For almost all B2B digital marketers, SEO means optimising websites for Google. And that’s fair enough. It is the largest search engine. It’s so big, that most B2B marketers don’t even consider Bing when it comes to any of their digital marketing strategies.
This is because B2B marketers don’t think that Bing is capable of generating any leads so they leave it in the dark and focus all of their attention on Google.
Which is a huge opportunity. Since Bing isn’t as popular as Google, that means it’s less competitive! While it does only have about 10% market share in Australia (including Yahoo which is powered by Bing), it shouldn’t be ignored.
Here’s the split across Bing and Yahoo for industries of users.
The above data suggests that there is huge opportunity for B2B digital marketers. In this post, we’re going to deep dive into what Bing is and how you can harness it.
In this post, you’ll find:
- What is Bing?
- Google vs. Bing – Which is better?
- What matters for SEO on Bing?
- An overview of Bing’s webmaster tools
- An overview of Microsoft Advertising (Formally Bing Ads)
What is Bing?
Bing is a search engine owned by Microsoft and is the second-largest search engine in the world. It offers search services for web, video, images and maps. Bing was launched in 2009 and has slowly captured market share to about 10%.
Google vs. Bing – Which is Better?
It’s no secret that Google is the leader in search but for B2B companies, Bing might be a great digital marketing channel for them to put time into.
The main reason why I say this is because of Bing’s demographics but before I explain this, let’s look at one key difference between the two – appearance.
Google is notorious for simple and clean designs. It has a lot of white space, and clearly presents all of its content.
Whereas Bing is known for beautiful images and includes links to worldwide news. This alone, should give you the information you need to be able to guess the demographics of Bing but let me provide you with one more hint…
Microsoft is the hardware of choice for most global brands. It’s used by all Government sectors, mining companies, and construction companies, and even the software built for these companies is run on Microsoft.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, Bing has an older demographic. In fact, most of its users are above the age of 35. With the sweet spot being between 50 – 60 years old.
What does that mean for B2B businesses? Well, ask yourself who are the people your company is targeting.
Is it 21-year-old university graduate who are making the decisions in companies? Or is it people who have been with the company for 15 years?
That’s right! In the B2B world, its a great channel for you to get to the people in companies who make the decisions. Let’s take a look at the comparison:
|Market Share||450mil+ monthly active users||63,000 searches/second|
|Demographics||35+ (50 – 60 years most active)||18 – 44 years old|
|Appearance||Beautiful images and features news||Clean, simple and a lot of white space|
|Ranking difficulty||With less competition, it’s easier to rank for the keywords you want.||Harder than Bing to rank as |
every worthwhile keyword has a lot of compeition
|Cost of Ads||Significantly less cost-per-click due to less competition.||Expensive when compared to Bing.|
Let’s touch on cost again. The table above says that Bing is cheaper than Google for PPC but to give you an idea of just how much, look at the image below.
While Bing lacks in reach it makes up for in performance. As you can see, for this particular campaign, Bing only spent 20% – 35% of their Google Ads equivalent.
What SEO factors matter?
Now that you can see what Bing has to offer for B2B companies, let’s take a look at the organic side and go over what matters when it comes to SEO.
You may be wondering how you can get your website to rank in Bing, but don’t worry! Bing works exactly like Google and should automatically index your website but if you aren’t getting any results, you can submit your website for indexing.
Focus on on-page SEO
When it comes to ranking on Bing, on-page SEO is the most important factor. It still works off old ranking factors, making it much easier than Google to rank for your targeted keywords.
General on-page optimisation
On-page optimisation is essentially the same for Google when it comes to the basics.
Remember to do the following on all of your web pages:
- Include meta titles on all pages
- Include meta descriptions on all pages
- Remember to use your titles correctly. This means reserving h1 for the most important header, h2 for subtitles and h3 for less important headers.
Using exact keywords in H1 and H2 headers
Using the exact keywords in your H1 and H2 headers as well as in your meta description will help you rank for the keywords you want. Just note, Bing is steadily catching up to Google in terms of its algorithm and having your keywords sprinkled throughout your webpages is now a very important factor.
In the above search, I searched ‘Construction Management Software’, once I scrolled past all the ads, these are the organic results. You can see that they’re exact matches when you compare the search and headers of the SERPs.
Building off exact match headers, it’s only natural that Bing wants the content that goes with it. Just like Google, Bing wants to deliver the best-suited content to its users, so creating high-quality content is still super important.
Here are the three pillars of content, straight from Bing:
Bing is looking for credible sources – who wrote the content, where is it coming from, and can it be trusted?
To simplify, Bing wants quotes and links to show that the piece of content is well researched.
Bing wants the content to clearly explain the topic and properly address what the user has searched for. When you’re writing your blog posts, think about what you would want to know if you were the user searching for the query.
The point of clearly matters here as well, Bing hates websites that force-feed users too many ads, keyword stuffing their content or going off-topic.
To say it again, Bing hates ads and confusing websites. Keep your website clean, simple to navigate and easy to read.
So if you’re website is cluttered and is hard to read, it’s time to clean that baby up!
User engagement is super important
When it comes to ranking, Bing will look at user engagement. Looking for how many people land on a site and how many people engage with a particular page. This means shares and blog post comments.
Social Media Is Very Seriously When Ranking
To build on user engagement, Bing puts social media high on the importance list. Meaning that sharing your content to social media and getting other people to share your content on social media is important.
Backlinks don’t matter
Perhaps the biggest differentiator between Google SEO factors and Bing SEO factors is that backlinks are less important.
Searchmetrics performed a study on 300,000 links and found:
- The number of backlinks for a website only correlates to 0.29% of where a website ranks
- 52 to 53% of the backlinks of websites that ranked among the top 30 Bing results contain keywords in the anchor text (this is 10% more than Google)
- 2% of the backlinks to the pages that ranked under the top 30 on Bing contain a stop word (on Google, this is 10%)
As said by Bing:
Links pointing to your site help Bing discover new pages on your site. It is also traditionally regarded as a signal of website popularity. The site linking to your content is essentially telling Bing they trust your content. As a result, Bing rewards links that have grown organically; that is, links that have been added over time by content creators on other trusted, relevant websites made to drive real users from their site to your site.
What Bing is saying, is that they prefer links that have been earned and haven’t been part of a link building strategy. If a link is earned and not negotiated, it says that the web page actually trusts your content enough to link back to it.
In the quote, you can also see that it prefers websites that have been around for a long time and will consider their backlinks to your website site as a much higher authority. Essentially, it all comes back to creating high-quality content that people actually want to engage with.
Overview of Bing’s webmaster tools
If you’re looking to start ranking on Bing, you need to sign up for Webmaster Tools. Think of it like Google Search Console. It gives you great insights into your ranking keywords, backlinks and organic traffic.
When you sign up, you’ll be prompted to add in your website.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll be prompted to submit a sitemap and add in some personal information. Don’t worry – if you don’t have a sitemap, you can always add it later.
Once you’ve filled out the form, submitted and verified your account, you’ll land on a web page that looks like this:
Webmaster allows you to run your website through diagnostic tools such as:
You can find more information on Bing Webmaster Tools here.
Microsoft Advertising (Formally Bing Ads) Overview
Bing allows B2B companies to run PPC ads though their ads platform, Microsoft Advertising. Much like Google, you will find the ads at the top of the SERPs and Microsoft Advertising allows you to amplify your brand to your target markets.
To sign up for a Microsoft Advertising account, go to the homepage and click ‘Sign Up Now’.
Then follow the prompts through the signup process.
Microsoft advertising works similarly to Google Ads when setting up a campaign. You can customise your ads, where they’ll be shown and define your target market.
For B2B companies looking to generate more leads, Bing is a channel that shouldn’t be ignored. It has a much more focused demographic being mostly over the age of 35, meaning that for most B2B companies, the right demographic is using it. This is mainly because Microsoft is the preferred hardware and software provider for large B2B companies.
It’s also got a much better ad offering in terms of PPC costs and targeting while B2B marketers can also take advantage of the old-school algorithms which make it much easier to rank for keywords.