Here’s a question for you:
What is the second-most used search engine in the world, after Google?
Well, this post’s title gives away the answer, so well done, you guessed correctly: Bing.
The Microsoft-owned search engine accounts for roughly 2.3% of all search queries on the internet (and 5.8% of all search queries in North America). That’s a far cry from the undisputed world champ Google—which has an incredible 92.96% global market share—but it still amounts to billions of queries each month.
No SEO marketer would ever adopt a Bing-first strategy. Still, it can’t hurt to have a Bing-second approach that takes into account more than just Google. Bing offers potentially significant rewards for brands that dare to tread there. The competition for the first spot in the search engine results page (SERP) rankings on Bing is less fierce than on Google. And the top-ranked brands can potentially acquire millions of new users.
Optimizing for Bing is different than what you are accustomed to. Both Bing and Google use different patented algorithms to distribute search results, and the way the factors are weighed is quite different.
So how to build and implement your Bing-second marketing strategy?
These 6 tips will help you set it up:
Tip #1 – Exact-Match Domains Perform Well
On Bing, exact-match domains perform better than on Google.
Let’s say you’re targeting the “hotels” keyword, and your domain just happens to be hotels.com. In this case, you would rank even better on Bing than on Google:
Of course, exact-match domains are expensive. The 5 most expensive publicly-reported domain name sales—CarInsurance.com, Insurance.com, VacationRentals.com, PrivateJet.com, and Voice.com—all sold for $30 million or more.
The good news is that the top-level domains (.com, .org, .net) don’t matter.
There are more than 1,500 active top-level domains (TLDs) in existence today. They vary from geographic TLDs like .uk, .ca, and .br, to generic TLDs like .auto, .biz, and .market.
In theory, loans.car or term.lifeinsurance should perform as well on Bing as loans.com or termlifeinsurance.com.
Even if you already have a website and don’t want to purchase another, I recommend having all your keywords in the URL, i.e., yourdomain.com/keyword.
Tip #2 – Keyword Placement is Important
Just like Google, Bing ranks pages better when all the keywords appear in strategic places: H1 tag, title tag, meta description, first paragraph, and the text itself.
Whichever search engine you are targeting, we recommend thinking carefully about your keywords. As Hila Gil-Dotan, Marketing Team Leader at Natural Intelligence said in a recent interview for this blog—high-intent keywords like “compare,” “review,” and “best” generally convert 4x to 10x better than low-intent keywords with brand names in them.
But far more important than keyword placing and density, as we came to learn in the past 5 years, is the quality of the content:
Tip #3 – Produce Great Content
I know that you’ve probably heard it numerous times, including on this blog.
But you probably didn’t know that when it comes to content, Bing takes the same position as Google.
This is no surprise. There is so much content out there on the web to be indexed that if yours doesn’t stand out in some way, it won’t rank well.
Michal Nassimian, Natural Intelligence’s Head of SEO, says content must be original, unique, engaging, and provide value to visitors. It should be easy to read, as well as comprehensive and detailed. It doesn’t necessarily have to be text; images, videos, charts, diagrams, and quizzes all enrich the visitor experience and attract attention from search engine crawlers.
Improve your website and blog content and you’ll see results in no time.
Tip #4 – Leverage Social Media
Bing looks more deeply at social media signals than Google in determining SERP rankings.
It has a good reason for doing so: Bing is owned by Microsoft, which also owns LinkedIn and has a 1.6% stake in Facebook (worth $8.5 billion at the time of writing). Bing even gathers data on Twitter and other social media shares in which it doesn’t have a stake.
So go ahead and kill 2 birds with 1 stone: create viral content for social media and move up the Bing SERP rankings.
Tip #5 – Use Bing’s Webmaster Tools
These free tools offer insights that are good for ranking on Bing specifically and on all search engines more generally. Its diagnostic tools point out errors on your site and suggest fixes. Its reporting tools provide insights into what leads people to your website and help you understand what to focus on to increase traffic from Bing clicks.
Tip #6 – Provide Great UX
Over the last few years, Bing has given more weight to websites with good user experience (UX). In this respect, it is similar to Google. For all the other things you can do to move up on the SERPs—if your UX is no good, you won’t stay near the top for long.
The reason search engines favor good UX is that they recognize users don’t have much patience for slow, poorly designed sites. As more users transition to mobile, attention spans will get even shorter. This will lead to search engines placing an even higher premium on page speed and UX.
Google First, Bing Second
When it comes to search, Google is king and will remain so for a very, very long time.
With that said, opening up to Bing is a bit like opening a second store on a street with decent foot traffic but low rent. The potential rewards are pretty good for the small amount of energy you need to put in.
Now that you better understand why you should pay attention to Bing SEO (and how to do it), it’s time to step back and review your marketing strategy:
Is Google the only channel worth your budget?
Or can the “underdog” that may not have as much traffic, but is less competitive, fortify your annual plan?
If you have more questions regarding ways to rank higher on Bing, simply fill out this short form and our marketing specialists will contact you with more tips.Rank higher on Bing