The Bing webmaster tools are a free service of Microsoft’s search engine Bing. The service provides a range of functions that allow webmasters to add their website to the Bing index and to configure, analyze, and evaluate it.
The Bing webmaster tools are a counterpart to the Google Search Console. In terms of functions, both tools are different, however. Since Google is considered the undisputed market leader, the data which Bing can access in the webmaster tools are not as extensive, as is the case with the Google Search Console.
Before all functions can be used, you need to register and set up a Microsoft account. Then the owner of the website has to be identified. There are three options:
The most important Bing webmaster tool addresses indexing of websites. Bing prefers sitemaps in XML format to add URLs to the index. These sitemaps can be generated with various programs or online services. Under “Configure my site” you can enter sitemaps at Bing. It can also be done in the dashboard, the user interface of the Bing webmaster tools. You enter and send the sitemap URL below “Sitemaps” and “Submit a sitemap.” You could also send the URL directly to Bing but sitemaps are probably the best way to get your website indexed.
If the website is registered, all the functions can be used. You can access the most important settings and configuration options on the dashboard. It provides some very valuable data about page visits, clicks, crawled and possibly not crawled pages, and information about sitemaps, keywords and backlinks. You can choose different data display options, for example, to highlight a time period. Various settings on the sitemap may be made which can affect ranking. Moreover, webmasters also get error messages, for instance when a website cannot be crawled. The functions are, however, so extensive that they cannot be explained here in their entirety.
The Bing webmaster tools are a helpful tool for SEO’s who want to do search engine optimization for Bing. They can optimize websites with regard to the on-page and off-page area to make it as easy as possible for Bing’s crawler to include and evaluate URLs in the search index. Although Bing’s market share is just under 10% and not as great as Google’s nearly 90%, it is worthwhile to focus not only one a search engine if the website’s reach should be as wide as possible.