Bing Webmaster Tools: Don’t Forget About Us!
I realized recently that we talk a lot about Google and its associated products, which often means we forget that there are other games in town. My personal default mode is to explain things in terms of Google (Analytics, AdWords, Webmaster Tools), but just because it’s free, and most people seem to understand it, doesn’t always mean it’s the best – or only – solution to consider.
In fact, it would be irresponsible of me to not to at least mention Bing and its associated Webmaster Toolbox. From a product standpoint, I’m a big fan of the Bing Webmaster user experience. I think it’s clean and intuitive, and it offers a wealth of data and information. I actually think I like it better than Google Webmaster Tools.
Getting Started with Bing’s Webmaster Toolbox
First, go to Google.com and type in “Bing Webmaster Tools” – kidding! You can just click on the link I included. If you don’t already have an account, sign up for one. I feel like it’s common sense, but you probably want to avoid using your personal account. Create one that you use for the business, and only the business. If you want to grant your personal account access, you can do that later.
Then it’s as simple as following a few instructions. Enter the URL of the site you want to apply the tracking code to, and it will generate a
<meta/> tag that you’ll add in your header file (where Google Analytics code goes). Voila! It’s that easy.
The data it provides doesn’t differ dramatically from what you’d get from Google – you can see which sites link to your content, crawl your pages as Bingbot, see a list of search queries that led to impressions and clicks, etc. It also gives you great tips on how to improve your SEO, and allows you to submit a sitemap to Bing. You may not find yourself going into the Toolbox on a daily basis, but if you take some time to go through the setup and treat it as you do Google, you’ll make sure you’re giving your website every chance to show up in Bing and Yahoo search.