Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Bing

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SEO for BingRecent studies suggest that the Yahoo and Bing alliance has managed to bag at least 30.5% of the marketshare. This figure is almost half of the marketshare that Google claims, which makes Bing and Yahoo all the more important. Just for your knowledge Bing has closed a deal with Baidu, which is a famous Chinese Search Engine, to power its SERPs for English queries.. All of this information must have given you an insight at what my article is going to talk about today. Yes, all SEO executives and webmasters must make efforts to optimize their websites for Bing in order to have a chance at getting higher rankings on the Bing network.

Through this article, I intend to suggest a few useful tips that will help you gain popularity and effective rankings on the search results. Some of these tips may actually be useful for Google as well, since they are based on the common working of SEO. So even though both the search engines are different, since they work on a similar line of thought, we could use the principles for both by modifying it according to the requirement.

1. Quality Content is Key

Today Search engines definitely give priority to content, they try to identify pages that offer high quality content and low quality content and differentiate between them via various ranking methods. So to create and maintain a good and successful website, you must give importance to your SEO campaign from the very beginning. While developing your policies and website, keep in mind these points:

– Your page should be unique enough to offer the user something original and exciting.
– Your content should be creative with useful information, rather than just being copied from the internet.
– You should reduce grammatical and typo mistakes to create a good image.
– You should create content that is likely to be spread via social media or through mentions in other articles.
– You should try to avoid static and boring material, which could lead to an increase in the total Bounce rate.
– The text to images ratio should be balanced instead of there being either too many or too little images.
– Try taking appropriate measures to remove the duplicate content from your website if any.
– Try analyzing if your content is enough or is it too short or long for your audience

What does one mean by quality content? It’s simply information that clearly and satisfactorily answers a visitor’s query before he can get bored or confused or simply leave the website. It will try and generate responses from the user in the hope for a good interaction that could eventually lead to social media sharing.

2. Perk up your CTR

According to the Product Manager of Bing’s Webmaster Program, Duane Forrester, Bing concentrates on how users will interact & work with the search results. Bing looks into the click through rate and uses that as a signal for ranking. It tries to analyze if they show your result within the first few names, does a user click on your link instantly or at least come back within a particular time frame. If this interests you and you wish to implement certain changes to perk up your CTR (Click through Rate), you could try surfing “Search Engine Optimization” forum where all the basic CTR improvement techniques are discussed since this is a very important method.

3. Trick to optimize your On-page status

There are so many On-page and text optimization techniques today that it just makes us realize how crucially important they are. Many Search Engines like Google and Bing give weight to a site’s on page optimization techniques. Bing prefers a short (say around 65 characters), descriptive and HTML title rich in keywords. Along with that make sure your Meta descriptions are accurate and sufficient in context with the remaining content of your page. Try to make them as interesting as possible, so that visitors get involved without bouncing away and try to ensure a good CTR response.

What one must do is, conduct an extensive Keyword Research before and during writing their website content, since this is the only way to gauge the most appropriate keywords. “Combine Keyword Research & Competitor Analysis to improve your SEO” can help you make the right decision to choose appropriate keywords. Also by undertaking a complete Keyword Analysis you can try and make sure that your content is well optimized. This will help you avoid any spam flags and will also ensure that the important parts of the HTML page are well aligned with the rest of the content. Bing does not support the idea of artificially increasing your keyword density. You should rather pay more heed to the Keyword Rank that is offered on the Keyword Analysis tool, which looks at the keyword on a particular page and how well they are optimized.

4. Bounce Rate Minimization is a Must

Bounce rate is a measure which signals the interest or disinterest of a user on your site. It is a very essential quality content signal, especially in SEO. Bing considers both the CTR and time frame between the first click of the user on a particular search result to his return on the SERPs. If the time of his visit was less than a minute, it could be inferred that the individual wasn’t interested in the site, or that he did not find it useful and attractive enough. But if the user stays on the site for more than 1 or 2 minutes, it’s a good sign. Today IE and Chrome, which are the browsers of Bing and Google, serve as sources from which vast amounts of information are gathered on how users interact with the different kinds of websites. Reducing your Bounce Rate is very important today, here is a way to do just that, “What Is Bounce Rate In Google Analytics?”.

5. Bing’s Free Webmaster Center

A tool which helps you measure and analyze your website’s performance is always welcomed, as it could affect your ranking and help you avoid any mistakes that can negatively affect your website. The Webmaster Center of Bing is a service offered by Bing free of cost, which allows website owners to view valuable statistics about their own website. They can verify and analyze the number of impressions, CTR’s, Clicks on SERPs, crawling rate, RSS feeds and help them understand the way Search engines index websites and check organic traffic. Also by evaluating the information one can get helpful insights on how persuasive and attractive their website is in the eyes of the users.

6. Give the user experience a lot of importance

Today a criterion is given to those sites that enhance the user’s overall experience. Search engines boost those sites that have an attractive design, the navigation of the site is easy to understand and handle as well as the time the website takes to load is as low as possible. Sometimes it also looks at the ad to content ratio, which should be balanced or else the website owner could just lose the viewer. Search engines also look into the quality of the videos and images provided by these sites, and also if they are appropriate to the theme. All these factors are inter-related and can together be used to create a synergy of the website. So you must give equal importance to each factor. Say for example if you simply have loads of images and videos, but hardly any content on your site, it will take a lot of time to load the page; there by leading you to lose out on a potential user. So clearly understand what elements are important and how you should balance them out. Is your website a content- driven or image- driven site and what would the end users prefer? These are a few questions that will help you make the decision. Ecommerce websites would prefer detailed descriptions with images, where directories would prefer content and speed of loading the site. The key is to think like a user of the site and not as the owner of the website or an SEO professional. “30 tips for developing an SEO Friendly Design” and “Basic Rules for an Impressive & SEO compatible Web Design” are two great articles you could read to know a bit more on how to make the most engaging and beneficial user experience.

7. Social Media is Already the next big thing

Social media data is widely analyzed by most of the search engines and this data definitely has an effect on the Search engine results. Bing has revealed that they use information derived from Facebook and Twitter in their algorithms so as to judge the popularity of a particular site. So it has become extremely important to be socially active, as your result in the search engine page depends on it and it can also help you increase your organic traffic. One can place their Social Media buttons in appropriate places on their site to generate more followers and users. If you haven’t already adapted to these changes, get on to it immediately.

8. Need to Build High Quality Links

You need to understand that major search engines use information that can be easily found on hyperlinks during the course of their analysis. Hence, when you add links from highly trusted as well as reputable sources you are in turn boosting your own rankings. Also try focusing on the need for using keyword rich anchor text as that will help you gain a better shot at higher rankings. Link Building guides can help you avoid certain common mistakes and also enable you to develop a solid link building campaign.

9. Concentrate on your Crawl ability

Understand that in order to rank higher in Bing’s search results you must first be indexed by Bing’s spiders, which is precisely why your website must be compliant to enable the spiders to do so. The HTML sitemap can help you do just that, also RSS feeds & XML sitemaps are vey useful to ensure that all the pages of your website are found as well as indexed by Bing. An easy way to ensure this is to submit every new page you add to your website to Bing’s Webmaster Center. You can control the way spiders crawl your website with the help of the Robots.txt tool. But only professionals should use this tool as there is a high possibility that if not handled properly this tool could end up backfiring and blocking the access of your website as well as making it drop from the index altogether.

Also note that Bing doesn’t support Google’s proposal of making AJAX applications crawlable, hence Bing drops all the parts of the URL that appear after the fragment- # or #!. So analyze before using any Flash solutions that are supposed to provide SEO friendly URL’s by using certain fragments, since they aren’t SEO friendly after all and aren’t taken care of by Search engines like Bing.

10. How to benefit from Schema

Schema.org allows webmasters to mark up their data by using special tags in the HTML coding language. It was a jointly supported idea undertaken by Google, Yahoo and Bing. What these tags essentially do is help the search engines interpret your content in an easy and efficient manner. It will help them to analyze and rank a page with much more ease and it will also help develop more services as well as provide and present more information in a precise manner. Since the content is already sorted through separate tags such as images, videos, location, address; it makes it easier for a Search engine to scan through it. This new protocol came into existence to save on a lot of resources as well as money, as it could save on expensive machine learning algorithms that are still in use today to differentiate between the different types of data on each and every page. If such methods are going to save the time and money of search engines, they are obviously going to promote the sites that use it as compared to the ones that don’t. Very soon all the data on sites is going to be minutely checked, so by using this protocol called Schema.org and avoiding duplicate content, you are actually preparing yourself for the future.

11. Website Structure must be improvised and improved

We all know the effect that SEO techniques have on the ranking of a particular website on Bing. Hence isn’t it all the more important to start having SEO friendly URLs that are embedded with important keywords of the page in order to give the website the desired boost. Try avoiding unnecessary session Ids or other variables in the URLs and avoid duplicate content issues at all costs.

You would also know that the use of excessive Flash, Javascript, Silverlight, iframes and similar technologies can make your website less crawlable and hence they should be avoided for all the important parts of the page on your website. You can get additional organic traffic from Image Search if you write descriptive alt texts in the important visuals of the page. You can avoid common web development mistakes that affect SEO by paying attention to the structure of your website.

12. Black hat SEO methods are a NO NO

Manipulating Bing’s algorithms in order to achieve higher rankings is definitely disliked by them. Blackhat techniques such as cloacking which means serving different content to spiders and different content to users, using duplicate content, generating automated content, scraping, adding hidden text in the pages, using link farms linking techniques must be avoided at all costs. As these methods can have an adverse affect on your website ranking which is obviously negative in the long run.

13. Internal Link Architecture Is also Crucial

Information regarding the hierarchy of your pages can be analyzed through the internal links of your site. Ing pays special attention to this, hence optimize your internal anchor texts, use text menus, try making use of a tree like structure. One major point you must understand is to link the important pages of your website directly from your homepage and always place the important links of those pages above the fold. “Link Out (External Link) Helps The Website Higher Ranking ?” is a good article to refer to in case you aren’t already aware of this tactic.

14. Understand the GEO signals

The effects of GEO signals are much more profound in Bing than it is in Google, since Bing does not use separate TLDs for each supported country version of the search engine. Bing uses various signals to determine for which country a particular page is more apt. The physical location of the server, the language of the document, the TLD of the domain, the location of the incoming links, the traffic data that is collected from unspecified browser stats are all crucial clues to understand this process. Bing is famous for using the META GEO tags, one of the things that Google does not do.

15. What’s in a Domain name

The 2 primary reasons why domain names are important in SEO is, firstly because the domain belongs to a particular TLD and this can be used as a GEO signal. Secondly when a result comes from a domain that contains keywords, Bing tends to give it a boost for queries that include that word. Very long domain names should be avoided since they can come across as illegitimate and can raise spam flags. So a lot depends on your domain name, try avoiding unnecessary slashes and other irrelevant data in the domain name and URL.

In this article, I have tried to outline a plan, more like a start to optimizing your website for Bing in order to at least understand a few of the many signals used by Bing to analyze websites. Please do share and discussing these valuable tips with your friends on our internet marketing forum as it can help us rank higher in Bing as well!

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