Must-Use Features in Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing is way behind Google when it comes to search volume, but that doesn't mean webmasters and SEO professionals should ignore the search engine altogether.

If you could receive more traffic for pretty much the same effort, you would, right? Of course you would. That's why it's important to familiarize yourself with Bing Webmaster Tools and the features and functionalities it provides. 

Bing has long had an offering designed to help those responsible for natural/organic optimization to manage their presence in the search engine (Website Magazine, in fact, has written about it multiple times over the years). And for many SEOs, Bing's Webmaster Tools is actually easier to use and more intuitive than Google's Search Console. 

Let's take a look at a few of the "must-use" features, and some of our personal favorites, of Bing Webmaster Tools:

Sitemaps: Submit sitemap feeds and tell Bing about a site's structure and about all of its pages. Bing also provides a submit URL feature which allows websites to submit directly to the Bing index (limit of 50 per month). 

Configuration: Bing's Webmaster Tools provides several configuration capabilities. Webmasters can designate which URL parameters to ignore, control the rate at which the search engine crawls a site, and block links and URLs from appearing in the index. 

Reporting: One of the best features of the system is the data reporting. Webmasters can obtain information on page traffic, search keywords, and inbound links to name but a few. Bing even provides SEO reports to webmasters to indicate which areas of a website may need work. 

Diagnostics: Another area where Bing really differentiates itself is in its diagnostics capabilities and tools. Webmasters and SEOs can test the mobile friendliness of their website, conduct organic keyword research, and even validate markup.

These features, of course, only scratch the surface of the functionality of Bing Webmaster Tools. There's a lot more and 'Net professionals are encouraged to sign up (if they aren't already), submit their sites (and sitemaps) and start taking advantage of the platform. 

Are you an search engine optimziation professional currently using Bing Webmaster Tools? What advice would you give others looking to use the system?