Last time we covered Google Webmaster Tools and showed you how you can use Google Webmaster Tools to get ranked in Google and repair SEO problems.
It got me thinking about Bing. We all want Google and don’t really care about Bing as it’s not the number one. In the same way that there are thousands of social media sites out there but it is only a handful that we would consider “quality traffic”.
So recently we decided to get involved in Bing to see how much traffic it would bring to us and worked out how to use Bing’s Webmaster Tools.
To begin with like many we thought that if we were in Google we would automatically end up in Bing. And we did get the odd search in Bing here and there. But as the website in question was getting more than 1000 uniques a day it wasn’t exactly a priority.
Do not ask me why we thought that, it was just a common belief that your content was going to get crawled if you pinged your site and forced the bots to crawl and index your content. Firstly we did Google and then we turned to Bing.
It has grown considerably over the past few years and has joined forces with Yahoo search which was very big also, so could these 2 companies compete with Google with regards to search engine traffic?
I certainly believe it has helped our site being found a lot more especially in the Bing/Yahoo search engine and over the past month we are seeing an increased click through rate and search engine impressions are going up as well.
We have always had just one of the search engines sending us organic traffic so at the moment we are getting 2 and we have added our site to Baidu and Yandex so we shall see if this is going to turn into a spike in traffic for websites.
Anyway here I will talk you the basics about how to set up your site in Bing webmaster tools and go through some of the data you can get from these tools. Firstly you need to sign up for a Microsoft account if you have not got one already we did have, it was the first account we signed up for.
Go to www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster and log in and you will be faced with your websites or just an empty space asking you if you want to add them.
At the top it will ask you to add your site so just pop your URL in there. Then after it has accepted your website you will need to verify it. The verification methods are just like Google, so I chose to upload an html file and verify that way as I find it the easiest.
After you have verified your websites you will be brought to your dashboard where you will be asked to submit a sitemap. This is the same one you entered in your Google Webmaster Tools so ours will be dsm-publishing.com/sitemap.xml.
Make sure you have a plugin if you are on WordPress so you actually have a sitemap available to add. It will take a few weeks for Bing to gather a lot of information about your websites especially if they are pretty big like ours with a lot of pages like our main one.
Then when you log in you see your dashboard with a lot of figures next to it.
Messages, clicks from search, appeared in search, pages crawled and pages indexed. As you can see our sites are on the up but only after a month the only way for them to go is up.
These figures are only percentages you will need to go through your data to have a detailed look at how your sites are performing. Really you will need to leave it 90 days so you can see how your site is performing after Bing has collected all your data.
After you click on your domain you will see this page with a lot more detailed information on it. It tells you your clicks total for certain periods; how often your site has appeared in search and how many pages have being crawled.
Your crawl errors and pages that have indexed. So our site here is getting crawled and indexed which is a good thing. Also on this page it will show you how many sitemaps you have entered and how many urls were on it and how many have being crawled.
Further down this page it will show your search keywords and hopefully you will have a lot here! Also it shows you your inbound links and as we have a lot of pages we have about 16,000 inbound links to our site.
This can be a good indicator if someone is targeting your site with negative SEO by throwing millions of unwanted spam links at your website and then you can do something about it. It is better to know as there are a lot of unsavoury people out there wanting to damage your business.
Next if you press configure your site a whole load of options open up and I will briefly go through them with you.
Sitemaps is where you want to add a new one and Bing lets you do this every month if you want or you can just add new urls instead of your whole site map.
Then you can tell Bing bot to ignore certain urls, you can then ask it to crawl your site at certain times of the day, I have this set to default. The deep link tab we have not used yet, along with block urls.
We also have not used geo-targeting on this website. We have verified ownership and this is where it will show you the different ways about how to do that. Users are just whose account it is and if you want to add any of your outsource team so they can go through and fix any errors for you.
This is my favourite page of the Bing webmaster tools as it shows you just what you want to know on one graph with a click of the mouse. You will see on the right certain lines you can have on your graph I have clicked all to show you what it looks like.
But if you wanted to just concentrate on one area of your site you can. You then hover your mouse over the lines and at different points it will show you all you need to know about your site in the past 30 days.
Further down it will show you your traffic on each page. The amount of clicks and how many impressions it is getting. Click through rate for that page, where you are in the search engine and what your average position is.
All results are shown in green and red. Green means you are going up in the search engine and red means you are going down in the search engine. This is going to vary over the month because the longer your site is in Bing the more it is going to be found.
If you have added your site before, at first, you will get found a lot and in comparison to the other month when you did add your content so I would wait a few months before you analyse your results for keywords and if you are being found or not.
The last 2 on these pages are SEO reports which will show you any problems you have and what severity these pages are in regards to ranking your site and crawl information because you want to know how often your site is being crawled by Bing bot.
Finally diagnostics and tools are a variety of tools that can help your site get better results in Bing and I presume Google. Keyword research tool will show you how many searches your desired keyword gets a month from Bing search.
And just think if you use the Bing tools and get your site crawled how much more traffic you will be able to bring to your website via Bing. It may not be in the same league as Google but the traffic still adds up.