If you are new to Bing Webmaster Tools, this checklist can help get you started. You can open a free Bing Webmaster Tools account by going to the Bing Webmaster Tools sign-in or sign-up page.
Upon landing there, you can sign up using Microsoft, Google, or Facebook account. Alternatively, you can also create a Microsoft account as part of your Webmaster Tools sign-up process. Just select Microsoft as a convenient account and click on Create one in the next step.
To complete the addition of a new site to your account, you need to verify that you own the site by proving ownership. There are three ownership verification methods. Click the option best suited for your site and follow the on-screen instructions as I will show you later.
What are the Bing Webmaster Tools?
Bing Webmaster Tools (previously the Bing Webmaster Center) is a free service as part of Microsoft’s Bing Search Engine which allows webmasters to add their websites to the Bing index crawler. As well as, see their site’s performance in Bing (clicks, impressions) and a lot more.
Bing has generally been great to SEOs and webmasters, and nowhere is this more apparent than with Bing Webmaster Tools.
In many ways, Bing Webmaster Tools is actually more advanced — and caters more to SEO professionals — than its Google counterpart, Google Search Console. For this, I give them a round of applause.
Adding & verifying your site using Bing Webmaster Tools
Once you have a Bing Webmaster Tools account, you can start adding sites to your account. And you can do so by entering your site URL into the Add a Site input box and then click to Add.
Next, Bing would like to verify that you are the owner of the website. In that case, there are 3 ownership verification methods. And this is where you click the option best suited for your site. Thereafter, follow the on-screen instructions.
Option 1: XML File Authentication Process
Click BingSiteAuth.xml to save the XML file to your computer. This file contains your personal verification code.
Next, upload the file to the root folder of the site you are trying to add.
Option 2: Meta Tag Authentication Process
Copy the displayed <meta> tag with your personal verification code to the clipboard.
Then open your registered site’s default page (the home page) in your web development environment editor. And then paste the provided code at the end of the <head> section.
Lastly, save and upload the revised default page containing the new <meta> tag to your site.
Option 3: Adding A CNAME Record To Your DNS
This option requires access to your domain hosting account. Inside that account, edit the CNAME record to hold the provided verification code (a series of numbers and letters) Bing has provided you.
When done ensure the information is saved. And after performing the necessary steps stated in the verification methods, please click Verify.
If Bing Webmaster Tools is able to verify your site, you will see a green checkmark at the top and a message saying that your domain is verified.
But, if you see a red cross mark, please look at the error message to check for the issue with site verification. Please resolve the issue and try again later.
What is Domain Connect?
For the CNAME based site verification, Bing Webmaster Tools supports Domain Connect standard. Whereby, it automatically detect the DNS provider and take over the CNAME insertion task.
All you need is to log in to your DNS account when prompted and CNAME will be automatically added to the DNS account. However, please note that Domain Connect needs to be adopted by the DNS providers as well.
Hence this verification option will only be visible for DNS providers who have adopted Domain Connect and have partnered with Bing.
On successful sign-in, the user site will be successfully verified by Bing webmaster tools within a few seconds.
In certain cases, it may take longer for the DNS provider to send the site ownership signal to the Bing webmaster tool service.
Learn more about site verification using Domain Connect
Using the new Bing verification options will significantly reduce the time taken and simplify the site verification process in Bing Webmaster Tools. With this in mind, I encourage you to try out this solution. And get more users for your sites on Bing via Bing Webmaster Tools.
Alternatively, if you have already verified your website on Google Search Console, you can choose to import your website. Sites imported from Google Search Console will be auto-verified. Thus eliminating the need for going through the manual verification process described above.
You can see the option to Import sites from Google Search Console on the My Sites page.
How do I create and upload Sitemaps?
Basically, Sitemaps are a great way to tell Bing about URLs on your site. And they typically live at the root of your domain.
So, if your domain would be example.com, its location would be something like https://example.com/sitemap.xml.
There are many tools that can help you create sitemaps. You can start with this list and choose the product which best meets your needs.
Bing supports different Sitemap formats like:
- XML Sitemaps and XML Sitemap index files (as specified by www.sitemaps.org)
- Atom 0.3 and 0.1
- RSS 2.0, and
- Text files (containing one URL per line)
After you have uploaded your sitemap to the server, you can tell Bing about your sitemap through your Bing Webmaster Tools account.
On your main Dashboard page, you’ll find a section showcasing Sitemap-related information. And just below this Sitemaps widget, this is where you click to Submit a Sitemap.
After that, enter the URL of your sitemap in the input box, and click Submit. Alternatively, you can submit sitemaps via the Sitemaps feature which is located under Configure My Site.
How do I create an SEO plan?
As a matter of fact, your Bing Webmaster Tools account makes starting a Search Engine Optimization plan very easy. You can use this tool immediately and as often as you like for all pages on your site. Inside Webmaster Tools, you will see two areas that will help you with this task:
SEO Reports will run automatically on any domain you have verified in your account every other week. So, roughly twice a month you’ll see fresh reports with suggestions about which items you should address for SEO.
If your domain has been verified only recently, you may need to wait a few days before seeing these reports. In contrast, SEO Analyzer is an on-demand tool that will scan a single page on-the-fly and prepares an SEO report for you within seconds.
How do I manage the Sites Search Console?
Bing Webmaster Tools will periodically validate the site ownership status by accessing your Search Console account.
During this validation, any new sitemap found on your Search Console account will also be imported automatically to your Bing Webmaster Tools account.
You can see the list of Search Console accounts linked to your Bing Webmaster Tools account under the Profile section. But, if you want to stop Bing Webmaster Tools from accessing your Search Console account, you can choose the Disconnect option.
The option is present beside the account details in the Profile section.
That the number of websites displayed for import might be different than the number of verified sites present in your Google Search Console account. This might happen as some of the sites;
- in your Google Search Console account are already present in your Bing Webmaster Tools account with either equal or higher permission levels
- URL might have gotten normalized and been grouped together
Always remember, only a maximum of 100 websites can be imported in one cycle.
That said, repeat the steps mentioned above to import more. Keeping in mind, the limit of 1000 sites addition per Bing Webmaster Tools account still applies.
How do I access Sites in Bing Webmaster Tools?
If you have added more than one site in Bing Webmaster Tools, you will see all sites that you have added to your account on the My Sites page.
You can navigate to the Dashboard for a site by clicking it in the My Sites table. Other than that, the My Sites page allows you to add more sites and see the following information for your sites at a glance:
- A thumbnail of your site
- Number of new messages that are in your inbox in the Message Center for the site
- % change for clicks from search, appeared in search (impressions), pages crawled, and pages indexed
You can select the date range for which you want to see data by using the date selector at the top of the My Sites table.
You can select from the following presets from the drop-down box within the last:
- 7 days
- 30 days (the default)
- 3 months
- 6 months
You can also select a custom start and end date by using the calendar control. Available dates are clickable. Dates for which no data is available are not clickable and grayed out.
That Bing starts to collect data for your website inside Webmaster Tools from the day it was first registered within a Webmaster Tools account. Currently, the search console keeps a maximum of up to 6 months’ worth of data per site.
Any change information is always based on the selected period compared to the previous matching period of the same length. So, when selecting 7 days, you will see change information compared to the 7 day period prior to that.
And since Bing stores up to 6 months’ worth of data, you can see data for that entire period with % change information for up to 3 months.
Finally, I hope the above-revised guide on How to Verify Ownership of Your Website through Bing was resourceful enough. See also 5 Reasons why you should submit your website to Bing Webmaster Tools.