How to Optimize for Bing (and 2.7 Billion Searches)
The search world seems to revolve around Google. The 2012 November Comscore report, shows that Google has 67% of the search market share and 11.4 billion monthly searches, so that’s no surprise. But what about the other 33% of queries? Bing rolls in at second on the list with 16.2% share and 2.7 billion monthly searches. That’s no small potatoes.
Our goal is to help you get free traffic to your site. Perhaps spending a little time focusing on the other search engines, is just what you need to round out your efforts (subscribe to the free UpCity Daily Tips newsletter for more tips on optimizing your site for search engines).
Advantages of Bing
Bing’s main search page rocks. Staring at an incredible beauty shot instead of a white screen, is very nice. That’s not a good ‘business’ reason to focus your optimization efforts on Bing but…just sayin’!
One of the biggest business advantages could be that with everyone optimizing for Google, you might find that your odds of landing on page 1 of Bing are better with focused efforts. And, if you’re not on page 1 in ANY search engine, it doesn’t really matter.
Plus, 2.7 billion searchers each month is a LOT of people. Wouldn’t you settle for a few hundred qualified leads or new customers each month? Make sure you follow Bing’s guidelines and maximize your pages for the best impact.
Ways to Optimize for Bing
Search engines basically work the same. Spiders crawl and index pages, then serve up relevant websites when a query is typed into the search bar. Oh, that sounds sooo easy! Start by making sure your website follows the SEO Basics. Bing’s algorithm isn’t as sophisticated as Google’s and some of the older rules, such as favoring keyword placement, still apply. This is good news for small businesses that are not as involved in the social media world which Google’s results so heavily favor.
- Keywords — Unique keyword-rich title tag for every page of your site — must be relevant and well-written. Include keywords and variations in your H1 and H2 (article title and sub-headings) plus several times (not too many) in your intro paragraph. Include keywords in your meta description as well.
- Flash — Bing favors flash much more than Google. If you have a flash-heavy site, familiarize yourself with Bing’s optimization tips.
- Domain — Age of your domain counts, keep that as your root domain if Bing matters and you’re building a new site. If you’re trying to decide the suffix, Bing tends to favor ‘.edu’ and ‘.gov’ extensions.
- Local pages — When in doubt, Bing seems to service these up first so it’s more important than ever to have a rock-solid Local listing (see also 5 Easy Steps to Optimize for Bing Local Listings).
Read a great article by to Amanda DiSilvestro at Higher Visibility for more info on the differences between Google and Bing.
A very fun test is BingItOn which allows you to test Google and Bing search results side-by-side which you choose your favorite screen or select a ‘draw’. The test results tout a 2:1 result in favor of Bing in the blind test. The test was conducted by an independent research company, Answers Research, based in California.
As with all search strategies, think of your customer first and search engines second. After search basics are covered, search engines (Bing and others) will always reward those websites offering visitors quality content and pages that are easily found.