Whenever marketing experts or SEO specialists speak about search rankings, it is always in reference to Google. You hear about Panda and Penguin, and all of the other algorithm changes that Google has implemented over the years. When consideration is given to the fact that Google is the largest search engine and online entity in the world, it is understandable that it gets the majority of the attention when it comes to SEO discussions; however, Bing has a considerable amount of the market share, and their share is growing as Microsoft continues to press to compete with Google for the dominance of the market.
The truth is that although Bing’s market share is expanding, very little of its growth is the result of seizing any part of the market that Google has dominated for years. The vast majority of its market growth has been due to its ability to capture the market that is moving away from Yahoo. Regardless to how Bing is growing, the fact remains that it holds a substantial portion of the market, which means that it demands attention for those who want to maximize their organic traffic. Site owners can no longer be satisfied with optimizing for Google, while ignoring Bing.
This article will present the comprehensive list of SEO ranking factors for Bing. Becoming familiar with these factors will help companies ensure that they are maximizing their organic traffic.
1) Anchor Text
Bing chooses to give a high value to editorial content, so they place a great deal of gravity on anchor text; however, it will be important to make sure that the text that is anchored is exactly the text that the site owner wants to be found for. Bing is not as powerful as Google when it comes to keyword matching, so site owners will have to be highly specific.
Bing has entered into a partnership with Klout, and through this partnership, they have developed their own Authorship version, which allows people to claim ownership of their content when someone else uses it without placing it in quotations. The more content that a site owner owns across the web, the higher their overall ranking will be.
Backlinks have been a powerful ranking factor in the past, but they have recently taken a major hit, due to linking schemes. As with Google, Bing gives more gravity to links that come from credible and informative sites, such as .edu, and .gov domains. They also give a lot weight to links that are in the body text, but they give very little importance to links that are in the sidebar, footer or included in a list of links.
4) Click-Through Rate
Bing will measure a sites CTR from the search result pages, and it will adjust the ranking of sites accordingly.
5) Connected Pages
Being connected to other pages, such as those on social media networks can also boost the ranking of a web page. Bing allows users to claim ownership of social pages by using its Bing Webmaster tool.
This is significant because of the fact that Google does not crawl flash websites, but Bing does crawl flash and they give credit to sites that use it.
7) HTML Heading and How they Are Used
According to Bing, many site owners overuse the H1 tag. They assert that on one H1 tag should be used per page, and all other subtopics should be identified with H2 or H3 tags.
8) Optimizing for Local SEO with Geographical Keywords
It is extremely important for localized businesses to optimize their sites for local searches. One of the most effective ways to do that with Bing is to use geographical keywords to emphasize location. Not only should geographical keywords be used in the content body, but it should also be used in the meta title and meta description as well.
9) Keyword Density
There used to be a great deal of focus placed on keyword density Because of the high level of sophistication of Google’s algorithms, the focus on specific keyword density is not as intense as it is for Bing. With Bing, it is important to be very specific with the keywords being used. It may even be necessary to use a different page for each keyword in order to ensure that the keyword is emphasized enough.
10) Mobile Optimization
Although this factor is resting at #10, it is immensely important to place a substantial amount of gravity on this factor. Search engine providers want to deliver their users to quality content and highly functional sites, so optimizing a site for mobile devices will go a long way to enhancing a site’s page ranking.
11) Load Speed
As with Google, slow load speed will count against the site, subsequently lowering the page ranking. Again, a page that takes too long to load negatively impacts the user experience. Bing wants to get users to a site that delivers what they are looking for in a very efficacious and enjoyable manner.
12) Page Authority
Bing gives a significant amount of value to page authority, which is something that has to be built over time. Therefore, it is difficult for new sites to climb up the rankings with Bing. The algorithms being used by Bing give priority to matured domains. This is good to know when considering revamping an existing site. It will be best to keep the existing URL, and simply amend the existing the content. Unique content also carries more weight than recycled and common data.
13) Site Design and Structure
The design and structure of a website is immensely important to Bing. Basically, Bing is interested in ensuring that sites are intuitive and easy to navigate. According to Bing, no page on any site should be more than two to three clicks away from the home page. It is also important for the navigation on the site to have a funnel effect that allows users to move from broader topics to those topics that are more specific.
It is important for site owners to familiarize themselves with the SEO ranking factors listed here, and then integrate them into the SEO strategies being used to rank for Google. This will definitely enhance and increase organic traffic.
About the author:
Broke Bloke is an Entrepreneur, Digital Marketing Consultant & professional blogger. After being laid off his job of 10 years, he started Broke Bloke Blogs offering marketing advice for bloggers, marketers and small businesses.
Tom Treanor is the founder of the Right Mix Marketing blog. He’s the author of the Search Engine Boot Camp, the co-author of Online Business Productivity, and regularly speaks at industry and corporate events. His writing has been featured on the Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, Copyblogger and other leading industry blogs.