There are many benefits of using Bing Webmaster Tools. Webmaster Tools is necessary when closing the gap between search engines and webmasters – it is also the only channel of communication between Bing and yourself. We will walk you through what Bing Webmaster Tools is and how to set it up.
Bing Webmaster Tools are a free Microsoft service, allowing webmasters to add their sites to Bing’s crawler to appear in the search engine.
As well as this, Bing Webmaster Tools can also help to monitor and maintain the presence of a site. Essentially Bing Webmaster Tools is Bing’s Search Console, much like Google’s Search Console platform.
Anyone running a website can benefit from using Bing Webmaster Tools, whether you are the site owner, site admin, marketer, or website developer.
Bing is the second largest in the list of largest search engines worldwide, so it makes sense to want your site to rank on it.
According to available data, Bing has:
With Bing Webmaster Tools, you can monitor your site’s overall health and see how your customers find your website via Bing. Tools and reports can also be used to know which websites are linking to you and which keywords are driving traffic, as well as their clicks and impressions.
There are additional features of Webmaster Tools that help to understand how Bing views your site. This way, you can make adjustments to improve your rankings and drive traffic to your site, these include:
We have created a step-by-step guide to setting up Bing Webmasters Tools:
Before you begin you will need to create a Bing Webmasters Tools Account by clicking ‘Sign up’ on Bing Webmasters Tools. You can sign up using your already existing Microsoft, Google or Facebook account.
Once you have a Bing Webmaster Tools account, you can Add Sites to your account. Next, you need to verify that you are the owner of the website.
Check the Add and Verify Site section in the left Navigation to get step-by-step instructions for adding and verifying sites.
There are multiple Ownership Verification methods available according to your site’s properties. Select the option best suited for you and follow the on-screen instructions. You can add multiple sites which you own and also manage access level permissions through the User Management feature.
If Bing Webmaster Tools is able to verify your site, you will see a green checkmark and a message stating that your domain has been successfully added to Bing Webmaster Tools. If you see a red cross mark, check the error message to troubleshoot the issue with site verification. Resolve the issue and try again later.
Note: You can delete an added site, but remember that you will need to re-verify the site.
Adding a sitemap is an effective way to inform Bing about your URLs. Bing supports various formats, including the following:
If you are new to sitemaps, there are many tools available that can help to create sitemaps. Start with this list and choose which better suits you.
Sitemaps typically live at the root of your domain, for example:
Once your sitemap has been uploaded to the server, you can tell Bing about your sitemap through your Webmasters account.
Your Bing Webmaster Tools account makes starting a search engine optimisation (SEO) plan very easy.
Inside Webmaster Tools, you will see a list of tools under the SEO section, helping in tasks like investigating backlinks, keyword research and analysing SEO errors for your site. SEO Reports will run automatically on any domain you have verified in your account every other week. If your domain has been verified only recently, you may need to wait a few days before seeing these reports.
There are 3 ways that you can verify your Bing Webmaster Tools profile. Below we will take you through how.
This will create a personalised URL which you will need to upload via FTP. However, this method may not be a great fit if you don’t have access.
This method involves adding a meta tag to your homepage, which is a simple piece of HTML, like a meta description.
If you’re using a CMS where you have a section for a custom URL, your meta tag can be added there and set it to live.
Important: you will need to leave this meta tag in place if you want Bing Webmasters Tools to stay verified.
This is normally the fastest and most robust method of verifying your profile. However, depending on your host, this could also be the trickiest method.
The good thing is that any of the 3 methods all verify your profile – so choose whichever method you feel the most comfortable with.
I know we said there are only 3 methods, but you can also verify Bing if you are using WordPress for your site. Depending on your plugin, these options include:
Sign in to your WordPress account. From the left-hand menu, go to SEO and click ‘Webmasters Tools’ from your Yoast dashboard.
You’ll now see a box where you can add your Bing verification code.
Remember the HTML meta tag previously mentioned?
Copy the code and paste it into Yoast. Now save the changes, go back to Bing Webmaster Tools and verify using the HTML tag method previously mentioned.
The All in One SEO Pack follows a much similar process to Yoast:
Now that your Bing Webmaster Tools is set up and verified, what can you actually do with your new dashboard? Let’s explore it!
There are many features and functionalities that you can take advantage of on Bing Webmaster Tools. From reports to tools, let’s take a look:
There are many different reports and tools that make Webmaster Tools a useful SEO tool. Let’s focus on what reports and data are available.
This is a summary of your website activity in Bing, in the selected date time frame. Inside, you will also find other tools and reports, which we will look into. These include:
This will show you your top URLs within the Bing SERP, as well as their clicks, position and CTR. If you want to see the keywords for each URL, click ‘view’ and export the data.
Here, you will see which organic keywords are getting clicks and impressions. Essentially, these are the top URLs that appear on Bing. You can also review your site’s Click-Through Rate.
With Index Explorer, you can see which of your pages Bing has tried to crawl. Index explorer gives you data like how many URLs have been discovered, how many appear in a search, and the number of inbound links and clicks you have.
Crawl information gives an overview of your site’s crawl errors. You will see a breakdown of errors that Bing experiences when visiting a page, items blocked by robots.txt (if any) and malware within your URLs.
The inbound link report shows all the inbound links found by Bing. This report is useful to analyse where you are gaining or losing links over time.
SEO reports provide recommendations to help your site to follow SEO best practices. Simply select the suggestion for a further explanation of the error and you will see recommendations to fit it.
Note: This report automatically scans your website every other week to the refresh data.
Bing also provides a range of diagnostic tools to help you fix issues on your site to improve its SEO visibility. Let’s explore these a little more:
We all know how important it is to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. To use this tool, simply enter your URL and hit ‘analyse’. You’ll then be able to see if Bing thinks that the page is mobile-friendly and how it looks on a mobile device.
You can quickly perform keyword research from inside the dashboard using Bing’s keyword research tool. This tool provides the following information for free:
As well as this, you can research up to 20 keywords, sort by language or country and export all of this data to inform your future content.
With Fetch as Bingbot, you can see how your site looks to Bing crawlers. This tool is useful when troubleshooting errors that could be affecting your site in search. Simply enter your URL and you will see your page source the same as Bingbot does.
Markup validator will let you know if schema has been implemented correctly. If schema markup is being used on your site, the code from the page that has been scanned will appear on Bing’s report.
This tool looks at the SEO performance of your website. It scans and highlights URLs that comply with SEO best practices, along with recommendations.
Verify Bingbot allows you to research IPs that are in your log files to analyse if they belong to Bingbot. If the IP isn’t genuine, this tool indicates that the server that is making the request isn’t genuine.
If your site has moved to a new domain, you can use site move to inform Bing directly. Generally, Bing will pick up the redirects and change the indexing, but using site move can speed things up and ensure that there aren’t any issues.
There are so many helpful tools and reports within Bing Webmaster Tools. If you’d like more information or resources, Bing has a collection of helpful resources that you can use.
There you have it. We have covered everything there is to know about Bing Webmaster Tools. It doesn’t stop here though – Bing continues to roll out new features and updates to improve your website’s performance, so stay tuned for more updates!
We are experts in SEO and PPC, so if you have any further questions about Bing Webmaster Tools or the services we offer, get in touch.
Drop us a line on 01785 279985
Send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
This could be the beginning of something big