Hey guys! It’s quite important to consider your search engine visibility in Bing (not only Google), as there are still a small percentage of people that use this search engine. With this in mind, I would like to show you how to set up Bing Webmaster Tools, which like Google Webmaster Tools, is a pretty simple process and important for your visibility in the Bing Search Engine.
The Webmaster Tools is a free service by Bing (who is owned by Microsoft), which also provides several handy features that allow you to easily check the health status of your website.
What are the Benefits of Bing Webmaster Tools?
Some main benefits of the tool include:
- Register your website and sitemap with Bing, allowing all your pages to be easily discovered by the search engine.
- Check the health status of your website in terms of crawl errors (missing or not found pages), malware issues or phishing issues.
- Analyze organic search traffic to your website from Bing with information such as Clicks, Impressions, Click-Through-Rate and Average Search Position.
- Analyze search keywords that your website is appearing for. You can get a deeper understanding of your target audience from this.
- Check mobile friendliness of your website, which is very important as many websites have an ever-increasing number of mobile users.
Step 1: Getting a Microsoft Account
The tool is free to use and access, all you need is a Microsoft Account. Ensure you have an account for your business that is separate from your personal account (it is good practice). If you already have an account, please move on to Step 2.
Step 2: Sign In to Bing Webmaster Tools
You can access the tool by signing in using your Microsoft account.
Step 3: Creating a Website Property
The next step is to add a new website URL.
Click the Add button.
The next page will ask you to enter your Sitemap. I recommend doing this now, however you can choose to do it later.
Submitting a sitemap tells Bing what pages are on your website and allows the search engine to index them. You will need to ensure a sitemap is available first, by setting it up in your WordPress website using the XML Sitemap feature in the All in One SEO Plugin.
Add the URL of your sitemap which is typically: yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml
You will then be asked to verify your ownership of the website. The simplest method for this the <meta> tag method (Option 2).
For the Meta Tag method you will need to select the unique code in between the “quotation” marks, and paste it into your Webmaster Verification section of your SEO (search engine optimization) plugin. I utilize the All in One SEO Plugin for entering my Bing Verification Code. Please see this separate post on how to install and use the plugin.
Once the verification code is saved to your website, click Verify.
Step 4: Additional Settings
This section details some additional settings to be configured within Bing Webmaster Tools so that your website is optimized with the search engine.
If you desire, you can target users in a specific country. Go to the Configure My Site menu and select Geo-Targeting. Select Domain from the drop-down menus and then select your desired country.
I have left my website blank because I would like to be international. If this is the same for you, simply skip this step.
Submit a Sitemap
If you haven’t already in Step 3, you can submit your sitemap from the Configure My Site menu and select Sitemaps.
It will take some time for Bing to index your pages so please be patient.
Step 5: Explore the Features
Let’s take a look at some powerful features within Bing Webmaster Tools.
Analyze the Page Traffic
When a website is new, it will take some time before you are able to see traffic to you pages. Once you start receiving traffic, you can analyze the data to each of your pages.
A quick breakdown of the definitions for you:
- Clicks – this is the number of times someone has visited your page from Bing Search.
- Appeared in Search – this is the number of times the page has appeared in a Bing Search for certain keywords.
- Search Keywords – these are the search terms that visitors type in to the search bar to hopefully find your website.
- Click-Through-Rate – the number of ‘clicks’ divided by the number of ‘appeared in search’ as a percentage.
- Average Search Click Position – The average position your page was in when someone clicked on it.
- Average Search Appearance Position – The average position your page was in when it appeared in Bing Search.
You can click the ‘View Search Keywords’ under each page to see terms people are searching to reach that page.
Check Page Mobile Friendliness
You may find that a majority of your visitors use their mobiles to visit your pages. As a result, it is important to regularly check the mobile friendliness of your website.
There is no need to submit all pages in your website, just a few will do as a quick check to see all is well.
Check Crawl Information for Any Errors
Try to regularly check if there are any crawl errors on your site. Bing will track and show these for you, so if they occur, you can investigate and rectify the issue.
This is a handy new feature that Google Webmaster Tools doesn’t have. Well done Bing! It allows you to enter a URL of a page on your website, and it will analyze the page for any Search Engine Optimization (SEO) related issues according to SEO best practice.
If there are any issues, these will be highlighted and explained, allowing you to investigate and rectify. A great tool for checking that you are doing the right thing for search engines, from a technical perspective.
Security Issues – Malware and Phishing
As with Google, Bing will monitor and advise you if your website contains any security issues like malware or harmful phishing elements. It is important to rectify any issues you may encounter straight away, for the security of your users and your website itself.
As you can see, setting up Bing Webmaster Tools is a relatively straight-forward process and it contains some great features similar to that of Google Webmaster Tools, but with slight tweaks. One of the great features the tool has, is the SEO Analyzer, which will help you check if you are doing SEO right from a technical/search engine perspective.
I hope you found this guide useful. If you have any questions, or would like to know more about some other features not covered, please feel free to contact me!
Let’s Get Started!
Create your Microsoft Account (if you haven’t already).
Sign into Bing Webmaster Tools.
Register your website URL.
Configure the additional settings.
Ask me any questions you might have.
Continue your journey through the online world, and Periodically Analyze Your Data and Errors.
Let me know how you went with setting up the tool in the comments below!
If you haven’t already, it will be even more important to register your website with Google Webmaster Tools as this is the most popular search engine.