There are many advantages from having a webmaster tools account with Bing. Webmaster tools are meant to narrow the gap between webmasters and search engines and it is the only real channel of communication between you and Bing. It is therefore necessary to register your web site with Bing webmaster tools.
What to expect from Bing webmaster tools?
There is a lot of information in bing webmaster tools but as a beginner you should expect the following:
- To receive important messages or warnings about the healthiness of your web site (e.g. malware)
- To find out how many pages are indexed by Bing
- To find out how many links are pointing to your site
- To troubleshoot crawler access issues
- To see detail information on what keywords your site is associated with, and your position in the search results. This is especially important for SEO purposes.
How to use Bing Webmaster tools – A Quick tutorial for Beginners
Let us quickly go through the most important reports and what they mean to you as a webmaster.
- How to verify your website with Bing and submit a sitemap
- How to manually submit a URL to Bing
- How to disavow links
- How to connect your Social Media Pages with Bing
- How to Review Bing SEO Reports
- Bing Mobile Friendly Test Tool
- How to use Fetch as BingBot
- Bing Keyword Research
- How much traffic your website gets from Bing and for which keywords?
- Other Bing Webmaster tools Features
How to verify your website with Bing and submit a sitemap
Step 1: Go to Bing Webmaster Tools and click SIGN UP.
Step 2: You can choose to create a Bing webmaster account using your Microsoft account, Google account or even Facebook account. Select your prefer method and proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Enter your website URL in top box and click ADD
Step 4: Specify the location of your XML sitemap and click ADD. You can leave the default settings for the ‘time of the day’ options.
Step 5: Verify your website.
You can verify your site ownership with Bing using one of the three methods.
- Download the BingSiteAuth.xml file given and upload it to the root folder of your site.
- Add a meta tag in the HEADER of your homepage
- Add a CNAME record to your DNS.
The easiest and fastest method is to download the BingSiteAuth.xml file and upload it using an FTP client, to the root folder of your website.
Then you can come back to this screen and click the VERIFY button.
Note: You need to keep the file in your root folder all the time, so do not delete it after verification.
How to manually submit a URL to Bing
Bing encourages webmasters to use the submit URL feature to let them know about new content. This can speed up the crawling and indexing process.
All major search engines have this feature but Bing in particular wants webmasters to use it especially for ‘news websites’ or for changes made to existing content.
- Click on CONFIGURE MY SITE > SUBMIT URLS.
- Enter the URLS you want to submit to Bing and click SUBMIT.
You can use this feature to submit 10,000 URLS per day.
How to disavow links
One of the features that Bing introduced before Google was the disavow links. With the bing disavow tool, you can add tell bing which seo backlinks to ignore.
Unlike Google ranking algorithms that are sophisticated enough to ignore spammy links, Bing still recommends to use the disavow tool to clean up your link profile.
You can access the tool under CONFIGURE MY SITE > DISAVOW LINKS
Usage is very easy, you can enter either a specific URL, domain or directory and click the DISAVOW button. Any links that you disavow, are shown in the list below.
You only need to disavow ‘dofollow links’, links that have the nofollow tag are ignored by default.
Recommended Reading: How to get rid of bad backlinks to your site
How to connect your Social Media Pages with Bing
One of the features that is unique to Bing Webmaster tools is the ‘Connected Pages’. Bing allows you to specify your FB, Twitter and other social media pages and see how they perform in Bing Search.
Social signals is an SEO ranking factor taken into account by Bing, so it’s recommended to connect your pages.
Select CONFIGURE MY SITE > CONNECTED PAGES
Add and verify all social media pages associated with your website.
How to Review Bing SEO Reports
The SEO Reports gives you recommendations related to Bing Best SEO Practices. This used to be available in Google Webmaster tools but it was recently retired by Google.
Nevertheless, to increase your website’s exposure in Bing organic results, you should follow and fix the recommendations.
You can access the report by going to REPORTS & DATA > SEO REPORT.
Bing Mobile Friendly Test Tool
Bing has a mobile friendly tester tool as well. You can access the tool under DIAGNOSTICS & TOOLS > MOBILE FRIENDLINESS TEST
Enter your website’s URL and click ANALYZE.
In case of errors, you can get more information by clicking the orange buttons.
This tool is not as sophisticated as the Google Mobile Friendly Test but it’s good to give it a try as well.
How to use Fetch as BingBot
If you suspect or want to check that Bing can access your web site correctly you can use the fetch as bingbot tool. You can test your home page or any specific page of your site.
Select DIAGNOSTICS & TOOLS > FETCH AS BINGBOT
Enter a URL and click FETCH.
In case of errors, you can click on the URL for more information.
Bing Keyword Research
Bing has a keyword research tool too. If you want to know how many times a keyword is searched on Bing, this is the tool to use.
It doesn’t have all the features of the Google Keyword Planner and it looks a bit primitive but still is the place to go to find out what search terms are entered in the Bing Search Box.
You can access the tool under DIAGNOSTICS & TOOLS > KEYWORD RESEARCH
How much traffic your website gets from Bing and for which keywords?
The PAGE TRAFFIC report shows you details of how much traffic your website received from Bing (and Yahoo) and for which keywords.
Go to REPORTS & DATA > PAGE TRAFFIC
You can click on VIEW SEARCH KEYWORDS button to see for which keywords your pages appeared on Bing.
Other Bing Webmaster tools Features
The above features are the most important ones to get started with Bing webmaster tools. Other features include:
Crawl Control – how often you want Bing to crawl your website
Block URLS- block specific URLS form BingBot.
Geo-Targeting – specify which country/region you want to target. Useful for websites targeting specific countries or regions.
Inbound Links – How many links are pointing to your website that Bing knows about. You can use this data while doing a backlink analysis. You many discover some links not available in Google Search Console.
Markup Validator – to check your schema markup and structured data implementation
Site Move – to let Bing know that your website has changed address
Bing webmaster tools have all the features you need to optimize your website for Bing SEO. The tools are simple and easy to use but not as intelligent as Google Search Console.
My recommendation is to go through all options and make sure that you provide Bing all the information they need about your website and once in a while, go back and check for errors.