Bing SEO. Is it worth optimizing your site for the Microsoft search engine?
The short answer: Yes.
But how do you perform search engine optimization for Bing anyway?
Well, in this post, we explore 12 tips to help you get more organic rankings and traffic from the second-largest search engine.
Let’s dive right in.
What are the Benefits of Bing SEO
Before we look at the steps to mastering Bing SEO, let’s take a look at what the benefits are.
Here are a few reasons you shouldn’t ignore Bing.
Bing is Growing
Bing generates 900 million searches per day and as of March 2023, Bing received 1.4 billion visitors.
Furthermore, Bing passed the 100 million daily active users milestone in the same month. The Microsoft head of consumer marketing stated in a blog post “we have crossed 100 million daily active users of Bing”.
These are promising statistics and a good reason to optimize for Bing search.
Lower Bounce Rate
Another potential benefit to target Bing for traffic is it’s said to have a lower bounce rate.
That means people who use Bing and click on your website are less likely to hit the back button.
This can result in visitors reading more articles, signing up for your newsletter, and clicking more affiliate links.
That’s what SEO expert Matthew Woodward found when looking at his Google Analytics data:
Bing also Powers Yahoo!
Ever since 2009, Bing has been providing search results for the Yahoo search engine.
That means when you optimize for Bing, you also optimize for Yahoo.
It’s true: Yahoo doesn’t get as much search traffic as Google or Bing, but it is still a valid reason to pay attention to Bing SEO.
More Engaged Users
Another reason you might want to focus on Bing traffic is the potential for more engaged users.
It is said that Bing’s audience demographic is of an older generation with more disposable income.
This can be particularly appealing to brands with similar demographics and want to expand their reach in the right places.
Bing SEO: 12 Tips to Boost Rankings in Bing
Following these 12 tips will increase your chances of higher rankings and more organic traffic in Microsoft Bing.
1. Keyword Research for Bing
Bing SEO might be a little different from Google SEO, but it all boils down to keywords.
Without performing this step, you might be missing out on potential content ideas.
And worse, you might optimize content for terms that aren’t being searched for on Bing.
Therefore keyword research is essential.
Even Bing themselves states:
“Keyword research is the first step for content creators, looking for popular topics trending on the internet to write on.”
So, how do you do it?
Well, there are a few tools that can help.
First, there’s Bing’s very own keyword tool. It provides data on search frequency and content ideas for you to go after.
Another tool is Ahrefs, which gives you up to 100 related keywords and their search volumes.
When finding keywords, aim for those with high search volume and some long-tail variations.
Creating a big list of potential keywords will give you a lot of ideas for content. Moreover, it’ll help you understand what your audience is searching for and better create content that meets their needs.
2. Write High-Quality Content
It can’t be ignored; humans want to read quality content, and so do search engines.
And that includes Bing.
The Bing Webmaster guidelines state:
Create content for search users, not search engines: Develop rich content based on keyword research that shows search users the information they are looking for.
Furthermore, Bing lays out the Three Pillars of Content Quality in a blog post:
In a nutshell, they define high-quality content as having Authority, Utility, and Presentation.
Authority refers to the trustworthiness of the content and its author.
Utility relates to how useful the content is. They also like to see a variety of multimedia, such as instructional videos, images, and graphs.
Lastly, Presentation comes down to the design and layout of the content and a good user experience.
Overall, Bing wants to provide their users with the best result, and they measure this using their Three Pillars of Content Quality.
3. Add Internal Links
Many people fail to add internal links on their websites, which stops Bing from crawling your content.
And if Bing can’t crawl your content, your site won’t get indexed in the SERPs.
Bing themselves recommends you internally link to every page on your site at least once.
This will help your site be more discoverable and crawlable.
If you need help doing this, Link Whisper saves you time and improves on-page SEO.
It’s a WordPress plugin that automatically finds internal linking opportunities on your site.
It uses AI to suggest the best and most relevant pages to link to. You simply choose the links it suggests and it quickly adds them to the page.
If you have a lot of pages or articles on your site, it can save you a lot of time rather than doing it manually.
But internal links don’t just help make your site more crawlable; they help build topical relevance.
So developing a strong internal link strategy builds more context, relevance, and authority for your site.
4. Optimize Click-Through Rate
Bing has been using click-through rate as a ranking factor for over a decade.
It was confirmed at an event way back in 2010. They said:
If things in the search results that do not get clicked on they will likely lower the ranking.
Therefore, the click-through rate is something you should focus on when performing Bing SEO.
But what is click-through rate anyway?
Simply put, it’s the percentage of people who click through to your site compared to the number of impressions you get.
For example, one of your articles shows in the 6th position 100 times per month and get’s clicked 20 times.
That’s 100 impressions and a 20% click-through rate.
Now, let’s say you change your SEO page title and description that grabs more Bing users’ attention.
As a result, you end up getting 30 clicks from the same impressions. That’s a 30% CTR which can potentially bump you up the rankings.
It’s a powerful technique because the top three results get the most clicks.
If your rankings improve due to CTR optimization, you’ll invariably get more clicks moving forward because you’re in a higher position.
Give it a try.
5. User Engagement
User engagement is another way Bing determines its rankings.
Their Webmaster Guidelines state:
User engagement: Bing also considers how users interact with search results. To determine user engagement, Bing asks questions like:
- Did users click through to search results for a given query, and if so, which results?
- Did users spend time on these search results they clicked through or quickly return to Bing?
- Did the user adjust or reformulate their query?
In a nutshell, Bing is saying that if people click on your result but don’t stay on your site, this can negatively impact your ranking position.
Likewise, if people click on your result and don’t return to the Bing search results, that’s a good user engagement signal.
So how do you improve user engagement signals on your site?
Well, first, it’s essential to get the search intent right. But, more on search intent later.
As long as the search intent is right, how do you get more people to stay on your site?
Here are a few things you can implement, some of which we have already spoken about:
- Quality content: Great content isn’t just about “not making it boring”. It’s also about hooking them in with compelling copy. It’s about clearly communicating how you have the solution to their problem.
- Invest in professional design and branding: If your site looks dull, it won’t leave a good impression. You can make your site more engaging by giving your site’s design the “wow” factor.
- Provide related content: We’ve already mentioned the importance of internal links. If you strategically link to other relevant content, your visitors will likely click on more links.
- Clear navigation menu: Make your navigation menu clear and concise. Also, remove anything irrelevant, or that distracts from your main pages.
Everyone knows that Google loves backlinks.
And it just so happens that Bing loves backlinks too. But maybe not as much.
In fact, it has been said that Bing doesn’t put as much emphasis on link quality as much as Google does.
However, they mention in their guidelines that poor-quality inbound links from link schemes can get your site delisted from Bing’s index.
Therefore, it’s important to get high-quality links from reputable and authoritative sites.
Furthermore, Bing rewards links that have grown organically and from trusted sources.
So, how do you build backlinks?
Well, here are a few things you can try:
- Use HARO: This service can get your opinion in front of reporters that need your expert advice. If they choose your answer, you’ll get a backlink.
- Publish specific content: Articles that cover industry statistics are great at attracting backlinks naturally.
- Guest posting: This strategy is as old as they come. Some say it no longer works, whereas others still swear by it.
7. Know the User Intent
User intent refers to the meaning behind the keyword they search for. If you know the user intent, then it’s easy to write content that matches.
However, if the user intent isn’t clear, you’ll need to check Bing’s results to see what’s already ranking.
Because if you write content that doesn’t relate to what the user searched for, then your content won’t rank.
Here’s a quick example:
Say you’re want to rank an article about tracking website performance. Targeting the keyword “how to track performance” would be a bad choice, because the results for that keyword don’t relate to websites.
Instead, they relate to tracking employee performance. Therefore, you would need to find a more specific keyword that matches the intent of the content you’re writing.
8. Add Your Site to Bing Webmaster Tools
Bing Webmaster Tools is what Search Console is to Google.
You add your site, and it tracks when your pages show up in Bing’s search results.
Additional metrics include the number of clicks, average CTR, average position, and more.
You also get reports on crawl errors and the number of backlinks, and it can perform a technical SEO scan.
All of these tools provide important insights to help you implement Bing SEO and to achieve better rankings.
9. Submit an XML Sitemap
To help Bing find all the pages on your site and add them to its index, you’ll want to add an XML Sitemap.
This is done through Bing Webmaster Tools once you’ve added your site.
Just navigate to the Sitemaps menu item in the sidebar on the left:
Click the Submit Sitemap button and add the URL to your sitemap:
To get your sitemap URL, you can use a tool like RankMath or Yoast SEO if you’re using WordPress.
Or you can create a sitemap for free at XML Sitemaps. You then download the sitemap file and upload it to your hosting root directory.
Once you’ve added your sitemap to Bing, their bots will have a direct link to new pages that get added.
10. Make Use of IndexNow
IndexNow is a relatively new protocol created by Microsoft Bing and Yandex.
When implemented, it pings participating search engines when content has been added, changed, or removed.
This can help the pages of your website get crawled and indexed faster.
Currently, Bing, Yandex, and Seznam.cz are the only search engines it works with. However, Google has stated they are testing out the technology to see if it’s beneficial to use.
To start using IndexNow in WordPress, there are a few options.
The first option is RankMath, as they have built it into their free version of the tool.
Yoast SEO has also added this functionality, but only in their premium plugin.
Alternatively, you can install a dedicated Index Now plugin developed by Mikhail Kobzarev, which has some decent reviews.
Bing has stated in the past that a social media presence can impact your rankings.
So, getting people to share your content can be beneficial in more ways than one.
The simplest way to get more shares, likes, comments, etc, is to add social media buttons to your site.
You’ll also want to post new content to each of your profiles too. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are the main channels you want to pay attention to.
Generally, being more active on social media will create a steady flow of traffic and potentially boost your reach on Bing in the process.
12. Add Your Business on Bing Places
If you run a local business and want more Bing traffic, then you can sign up for Bing Places.
Adding your business and optimizing your listing can bump you up higher in local search and on maps.
It’s also a good practice to get reviews on sites like Facebook and Tripadvisor, as these can show up in Bing’s rich snippets.
To add your business to Bing Places, head over to the website and create an account.
Simply go through the steps to add your listing and verify your account, and your business will start showing in the results.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bing SEO
Here are a couple of common questions people ask about Bing SEO.
Is Bing Good for SEO?
Bing might not be as good as Google for SEO, but it’s still worth optimizing for the search engine.
Moreover, there are several things you can do to optimize Bing for SEO that you only need to do once, like submit a sitemap.
Is Bing SEO Different From Google
Yes, Bing SEO does have some differences from Google SEO.
For instance, Bing might not place so much emphasis on backlinks, but they do on social signals.
Bing also puts more value on multimedia content such as images and video than Google.
Bing SEO Conclusion
Bing SEO is essential if you want to get more organic traffic from the Microsoft search engine.
There are a few differences when it comes to optimizing for other search engines, but many similarities.
The best thing is you can optimize for Google, and it will cover many bases. And this post covers the most important (and extra) ways to optimize for Bing.
Check out our article on DuckDuckGo SEO to optimize for even more search engines.