While Adrac extols the virtues of using a qualified and experienced internet marketing agency to manage and make the most of a business web presence, we also like to talk about the tools made available by the major search engines.
These are on the internet for everyone to see and make use of: Bing, Google and Yahoo! (which uses Bing) have it in their interests to make public the main criteria they use to judge websites and guide people how to improve their products.
We’ve previously looked at Google’s webmaster guidelines, now it’s Bing’s turn.
Step by step
Bing’s help pages fall under several headings: Tools; What can I do next?; Where do I start?; How do I?; Where do I?; Marking up your site; and Why Bing Webmaster?
In Tools, for example, there is a topic on Crawl Summaries. A crawl summary will provide information about how many web pages on your site have been crawled in a certain time frame, and how many errors were detected. This is useful because it gives webmasters a heads-up about what they can do to fix the errors and promote better indexing and visibility on the world wide web.
Under What can I do next? webmasters can keep an eye on link details, who is linking to what pages and using what anchor text. The ideal scenario is that anchor text is relevant to the page link.
Site maps are the topic of Where do I start? – what they are, why they are important, how to submit a site map to the search engine, and so on. Site maps have two main functions – they help visitors navigate quickly to a page on a more complex site, and they assist search engine crawlers in their indexing process.
How do I? covers a great many common topics, like 404 error page best practice, how to create a robot.txt file and why, understanding crawl errors, how to get your website translated, and how to rid your site of a malware (virus) infection. If your website has fallen foul of malware, not only will customers blame you but the search engine will disable links to your website, (penalising it) and labelling it as dangerous. Only after the malware has been evicted will the search engine consider raising the ban.
Where do I? tackles queries like getting Bing to reconsider its website penalty via a support ticket.
Marking up your site promotes annotating structured content to make it more appealing for search engines and visitors.
Lastly, Why Bing Webmaster looks at the benefits of using this search engine as a main channel of your online marketing including the functions of enhanced results, visual search and Places.
The transparent quality of information on the internet is astonishing, wonderful and enlightening. However, we believe that unless you work in an internet marketing agency or have a leisure interest in being a webmaster, there is absolutely no need to become an expert yourself.
The best use of your marketing budget and your time is to use a qualified and experienced agency. A good agency will explain many of their processes – aligned to the high standards of the major search engines – but more importantly, they will do the complicated leg-work for you, in less time, with less stress and get a better return on your investment than you thought possible.
So, if you find Bing’s information fascinating yet mind-blowing, it’s time to call in the experts.