As specialists in search engine positioning and SEO, we often hear “I need to be first website on Google” more often than “I need to rank first on Bing”. However, Microsoft’s search engine offers a number of interesting benefits that often go unnoticed. Sites that position well on Bing benefit from lower competition, lower bounce rates as well as better conversions rates.
In order to increase your traffic across search engine platforms, we’ve put together some useful information as well as tips to benefit from the Bing search engine, which is still underutilized from an SEO point of view.
Position your website on Bing and Yahoo in order to target millions of additional Internet users
While some countries like France use Google 90% of the time, other countries like Canada and the United States have a more segmented use. Indeed, while some states/provinces almost exclusively use Google, others almost exclusively use Bing.
In Canada, Bing alone represents 23.64% of the search engine market (source: Statista). With more than 32 million Internet users in Canada, Bing and Yahoo can target more than 7 million people, or almost a third of Internet users.
In the United States, 34% of Internet users use Yahoo and Bing, which represents more than 97 million Internet users (a number that’s not so negligible).
Bing market shares are bound to increase
Microsoft applies a winning strategy and plays with its position of power by making Bing the default search engine on Windows operating systems. This trend is all the more marked on Windows 10, which explains why Bing’s market shares continue to increase over the last few months, to the detriment of Google.
Very different positioning criteria on Bing
The difference in market shares between the various search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.) helps explains the differences in their algorithms. Positioning a site in the first Bing results will therefore not require the same optimizations as positioning a website on Google. Also, it’s important to take into account that Google is more competitive, making it much more complicated to position a website on the 1st page of Google search results than on Bing. Microsoft’s search engine will therefore require less effort to increase your visibility and traffic.
On-site optimization and keyword integration
On-page optimization holds much more weight on Bing than on Google. For this reason, some experts even liken Bing to an older version of Google. If you want to optimize your site to position yourself on Bing, keyword research and keyword integration in your web content is highly important.
The main keyword should be inserted regularly in your content, especially in the H1, H2 and meta descriptions tags. The same thing goes for the alt tags. We often find that alt tags are neglected, harming their impact on positioning on search engines. Do not hesitate to fill in the “meta keyword” fields, which will help boost your website’s visibility on Bing.
Something that’s worth knowing when buying your domain name is that Bing still favours domain names that contain a keyword used in the website’s positioning strategy.
However, be reasonable in keyword integration and make sure to avoid over-optimization. Your goal is probably not to position your site on Bing alone, so make sure your actions don’t accidentally negatively impact your positioning on Google.
While links are often seen as the “be all end all” of positioning your website on Google, they are shown to have less importance for Bing (although they still make up about 30% of any strategy). Indeed, link building on Bing should not be done in the same way as on Google.
With respect to link building, Bing gives more importance to the quantity of links than to quality. For Bing, it’s therefore necessary to acquire as many links as possible while optimizing the anchor text on which the links are placed. Search Metrics has studied more than 300,000 sites and found that more than 50% of sites that are positioned on the first pages of Bing presented links with optimized anchor texts.
Be careful, however, not to acquire a large number of links with questionable quality. Even if the amount of links is important to Bing, it’s obvious that “spam” links will send bad signals to Bing robots and will also impact your positioning on Google.
Just like for Google, Bing considers content to be key. You will have to rack your brain to provide your users with original content that is seen as useful and optimized for Internet users.
As with Google, do not hesitate to add “schema.org” tags on your site so that you can insert rich snippets to help search engines understand your content more easily. Remember that SEO consists of communicating to search engine robots, making tasks easier for them will get you on their good side.
Click through rates
Click through rates still have an enormous impact on Microsoft’s search engine. When we talk about click through rates in SEO, we’re referring to the number of users who will click on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th (etc.) result compared to the number of times that these same users have been exposed to the links in search results. For example, let’s take a look the following results:
If Bing notices that the first result gets a 35% click through rate, the second one 15% click through rate, and the third 25%, it’s likely that the third result will be raised to the second position as this result is considered to be more relevant to the given keyword.
The quality of the content and the good writing of your “meta tags” will really allow you to improve your positioning.
While the use of social networks is not considered by Google’s search engine algorithm, Bing takes into account your activity on social networks. Feel free to add share buttons on each of your articles to help spread your content on social networks. Take the time to organise your profiles on Twitter, Facebook and even Google+ to establish a clear social network management strategy.