Over the summer while attending Blogher11 I had an amazing opportunity to sit down and talk to the people of Bing. This was an open conversation about blogging and sharing what Bing could bring to the blogging table.
One of the things I mentioned during the conversation was how bloggers are looking for ways to be top in searches not only with Google but Bing and Yahoo as well! I made sure to follow up with this, and as a response, Bing sent me this GREAT post for you with 5 top search engine optimization tips for bloggers from Bing.
Top Five SEO Tips
If a crawler cannot access your content, the content will not be indexed by the engine, nor will it rank. To ensure crawlability is not an issue, you should enable XML sitemaps. The protocol for sitemaps is well established and adhered to by the engines. To be clear, these are not the sitemaps you users would see; these reside at the root of your domain on the server level. Making sure your Navigational structure is clean and crawler friendly is paramount. Your URL structure can also play a role in how well your rank, so you should always strive to have a clean, search friendly URL structure. The Robots.txt file needs to reside at the root of your domain (or at the folder level one level down). Its job is to instruct the crawlers on how to interact with your website. Used carefully, this file helps the engines understand your site’s structure and find your content.
Work items in this area will almost exclusively be the domain of Engineering, Planning or Design groups and are critical to the success of the web pages as they fight for ranking. Editors need to fill in the content, but this work enables the spaces they need to insert content into. It’s important to enable functionality which encourages the building of Links. Links out to other sources should be encouraged (provided the sources are trusted) and as importantly, links to internal, related content needs to happen. This linking activity shows a search engines we care about our user getting the best data round their query, and also exposes users to further content in our own ecosystem.
As the third focal area, your Content hierarchy planning should take place at this stage. You should be looking at aligning your content with what users are searching for and building content that matches their needs directly. This will happen at not only a page level, but also at a section level as well. Basic keyword research will help you understand the flow of user interactions with the engines, so be sure to use this data when settling on how to organize and group your content. It’s worth repeating the warning around placing navigational links inside rich media at this stage, as your hierarchy will dictate your navigational structure.
On-Page Factors & Content Production
The area inside the code of a webpage denoted by the <head> tags contains several very important items that influence SEO success. The <title> is important. Each <title> needs to be unique to the page, and should include the keyword you’re targeting for that page near the beginning. Limiting the character count to around 65 or so is also ideal. Next we look to the <meta description> tag. This snippet should also contain the keyword or phrase you’re targeting for the page, but can be longer. Closer to around 160 characters is fine. Feel free to use proper punctuation as well, since it’s this copy the search engines use on their search results pages. All Content you produce should be based on keyword research so the content is aligned with exactly what users are searching for. Content production should happen frequently and you should produce unique content. Producing unique content is a requirement, not an option.
It’s link that make the Internet a web and help pages to rank higher. It’s important that you plan for both generating incoming links and managing outgoing links. Linking is critical and should be an actively planned item. When building links to another page, pay attention to the anchor text used. That actual linked text is a clue to the engines to the focus of the page it’s about to crawl through to, so inserting targeted keywords into the anchor text can boost relevancy on the targeted term for the page targeted. Be sure to drop links inline in the text so readers see them as they read. This increases a links perceived value to both users and the engines. For networks, you should know the engines are excellent at spotting patterns, so inter-linking between your own various domains can look like a spam tactic to the engines. If the engines see a suspicious pattern, they’ll take action to protect their index from being spammed. Again, organic links are the best, safest route.
You can also check out www.bing.com/webmaster to discover more great tools, including a webmaster tool that allows both Yahoo and Bing analytics to be found all in one place.
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