Believe it or not, Google is not the be-all and end-all of search engine optimization. Although Bing takes a distant second place to Google, it is rapidly gaining on the number one search engine. In fact, Bing boasted an impressive 18.6 percent market share as of early 2014 — up from just 13 percent in 2012. Currently the default search engine for Siri, Bing is gaining ground, in part, due to aggressive marketing from Microsoft.
The search engine’s proponents argue that its results are far more relevant than those offered by Google or Yahoo. Whether or not this is true, it’s clear that today’s webmaster only does his or her site a favor by optimizing for Google and Bing. This end is surprisingly easy to accomplish; it merely requires a greater emphasis on social media and the use of a few key webmaster tools.
Take Advantage Of Bing’s Webmaster Tools
Like Google, Bing tracks a variety of vital statistics, including clicks, crawl rate and impressions. These can be accessed with the help of Bing’s Webmaster Tools. Once you’ve completed the signup for Webmaster Tools, you can submit your sitemap. From there, it’s easy to analyze your site’s search engine performance. Bing’s Link Explorer is, perhaps, the most useful of those featured in Webmaster Tools, as it allows users to determine which URLs link to various domains.
Don’t Forget About Social Media
Social networking is an increasingly important optimization tool, with research from SEOmoz indicating a strong correlation between a page’s social media performance and its Google ranking. This correlation is even stronger in the world of Bing, where Google +1’s, Facebook comments and even Pinterest pins serving as some of the search engine’s most important ranking factors. Instead of relying solely on keyword selection and placement, it is important to build an engaged community of followers across several social media platforms. Ideally, this social networking lineup will include well-maintained accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Accounts on Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube may also prove useful. Update these accounts with meaningful content on a regular basis, sprinkling in researched keywords and carefully-placed hashtags for added effect.
Image Search: Bing It On!
High-quality written content is, of course, essential for Bing ranking success, with the ideal writers for hire understanding how to implement researched keywords in a subtle, yet effective manner. That being said, it may be wise to branch out beyond written content. Microsoft’s goal is to dominate the image search market and, based on its early initiatives, it is making great progress on this goal. Users invariably prefer search engine result pages with more images, and some argue that Bing has already achieved this end. It’s easy to garner high image rankings on Bing; simply include optimized keywords in the file name for each image.
Although not exactly a suitable replacement for Google, Bing is still worthy of consideration as you attempt to improve your site’s search engine rankings. Take advantage of Bing’s superior incorporation of social media and images — you just might enjoy a significant increase in website traffic.
Stephanie G is a passionate copywriter with an affinity for entertainment and lifestyle articles. She utilizes a wide array of research resources, including Google, and, of course, Bing.