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In case you missed our recent four-part series on optimizing for Bing in 2010, we have compiled a list of not five, not ten, but forty-nine SEO tips to help optimize your site for Bing. We have added some additional items that were not found in our previous posts. These items are in random order and are not listed by priority.
You may notice that a number of these SEO tips are applicable to other search engines. We realize that not all of these SEO tips are specific to Bing, but these tips will help you gain a presence within Bing search results as you optimize your site for your users and for Search.
49 SEO Tips for Bing Optimization
Create unique title tags for every page on your site
For greatest efficiency and consistency, write titles using this syntax: keyword phrase, category/page topic, website title (or brand)
Keep the title text between 5 and 65 characters in length
Place primary keywords near the beginning of the title
Create unique meta descriptions for each page, using keywords specific to that page
Keep the meta description text between 25 and 150 characters in length
Make the description text unique on every page
Avoid using the title tag text verbatim in your meta description
Place relevant keywords in body text headers (as used within tags such as <h1> </h1>, <h2> </h2>, etc). Do not over do it with keyword placement!
Use one <H1> heading tag on each page
Place relevant keywords in the copy of your body. Again as the Bing Webmaster team has communicated, "Your body text content is indexed just like everything else, and in the effort to determine the site’s theme and the relevance of your content to keywords, your body text is definitely considered within that process. Including your keywords and key phrases in your body text simply reinforces your use of those terms used in the higher priority parts of the page. But without their use in those aforementioned areas, they won’t stand out as easily as definitive keywords for your site’s pages."
Place relevant keywords in links to other pages on your site.
Use absolute links (i.e. links with the full URL path) where possible. The use of absolute links is important for standardizing your links into one consistent format for each page (This process is commonly known as canonicalization).
Create unique content for your site - well duh!
Make sure that each webpage has a clear topic and purpose.
Place descriptive content near the top of each webpage.
Be careful about removing older content from your site. Like a fine wine, Bing appreciates legacy, and does place authority on content that is older in nature, providing that it is relevant.
Use descriptive alt text with your images. When you add an <img> tag to your page, be sure to provide that additional meta content. Search Bots cannot read the contents of images, even if it is merely an image of text, so the alt text you add is critical for helping the bot better understand what it cannot see.
Use descriptive file and directory names (i.e. with relevant key phrases) for your site pages.
Use hyphens (and avoid using underscores) as word separators in your URLs
Keep your content within four levels of the root.
Submit your XML Sitemap to Bing
Optimize images and scripts for more efficient page load time.
Avoid placing important, keyword rich content in image, Flash or frames
Correct any broken links that you may have on your site.
Monitor your site in Bing Webmaster Center
Make use of clear and easy to follow navigation options on your site.
Work on building the quality of links to your site pages and do not focus on getting links to just the homepage.
Monitor your links and eliminate irrelevant links that have nothing to do with your site.
Avoid reciprocal linking or link exchanges as they serve little or no value in the eyes of the Bing algorithm.
Work on receiving links from related industry blogs and forums.
Avoid paying for links for the purposes of artificially inflating your link inventory.
For RIA-based webpages, instead of using the <embed> tag, use the <object> tag to instantiate your Silverlight content in your page. The <object> tag allows the page to provide secondary, down-level content to be presented in case the initial, primary content (such as a Silverlight application) cannot be presented. By using the <object> tag, you can include text descriptions and other relevant content.
Hosting should be in the market that you are targeting. Bing uses information, such as the website's IP address and the country or region code top-level domain, to determine a website's market and country or region. According to Bing, "If you choose to host your website in a different location than your target market, your website might rank much lower in your target market's search results than it does in your local market's search results."
When your web address changes permanently, Bing recommends that you create an HTTP 301 redirect. The use of a HTTP 301 redirect tells search engine web crawlers, such as Bingbot, to remove the old URL from the index and use the new URL.
When you implement a permanent redirect, it's a good idea to ask websites that link to yours to update their links to your website. This enables web crawlers to find your new website when other websites are crawled.
Target only one or two key phrases per page. This will avoid diluting the keyword density and help communicate the topic of the page to Bing for the purposes of indexing and ranking.
Do not embed access to content you want indexed within <script> </script> tags.
Avoid using REP (Robots Exclusion Protocol) directives to remove your website from the Bing index.
Scan your website for malware and ensure that your site is being indexed properly in Bing. Regularly use anti-malware tools to scan your website files for security vulnerabilities and the presence of malware
Use tools like spider simulators to ensure that your pages are crawlable.
Create a media RSS (mRSS) file for submitting videos to the Bing index. Be sure to include attributes such as title, description, content, link and keywords.
Use custom 404 error pages on your websites.
Optimize all images on your website.
Consider adding rich media such as video content to your site for the purposes of blended search optimization.
Optimize articles and press releases for the purposes of blended search optimization.
Create content for your human visitors, not for the Bing web crawler.
Bing Optimization Tips
As we can see from the above list, the Bing ranking algorithm analyzes factors such as webpage content, the number and quality of websites that link to your pages, and the relevance of your website’s content to keywords. As the Bing webmaster team has pointed out, "... site rankings change as Bing continuously reviews the factors that make up the ranking. Although you can't directly change your website’s ranking, you can optimize its design and technical implementation to enable appropriate ranking by most search engines."
Hopefully these SEO tips help as you optimize for Bing. Good luck and happy binging!