Guest post by Sheryl Jones.
When it comes to search engine optimization, it pays to think beyond Google. Including Bing in your SEO strategy can help boost your rankings by 35%.
And there are additional perks: your competitors are less likely to consider this approach, PPC rates are cheaper, Bing is fairly transparent about its rules, and it also offers several webmaster tools to help boost your site’s search rankings.
When hiring a professional SEO services company to manage your SEO strategy, make sure they can demonstrate expertise in optimizing for Bing.
Here are 10 vital questions to ask in the context of Bing.
Is your site content unique and useful?
Trust ranks high on the Bing search value chain, and for content to be successful, it’s important that it be original, credible, and authentic.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be written by an expert. However, it should be well-researched and backed by relevant studies, data, and credible sources, and it should clearly mention the name of the author.
The content should be well-presented, easy to navigate and comprehensive in its scope. Sketchy, half-baked, unaccredited content is undifferentiated, and this brings down its equity in the search rankings.
Is the content indexed?
When new content is uploaded on your site, it’s a good idea to take a few proactive steps to improve the chances of it being discovered by users. Bing allows you to submit the URLs of new content through Bing’s webmaster tools.
Webmasters can submit up to 10,000 URLs a day for most websites. This improves the chances of Bing immediately crawling, discovering, and indexing your website content. When other credible websites link back to your website, this also makes it more likely Bing will fully index your site.
What’s the engagement like?
Another core metric used by Bing to rank quality content is the degree of user engagement it inspires. Engagement can be a mix of likes, comments, subscriptions, followers, and other user touchpoints, as well as the amount of time users spend on the page.
Sometimes content creators find ways to rig the metrics by creating fake accounts, and other gimmicky methods. It’s a good idea to seek a professional SEO services company’s counsel on how to improve user engagement that leverages a strategic approach but keeps it organic and authentic.
Does the page load fast?
Page load speed is increasingly a factor that impacts search rankings, including on Bing. Search engines measure how quickly a visitor leaves your website, which is shown in your site analytics and impacts search results.
Overall, slow page speeds translate to poor user experiences. To avoid negative outcomes, check how quickly your key pages load across all devices. Diagnose the reasons for slow speeds and rectify these as soon as possible. Check if the images are too large, and reduce their file size or install a plugin to optimize them.
Do the language and location match?
Search engines like Bing also take into account the language of content and its relevance to a specific location. For example, content written in Spanish will rank higher in places like Spain, Mexico, and most of Central and South America where Spanish is considered a native language.
Typically, it aligns the search results to the language of your default setting. Keep this in mind when planning your overall SEO strategy. Consulting a savvy professional SEO services company can help you navigate language and location issues and optimize settings.
Is the content kept updated?
Bing tends to rank pages that are up-to-date in their content relevance higher so that users have access to fresh content. Hence, making it a practice to update older articles and content pieces, so they have the latest news, trends and studies, is a healthy practice.
Updating headlines to also align with the latest title trends is also a good idea. Doing a hygiene check every month and refreshing content will keep your site relevant, and more likely to perform well in the Bing search rankings.
Is the content backed by expertise?
High-trust, credible content ranks better on search engines. This is both an outcome of the negative impact of discredited, low-trust content, fake news and fraudulent information, as well a genuine attempt to showcase content creators who bring expertise and understanding of a space or topic.
Is it relevant to users?
Every day, millions of Internet users search for content that aligns with their interests, needs, and goals. Search engines attempt to make credible, well-curated, and researched content easily discoverable by searchers.
To rank well, produce content that’s relevant to what users are already looking for. Even if you write in a niche area, use keyword research tools to identify the most search phrases in your market. Use this information to help you produce easily discoverable content.
Have you submitted your sitemap to Bing?
Sitemaps are a great way to communicate with Bing about your website structure and content. Bing’s webmaster tools prescribe several formats for submitting your website’s sitemap.
There are also several options that allow you to share a snapshot of all URLs refreshed on a daily basis. A professional SEO services company can walk you through the process, and also execute these best practices on an ongoing basis.
Does your website connect to other websites?
The interconnected nature of the web can take users on a journey of discovery on a diverse range of subjects. Interlinking your content to other credible platforms enables the user to easily access supporting and supplementary content.
Bing also considers this while ranking content in search results. By supporting your audience in helping them find what they are looking for, you raise the equity of your own website. Make sure you link to credible websites, and connect to other high-value, high-quality content.
Follow best practices
Incorporating these best practices is hygiene for your SEO and content marketing strategy. It’s as important as creating great content. It’s also important to stay up-to-date on Bing’s evolving SEO rules to stay ahead of the game.
Since this is a really important part of building a professional business, hiring a professional SEO services company on a retainer is a good idea. Consider it an investment and not a cost.
Sheryl Jones is the Sr. Marketing Specialist at Uplers who has great experience in designing well-defined user journeys across the digital marketing domain. She leverages her digital marketing expertise to help businesses draw significant ROIs.