Getting Started Checklist
If you are new to Bing Webmaster Tools, this checklist can help get you started. Steps 1 and 2 will get you up and running, while steps 3 and 4 are optional, but highly recommended.
Step 1: Open a Bing Webmaster Tools account
You can open a free Bing Webmaster Tools account by going to the Bing Webmaster Tools sign-in or sign-up page. All you need is a Microsoft account (formerly known as a Windows Live ID). If you have a Hotmail or Outlook.com account you likely already have a Microsoft account. If not, you can get an account for free here. Alternatively, just click sign-up and create a Microsoft account as part of the Webmaster Tools sign-up process.
Step 2: Add & Verify your website
Once you have a Bing Webmaster Tools account, you can add sites to your account. You can do so by entering the URL of your site into the Add a Site input box and clicking Add. To complete the addition of a new site to your account, you need to verify that you own the site by proving ownership. There are three ownership verification methods. Click the option best suited for your site and follow the on-screen instructions:
- XML File authentication: click BingSiteAuth.xml to save the custom XML file, which contains your customized ownership verification code, to your computer, and then upload the file to the root directory of the registered site.
- Meta tag authentication: Copy the displayed <meta> tag with your custom ownership verification code to the clipboard. Then open your registered site’s default page in your web development environment editor and paste this tag’s code at the end of the <head> tag region. Lastly, upload the revised default page file containing the new <meta> tag to your site.
- Add CNAME record to DNS: This option requires access to your domain hosting account. Inside that account you would edit the CNAME record to hold the verification code (series of numbers and letters) we have provided you. When complete, we can see this information and verify your ownership of the site.
Once you have added the ownership verification code to your site or in your DNS, click Verify. If Bing Webmaster Tools is able to verify your site, you will see a green message saying that your domain is verified and your site information will begin to populate over the next couple of days. If you see a red text message stating "We weren't able to verify your site", review the information in the steps above and try again.
Step 3: Create and upload your sitemaps
Sitemaps are a great way to tell Bing about URLs on your site and Bing supports different formats:
- XML Sitemaps and XML Sitemap index files (as specified by www.sitemaps.org)
- Atom 0.3 and 0.1
- RSS 2.0, and
- Text files (containing one URL per line)
Ater you have uploaded your sitemap to the server, you can tell us about your sitemap through your Bing Webmaster Tools account. On your main Dashboard page, you find a section showcasing Sitemap-related information. Just below this Sitemaps widget, click Submit a Sitemap, enter the URL of your sitemap in the input box, and click Submit.
Alternatively, you can submit sitemaps via the Sitemaps feature which is located under Configure My Site.
Step 4: Create a Search Optimization PlanYour Bing Webmaster Tools account makes starting a search optimization plan very easy. Inside Webmaster Tools, you will see two areas that will help you with this task: One can be found under Reports & Data and is called SEO Reports. The second can be found under Diagnostics & Tools and is called SEO Analyzer.
SEO Reports will run automatically on any domain you have verified in your account every other week. So roughly twice a month you’ll see fresh reports with suggestions about which items you should address for SEO. If your domain has been verified only recently, you may need to wait a few days before seeing these reports. In contrast, SEO Analyzer is an on-demand tool which will scan a single page on-the-fly and prepares a SEO report for you within seconds. You can use this tool immediately and as often as you like for all pages on your site.