5 Nice Ideas for Optimizing search engine marketing for Bing – Not Google
30 second summary:
- Bing is not the search engine with the largest market share, but it serves millions of users every day. A third of online queries in the US are provided by Bing, especially when it comes to voice searches.
- The following five effective and easy-to-follow Bing SEO tips will help you quickly rank for the secondary search engine.
- A move by Bing SEO to Google SEO is not productive, especially since both search engines use the BERT algorithm. Many optimization initiatives designed for Bing also work for Google, and vice versa.
You read that right: in this article, we're going to focus on Bing SEO.
Did you know that Bing is the second largest search engine in the world? It also powers Yahoo! at, the third largest. In July 2020, Bing captured nearly 6.5% of the global search market.
In any discussion of SEO, it is inevitable to mention Google. However, the industry giant isn't the only search engine that can drive traffic to your website. You can make Google SEO your main focus, but it shouldn't be the only one in your marketing toolkit.
A global market share of less than 10% doesn't sound like much, but it does mean millions of users. Bing supports a third of online searches in the US, with direct searches and searches through Yahoo! or AOL. As of August 2020, Bing controls over 13% of the US desktop search engine market.
How Bing is different from Google – and why it matters
There are certain things that Bing does better than Google.
For example, an image search with Bing is preferable because of the higher quality of the results. You can search for different layouts and view license information for each image without having to figure out where to look. Bing also pioneered infinite scrolling for image search results, although it's no longer unique. Google now also offers this function.
Video search is also easier with Bing, although YouTube is a trademark of Google. When you search for a video on Bing, the results are displayed as a thumbnail. You can then watch the videos without leaving the SERP.
Perhaps the biggest difference between Bing and Google is how they affect a rapidly growing part of online search: voice devices. In 2017, an estimated 35 million Americans used one of these devices at least once a month. Of those millions, more than 70% were Amazon Echo users – and Amazon Alexa is supported by Bing.
Five Bing SEO Tips for Optimization
You will often find that optimizing for Bing SEO is very similar to optimizing for Google SEO. Both search engines use the BERT algorithm. This means that keyword stuffing, manipulative link building schemes, and other questionable tactics won't work.
However, there are certain things you can do to improve your search engine optimization with Bing. Here are five tips that you can apply to your current marketing initiatives.
1. Request and list your company on Bing Places
Google has Google My Business, Bing has Bing Places. The goal of these two is similar: to provide users with the best, most useful local search results. Request your business on Bing Places and make a list to improve the performance of your local SEO ranking.
Note that Bing rewards websites whose location details are prominently displayed. Bing's algorithm also takes into account information from third-party sources such as social media platforms like Facebook. To optimize your Bing SEO presence, make sure you are also ranking on Facebook's local search engine.
2. Improve Search Engine Optimization by URL Indexing from Bing Webmaster Tools
Use Bing's webmaster tools to index your website after claiming your business.
You'll need to sign in to your Bing business account, which may use your Outlook, Hotmail, or Microsoft login, and verify ownership of your website using an XML back-end sitemap.
As with any other search engine, the Bing algorithm can process and understand your content better if you use categories and tags to make your website pages more recognizable. As you work on it, you can rest assured that Bing will deliver better search results and ad experiences for your brand.
3. Pay special attention to the on-page SEO for Bing
While backlinking still helps with Bing SEO, smart and contextual keyword usage is far more relevant. To rank for Bing, focus your efforts on on-page SEO rather than off-page SEO.
However, certain tricks work better than others. For example, Bing seems to prioritize content with exact keyword matches in page titles, meta descriptions, and web content. Occasionally, you may want to literally sacrifice readability for long-tail keywords.
Using keywords in URL slugs, subheadings, and in the first paragraph of your content is also a best practice if you want your website to appear at the top of the Bing SERPs.
4. Maintain a real online social media presence
Bing's webmaster guidelines show that social signals play a major role in the ranking algorithm. This means that your social media presence is more important to Bing than to Google. We touched this briefly when we talked about claiming your business on Bing Places.
Your social media performance helps Bing judge the quality of your content. So make sure you don't buy likes or follow or post without a clear branding voice.
What does Bing mean under “social signals”? These are social media shares and interactions, usually on industry leading platforms like Twitter and Facebook. However, you also need to tailor your social media presence to suit your target audience. Law firms probably won't be doing much use for Pinterest or Instagram, for example, but those platforms could be essential for photo studios.
5. Consistently produce great content
Make sure that whatever you post is trustworthy, scannable, readable, and well-researched. Having lots of related images to illustrate your points throughout the text will also help.
Focus on quality, not quantity. Don't try to maximize your content by breaking it up into several short blog posts. In 2020, the ideal blog post length should be between 2,100 and 2,400 words – enough to thoroughly discuss a topic with authority, but not too long to make lint inevitable.
Not convinced yet? This is why marketers should focus on Bing
Bing, the second most influential search engine in the world, can be a very lucrative channel. You shouldn't ignore the opportunities for greater reach and growth. Plus, Bing's SEO tips often align with what you're already doing for Google SEO.
If you're ambivalent about Bing's runner-up, consider the parent company. Did you know that more than 1.5 billion devices worldwide are operated with Windows and that over 900 million of them use Windows 10? This last part is important as Windows 10 devices direct traffic to their built-in search engine: Bing.
More than 85% of desktop computers run Windows. When asking Cortana a question or searching through your lock screen, you're using Bing. Bing also supports search functions with applications such as Microsoft Office, Skype or Outlook.
One of the most overlooked audiences is over 65 million players on their Xboxes. Microsoft's game console also uses Bing. When players pause their games to search for something, they usually use Bing, not Google.
Summary: Bing SEO vs. Google SEO
Optimizing your online presence for Bing SEO versus Google SEO is not a good idea. As we've mentioned over and over again in this article, Bing is more like Google than many realize. Your algorithms may not be the same, but with careful balancing, it isn't difficult to come up with a strategy that will satisfy both Bing and Google.
Any savvy marketer will think it's a good idea to go for both market shares. Despite the small percentage of Bing and Yahoo! you still see a potential audience of millions.
Justin Staples is an entrepreneur providing business results-oriented SEO, custom web design, digital marketing, and content development. He can be found on LinkedIn.