Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools are the preferred tools of the trade among most internet marketers, web administrators and website owners. These are great tools and it makes sense to want to use them since Google is simply the largest of organic search traffic, and it isn’t even close. However, the recent move to withhold keyword information has a lot of marketers looking for new and often more complicated ways to facilitate their keyword research.
Well, it appears that Bing of all sources might have the solution in the recently unveiled Connected Pages feature, which according to SearchEngineWatch.com is a feature that:
…lets you claim your owned content properties and see how they’re discovered in search.
If you’re wondering what “content properties” means, it refers to various pages you might have across different platforms on top of the verified website that’s been linked to your Bing Webmaster Tools account, assuming you have one. According to SearchEngineWatch.com:
…you can use this new tool to claim your Facebook business page, LinkedIn profile, app store pages, and other social properties in Bing Webmaster Tools. Once claimed and connected, you’ll be able to see all kinds of information from inbound links to search terms for those Connected Pages.
It’s a powerful feature that expands Bing Webmaster Tools’ functionality from just providing information about your website to all of your social accounts. It’s a great way to centralize all of your keyword and marketing research rather than having to visit each individual social account. If you’re already paying for a service that does this for you, you might find the new Connected Pages feature to be a great free alternative, especially if you find that you don’t use a lot of the more advanced features of your existing service.
Now, if you’re worried about having to provide user names, passwords or access tokens for all of your social accounts, don’t be. According to Bing:
We won’t ask you to enter any passwords or provide us with any extended permissions to your social media accounts to establish this connection, but the link inside the connected page needs to match in the sense that the link needs to point back to the root of or a sub-page within your verified website. Obviously, to check this, we also need to be able to extract the link from each of the connected pages, so the page needs to be accessible from the web and not block our verifier in any way.
All Connected Pages needs to work is a link that points back to your verified website (otherwise known as the site that’s connected to your Bing Webmaster Tools account), or at the very least, a page on your main website. Awesome.
So how do you get started? First, you have to make sure you have a supported social page, which is currently limited to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Windows Store, Google Play, Apple Store, Pinterest, Windows Phone Store, YouTube, Instagram and MySpace. Here are the steps according to Bing:
1. From the Connected Page Type dropdown, select the type of page you want to connect to your main website.
2. Enter the path to your page in the text box next to the URL associated with the connected page type.
3. Click Verify. The page is now moved to the table below, and our verifier will check if the connected page contains a link that matches your verified website or – at a minimum – a page within your verified website.
4. If verification fails, you will see a message next to the connected page URL. You can see the reason of the failure by hovering over the information icon.
5. If verification is successful, you will not see a failure message and click data and impression data and trend lines will start showing up in the table over the next couple of days