. If you miss these steps, then it could affect overall rankings on Bing.
High-Quality Content – Extremely Important
The internet is flooded with millions of pages every single day. In the sea of content that is regularly produced, Bing ranks only high-quality above all else. It is vital to look at quality content as an essential part of your Bing SEO plan, and not just content creation meant to fill out a page. High-quality content is usually the missing piece that will bring about the full benefits of every other SEO strategy implemented. After all, the content will determine if a website visitor stays on your website, or clicks off and continues their search elsewhere. Creating unique, optimized, and quality content can boost rankings on Bing and every other search engine out there. Quality content can bring about:
- Higher Click-through rate
- Reduce bounce rates
- Give you a higher conversion rate
- Helps generate more backlinks
- Enables strategic additions of keywords
- Provides a great user experience and increase user engagement
Take the time to focus on engaging and informative content. If this is not your strong suit, then it might be a good idea to hire professionals to handle that for you. The ROI of doing so will definitely pay off in the long run.
When we talk about content, it is important to mention that Bing considers a lot more than text when ranking sites. It prefers pages that are aesthetically and functionally well-designed for the end-user. Bing uses its advanced entity understanding capabilities to analyze content and rank pages that include more variation in multimedia. This simply means that Microsoft search engine looks at multiple forms of media, such as text, images, videos, and audio files, as a ranking factor when assessing pages.
Social Media Matters
One of the most apparent differences between Google and Bing is the function of social signals. Google stands by the statement that they do not consider social signals when ranking pages. On the other hand, Bing has publicly stated that it sees social signals as an important SEO metric that search engines take into account. Content that earns more social engagement is likely to secure a higher position on Microsoft’s search engine. Merely introducing a form of social media marketing for created content should give you the much-needed boost you are looking for on Bing.
The importance of technical search engine optimization cannot be overstated. After all, a website’s ranking is not determined as much by our standards, as it is by search engine standards. A lot of these standards are focused on technical SEO. This is not something that can be done with a hack or plugin, it requires looking into site architecture, crawlability, and indexability.
Search engines are all about providing a great user experience. In order for them to assess a website, it needs to meet the technical requirements for search engines to crawl and understand the contents fully. Some of the most important things to focus on include:
- Site speed
- SSL certificates
- Well-formed sitemaps
- Structured data markup
Make Use of Bing Webmaster Tools
Similar to what Google Search Console is for Google, Bing Webmaster Tools enables users to add the site to the Bing crawler, so they are visible to the search engine. In addition to that, this free service enables site owners, site administrators, and marketers to get a deeper understanding of what is going on behind the scenes. It enables them to monitor and maintain their site’s presence. Bing Webmaster Tools enable you to:
- Monitor overall site health
- See site performance and ranking keywords
- See how the site is crawled
- Remove content you do not want indexed
- Disavow links
- Spot and fix potential malware and spam problems
These are important things that help you get a sense of how Bing looks at a site so that you can adjust and improve rankings.
While Google usually outshines Bing as a search engine, it is still a very popular search engine that can drive millions of users to websites every month. With its unique algorithm and ranking factors, Bing continues to be a significant player in the industry. If you are looking to improve your site for Bing or Google, but are unsure of how to go about it, contact us. We will be glad to help you start the climb to higher rankings and more traffic.