For most bloggers, it can be fair to say that a blog will live and die by web traffic. Building strong Google rankings has always been a key tactic to increase visibility, and ultimately traffic. When it comes to search it is easy to become blindsided in thinking that Google is the only search engine on the web. However, this is just not true. For those who have fallen into this trap, they could be missing out on a completely untapped source of visitors.
What else is out there besides Google?
Much research has gone into what types and how often people use other search engines. The most widely accepted gauge of competition in the Web search market is comScore.com. According to their research, “toolbars, widgets, affiliates, and cross-channel searches” are some of the alternative forms that internet users employ when conducting searches.
Therefore, don’t put all your proverbial “blogging eggs” in one basket. There are several other sites that a web blogger may consider as a source of internet traffic. Bing, Microsoft, Yahoo, Ask, and AOL are all alternatives to Google. If you want to increase your internet traffic, you should be aware of how and why to use these different sources.
What Do the Other Search Engines Have to Offer a Blogger?
The popular site comScore.com recommends some tips to those looking for a way to increase traffic to their site. For a blogger, this means using sites other than Google. Google shares a large portion of the web search pie. In January of this year, comScore qSearch released its monthly data of the Web search market competition. Google captured 63.8% of market share overall in the U.S. market; this means that 36.2% was taken by other parties. Bloggers should take notice of the 36.2%.
Microsoft Sites grabbed 21.1% of the market with better conversion rates that the other competitors. The popular Mozilla browser used by many Microsoft users made a partnership with Yahoo Site and dropped Google. In addition, AOL dropped Google and now uses Bing as their default search engine. Therefore, bloggers should take note that there are other fish in the proverbial sea of search engines. Coming in at #3 on the qSearch January list was Yahoo Sites with 12.4% of the market, followed by Ask Network with 1.7%, and AOL with 0.9% of total market share for explicit core searches.
To put these percentages in number of explicit core searches, Google ranked first with 17.5 billion, Microsoft Sites ranked second with 3.7 billion searches, followed by Yahoo Sites with 2.2 billion, and then Ask Network and AOL will less than half a billion combined.
How Can a Blogger Rank Well in Bing?
There are two different ways to think about making changes that would help a blogger increase their ranking on Bing—On-page and Off-page.
First, when writing a blog, remember that meta keywords are important to any search engine like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. According to www.wordstream.com, meta keywords are a specific type of mega tag that appear in the HTML code of a Web page. These tags allow search engines to decipher what the topic of the page is when identifying it.
A blogger who is writing about the best cheeseburger they ate in Boston, might want to put www.bloggersitename.com/best-cheeseburger-Boston for their meta keyword so that anyone wanting to search the best cheeseburger in Boston would pull up their site.
Meta keywords are important to sites like Bing and Yahoo, although Google has stated that it has devalued keywords due to overuse. As a blogger, if you are focusing on increasing the traffic to your site, it is still important to use meta keywords to your advantage.
Some tips on ranking well in Bing include:
- Exact Keywords
Use the exact keywords to rank for on Bing in the copy. In the above cheeseburger example, words like vacation or hotdog would not be included, even if they were mentioned in your blog because the main focus of the story is on cheeseburgers and Boston, not hotdogs and your vacation.
- Two Keywords Per Page
Do not include more than 2 keywords per page. So, in the above example, you may want to delete “best” and keep cheeseburger and Boston.
Add keywords to the title of the page, especially those that are in the meta keyword.
- H1 tags
Bing also loves H1 tags. An H1 tag refers to the size of the font used in an article. It is the largest font and is usually contained in the title of a page. Back to the cheeseburger example, if a blogger titles their page The Best Cheeseburger I Ate in Boston, they would want to make that their H1 tag because it includes their meta keyword cheeseburger and Boston.
Also known as H2 tags allow Bing to also identify certain sections of your page, and it also brings a more visually appealing look to a page.
- Meta Descriptions
These are short summaries of a page. Usually less than 160 characters, these snippets are shown by the search engine when the searched phrase is found in the description. Using the meta description to its fullest potential is an important feature when trying to increase ranking.
- Bing SEO Analyzer
The Bing SEO Analyzer is a wonderful resource for bloggers looking to ensure that their pages are following SEO best practices. Reports and recommendations for your website are provided for a fee.
What Content Should a Blogger Include in their Blog?
When focusing on increasing search rankings, there are several points to remember pertaining to the content of a blog.
- Try to avoid duplicate content
- Longer content is better
- Pay attention to keyword density
Focusing your content on actual content rather than trying to stuff keywords into a blog, not only ranks you higher in terms of searches, but also in enjoyment by readers. That being said, if you are using a report generated by an SEO analyzer, try to include many of those keywords into your blog without sounding like you are trying to include those keywords into your blog.
Are There Other Ways to Increase a Bloggers Rankings?
Yes. Off-page items like social media sites, Bing authorship, and links to other content can also boost rankings on Bing. Just remember that more emphasis should be put on the anchor text usage. A blogger needs exact match anchors to be identified. Backlinks are less important to a user. Editorial type links within the body content does very well. Avoid links in the sidebar, footer, or in lists. Finally, site relevancy matters. Linking to a hot dog stand in California would not be very wise for our cheeseburger blogger.
Just remember, as a blogger, your first goal is to get out the information you want. Then, decide how to use what you have already created to increase your popularity and ranking.