When most marketers think of SEO, they think of one thing: Google. That’s understandable, because the company is an undisputed behemoth in the digital tech, search engine and internet communications fields. It isn’t the only game in town, though, and those in charge of websites and content marketing are well advised to think past the limits of the big G.
While a majority of desktop searches come through Google, somewhere between one quarter and one third or more do not. (Mobile is another story, with Google conducting over 94% of searches conducted on tablets and phones this month.) This leaves a significant number of searches for other engines, meaning the SEO efforts your accounting firm takes need to acknowledge the factors that lead to success with these alternatives to Google Search.
The second most popular search engine is Bing, and it’s growing rapidly – particularly in industries that include finance. This tool from Microsoft is the default search engine on Internet Explorer as well as Windows 10. Even Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, depends on Bing search. The Firefox browser from Mozilla uses Yahoo. And since Bing results also drive Yahoo search, knowing how to please Bing’s SEO fairies is a serious matter.
Though users will find similar results using Google, Bing or Yahoo, they aren’t identical. The differences between Google and Bing for SEO are more noticeable. Most SEO experts and webmasters consider it easier to optimize for Bing, and luckily, the company is far more transparent about its ranking factors than is Google. Bing offers easily understood and followed advice that may surprise those who are used to Google’s cryptic messages:
- Being indexed is the first step to developing traffic from Bing. The main pathways to being indexed are:
- Links to your content help Bing find it, which can lead us to index your content
- Use of features within Bing Webmaster Tools such as Submit URL and Sitemap Upload are also ways to ensure we are aware of your content
Managing how Bingbot crawls your content can be done using the Crawl Control feature inside Bing Webmaster Tools. This feature allows you to control when, and at what pace, Bingbot crawls your website. Webmasters are encouraged to allow Bingbot to crawl quickly and deeply to ensure we find and index as much content as possible.
- Bing rewards links that have grown organically, that is, 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.
- Build [content] based on keyword research – shows you what users are actually looking for.
- Social media plays a role in today’s effort to rank well in search results. […] If you are influential socially, this leads to your followers sharing your information widely, which in turn results in Bing seeing these positive signals.
Bing offers these and other SEO tips and webmaster guidelines regarding everything from content to page load times on its help and how-to page for webmasters.
You don’t have to worry that what you do for Google stands in direct opposition to your goal of satisfying Bing. To a large degree, good SEO depends on valuable, original content and smooth technical interfaces in any search engine. But knowing the subtle differences can help your firm’s website and its contributions to the ongoing conversation reach an even greater number of eyes, which is a highly worthwhile endeavor.