When you think about search engine optimization (SEO), one major search engine probably comes to mind: Google. But what about Bing SEO?

With more than a billion monthly users, Bing is the second most popular search engine globally.

Moreover, since Microsoft’s acquisition of OpenAI earlier this year, Bing has begun integrating AI technology into its search engine, and its traffic has increased by more than 15%.

With its growing popularity, Bing SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) should be on the radar for marketers crafting their search engine optimization strategy.

In this comprehensive Bing SEO guide, I’ll help you explore why Bing is still relevant for marketers, offer data-driven, expert-approved Bing SEO tips, and give you the tools you’ll need to optimize your online presence for this increasingly popular search engine.

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Should you optimize for Bing?

Why Bing SEO Matters

Bing vs. Google: Similarities and Differences

Building the Right Foundation for Bing SEO

Tips to Improve Your Bing Ranking

1. Prioritize Exact Keyword Matches

2. Don’t Forget About Meta-Tags

3. Invest in Quality Backlinks

4. Build Strong Domain Authority

5. Ensure Mobile Friendliness

6. Cultivate a Social Media Following

7. Incorporate Images — But Don’t Overdo It

8. Craft Quality Content

Maximize Your Online Visibility with Bing

Should you optimize for Bing?

Is it worth optimizing for Bing? That’s only a question that your team can answer. I’d encourage you to look at it this way: If you’re just starting out on your SEO journey, focusing on Google may make sense.

Plus, you may not have the resources to allocate to both search engines. But as you grow, it’s definitely worth optimizing your online content for Bing, too.

While Bing still has a smaller market share than Google, it remains an important piece of the search engine pie, and it can serve as an important channel for your marketing efforts.

To capitalize on this potential, invest in Bing SEO. That means understanding why Bing SEO matters, the ways in which Bing and Google differ, and what it takes to build a solid foundation for Bing SEO and boost your rankings on this platform.

Why Bing SEO Matters

So, why does Bing SEO matter? That’s a great question. Before diving into the specific strategies that drive success on Bing, it’s helpful to explore why Bing SEO matters for today’s marketers.

There are four key factors underlying Bing’s ongoing relevance:

Substantial User Base

Bing might not have the same search volume as Google, but it still boasts a substantial user base. With over a billion monthly users, Bing captures a noteworthy share of the search market.

If you ignore this audience, you risk missing out on potential customers who are actively seeking information, products, or services related to your business.

Investing in Bing SEO will help you tap into a diverse pool of users and increase your online visibility.

Less Competition

Because most SEO efforts are primarily focused on Google, competition for rankings on its results pages can be fierce. Bing, on the other hand, offers a less crowded landscape.

With fewer websites optimizing for Bing, there’s a greater opportunity to achieve higher rankings and gain visibility in search results. This can be particularly advantageous for businesses operating in highly competitive niches.

AI-Powered Search

Thanks to its acquisition of OpenAI, Microsoft has been able to infuse advanced AI technology into Bing’s search engine.

This has enabled Bing to develop enhanced functionalities, smarter recommendations, and an improved user experience, all of which have been contributing to an increase in user engagement and site visits.

In light of these trends, optimizing your online presence for Bing means aligning your strategy with cutting-edge, rapidly growing technology, ultimately setting your organization up for success in the long term.

Risk Diversification

Finally, relying on Google alone for all of your organic search traffic can be risky.

Unexpected changes to the algorithm or shifts in user behavior can suddenly impact your website’s visibility, leaving you with little recourse to recoup the losses.

Diversifying your SEO efforts by including Bing in your strategy can provide a safety net, helping to mitigate this risk and reduce the potential impact of fluctuations in search engine performance.

Bing vs. Google: Similarities and Differences

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Good news! If you’ve already optimized your website content for Google, you’re off to a solid start for Bing as well.

Many SEO techniques are effective on both platforms, as both search engines reward content that’s relevant, trustworthy, and high-quality.

However, there are also several important differences that marketers should keep in mind when optimizing for Bing. First, Bing is generally more open about its search algorithms than Google is.

This means that marketers can, in many cases, make more informed decisions about exactly how to craft Bing-optimized content.

Another key difference: Google explicitly ignores meta keyword tags, but Bing still uses these tags in its search algorithm. Therefore, with Bing, it’s worth continuing to make sure your web pages have useful, accurate keyword tags.

In general, Google looks more for higher-level topic relevance, while on Bing, specific keywords that exactly match the search terms you’re targeting are more likely to be effective in improving your SERP rankings.

Another important difference is the relative weight of social. Google has stated that social media engagement is not a factor in its search rankings, but on Bing, social plays an important role in determining what content will rank.

As such, driving high-quality social media engagement should be part of your Bing SEO strategy.

Below, I’ll dive into how you can leverage these key differences to build an SEO strategy that considers Bing alongside Google.

Building the Right Foundation for Bing SEO

Any Bing SEO guide would be incomplete without an overview of how teams can build a strong foundation for Bing SEO. There are several important steps to consider, and I’ll walk you through them now.

Leverage HubSpot’s SEO Marketing Tools

Whether you’re just getting started with SEO or looking to take your optimization strategy to the next level, you can’t go wrong with HubSpot’s SEO marketing tools.

These tools are an excellent way to build a strong foundation for your SEO efforts.

The HubSpot platform can help you plan out your SEO strategy, optimize your content for search, and measure ROI, ensuring your Bing SEO strategy is data-driven and aligned with your broader marketing goals.

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Sign Up for Bing’s Webmaster Tools

Next, if you’re looking to optimize for Bing specifically, it’s definitely worth signing up for access to Bing’s webmaster tools.

This suite of tools can help you identify the keywords you already rank for on Bing, gain visibility into the backlinks that Bing has indexed for your website, and subscribe to alerts to make sure you stay on top of any changes.

Creating an account with Bing also gives you access to a comprehensive dashboard with key metrics related to site activity and click rates.

You can even run your website through a range of diagnostic tools, including Bing’s SEO Site Analyzer, keyword research tools, and mobile friendliness audit.

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Submit a Sitemap to Bing

In addition, once you’ve signed up for an account with Bing’s webmaster tools, you can submit a sitemap for your website directly to Bing.

Submitting a sitemap will help boost your Bing SEO by improving how the search engine crawls, indexes, and ranks your website.

Before Bing accepts the sitemap, you’ll be asked to verify your website by placing an XML file on your web server, copying a short meta tag into your website, or adding a CNAME record to your DNS.

Once you’ve verified your website, Bing can use your sitemap to better understand the information and content on your website, ultimately enabling the search engine to provide better, more useful results to users.

Invest in Schema Markup

Schema markup is another important way you can help Bing understand your content and thus improve the quality of the results it provides.

In a nutshell, effective schema markup enables search engines to parse website information and interpret what it means.

This ensures that when your business comes up in Bing’s search results, key data points like your company’s location, a blog post’s author, or an event’s time and date, are clearly and prominently displayed.

Claim Your Business on Bing Places

Finally, if your company has a physical location, claiming your business on Bing Places is critical to ensure users are seeing accurate, up-to-date information about your organization.

Remember: Even if you don’t use Bing yourself or haven’t yet proactively invested in Bing SEO, Bing already lists publicly-available information businesses like hours, location, and more.

However, this information isn’t always accurate, so claiming your business on Bing Places helps ensure everything is up-to-date.

Plus, unclaimed businesses are generally listed below those that have been claimed and verified, so if you needed one more reason to take the extra step, that’s it.

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As such, both to boost your rankings and to confirm that the information shown to customers is consistent and correct, it’s worth taking a few minutes to claim your listing.

To do so, simply find your business on Bing and click “Claim Business.”

You’ll be asked to verify that you’re a business owner or authorized representative.

Once verification is complete, you’ll be able to add photos and videos of your products and services, updated hours of operation, services offered, contact methods, and more.

It’s simple.

Tips to Improve Your Bing Ranking

Once you’ve set up a solid foundation for Bing SEO, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty details. Below, I’ve listed eight tips to help you improve your Bing rankings.

1. Prioritize exact keyword matches

This is one of the main differences between Google and Bing SEO strategy. While Google’s algorithm has grown fairly complex, Bing’s still relies heavily on exact matches between search terms and on-page content.

Rather than considering factors like word usage, context, and semantics, Bing is seeking exact keyword matches.

That means that it’s beneficial to include exact keyword matches in the content on your site.

For example, if you want to rank highly for the phrase “marketing automation software” on Bing, don’t just write content about software tools that can help automate marketing.

Instead, make sure to include the exact phrase “marketing automation software” in the H1 or H2 headings in your content.

2. Don’t forget about meta tags

SEO isn’t just about the content that users see — it’s also about behind-the-scenes content that helps search engines understand what your website is all about.

While both Google and Bing consider the content in your meta tags, Bing is particularly interested in exact matches between keywords and meta descriptions.

As such, make sure that your target keywords are reflected not only on the page, but also in the meta tags that Bing will be looking at.

3. Invest in quality backlinks

Another critical factor in Bing’s ranking algorithm is the quality of your backlinks: That is, the websites across the internet that link back to your site. Importantly, this is an area in which quality is much more important than quantity.

Bing is looking to see whether reputable, relevant, well-established websites are linking to your website, as this can serve as an indication that your website is also trustworthy.

In particular, Bing tends to prioritize links from websites with .edu, .org, or .gov domains, since these sites tend to be associated with official, verified institutions.

Bing also tends to give considerable weight to domain age, with backlinks from older websites having a stronger positive effect on website rankings.

Finally, if spammy, low-quality websites are linking to your site, that can substantially harm your rankings.

So if you’re aware of any of these harmful backlinks, consider either reaching out to the webmaster of the website in question and requesting that they remove the link or using Bing’s webmaster tools to formally disavow the backlink.

4. Build strong domain authority

Of course, domain authority doesn’t just apply to your backlinks — Bing also considers several factors related to the authority of your own URL.

Some of these factors may be outside your control, but it’s still important to keep your domain authority in mind when making key SEO decisions.

The main levers you can pull when it comes to Bing’s assessment of your website’s domain authority are age and keywords.

Bing rewards websites that have been around for a long time, so think carefully before creating a brand new website if you already have one.

In addition, Bing’s focus on exact keyword matches applies not just to on-page content and meta tags but to URLs as well. For instance, Bing is more likely to rank pages highly if the URL includes an exact match to the search terms.

5. Ensure mobile friendliness

As Marketing Consultant Anna Crowe explains, “Even though Bing has said there are no plans to introduce mobile-first indexing on its platform, you still want to make sure your site is mobile friendly.”

When determining mobile friendliness, Bing considers factors such as:

  • If the content on your pages fits within the narrower screen width of a mobile device
  • Whether or not the text is still readable on mobile
  • If your links and buttons are still easy to use on a mobile interface.

If you’re not sure whether your webpage is sufficiently mobile responsive, you can use Bing’s mobile friendliness test tool to quickly gain insight into your site’s current status. Then, improve any areas that don’t earn high marks as necessary.

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6. Cultivate a social media following

While Google has largely removed social media engagement from its search algorithm, Bing still places substantial weight on the social following associated with a website’s domain.

To be sure, that does not mean that you should start paying for followers. Shady tactics that help you rapidly gain a large number of fake followers will be easily detected, and Bing penalizes such behavior.

However, making a genuine investment into building a real, loyal social media following can pay off when it comes to your rankings on Bing.

If Bing sees that your web pages are being shared widely on social media, it’s likely to take that as a good sign about the authority and relevance of your content, and improve your SERP rankings accordingly.

7. Incorporate images — but don’t overdo it

Well-placed images with clear, concise alt text can go a long way to boosting your Bing SEO.

Indeed, while Google is known for largely prioritizing text and html, Bing’s algorithm may reward content with more multimedia components, such as images and video clips.

That said, when it comes to media elements, it’s equally important to avoid overdoing it. Drowning your website in a sea of imagery can often backfire, especially if images or videos make it harder to see the key information on your site.

In addition, excessively intrusive advertisements that block your actual content or interfere with the user experience are also likely to harm your search rankings. For example, here’s a web page layout in which the imagery is intrusive, not helpful:

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8. Craft quality content

There are countless tips and tricks that can help boost your position on Bing’s SERPs. But at the end of the day, just as with SEO on any other platform, your success on Bing comes down to your ability to craft quality content.

That means developing web pages that are relevant, informative, and credible, and free of spammy or misleading content.

A focus on quality is especially important as generative AI creates new possibilities for machine-generated content.

Indeed, in a recent survey of more than 400 marketers, we found that more than half were already incorporating generative AI into their SEO and content development workflows.

Clearly, AI tools can add a lot of value — but it’s important to avoid publishing content that reads like it was written by a robot.

After all, if Bing’s algorithm detects content that appears to be solely designed to boost SERP rankings (rather than to add real value to the user), it’s likely to classify that content as malicious and penalize rankings accordingly.

At the same time, as AI tools are increasingly incorporated into search engines, marketers may benefit from rethinking their approach to content.

In the same survey, marketers predicted that if generative AI is integrated into search engines, “How to” and “Question/Answer” type content will perform the best, perhaps because this format is most likely to correspond to the questions users may ask of an AI-assisted search engine.

As AI evolves, so will the type of content Bing deems as high-quality. But as long as marketers ensure that the intent behind their web content remains to help their users (not to trick the algorithms), they’re likely to be rewarded.

Maximize Your Online Visibility with Bing

While there’s no doubt that Google remains the industry leader for search, factoring in Bing is an increasingly important part of an effective SEO strategy in today’s market.

In particular, Bing’s growing user base, reduced competition, and ongoing investment into cutting-edge AI technologies make the platform an important way to diversify your strategy and maximize your online visibility.

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to SEO.

Especially as new technologies continue to emerge and disrupt industry standards, it’s critical to take a dynamic, agile approach to crafting (and re-crafting) your marketing strategy.

But if you build a strong foundation and follow the Bing SEO tips listed above, you’ll set yourself up for success and maximize your chances of capitalizing on the unique advantages Bing has to offer.

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