While Google may be hogging the attention, Bing should not be discounted as a viable search engine to obtain free organic traffic from. Bing is now profitable, according to Microsoft, so it’s here to stay. They have over 20 percent of the market share – which is nothing to sniff at – when including both Bing and Yahoo (search result provided by Bing).
In this post, we cover some important points about Bing Webmaster Tools that should not be missed.
Creating an Account & Getting Started
If you haven’t already done so, setting up an account can be done using a Facebook, Google or Microsoft account. The process is similar to Google Console.
A website URL must be added to Bing Webmaster Tools. Then there’s a choice of three ways to verify control/ownership of the website.
The choices are:
- XML file with a verification code that Bing provides and must be uploaded to your website.
- Adding a tag into the area on the home page.
- Changing the domain’s DNS records to add a CNAME record.
Options 1 and 2 are simpler than changing the DNS and having to remove the addition later.
Adding a Sitemap
The fastest way to get Bing to understand your site’s structure is to give it access to a complete sitemap.
To upload a sitemap to Bing, access the Dashboard page, locate the Sitemap section and select Submit a Sitemap. This will allow you to indicate where the sitemap is located on your system and once the Submit button is activated, the sitemap file will be uploaded.
Bing has a cool free tool to get an SEO report about a page on your site. If it’s not indexing right or receives no traffic, maybe there’s an SEO problem? The SEO Analyser feature can be found under Reports & Data and will prepare a quick report about a page and any SEO issues on-the-fly.
Prioritising Pages to Preserve Crawl Budget
Every search engine has a crawl budget for a site. This is how many pages it will crawl based on the site’s age, popularity, and size. For a site that’s being submitted to Bing for the first time but is quite large, there’s the option of manually submitting individual pages. This way, you can ensure that the most important, high-traffic pages are submitted first and only later submit the less important ones, or a whole sitemap. There’s a maximum limit of 50 pages that can be submitted every month and 10 per day, so use them wisely.
Suggest How Often Bing Bot Crawls Your Site
A little-known crawl control feature that’s unique to Bing lets you set the frequency. Setting the frequency is useful because you can avoid over-crawling the site when it’s the busiest sales period and you need the server pushing out pages to real people. The Bing Bot can be scheduled to visit during off-peak times too.
If your company needs help with setting up or optimising Bing Webmaster Tools to get the most out of the search engine, be sure to get in touch with us. We’d be happy to help.