When it comes to SEO, Google is usually the first search engine people think of. Your search optimization efforts are likely dictated by Google’s algorithm updates, Google best practices and Google updates. If you’re guilty of “Google first”, it’s not without reason.
According to ComScore’s June Explicit Core Search Share Report (Desktop Only), Google owns 63.1% of the search market in the US, Bing has 23% and Yahoo has the remaining 11.8% of the market. It may seem that focusing your SEO efforts exclusively on Google is a no-brainer but, there are five compelling reasons why Bing should still be an important part of your SEO strategy.
1. Lower Competition
According to New York Times bestselling author and digital marketing influencer Neil Patel, a great reason to add Bing to your SEO strategy and make a conscious effort not to overlook Bing is because fewer of your competitors are vying for ranking position on Bing.
This makes sense. With most marketers flocking to Google because it has such a large share of search traffic, there are fewer competitors on Bing. The lower competition is a great reason to add it to your SEO strategy. (After all, 23% of the search market still represents a massive volume of searches being done!) Because you’re in direct competition with fewer businesses, you’re more likely to get a higher spot in search results and a bigger share of eyeballs and targeted web traffic on Bing than you will get on Google.
For smaller companies, the lower level of competition means there is a greater chance to see a decent ROI on organic search efforts. Google advises that it can take up to 12 months to see any kind of pay-off from SEO activity on its own search engine. The time from investment to result is much shorter on Bing because there are fewer pages competing for the page one ranking. If you need results quicker, Bing offers a viable alternative.
Gizmodo’s Tom McKay says Bing’s market share is widely underestimated, noting “…since the vast majority of new computer sales are for Windows devices, which come preloaded with Bing-defaulting browsers Internet Explorer or Edge, one would imagine there’s enough workplace users, old people, folks who don’t give a damn and others of their ilk to make up a big share of the market. They’re real and they’re out there…”
2. Bing is Cheaper
If you’re a PPC advertiser and you dedicate some of your budget to Google AdWords, you’re familiar with the pain in your wallet every time someone clicks on one of your ads. In fact, iProspect’s 2017 Paid Search Trends Report for Q2 reported that Cost-Per-Click (CPC) is now at an all-time high. Mobile ad costs have also increased, up 17% in Q1 and up a massive 52% year-on-year.
With its lower search traffic, Bing is a much cheaper alternative – making it a great choice for advertisers who simply cannot afford to pay to play on Google. With more affordable PPC pricing, it also makes sense to double your Bing presence and optimize for better organic rankings, too.
3. Bing is Much More Transparent About Ranking Factors
While Bing doesn’t disclose the finer details of its algorithms, in much the same way Google refuses to reveal what really makes for better SEO, Bing is much more open about what your site needs to do to rank better.
Bing even provides SEO professionals SEO Reports and an SEO Analyzer that assesses a page against 15 SEO best practices. The SEO Analyzer is an on-demand tool that can be used to get detailed page-by-page analysis from a “Bing” SEO perspective. The tool gives you guidance and suggestions as to what needs to be improved to rank better and even gives you a compliance report.
4. Bing Places for Business
Bing Places for Business is an easy way to get increased local visibility – making it an especially useful tool for local service area businesses and local businesses with brick-and-mortar locations.
Like Google My Business (GMB), Bing’s free business listing service gives businesses the chance to upload vital information such as a physical address, contact information, opening hours, a website link, and photos, making it easier for local searchers to find you. Once uploaded, your Places for Business listing can show in local search results, making your brand more visible to local customers.
For digital marketing agencies, Bing has an agency dashboard feature that allows you to manage multiple Places for Business listings from one central location, making it quicker and easier to run local search campaigns. (This is a feature I wish Google would duplicate!)
5. Bing Webmaster Tools
While Google Analytics is an invaluable source of data and should be referenced as you carry out SEO for Google, Bing’s Webmaster Tools is also an incredibly useful and often underused asset.
Tony Edward, Senior SEO Manager at Elite SEM and an Adjunct Instructor of Search Marketing at NYU, says that Bing Webmaster Tools provide a range of additional diagnostics and testing opportunities – all of which can be used to report your digital marketing activity as a whole. Writing in Search Engine Land, he says Bing Webmaster tools can be used for monitoring site security, monitoring crawl and index performance, and accessing keyword research and optimization recommendations.
Let Us Know What You Think
We’d love to hear your thoughts on optimizing for Bing. Is it something you have overlooked? Or have you seen an increase in orders and traffic after focusing on this overlooked search engine?