Let’s be honest, when most people think of search engines they think of Google. And, with 92% of global search volume in 2021, it’s easy to forget that there are even other search engines out there. But the queries not on Google can make a big difference in your SEO strategy. Just 2% of that non-Google search volume belongs to Bing. (6% if you look at just search volume within the United States.) So, while those percentages seem low, we are still talking about 90 million global search queries a day.1
90 million searches are worth the effort to rank on Bing as well as Google.
Who Uses Bing
So who is making those 90 million searches a day? A slightly different audience than the Google crowd. Things like age, household income, and education may make Bing the ideal search engine for your product or service.
Bing Users Are Older
The average age of a Bing user skews older than Google with 54% of Bing users older than the age of 45.1
Bing Users Have Money
A third of Bing users have a household income of more than $100,000 a year.2
Bing Users are Educated
50% of Bing users have at least graduated from college and 17% of those users have a postgraduate degree.2
Bing Users are Stateside
85% of Bing users are in the United States.3
How to Rank on Bing
So how do you ensure that your website ranks in Bing search results? Luckily, many key ranking factors for Bing are similar to that for Google. Bing made its algorithm open source in 2016 so we know exactly what ranks on the search engine.
What does Bing take into consideration? Let’s take a look at the Bing ranking factors.
Bing cares about exact match keywords. Without the advanced learnings that Google relies on to understand your site’s context and semantics, Bing is looking for the site to feature the exact target keyword in its content and on-page SEO elements. Do you want to rank for “maple hardwood flooring” in the Bing search engine rankings? Be sure to include “maple hardwood flooring” in your URL, page title, meta description, content, and more.
There is no denying that quality content is essential to both Google and Bing. Bing’s ranking algorithm, however, weighs content a bit differently than Google. In the words of Bing’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Jan Pederson, “We want to help our users find content that is authoritative, useful, well written, and well presented”.4
So how does Bing rate quality content? In the Bing webmaster guidelines they refer to their three pillars – Authority, Utility, and Presentation.
A page’s authority is determined by several signals from social networks, cited sources, name recognition, and who wrote the page or post. Is the page shared via social channels? Are the sources cited quality resources with their own authority? Is the author well known in their field?
It is worth noting that social signals seem to be weighed more heavily on Bing than Google. A page that has been shared 1,000 times will likely rank higher than a page that has not been shared at all.
Simply put, does the content give the user what they are looking for? Providing just the right amount of information, the right intent, and at the right depth will positively impact rankings. This is also where the use of charts, graphics, and videos that help a user understand the content will impact rankings as well. Like Google, Bing takes into consideration more than just written content.
Presentation is not just about how a page looks. Bing takes into account if the page is easy to read and accessible, and if the most important content is well defined (usually towards the top of any page).
If your site has ads you will want to pay close attention to how and where those ads are placed. Ads that get in the way of a user reading your content or ads that confuse the user experience will send negative signals to Bing and negatively impact rankings.
Similar to Google, backlinks send important signals to Bing about the quality and trustworthiness of your website. But building backlinks for Bing isn’t just about quantity. The quality of the domains linking to your website is more important. A few high quality backlinks are worth more for your Bing ranking than 100 poor quality backlinks. Taking the time to secure backlinks from more established, trusted domains will do wonders for your organic ranking on Bing.
Other Bing Tools
Google Ads often comes to mind first when someone thinks of digital advertising. However, Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads) can actually make more sense for many campaigns. Bing’s audience demographics are different than Google, there is less competition, and CPC tends to be considerably lower than Google.
The Microsoft Ads platform is similar to Google with the same formats offered. Google Ads can actually be imported into the Microsoft Ads platform to save you time when building campaigns on both.
Bing SEO Tools
Bing offers a range of Bing Webmaster Tools that track organic performance, rankings, site health, and more. The tools are similar to Google’s Search Console and are essential to making organic optimizations for Bing rankings.
Similar to the ads platform, you can easily import your site from Google Search Console onto Bing Webmaster Tools. Making it easier to ensure your site is being monitored on both search engines.
Bing Places of Business
Bing offers free local business listings to ensure your site and business appears on Bing search results and Bing Maps when a user searches near your location. Similar to Google My Business, Bing Places allows you to include information on your organization — physical address, phone number, website URL, opening hours, promotions, and more.
Is Bing Worth It?
Simply put … yes. Bing is the second largest search engine in the United States with millions of searches every day. And while the number of searches is nowhere near Google, many of the optimization you are already doing will support your Bing rankings as well. For many industries and organizations, monitoring and optimizing for Bing is a factor in their digital strategy.