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.  You can sign up using Microsoft, Google or Facebook account. Alternatively, you can also create a Microsoft account as part of your Webmaster Tools sign-up process, just select Microsoft as the convenient account and click on Create one in the next step.

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. Next, we would like to verify that you are the owner of the website. There are three ownership verification methods. Click the option best suited for your site and follow the on-screen instructions:

  • Option 1: XML file authentication: click BingSiteAuth.xml to save the an XML file to your computer. This file contains your personal verification code. Next, upload the file to the root folder of the site you are trying to add.
  • Option 2: Meta tag authentication: Copy the displayed <meta> tag with your personal verification code to the clipboard. Then open your registered site’s default page (the home page) in your web development environment editor and paste the provided code at the end of the <head> section. Lastly, save and upload the revised default page containing the new <meta> tag to your site.
  • Option 3: Add a CNAME record to DNS: This option requires access to your domain hosting account. Inside that account, edit the CNAME record to hold the provided verification code (a series of numbers and letters) we have provided you.  When done ensure the information is saved.

After performing the necessary steps stated in the verification methods, please click Verify. If Bing Webmaster Tools is able to verify your site, you will see a green checkmark at the top and a message saying that your domain is verified. If you see a red cross mark, please look at the error message to check with issue with site verification. Please resolve the issue and try again later.

Site Verification Methods

For the CNAME based site verification, Bing Webmaster Tools supports Domain Connect standard to automatically detect the DNS provider and take over the CNAME insertion task. All you need is to login to your DNS account when prompted and CNAME will be automatically added to the DNS account. Please note that Domain Connect needs to be adopted by the DNS providers as well and hence this verification optio will only be visible for DNS providers who have adopted Domain Connect and have partnered with Bing.

Domain Connect view

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)
There are many tools that can help you create sitemaps. You can start with this list and choose the product which best meets your needs. The sitemap typically lives at the root of your domain, so if your domain would be www.contoso.com, its location would be something like http://www.contoso.com/sitemap.xml.

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.

 
Submit Sitemap from within the Dashboard

Alternatively, you can submit sitemaps via the Sitemaps feature which is located under Configure My Site.

Step 4: Create a Search Optimization Plan

Your 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.