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Google isn't the only search engine out there with tools, and another one that you'll want to get familiar with is Bing Webmaster Tools. Much like Google Webmaster Tools, this will allow you to learn what information Bing has about the pages of your site, and it will give you a chance to provide Bing with a few instructions about how to index your website. You'll need to have an account with a Bing, and once you're logged in, you'll need to submit a domain to gain access. When adding a site you'll have two quick options right off the bat. First, you can provide the URL to your XML site map if you've got it, and if you don't, don't worry, you can always do this later.
You can also select what time of day your site gets the most traffic, and if you do, Bing will try to crawl your site during off-peak times. Your next step is to verify that you own and control this website. You can do this by clicking on to Verify now link from the My Sites page that you see when you first log in. In order to prove that you control this domain, you can choose between uploading a specific file to your web server, copying and pasting a meta tag into your default page, or making a small change to your site's DNS record.
Once you've verified a website, you can click into it and you'll see a Dashboard containing statistics that can give you an idea of your search visibility for clicks and impressions over time, as well as any recent crawling and indexing trends. Scrolling down, you can view overviews of the Search Keywords and Inbound Links reports, and clicking the See all links will take you into the full reports. The Search Keyword report shows clicks and impressions for each keyword, as well as average rankings and click-through rates over a given period of time.
The Inbound Links Report displays a graph showing the count of inbound links to your pages that Bing knows about over time, and you can click into any of your pages to see who's linking to them. Another important report is the Crawl Information report, which you can find on the left-hand menu under Reports and Data. Here, you can identify any Crawl Errors that Bing has found, and if you see any, it's important to implement fixes for those errors. You'll also notice data for any redirects that you have on your website, so that you can ensure that your content moves are being handled appropriately.
While you should certainly take a look at the other reports in the Reports and Data section, it's also important to make sure that you're providing Bing with whatever information you can about your site, and this is done in the Configure My Site section. Here, you can manage your XML site maps, configure any URL parameter rules that will help Bing understand your URLS, control how Bing crawls your site, tell it what pages it's allowed to see, and more. Last, don't forget to explore the Diagnostics and Tools section, where you'll find a host of tools to help you further optimize your site.
The Keyword Research tool works in much the same way as Google's, and can be a great way to find even more keyword ideas. Just make sure to remember that the numbers you're seeing are from the Bing Search Engine, so you won't want to compare these with the Google tool. You should also take some time to play with the SEO Analyzer tool. This works quite a bit like the SEOmoz On-page Report Card, providing you information about any errors or issues you can fix for the page you've entered. Only this one does not take into account a specific keyword like the SEOmoz Tool does.
Although Bing's share of the search market is certainly much smaller than Google's, it's still a very sizable group of people that you can't afford to ignore. And not only do Bing's webmaster tools give you the ability to optimize your Bing presence as best you can, they can also provide a richer dataset and an alternative point of view for your overall a SEO strategy.
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