Like Google, Bing also offers its own Webmaster Tools, allowing you to track your site's performance and submit your sitemap to be indexed in their directory.
At a glance, the Bing Webmaster Tools Dashboard shows you information on how often your site has appeared in search and been clicked on, as well as details on how your sitemap has been crawled and how many pages of your website have been indexed.
The information here is different to that of analytics accounts in that it is more focused around the health of your website and its performance in search. Analytical platforms tend to monitor your traffic as a whole and provide insights into your audience.
Bing Webmaster Tools also allow you to find out what your most popular keywords are, details of what external links are pointing to your website and start using some of the diagnostics and tools available to optimise your website.
Here’s how to get started:
You will need a Microsoft email account to use this feature. If you do not have one already, you can sign up for free here.
If you have already set up your Google Search Console Account, you can use this to import your website to Bing Webmaster Tools without the need to verify it manually.
Importing a website from Google Search Console can only be used to grant access to that site in your Bing account and import any associated sitemaps. The import function will not allow Bing any access to the analytical data stored in your Search Console.
Please note that this is a beta feature from Microsoft and we cannot provide support for any errors on their behalf.
To add your site using Google Search Console:
Click Import under the My Sites section at the top of the page.
Click Continue to Search Console.
Select the Google Account you used to setup your Search Console account.
Allow Bing.com access to your Google Account.
Select the website you would like to import and click Import.
You will then have access to your Bing Webmaster Tools Dashboard.
To connect your Create website to your Bing account manually, follow the steps below:
Enter your website URL into the Add A Site field and select Add.
Enter the relevant details on the About My Website page and specify what alerts you would like to receive at the bottom of this page.
You will then be prompted to verify ownership of your website. Follow instructions for Option 2 in this verification process.
With Option 2, you will be provided with some code that looks similar to this:
<meta name="msvalidate.01" content="78F20004E9E6B1E089D838B3505635E2" />
Copy this code, and paste it into the Custom <HEAD> section of your home page in your Create account.
To locate this area in your account please follow the steps below:
Click Content from the Top Menu
Click the Page Options icon next to your Home Page
Click Meta Info from the top tabs
Paste the code directly into the Custom <HEAD> : field
Click Save Changes to confirm.
Once you have added the code to your account, you will need to re-publish your site. Once done, go back to the Verify page in Bing Webmaster Tools and select Verify.
You will then be taken to your dashboard and you can start using the tools:
Now you're ready to submit your sitemap to Bing to be indexed. When your site is indexed by Bing, there is the added benefit of also having your site submitted to Yahoo! Search as well. This is because Yahoo! Search is also powered by Bing.
To do this, log into your Bing Webmaster Tools account and follow the steps below:
Click Configure My Site from the left-hand menu and select Sitemaps
Enter your verified domain name and finish it with /sitemap.xml in the Submit a sitemap box.
Bing will now place your sitemap in its queue. When you reach the top, a Bingbot spider will visit the sitemap and index your pages. Once it has done so, you'll be able to see how many pages are appearing in the index and whether it found any problems while spidering the site.
We recommend that each time you make changes to your live website, that you also re-submit your sitemap in Bing Webmaster Tools too.
Whilst submitting a sitemap will queue your whole site to be crawled by Bingbot, if you have published or made changes to a smaller selection of URLs, you can submit these individually for re-indexing. These individual changes are usually queued to be indexed sooner through the Submit URLs feature so this is a good way to tell Bing about quick updates.
This can either be done one URL at a time, or by submitting multiple URLs at once up to a maximum of 10,000 URLs a day.
To submit URLs to Bing:
Click Configure My Site from the left-hand menu and select Submit URLs
Enter every URL you would like to submit in the text area. Each URL must be on a separate line
Bing will then queue your URLs to be crawled and indexed. Submitting your URLs multiple times will not speed up the process. It can take anywhere between a few minutes and a few hours depending on the number of requests Bing has received. If your site has not been indexed at all yet, then it is best to wait until your sitemap has been submitted first. You can check the status of your URL submissions at the bottom of this page.
Once you have submitted your sitemap, it’s helpful to know when it has been crawled by Bing and what the results of the crawl were.
The simplest way to find out the results of your sitemap submission is to head to your Dashboard. There will be a section called Sitemaps that shows you:
The URL of your submitted sitemap
The date of submission
How many URLs have been submitted within that sitemap
When it was last crawled
The status of your sitemap
The status will either show as Pending, Success or N/A:
Pending - your sitemap has not yet been crawled
N/A - Bing has been unable to crawl your sitemap; this will need to be investigated further.
If your sitemap has been crawled, it does not necessarily mean that your pages have been indexed and are available in search. There may have been errors that have prevented some of your pages from being indexed. As a common example, robots.txt can be used to prevent search engines from crawling the different pages of your checkout (which is a good thing!).
If there are any pages that have not been crawled for a particular reason, it is good SEO practice to rectify these errors. For instance, any 404 errors where a link to a page no longer exists.
This page will tell you what errors currently exist on your website and where they have occurred so that you can investigate this further and resolve any issues.
The easiest way to see that your pages have been indexed in Bing’s search engine is to see for yourself!
You can perform a site: search in Bing search to see whether or not your website appears in the results. To do this, simply enter “site:” followed by your domain name.
For example: site:https://www.mydomain.co.uk
For a more detailed overview of how your site has been indexed by Bing, you can visit Reports & Data >> Index Explorer. This will give you an overview of what pages have been indexed by Bing and how it has understood your sitemap structure.
To find out how your website is performing, it is worth visiting the Reports & Data tab from the left-hand menu. This page offers a deep-dive into your website’s performance in search. You can see how many times it has appeared, how many clicks it has received and how it has been crawled.
Especially useful is the section on your Search Keywords and the SEO Reports. Search Keywords show you which keywords are a source of traffic for you. This allows you to see where is best to focus your SEO efforts in order to generate more traffic.
The SEO Reports section is in beta testing at the moment, but it helps you to identify any errors on your website that fall outside of SEO best practice. Addressing these notices are often a quick win in terms of SEO and will improve the results of your campaigns as a whole.
This page includes the Fetch as Bingbot function. If you suspect there might be an error on a page of your site such as broken links or 404 pages, you can send a crawler to scan this page for you and identify where there may be any errors on the page.
There are also an array of tools to help you build your SEO campaigns:
The Keyword Research Tool allows you to enter a keyword relating to your website and identify the traffic volumes of related keywords. This can help you to identify new opportunities to write content focusing on these keywords and potentially increase traffic to your website by doing so.
The Structured Markup Validator is for advanced SEO practitioners who markup the information of their pages using the coding language JSON-LD. This helps search engines to create more detailed results for your content. The Structured Markup Validator identifies any errors that might be present in the code being submitted.
The SEO Analyser Tool will scan a page that you enter and identify any errors that fall outside of SEO best practice. You can rectify these to help improve your rankings and make sure that there is nothing technically wrong with the structure of your page.
There are still tons of features to explore that will help you to become a seasoned webmaster. Bing provides some great information to get you started with their application and they offer detailed descriptions of any of their tools and functions.