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The Vital SEO Guide to Bing Webmaster Tools

Vital SEO guide to bing webmaster tools.

If you’re an SEO pro, there’s a good chance you spend most of your time and focus optimizing for Google’s search engine result page (SERP).

No one would fault you. After all, Google is the most popular search engine on the planet.

There’s a reason so many people use Google Search Console and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) to make SEO decisions: They’re great tools.

However, they’re far from the only ones out there.

In fact, what if I told you that Bing—yes, Bing—offers a fantastic platform to help manage your SEO?

As it turns out, there’s a compelling use case for Bing Webmaster Tools, the platform that Bing offers SEOs and webmasters to gauge their performance on a search engine that more than 100 million daily active users trust.

What Is Bing Webmaster Tools?

Bing Webmaster Tools is Microsoft’s webmaster tool to assess how your website performs on Bing. It offers insights into how Bing crawls, indexes, and ranks your site’s pages. Think of it as a kind of “Bing Search Console.”

Why Bing Is Important For SEO

Everyone knows that Google is the leader in search because it’s the dominant search engine. That doesn’t mean you should ignore Bing, however. Bing is second with just over 9 percent of the desktop global search engine market. That means you might miss out on a lot of visitors if you optimize only for Google.

Why? Well, Bing emphasizes different ranking factors than Google. Bing wants exact keyword matches in title tags, meta descriptions, domain names, and major headers like H1 and H2 tags.

Bing also looks at social signals as ranking factors. That means you’ll rank higher in search results when more people share your content on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This is important when looking for ways to cut your Bing Ads costs or set up shopping campaigns to drive traffic during the holiday season.

Getting Started With Bing Webmaster Tools

Getting started with Bing Webmaster Tools is a straightforward process with a handful of steps. You (or someone on your team) will need to do the following:

  1. Sign up for a Microsoft account if you don’t already use one. Sometimes, you can even use an existing Google or Facebook account to open one and share a single Bing Webmaster Tools login.
  2. Head to Bing Webmaster Tools and import your existing sites from Google Search Console or add your site manually. If you choose the second option, you’ll have to verify ownership by adding metatags or uploading an HTML file. The Bing Webmaster Tools verification process is essential to getting everything up and running.
  3. Give Bingbot some time to crawl your verified site.
  4. Explore the tools and data available for your site within the Bing Webmaster Tools platform (more on this later in the blog).
  5. Set up email notifications and integrate Bing data into your reporting.
  6. Use insights to identify Bing-specific SEO opportunities.

It might take time to adjust as you add Bing to your existing workflow, but you’ll catch on quickly. Once you have a good handle, use its insights and tools to deliver big wins for your brand or clients.

Bing Webmaster Tools Features

OK, so we know that Bing is important for search. How do you leverage its webmaster tools to maximize their impact? Let’s take a closer look at their features.

Home

The home tab summarizes all available reports and tools. You won’t be able to see info on your Bing analytics until 48 hours after data collection and processing starts, so be patient.

Search Performance

The search performance section gives detailed metrics on your site’s performance within Bing. This is where you can view clicks, impressions per page and keyword, and statistical trends over the last six months. It also includes Page traffic and Search keyword reports. This is one of the most critical Bing search tools, so pay close attention.

Search performance metrics within bing.

URL Inspection

The Bing URL inspection tool lets you inspect Bing’s indexed version of specific URLs. You can also glance at versions of your website with potential indexing or crawl error issues. Sometimes, these issues pop up when Bing has trouble with the following:

  • Crawling your site
  • Processing your content
  • Pages that may not adhere to Bing Webmaster guidelines
  • SEO or schema issues

Site Explorer

Navigate your website’s structure and identity with the Site Explorer tool. This feature lets you identify or discover issues with specific URLs. Think of common trouble spots like redirects, crawl issues, or robots.txt-affected URLs.

Sitemaps

XML sitemaps are a significant part of effective SEO campaigns. Building them out properly is integral to the startup process. Bing Webmaster Tools details all known sitemaps that Bing can check and delivers crawl and processing statistics. You can even submit new sitemaps and resubmit known ones with a single click.

URL Submission

URL submission lets you submit URLs for immediate crawls and indexing. You can also view the history of any previously submitted URLs. This function can help Bing pick up your content faster, potentially boosting your site’s search performance.

User Management

Whether you have a small internal team or partner with an agency to handle your SEO needs, this tool lets you add other users to your website. Maintain different permission levels to ensure everyone who needs it has adequate means to manage SEO performance.

SEO

Of course, the real meat and potatoes of the platform are the Bing SEO tools. Each plays a huge role in building and managing your SEO strategy. Here’s a rundown:

Backlinks

Backlinks are essential for SEO performance, and Bing Webmaster Tools reports on your site’s backlink profile, including:

  • The number of referring pages
  • Specific referring domains
  • Anchor texts

Site Scan

Site scan is a cool feature that lets you audit your site on demand. Crawl the site and check for common technical SEO issues. Fix anything you uncover to make your site friendlier to search engines and users.

Site scan bing metrics.

Crawl Control

Crawl control lets you control how fast Bingbot requests pages and resources on your website. It’s not a commonly used feature, but it’s one you still want to be familiar with.

Block URLs

With Block URLs, you can temporarily block pages or directory URLs from showing up for Bing searchers. It’s a valuable tool when you want to buy time to change a page’s metadata or take it down for various reasons.

Robots.txt Testing

The Robots.txt tester analyzes the robots.txt file. It also highlights issues that prevent Bing or other robots from optimally crawling your site.

Page Traffic

Page traffic provides analytics for your top landing pages and referrals. It’s a great tool to view graphs for overall traffic trends over custom date ranges, and it lets you filter by country or other dimensions. You can often see data on the top search queries that drive traffic to your site.

How To Use Bing Webmaster Tools

With Bing Webmaster Tools’ powerful options at your disposal, you’re probably trying to figure out how best to use it. As you tinker with it, consider taking the following steps, many of which follow SEO best practices:

  • Monitor your keywords. Check search performance metrics for your top keywords. Use the reports to look for rising keywords to optimize for and falling ones to investigate further.
  • Fix any technical errors. Run site scans frequently. You’ll quickly uncover technical SEO problems like broken links or duplicate content. Fixing these issues can directly improve your Bing search rankings.
  • Enhance your on-page SEO. Analyze top-performing pages for opportunities to improve your title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and content.
  • Build links. Site Explorer lets you research competitors’ backlink profiles. You can identify relevant sites to reach out to for your link-building efforts.
  • Optimize navigation. Study your users’ click-through behaviors in the Page Traffic section to improve your site’s architecture, menus, internal linking, and user journeys.
  • Update your sitemaps. Add new or modified pages to XML sitemaps. This lets Bing crawl them efficiently. Fix any detected sitemap issues to reduce negative consequences.
  • Monitor your pages’ indexation. Use URL inspection to diagnose and resolve problems that prevent Bing from indexing those pages.
  • Compare results to Google. You have access to information from both search engines. Use it! Compare differences between Google and Bing keyword, traffic, and indexing patterns. Optimize accordingly.
  • Set email alerts for key warnings. Stay up to date on traffic changes, indexation problems, and warnings with real-time alerts.

The TL;DR? You’ll probably use Bing Webmaster Tools much as you would Google Search Console and GA4 to optimize your website for better search performance.

Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Search Console: What Makes Them Different?

You’re probably asking why you need to use two different SEO tool sets if GSC is so comprehensive. That’s a fair question. However, Bing Webmaster Tools does offer unique features that make it worth a closer look. Let’s explore how they differ.

Crawl Stats

Google offers more granular crawl data like pages indexed, crawl rate, and more. Bing’s limited crawl stats might seem like a drawback, but it makes up for this with richer click, impression, and ranking data.

Winner: Toss-up

Technical Issues

If you like to get in the weeds with technical SEO, Google’s got you covered. It provides extensive details on specific technical problems like duplicate title tags. Bing’s focus is more on high-level technical recommendations.

Winner: Toss-up

User Data

Google’s detailed reporting on geographic, device, browser, and query data blows Bing’s user segmentation details out of the water. The latter just doesn’t have that much information to share.

Winner: Google

Sitemaps

Bing emphasizes XML sitemaps more heavily for indexation signals. Google uses them, too, but to a lesser extent.

Winner: Toss-up

Algorithm Differences

Google and Bing have distinct algorithms that result in variations in how they treat things like duplicate content, keywords, and page speed.

Winner: N/A

Backlink Analysis

Bing uses powerful built-in tools to perform a backlink analysis. Google relies on third-party tools for backlink checks.

Winner: Bing

Link Disavow

Google makes it easy to disavow bad links. Bing has no direct disavow function and has sunset the tool as of October 2023.

Winner: Google

User Interface

Unlike Google’s utilitarian design, Bing provides a more modern, polished interface. That’s not necessarily a strike against Google. It just depends on your priorities. That polished interface might make learning the ropes easier for new users.

Winner: Toss-up

So, Which Is Better?

On paper, it might look like Google is the clear winner, especially if your priorities are disavowing backlinks and analyzing comprehensive user data. It makes sense if your overall priority is to focus on strong Google performance. You shouldn’t discount the opportunities that Bing offers, however.

Focus on each platform’s unique data points and SEO opportunities instead of treating them the same. Optimize your pages using insights tailored to how Bing and Google assess websites.

FAQs

What is Bing Webmaster Tools?

Bing Webmaster Tools is Microsoft’s service to help webmasters improve their site visibility in Bing search results. Key platform features include checking your site’s health, optimizing its performance, and identifying issues impacting visibility.

Conclusion

Search engines are constantly evolving, as are the tools that SEOs use to gauge their performance.

Google may have market dominance today (and tomorrow). Still, thanks to advancements in generative AI and changes in how companies approach cookies, the landscape has never shifted more dramatically than in the past year. Don’t do yourself a disservice by focusing on just one platform.

By tapping into Bing Webmaster Tools, you’ll get insights from another widely used and powerful search engine. Don’t ignore it and miss out on the chance to reach even more consumers.

Of course, there are only so many hours in the day. If you’re unsure how to leverage multiple SEO tools to see the best benefit, maybe it’s time to partner with someone with the time (and knowledge) to use them.

How much time have you spent working within the Bing Webmaster Tools? What are your favorite features?

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