SEO for Bing

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If you haven’t heard of Bing yet — Microsoft’s latest branded search engine — you soon will because they have committed more than $80 million to advertising.

While it remains to be seen if this latest search entry will wrestle any significant market share from Google, it’s a good idea to get familiar with Bing.com, from an SEO perspective.

Bing is branded as a “decision engine,” enabling users to make better choices by drilling deeper through search results filtering. The jury is still out on whether it produces what it’s advertising, but if Bing can provide a positive search experience, it might just eat away at Google’s search dominance. Even if its impact is far less groundbreaking, Bing will be a significant source of traffic, making it worthy of attention.


Digging into Bing

Bing broke down its core searches into four categories: Travel, Shopping, Health and Local. The goal is to provide users with relevant results, faster. For some popular large search volume search queries, Bing organizes results into categories which Microsoft calls the “Explore Pane” and links within are called “Quick Tabs.” Important to SEO is that Bing is constantly tweaking which categories show up for a given search. So it’s important not to focus on trying to rank for one of these “Quick Tabs,” as they will undoubtedly change. Instead, focus on where you have the most control.

Start by performing searches on Bing.com for your brand, website, and relevant keywords. But before trying to gain better rankings, focus on improving your existing rankings.

Title and description are coming directly from and tags. You don’t want to drastically change your title tag, because it may affect ranking on the other search engines like Google. Be sure to have a meta description that compels the searcher to click your listing and it accurately describes your page’s content.

The presentation of Sitelinks on Bing is unique. The anchor text comes directly from the anchor text on your internal pages, so make sure it’s descriptive and not just text like “Click Here.” You want the searcher to click on these links because these pages are often the highest converting on your website. Now that Bing and Google display Sitelinks, it’s yet another reason to make sure your site navigation and structure are SEO-friendly. As it stands, Bing does not give webmasters any control (within its Webmaster Center: http://www.bing.com/webmaster) like Google does with its webmaster console.

Learn more about optimizing your website for competitive positions on Microsoft’s new Bing.com decision engine.

The Quick Preview feature presents an advanced preview of the page when users hover their cursors over a search result, and is an area of significance to monitor. The preview contains a longer description of the page, internal links on the page, phone numbers, e-mails and physical addresses. To leverage this feature, consider adding these elements to every one of your pages listed. This will attract more leads, boost the trustworthiness of your website and ultimately lead to higher conversions.

Image and video search play a significant role on Bing, and are gaining popularity with users. Continue spending time optimizing images with alt tags and tagging videos with descriptive keywords, and monitor performance closely. Shopping is a focus of the Bing search platform. If you manage an e-commerce site, you know that user reviews continue to be a factor in driving conversions. Ratings are provided directly within Bing from CitySearch.com, Judysbook. com and Yelp.com. Make sure your site is listed on these websites and encourage your new and current clients to rank and review your business.

Local Search is a core competency and a big part of Bing. If your site/business is not listed on a Bing Maps search, add your profile in the Listing Center. If your business is already listed, check to make sure information is accurate and up-todate. Information that can be edited includes Web page and business description, hours of operation, payment methods, photos, year established, company tagline, brands carried, specialties, professional affiliations, languages spoken, parking options and even a personal contact. Since users might see this information, take advantage of the opportunity in this feature and fill out as many fields as possible. The more information you provide to the searcher, the more likely they are to do business with you.

While Bing is still a distant third when it comes to search, its 10 percent market share includes a significant amount of traffic, so keep track of how you’re performing. Bing also opens the door to Decision Engine Optimization (DEO). As search continues to evolve, it’s important for all SEOs to stay in touch of the ever-changing search landscape.

Happy SEOing.


SEO Corner

About the Author:

Dante A. Monteverde is a Search Strategist specializing in Search Engine Optimization.
He founded Spider Bait SEO in 1996 and has over 10 years of SEO experience.

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07-15-2009 1:40 PM

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