If you are new to Bing Webmaster Tools, this checklist can help get you started. If you are the likes of most professional webmasters, you probably already know that Bing is the second biggest search engine, right? So, you’ve definitely set up Bing Webmaster Tools for your website — lucky you (you can decide to move on to other blogs or learn more herein first).
Or rather, maybe you haven’t yet because you never really gave much thought to it. The same applies to all those beginner webmasters who would want to see traffic trickle in from the Bing search engine. While you may not pay as much attention to Bing as you do to Google, you should at least set up Bing Webmaster Tools. But, why is it important to do so?
Obviously, this is because it’s pretty simple to do so — it can even help you get additional SEO traffic to your site just like Google does or even more. In other words, anyone running a website can benefit from using Bing Webmaster Tools, whether you are a web-based business owner, website admin, marketer, or website developer, this is a very useful tool to consider.
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 accounts. Alternatively, you can also create a Microsoft account as part of your Webmaster Tools sign-up process. That said, let’s learn more about how to do it right…
What The Bing Webmaster Tools (Bing WMT) Offer Webmasters
To enumerate, Bing Webmaster Tools (Bing WMT), previously known as 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 website’s performance in Bing (clicks, impressions) and a lot more. It also helps to monitor and maintain a site’s presence.
In simple terms, Bing Webmaster Tools is to the Bing search engine, what Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) is to Google. 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 — it caters more to SEO experts than its counterparts.
Especially, in terms of Google Search Console versus Bing SEO Tools for that matter — that’s why, for this reason, we give them a round of applause. Surely, if we may, would we even have a Google Disavow Links Tool if Bing hadn’t released its disavow links tool in the first place to the webmasters? Maybe; but we still applaud Bing for catering to SEOs.
There Are A Few Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Bing WMT
On that note, first and foremost: Bing is number two on the list of the largest and topmost search engines in the world — so, by all means, you would want your website to rank on it. Why? Simply, this is because it has a diverse audience. Not to mention, according to available data, the search engine market share of Bing sits at 9.41% and is still rising.
Of course, 9.41% may not sound that impressive, but yes, not until you consider the actual numbers. In that case, there are a few fool-proof metrics to back up these data results that are worth mentioning.
Consider the following:
- 1.3 billion unique monthly global visitors to Bing.com.
- 12 billion monthly search volume worldwide.
- 500 million monthly search volume in the US.
In a nutshell, the now-famous Bing Webmaster Tools basically allows you to monitor the overall health of your website(s). In addition, it helps you to see how your customers are finding your website. You can use tools and reports to find the keywords driving traffic as well as the impressions and clicks of those terms and find websites linking to you.
With Bing Webmaster Tools You Can Also:
- Monitor your overall website’s performance
- Be able to see what keywords you rank for
- See how Bing crawls and indexes your website
- Submit your website/new pages to be crawled
- Remove any content you don’t want to be indexed
- Be able to disavow links and monitor/resolve potential malware or spam issues
Overall, all of this helps you to understand how Bing views your website (and your content in general). So that you can make any adjustments to improve your rankings, and hence drive traffic to your website more easily and faster. Be that as it may, you can also look at 5 Reasons why you should submit your website to Bing Webmaster Tools to gather more info.
Surprisingly, the best thing about getting started and using Bing Webmaster Tools is that it’s so easy and simple to use — just select Microsoft as a convenient account. And then, click on Create One option in the next step. Note that: To complete the addition of a new website to your account, you need to verify and prove your website ownership status.
User Guide: Adding & Verifying Your Website Using Bing Webmaster Tools
For your information, there are three ownership verification methods — you can just click the option that’s best suited for your website. And then, follow the on-screen instructions as we will show you later on — that’s all! Once you have a Bing Webmaster Tools account, you can start adding your websites to your account.
After all, you can do so by entering your site URL into the Add a Site input box and then clicking 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 as we’ll elaborate below.
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 website(s).
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.
Basically, if Bing Webmaster Tools is able to verify your website, you will see a green checkmark at the top and a message saying that your domain is verified. However, 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.
The Domain Connect Main Purpose
For the CNAME-based site verification, Bing Webmaster Tools supports the Domain Connect standards. Whereby, it automatically detects the DNS provider and takes 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.
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 To Create And Upload Your Website Sitemaps
At all costs, 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 is example.com, its location would be like this: example.com/sitemap.
Moving on, there are many tools that can help you create sitemaps. Whereby, you can start with this list and choose the product which best meets your needs. Bing supports different Sitemap formats for any given website.
Consider the following:
- XML Sitemaps and XML Sitemap index files (as specified by www.sitemaps.org in this case)
- Atom 0.3, Atom 0.1, RSS 2.0, and Text files (containing one URL per line)
After you have uploaded your website XML 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 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 To Create A Strategic SEO Plan
As a matter of fact, your Bing Webmaster Tools account makes starting an SEO (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 all the basic tasks for your website(s).
- One can be found under Reports & Data and is called SEO Reports
- The second one can be found under Diagnostics & Tools and is called SEO Analyzer
Realistically, all 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 in seconds.
Managing The Bing Search Console For Your Website
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 accounts 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.
Please note the following:
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.
Accessing Your Website(s) Using The 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. Perse, you can navigate to the Dashboard for your website(s) by clicking it in the My Sites Table tab. Other than that, the My Sites page allows you to add more sites and see the other information for your sites at a glance.
Such information includes:
- A thumbnail of your website(s)
- 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
Furthermore, 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.
It’s, important to realize, that Bing starts to collect website data inside Webmaster Tools from the day it was first registered within the user account. Currently, the search console keeps a maximum of up to 6 months’ worth of data per website. 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. What’s more, 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. That’s it! We hope the above-revised guide on how to verify ownership of your website with Bing was resourceful.
But, if you’ll need more support, you can always Contact Us at any time so that we can offer you more help. You are also welcome to share your additional thoughts, opinions, recommendations, contribution questions (for free FAQ Answers from us), or even some other related suggestions in our comments section. And now, until the next one, thanks for your time.