The Bing Webmaster Tools are one of the few tools you want to setup on your website from the beginning. They are packed with insights, data, and tools that you can use to improve your website. And the data begins that day it’s setup, so even if you aren’t ready for it yet, start collecting the data. Here’s how to setup Bing Webmaster Tools.

Are the Bing Webmaster Tools Worth Using?

Before we go over how to setup Bing Webmaster Tools, let’s discuss if it’s even worth using. The short answer is: yes! First of all, it’s free, so why not? Second, for all of the same reasons you setup Google Search Console on your site, you’ll want to setup Bing Webmaster Tools as well. These tools provide feedback directly from the search engines! The only thing better than getting feedback on your site straight from a search engine, is getting feedback from two search engines! Just because you get the majority of your organic search traffic from Google, doesn’t mean you should ignore Bing.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, the Bing Webmaster Tools are packed with features you won’t find in the Google Search Console. It has a keyword research tool, allows you to run a site scan to identify SEO issues, and even offers free conversion optimization tools such as heatmaps and session recordings with Microsoft Clarity.

Setting up Bing Webmaster Tools

Before you start, make sure you setup Google Analytics and then setup Google Search Console. These installs build on each other. Google Search Console is easiest to setup when Google Analytics has already been configured. Similarly, Bing Webmaster Tools is easiest to setup when Google Search Console has already been setup.

So, before you install Bing Webmaster Tools, setup Google Analytics and then Google Search Console. Now you’re ready to setup Bing Webmaster Tools.

  1. To get started with Bing Webmaster Tools go to:
  2. Click Get Started and sign in.
  3. You can choose to either import your site from the Google Search Console, or add it manually. Click import under the Google Search Console option.
  4. Follow the prompts to continue and log into your Google account.
  5. On the Import from Google Search Console screen select the domain(s) you want to import.
  6. Click Import and then you’ll be redirected to your new dashboard.
installing bing webmaster tools

That’s all there is to it! Now your site is verified with Bing Webmaster Tools and you can start getting valuable insights to optimize your website.

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Google provides a free tool for website owners to see potential issues and gain insights not available in Google Analytics. It’s called the Google Search Console. We’re going to walk through how to setup Google Search Console on your website.

Why Should You Use Google Search Console?

Before we discuss how to setup Google Search Console, let’s discuss why you should. Or maybe the real question is: why wouldn’t you use Google Search Console? The Google Search Console contains data and utilities meant to increase your website traffic and visibility on Google. This information is coming directly from Google. That same search engine that you are working hard to rank on. So, why wouldn’t you listen to the personalized advice they are offering your website?

The Search Console is what Google uses to communicate issues and errors to website owners and administrators. This is the tool Google uses to contact you and give you free advice, just take some time to listen and maybe you’ll see some search improvements.

What’s the Difference Between Google Search Console and Google Webmaster Tools?

Google Search Console was previously named Google Webmaster Tools. You may still see references to the old name around the internet, they are really interchangeable. Google Search Console and Google Webmaster Tools are the same thing, but Google Search Console is the new and current name.

Setting up Google Search Console

Setting up Google Search Console for your website is pretty straightforward. Before you start, make sure you’ve already setup Google Analytics. That makes the process super simple. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Click Start Now and login to your Google account. (Make sure it’s the same Google account you used for your website’s Google Analytics account.)
  3. Under URL Prefix enter in your website URL and click Continue.
    • You can enter the URL under Domain instead. This is preferred because it allows you to set it up once and see all variations of the domain (https, www, etc.) but it requires DNS verification. The other method allows you to verify with several different methods including Google Analytics. If adding a DNS record isn’t a problem for you then go that route. If you want the easiest possible set up though then just stick with URL Prefix. You’ll have to set it up multiple times to see data from every variation of the URL but setup is super simple and is finished in seconds.
  4. You’ll need to verify your website. If you have Google Analytics setup, and you chose URL Prefix, then using Google Analytics to verify is the easiest option. Otherwise, you can choose HTML file upload or HTML tag and follow the prompts to verify within minutes.
installing google search console

Unless you choose the Domain configuration instead of URL Prefix, you’ll want to repeat this process for both the www and non-www versions of your website. If you use https, then those versions should also be added for both https and http. Which means there would be a total of four site variations added to Google Search Console. Google sees all of these versions as separate sites and adding them all to Google Search Console will give you full visibility. Seeing data for all of them will allow you to verify everything is configured properly.

When you add a new web property, Google will send you a message outlining some steps you can take to improve the search presence of your website. Go through those steps and implement the ones that make sense for your web property. They include items such as adding all website variations and adding a sitemap.

Check Your Google Search Console Monthly

Setting up the Google Search Console is only the first step. It won’t do you much good if you never look at it. Try to login monthly to confirm there are no issues.

A few common tasks to check include:

  • your sitemap is still successfully submitted
  • your site is still being indexed
  • there are no manual penalties or security issues
  • reviewing crawl errors

When you first start the account you may find several issues and recommended improvements. Invest the time to get those cleaned up. Once you get the initial issues taken care the monthly checks won’t take long.

If you need help staying on top of the different tasks you need to perform within the Google Search Console you can leverage the ClearPath Online DIY SEO Tool. It’s prepopulated with prioritized digital marketing tasks, including everything you need to monitor within the Google Search Console. And it’s already set up to stagger them out so you have a short list each day based on your personal digital marketing needs.

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Everyone makes mistakes. And when it comes to SEO, it’s no different. There are ways you can self-sabotage your SEO efforts. Here are ten common SEO mistakes to avoid so you don’t hurt your search rankings.

Talking to Everyone

The first mistake is writing content that speaks to everyone. When you talk to everyone, you talk to no one. You need to write in a way that resonates with one particular person. This is your target audience. If you write to one person, you will attract many more like-minded individuals. To make this easier, create a persona so you have a clear idea of who you’re talking to.

Creating the Wrong Content

When you create content, it’s important to focus on topics you want to be known for. You don’t want to write an article about a one-off thought that isn’t related to the focus of your website. You want to make it easy for the reader and search engines to know what your site is about and what you want to be known for.

Not Having Meta Descriptions

Most bloggers understand the basic on-page optimizations that improve SEO. The one optimization that is frequently forgotten is the meta description. The meta description doesn’t directly impact search rankings but it does play an indirect role.

The meta description is the snippet of text that appears below the title and URL in the search results. It helps the reader better understand if your site is a good match for their query and it can help increase click-through rates.

meta description in search results

Too Much Fluff

When writing content remember to focus on quality over quantity. You don’t need every article to be 3,000 words long in order to rank. Don’t add a bunch of extra fluff just to try and increase word count. Write as much as you need to fulfill the promise of your headline. Stick to the topic. It’s okay to link out to other articles with more information. Don’t waste your readers’ time by adding unnecessary content to the article so they have to hunt to find the information they are interested in.

Generic Anchor Text

When you add an internal link in your blog articles don’t add generic text such as click here for the link. Use relevant text in the existing article text to add the hyperlink. This is another signal to search engines explaining what the page is about.

Not Targeting a Primary Keyword

This is the number one issue I see when I do SEO audits for other bloggers. You need to have a primary keyword in mind for each page and optimize accordingly. Perform keyword research to make sure the keyword you are targeting isn’t too competitive. You want to find keywords that have low competition and still have some monthly search traffic.

Not Refreshing Old Content

There are multiple reasons to keep your content updated. First, Google wants to rank fresh content so if an article hasn’t been updated in years it will be harder to rank. Second, if an article is popular you want to make sure it’s still accurate so readers will have the best experience possible. If a reader goes to your site and finds outdated information they won’t be as likely to return or trust your brand.

On an annual basis you want to review your most popular pages. Review the most popular pages and make sure the content is up to date. This is also a good time to add images, charts, or videos if it adds value. Sometimes when trying to meet a posting deadline it’s easy to not add extra media items. Once the post has proven to be popular and a good source of traffic it’s a good time to revisit it to see how you can improve the experience.

Not Performing Daily Digital Marketing Maintenance

SEO is not a one-time task. To continue to grow with digital marketing and improve search rank you need to keep working on it. You need to check for crawl errors, broken links, and indexability issues. All of this can be simplified with the ClearPath Online DIY SEO Tool. It’s prepopulated with prioritized digital marketing tasks. And it’s already set up to stagger them out so you have a short list each day based on your personal digital marketing needs.

Not Using Free Tools

Another mistake is not using the free tools provided by the search engines. The most popular tool is Google Analytics which tracks data from your website. The less well known, but equally important tools, are Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. These tools are also free and they are where the search engines attempt to communicate issues about your site.

None of these tools pull in historical data. The data begins the day you set it up. So even if you aren’t sure how you’ll use the data and worried you won’t understand it, it’s still a good idea to set it up. That way it can start collecting data so it’s there for you when you are ready for it.

No Call-to-Action

The last mistake is having no call-to-action (CTA). Getting traffic to your site through SEO is great. But ultimately you want that traffic to do more than read your article, right? Maybe you have a newsletter signup, maybe there’s a book you have for sale, maybe you have a course. Whatever your goal is, you need to have a call-to-action button that asks readers to take that next step.

In Summary

Mistakes will happen. The important thing is being able to recognize where you can make improvements. Use this list as a guide to set some goals on areas where your blog can be improved so you can continue to improve your search rankings.

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We all know writing content based on keyword research is important. But, once you have your desired keyword, how should it be used in your content? Here’s how to optimize keyword placement in content.

Don’t Optimize Too Many Keywords

First, don’t try to optimize several terms on one page. You want to have a primary keyword to focus on. You can have secondary keywords but they should be natural variants or related to the primary. To find out more about secondary keywords and the ideal number of keywords you can view the guide on how many SEO keywords to use. The important thing to remember for the following advice is you want to focus on one primary keyword when optimizing for SEO.

Add the Primary Keyword to Title, H1, and First Paragraph

Go through the on-page optimization checklist and make sure your primary keyword appears in the key text elements of the page. This includes the title tag, the H1 tag, and the first paragraph. The earlier the keyword appears in the tags the better, but it’s important to make sure it’s optimized in a way that makes sense to the reader. You never want to compromise usability to improve SEO.

Write in a Natural Voice

It’s important to write in a natural language. Use your own voice and tone. Write in a way that will resonate with your audience. Keywords shouldn’t play a role here. If the content is about the keyword you’ve chosen, it will naturally come up. The word or phrase and it’s variant will appear in your writing if that is what the article is about. You don’t have to put extra effort in including them in the article.

So, there isn’t a firm number of times you’ve used your keyword to determine if it’s too much or too little. If you feel you need to figure out if your keyword appears enough, here are some guidelines.

Your keyword may appear too often if:

  • The content isn’t enjoyable to read
  • The content doesn’t make sense
  • The same phrase appears in every other sentence
  • The wrong tenses are being used throughout the article

All of these issues can occur when the writer is determined to use the one primary keyphrase exactly letter for letter in every possible instance of the article.

Your keyword may NOT appear often enough if:

  • Your keyword is not in any of the headings on the page
  • Your keyword is not in any of the paragraphs on the page

Although these issues listed could indicate you need to use the keyword more, it’s also possible you are okay. If the exact keyword wouldn’t be as meaningful to the reader it’s okay to use synonyms and close variants.

You need to use your judgement. Make sure the content makes sense for the reader and worry less about how many times the exact keyword appears in the article.

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You don’t have to spend much time researching SEO before you come across advice to create meta descriptions. But what is a meta description, how do I write one, and how does it affect SEO? Here’s how to write a meta description for SEO.

What is a Meta Description?

Before we can dig into how to write a meta description, we need to understand what it is. A meta description is one of the available meta tags that can be added to provide more information about the content. It is the snippet of text that appears below the title and the URL in search results.

meta description in search results

It’s a short paragraph that helps explain what the page is about and tries to convince someone to click from the search results page.

How to Write a Meta Description

Explain what the Page is About

The meta description should answer the question “What is the page about?” It should describe what readers will learn when they visit the page.

Make sure the description is relevant to the content on the page. Don’t try to trick people. You want the meta description to create a clear expectation so it will attract the right people who stick around when they see your website.

Include Your Keyword

Add your primary keyword to the meta description. This way, when it appears in Google the keyword within the description will be bold. Including the keyword signals to both the search engines and readers that your site is a good fit for the query.

Include a Call-to-Action

Towards the end of the meta description include a call-to-action. This should be fairly subtle. It won’t be your primary call-to-action, but instead just try to get them to click. Make it clear how the page will benefit the reader.

Here are some examples of call-to-actions for the end of meta descriptions:

  • Let’s dig into …
  • Learn more about …
  • We’ll go over …
  • Follow this guide to …

Write a Meta Description for Every Page

If possible, write a meta description for every page on your site. If this isn’t possible, prioritize the most popular pages on your site.

Keep Meta Descriptions Unique

Don’t duplicate your meta descriptions. Each page should have a unique meta description.

Keep Meta Descriptions Under 160 Characters

Make sure your meta descriptions are below 160 characters. This will help make sure they aren’t truncated in search results.

How to Add a Meta Description on WordPress

The easiest way to add meta descriptions on WordPress is with a plugin. There are several different plugins you can choose from. I choose to use the Yoast SEO plugin. Yoast adds an interface at the bottom of every page and post that allows you to create a meta description.

meta description in yoast seo

It even adds the same interface to tags and categories so you can create a meta description for those pages as well. And to add a meta description for the homepage you can navigate to Search Appearance under the Yoast SEO settings.

Do Meta Descriptions Affect SEO?

Meta descriptions don’t directly improve search ranking. However, they can play a role indirectly.

A persuasive meta description can increase click-through-rate (CTR). And CTR can impact rankings. So, you want to give people the information they need to convince them to click on the link to your site.

Warning: Sometimes Google Rewrites Meta Descriptions

When you go through so much effort to write unique meta descriptions on every single page, it can be disheartening to learn that sometimes Google rewrites meta descriptions.

Depending on the search query, Google may rewrite the description. It happens when the meta description doesn’t seem relevant to the particular search query. Instead, they use a snippet of text from the article. This happens more often with long-tail keywords (the longer more specific queries).

Google ends up rewriting about 60% of meta descriptions. But, meta descriptions are still worth writing for the other 40% of the time. Especially since when they do display meta descriptions it tends to be on the most popular pages ranking for broad terms with high search volume.

In Summary

Write meta descriptions that are clear, persuasive, and unique. Even though Google will sometimes rewrite them, they do play a role in improving search rankings. They improve the user experience in search results and in turn increase the chance of people visiting your website.

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So, here’s the problem. You’re doing all the things. You’ve done your on-page optimizations, you have a sitemap, you added internal links. But, you still have basically no traffic. Your numbers are embarrassing. How long does it take for SEO to start working?

The sad truth is SEO takes a while before you start seeing results. Of course there are several variables that can impact the speed but it’s important to be realistic about how long it should take going into it. As I outlined in the article about how long it takes to learn SEO, it can take anywhere from six months to two years to start seeing results. This can fluctuate quite a bit depending on how competitive your particular industry is, but this is a good estimate to go by.

Although it can take a while to start building some momentum, once it starts it generally continues. If you get a good routine down and regularly build content that creates a wonderful foundation. When you finally start seeing the traffic you want you just need to keep doing more of what you’re already doing.

If you are getting tired of waiting for your traffic to get to where you want it to be, here are a few ways you can speed up the process.

4 Ways to Make the SEO Process Faster

Revisit Blogging Frequency

Adjusting your blogging frequency is one of the best ways to adjust the length of time it takes to see SEO results. The more content you create, the faster you’ll see results. (Of course, this does need to be high-quality content.)

As a rule of thumb, you should aim to create weekly blog content. If you can’t, that’s fine! You can choose to post bi-weekly or monthly content. You just need to understand that it will take longer to see results. And if you already post weekly and want to see results faster then post even more often. Post daily if you can, or three times a week. Post as often as you can comfortably post high-quality content.

You have to find a balance between how much time you can find to spend on content creation and how fast you want to grow your website.

Perform Keyword Research

To grow traffic to your website you need to create content people are searching for. You need to perform keyword research. Find terms that have some traffic and are low competition. Don’t get too carried away about search volume. As long as people are searching for it and it isn’t crazy competitive it’s worth writing content for. If it starts ranking for that one keyword, chances are there are a handful of much longer phrases that it will rank for as well. So don’t get too caught up on low traffic. Those are just estimates and when you’re starting, low traffic is better than no traffic.

Look at Impressions

It can feel discouraging in the beginning. It can also feel discouraging a year or two into the project. It feels discouraging the entire time you aren’t seeing traffic where you want it. When this happens, look at your search impressions. You can find this data in Google Search Console (not Google Analytics). Search impressions do not all result in clicks. The clicks are the site visitors that show up in Google Analytics. But before they clicked, they saw the result in Google, and that registers as a search impression.

Since you get many more impressions than clicks it is a much prettier metric to look at when your numbers are low. More importantly, it gives you an idea of how you are trending. If you only get a few visitors here and there it’s very difficult to figure out a trend. Since there are a larger number of impressions, you can see how you’re trending. If your impressions are improving that means you are going in the right direction. Next, clicks will improve and then you’ll start seeing the traffic in your Google Analytics account you’ve been wanting.

Leverage ClearPath Online

If you’re looking for an SEO shortcut, the ClearPath Online DIY SEO Tool can help. It’s pre-populated with digital marketing tasks so you can grow an organic audience – step-by-step without getting overwhelmed.

In Summary

SEO does take time to see results. Be patient. Work on creating a good routine for content creation and then stick with it. If you are consistent, you will start to see results.

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SEO isn’t something you can learn in one night. And although it can take several years to become an expert, there’s a lot of space between knowing nothing and knowing everything. So, how long does it take to learn SEO? Or, more specifically, how long does it take to learn enough SEO to grow an audience for your own blog?

Start with an Online Course to Learn the Basics (2-4 weeks)

To start off, take an online SEO course. This is a nice way to introduce yourself to the topic and get an overview. That way, you’re more familiar with the terminology and the basics so you can start putting some skills into practice. It also can help you understand what specific aspects of SEO you want to dig into deeper.

ClearPath Online offers a free How To Do SEO Yourself course. It is completely self-paced. There are ten lessons that come out each weekday. So, it’s at least two weeks. However, if you implement each lesson before proceeding it will take more time. Expect it to be about a month to complete the entire process.

Each course you find will vary. With the ClearPath Online course it will be about 2-4 weeks until you start to learn and understand the basics. When selecting a course make sure it’s self-paced so you can take the time you need to digest and comprehend the lessons.

Actively Maintain a Blog to Improve Skills (6 months – 2 years)

After you take a course to introduce yourself to the basics, start putting your new skills to use. The best way to learn is to do it. If you want to learn SEO, create a blog and optimize it.

This does more than help you learn. It allows you to identify when you have reached a point where you understand SEO enough to grow an organic audience. You can do this by using digital analytics data, such as Google Analytics. Digital analytics allow you to gauge how successful your efforts have been. Instead of making guesses, Google Analytics data will allow you to see the exact number of people you’ve been able to reach from search engines. Additionally, you can see if those people are converting and making a positive impact towards your goals.

While you’re learning, leverage the ClearPath Online DIY SEO Tool to guide you through what to do and how. The tool provides a pre-populated task list that you can follow to grow your organic audience. The tasks are staggered out so any given day doesn’t feel overwhelming. And you can click on each task to see how to do it. This is helpful when first learning, but also helpful as a quick refresher when it’s a task you don’t do often.

To see results from SEO efforts it can take anywhere from six months to two years. It often starts out slow, but once you start to get traffic it picks up momentum. And once you see good traffic numbers, stick with it. It will only continue to improve. You’ll want to blog for at least six months to two years to see the results. At that point, you’ll know you understand SEO and can grow an organic audience. But, once you have good results keep building that momentum and continue to post regular blog articles.

Stay Current on SEO Tactics (Ongoing)

One of the tricks to learning SEO is understanding that SEO is always changing. You have to stay current on new SEO trends. A true SEO expert understands that there are no SEO experts because the game is always shifting.

This is another area where the ClearPath Online DIY SEO Tool can assist. The digital marketing tasks are current with tactics that work today. That way you aren’t stuck repeating tasks that worked when you learned them, but may not apply today. Instead of a constant guessing game wondering if you’re wasting time on outdated SEO tactics, the DIY SEO Tool allows you to stay current. And without having to spend hours researching SEO every week.

In Summary

It’s possible to learn the basics of SEO in as little as one month. It can take years to become fluent in SEO and it will be a topic that you will always have to stay current on. If you’re looking for a shortcut, that is where the ClearPath Online DIY SEO Tool can help.

No matter how you choose to learn SEO, make sure you have a plan in place to put some of these lessons to use. That way you can improve your SEO expertise and see exactly what you’re capable of.

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To see growth from SEO, you need a strategy. Understanding SEO basics and focusing on your target audience is a great start. But, to see growth you need a strategy that keeps you focused. Here’s how to make an SEO strategy with five easy steps.

Step 1: Set Your Goal

The first step in determining your SEO strategy is understanding your goal. What is the end goal? Do you have a paid course you want people to register for? Do you have a book you want them to purchase? Do you have a SaaS (software as a service) tool you’d like visitors to sign up with?

Figure out what the primary goal is for your SEO efforts. What are you hoping your site visitors will eventually accomplish on your website?

Step 2: Create a Lead Magnet

Next create a lead magnet. The lead magnet should be a bridge between your free content and your end goal. The lead magnet should help the reader overcome a hurdle that is stopping them from completing the end goal on your website. This should be a downloadable cheatsheet, a resource, or a guide that helps prepare them for your primary goal. It can even be a course if that makes sense for your website and goal.

Instead of a dollar amount, the lead magnet should be paid for with an email address. This allows you to start to communicate with the person on a regular and deeper level.

The lead magnet information should be available on all of your blog articles. Remember to prioritize the user experience. Instead of setting the lead magnet to pop up as soon as someone visits, add it at the end of the page. That way, people who read the whole article now have information to learn more and connect at a deeper level. There will be less people that read the article than load the page, but they will be more likely to be your target audience. Don’t worry about attracting everyone, worry about attracting the right people.

Step 3: Perform Keyword Research and Create Content Calendar

Once you have your goal and lead magnet in mind, start doing keyword research. Your keyword research should align with your goal and lead magnet. That way, someone who comes to your free content from search engines would be more likely to sign up for your lead magnet and eventually convert.

Once you’ve done your keyword research and found relevant content ideas, create a content calendar to make a plan. This will make it easier to know what to work on when and will help hold you accountable.

Step 4: Blog in Batches

Once you have a plan, create blog content in batches. Set some time aside to create all of the blog content you have planned for the entire month. Whether that is one, two, or four articles, get them done at the same time so you aren’t stuck doing nothing but blogs all month. You want to blog, but you don’t want it to consume all of the time you have available for your business.

Step 5: Perform Daily Digital Marketing Maintenance

Once you have your blogs scheduled out, spend some time each day performing digital marketing maintenance. These tasks can range from social, organic SEO, monitoring data, and making conversion improvements. For a shortcut, you can use the ClearPath Online DIY SEO tool. It’s prepopulated with prioritized digital marketing tasks. And it’s already set up to stagger them out so you have a short list each day based on your personal digital marketing needs.

In Summary

Creating consistent content that is focused on the needs of your target audience is the best strategy for long-term SEO success. To also see your business grow you need an SEO strategy in place. So, set your goal, create a lead magnet, do keyword research and create a content plan, blog in batches, and then take the time to conquer the digital marketing routine outlined in the ClearPath Online DIY SEO tool.

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