Optimizing Your Web Presence for Bing: The Other Search Engine
Google is so powerful and influential, it makes it far too easy to forget that there is much more than one search engine. If there was one other search product worth paying attention to, it would have to be Bing. According to the latest data from comScore, Bing currently owns more than 16% of the market, which may not seem like anything significant, but potentially equates to something huge when considering the millions of people using web search as a discovery tool.
Use these Bing optimization tips to take advantage of its rising popularity and enhance your visibility online.
Localize Your Strategy
Thanks to Microsoft’s impressive mapping technology and localization tools, Bing is becoming an increasingly popular option on the local search scene. The following pointers will help you use that technology to increase your local visibility
Claim What’s Yours - It is believed that claiming a listing, which is simply a way to identify yourself as the owner of your business location, establishes trust and authority, both of which play a role in the ranking process. What you want to do here is head over to the Bing Business Portal, and make sure all your information is valid and up to date. That includes your address, phone number, and URL.
Visualize Your Listing - Images put a face on your business and help your listing stand out. To optimize even further, add alt and geo tag data so your images serve as yet another source that helps people find you online.
Pick Your Categories - Bing Local allows you to choose various related categories when creating your listing. Try to make sure you pick categories that best match your business to increase visibility as much as possible.
Specify Hours - If your business operates during certain hours of the day, you should definitely reveal that information in your listing. Bing assigns an icon to let users know when certain places of business are open, which no doubt helps with offline traffic, if not search rankings as well.
Use the Appropriate Tools
Google has Google Webmaster Tools. Microsoft has Bing Webmaster Tools. Both are very similar in how they supply the tools, in addition to guidelines that enable you to thrive with each individual search engine. The Bing version specifically helps you drive traffic, understand traffic sources, and create a better website experience for your visitors. And if you sign up at the right time, you may receive some free credits that can be used towards a search advertising campaign.
Grow Rich in Content
By now, we know content rules all and is beloved by the search engines. However, Bing may be infatuated with it even more than Google. While Google looks more at keywords and how they relate to the page, Bing focuses more on the amount of content. In fact, its SEO documentation states that ideal optimization involves creating pages of over 300 words. That means you should think ‘longer’ when it comes to your blog posts, landing pages, and product descriptions. Anything shorter, and you’re not maximizing your page’s value.
Use Links Generously
Building links has long been a proven way to boost the SEO value of a page. However, there is much debate over whether Google has begun to frown down on this longtime practice. Some say too many backlinks can hurt you, others say there is no such thing. After all the changes it has made to its search algorithm, we now know that Google doesn’t approve of too many outbound links because it is practice used by sites participating in link farms.
Bing, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to mind links. In fact, creating a lot of links both ways could actually help you as long as they correlate to your page content. If you deal heavily in links, it may be a good idea to have a look at your reports to see where most of your traffic is coming from — Google or Bing. That will help you decide what’s best.
Build Social Influence
The talk regarding the relationship between search and social is never-ending. While much is speculation on Google’s part, Bing lets it be known that social matters. It specifically cites influence, so building an active following of people who share and recommend your content could very well help your efforts with this search engine.
The different search engines share many commonalities, but they also have their own individual traits here and there. Despite their differences, I don’t think following Bing’s guidelines to the letter would hurt your SEO efforts with Google, or vice versa