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How (and Why) To Optimize Your Website For Bing

According to a new Experian Hitwise report Bing now powers a full 30.01% of searches as of March 2011. This reduces Google’s lead by 3%, to a still rather impressive 64.42% of all searches on the web.

Good for Microsoft, but how does this impact you and your business? 1) the way your customers are searching is changing and 2) you can no longer ignore optimizing your website for Bing.

The Way Your Customers Are Searching On The Web Is Changing

The Experian Hitwise report identifies two trends that are quite interesting (to us SEO types). First, Bing and Yahoo’s Bing powered search results in a significantly higher percentage of users who executed a search which resulted in a visit to a website.

As you can see 81.14% of Bing users ended up visiting a website as a result of their search query while only 65.91% of Google users did the same. Its not entirely clear why this is the case, but there’s no arguing that Bing users are 23% (81.41% – 65.91% / 65.91%) more likely to visit a website as a result of their search.

Second, and I think more interesting, is that longer search quires are down by 3%.

All searches of more than 3 words decreased in volume, which makes ranking long-tail keywords less effective.

Optimizing Your Website For Bing

Not to point out the obvious here, but no business can afford to ignore 30% of its potential client-base. The good news is that many of the best practices for optimizing your website for Google also apply to Bing – and with a few extra steps you can further optimize your website for Bing and Bing Powered Search.

  • Add your website to Bing. The easiest way to do this is to use the Bing Webmaster Center. Once you log in, click the “Add Site” button and Bing will give you directions to verify ownership of the website. You should also claim your Bing Local Listingto make sure your website shows up as often as possible.
  • Bing likes webpages that have rich, relevant content. So give it to them. 300+ word pages perform the best but make sure you’re not keyword stuffing. Relevancy of your page’s body copy to the Title tags is a significant key to success.
  • Use header tags (e.g. <h1>, <h2>, etc.) to organize your content. Like all search engines Bing bestows greater importance on keywords that are in header tags than in the body copy, Bing also looks to header tags to like XML, as a way to describe the information they contain.
  • Bing gives preference to sites that have keyword relevant anchor text in their back links. This increases the importance of having high quality content on your site, as it not only helps to improve authority but increases the likelihood that other sites will want to link back to you and do so using the right anchor text.
  • Bing recommends that you organize your content like an organizational chart; that is into logical groups and landing pages. You can augment this by placing keywords in names for your Category and Sub-Category, as this type of organizational structure and keyword relevance improves ranking on Bing.

Have a tip or experience with Bing you’d like to share? Please post a comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Posted in Business, SEO
  • Jason

    Great article. I’ve read through the first couple of pages in Google on how to optimize your site for Bing (ironic, I know). Most websites were just regurgitating information. Since Bing serves 30% of searches on the Internet, yeah, it’s real important to get noticed by Bing. 

    I don’t quite know why Bing doesn’t like my site much, even for local searches. I’ll try your recommendation of using the Bing Webmaster Center and the local listings.
    Thanks so much!

    • Thanks Jason. I’m happy you found the post helpful. Bing Webmaster Center can give you some great insight into how your site is performing in terms of SEO (and if there are problems, where). It will also help make sure you’re getting all of the pages on your site indexed, which I’ve seen can sometimes be an issue with Bing.