How to get keyword research data from Bing Webmaster Tools

You can use the free keyword research data from Bing to see what you should try to “rank” for in Google. Here’s how!

Why should you get keyword data from Bing Webmaster Tools?

You might think to yourself, “Who cares about Bing? I want to rank on Google!” I tend to agree. However, remember our goal: put data behind keywords so we know our customers are searching for these words. If we don’t put data behind our keywords we might end up trying to “optimize” a page for a word for which nobody else is searching.

In this sense, it doesn’t matter if the data comes from Bing, Google Keyword Planner, or Google Trends: we just want to confirm other people have thought of the same keyword we did before we try to optimize for it.

What should you expect from the Bing Webmaster Tools data?

The Keyword Research tool in Bing Webmaster Tools provides a number of “impressions” for each keyword. An “impression” tells us how many people saw this phrase in a Bing search result (within an undisclosed amount of time).

This number is very different than other sources we might use. For instance, the Google Keyword Planner gives us “Average Search Volume” in the last month. On the other hand, Google Trends gives us a number between zero and 100 representing interest at any given time. All three numbers reflect different data points- so don’t try to compare these numbers with each other. Choose one source of data (whichever is easiest for you to access) and use that for the entirety of your keyword research. The value we get is when we use data to compare several terms against the same data point, rather than collecting several data points with the same keyword.

That being said, we all know that Bing has a much smaller audience than Google. That means, they might not have data on some less-common keywords for which Google might have data. This is why the Google Keyword Planner is the best option for keyword data- if you have access to it, that is. If not, the Keyword Research tool in Bing Webmaster Tools will still help you- even if you want to “rank” better in Google.

Get Keyword Research Data from Bing Webmaster Tools

Before you start to gather data, you need to start the basic keyword research process by creating a clarified brainstorm list of keywords. After that, you should use Bing Webmaster Tools to find out which phrase people actually use when searching for companies like yours.

It might seem strange to look at Bing’s data. You might think, “Why do I care what Bing thinks of my keywords? Nobody uses Bing!” While it’s true that the vast majority of people use Google for their search engine, remember our point here: we want to put a number (data) behind keywords so we know where to focus. This prevents us from guessing at keywords or assuming that customers search for us using a particular phrase. It doesn’t mater where the numbers come from- the point is to use data to differentiate keywords so we know we’re not the only person thinking of that keyword!

  1. Enter a phrase into the tool. If you’re following the overall process, you’ve created a big list of brainstormed keywords. I’d start with the broadest phrase you came up with. You might have to sort your brainstorm list by broadest to most specific (to make your life easier).
  2. Notice other data this tool gives you. Bing will suggest other possible keywords that might be relevant, too. Go down those rabbit holes to find other possible keywords.
  3. Repeat for each phrase. Try another phrase in the tool. One of the points of gathering data is to compare phrases to see which ones people are more likely to search for (and become a customer).
    1. A note about geographical settings. Does your company focus on a particular geography? You could be nationwide. You might be limited to a city.
      1. Try out phrases that don’t include geographical terms but set your geography to your particular country. Terms you enter with specific geographical modifiers might not have enough data to show up.
      2. If you’ve named a specific area but see no impression numbers don’t be frustrated. It might be that people are searching for your company’s services in your area, but the search volume is too small to show up in this tool.
      3. Look for the modifier “near me” in keyword suggestions (or add that to your query). This is a special phrase that denotes local intent for a product or service. If you see there are people searching for your topic “near me” then you know that people are searching for your topic when modified by your town or city’s name.
      4. As you’re playing with your geographical settings, make note of this in your data. If you don’t you might end up comparing national data on some phrases, but local data on other.
    2. As you compare the impression numbers, please bear in mind that some phrases have a lot of interest but are too broad to make good targets. Some phrases might have so much interest it will be very difficult to show up for them. Other phrases might be so broad that they might not become a customer.

Now you know which phrases you should focus upon for a particular topic. You’re not guessing. You’re using the data to tell you what phrases people are more likely to search for.

Have a question about this process? Ask it here:

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