It looks like Bing is trying to eat into the market share of companies that produce some of your favorite SEO tools.
First, Bing gives companies like SEMRush a run for their money by releasing a tool that checks competitor backlinks. Free of charge.
Now, the Microsoft-owned company is launching a new on-demand audit tool that crawls your domain and checks for SEO-related issues.
What’s a Site Scan?
If you’re unfamiliar with site scanners, they’re tools that employ a digital agent to browse through your website. They check for technical problems that might affect your rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Then, they produce a report with actionable intelligence so you can take corrective action.
One of the most popular site scanners on the market is Screaming Frog. However, that tool requires a software download.
Plenty of other site scanners exist that run in the cloud. Bing’s new scanner is part of Webmaster Tools, so it’s also a cloud-based solution.
How to Use Bing’s Site Scan Tool
It’s easy to use the new site scanner. Start by logging into Bing Webmaster Tools.
Then, click on Site Scan. You’ll see a screen that enables you to configure how you’d like the tool to scan your site.
For starters, you need to name your scan. That’s useful so you can go back and check it at some point in the future.
It’s often a good idea to include the date as part of the name of a scan.
Next, you need to set the scan scope. You have three options:
- Website – crawls the entire site, including any links it finds along the way (but you can only crawl a maximum of 10,000 pages per month)
- Sitemap – uses the sitemap as a guide to crawl the site
- URL list – crawls a specific list of web pages you enter
If this is your first rodeo, it’s a great idea to select URL list and enter just one page: the home page of the website.
You can also choose whether you’d like the bot to crawl all subdomains. That’s useful if you’ve segmented your site by subdomains.
Additionally, you can limit your scan to a maximum number of pages. Remember, though, Bing won’t let you crawl an infinite number of pages.
So if you’ve got an ecommerce site with tens of thousands of pages, you’re going to hit a limit whether you want to or not.
Lastly, you can use the advanced settings to customize the maximum scan depth and crawling speed and include certain URL parameters that you don’t want to be crawled.
Understanding the Site Scan Report
What good would a site scan be without a report? Fortunately, Bing provides a rundown that will help you identify technical issues.
Here are the kinds of problems you can expect the tool to highlight:
- Server timeouts
- Missing title tags
- Missing meta description tags
- Missing alt attributes for images
- Missing meta language tags
- Titles that are too long
- HTML sizes that are too long
- Meta descriptions that are too long
- Meta descriptions that are too short
- Missing H1 tags
And that list is far from exhaustive. You’ll find that the Bing site scanner identifies many more issues as well.
Additionally, the scan status report will also tell you how many pages the bot crawled, the total number of errors, the total number of warnings, and severity of issues detected.
Wrapping It Up
It looks like Microsoft is positioning Bing as an all-in-one solution for SEO professionals. That’s why the company recently released a tool that evaluates competitor backlinks and just announced a new site scanner.
If you haven’t yet taken your website on a “test drive” with the Bing site scanner, why not do so today?