While Google remain relatively tight-lipped when it comes to individual ranking factors, Bing’s senior product manager Duane Forrester has revealed his four steps to SEO and usability success in a new Bing Community blog post.

First up is SEO – and perhaps surprisingly for some webmasters, he recommends completing meta description tags, along with well-written page headers and title tags, relevant hyperlinking and good-quality depth of content.

Second, engage with social media, which Mr Forrester says is now inescapable. “More ‘followers’ than ‘following’ on Twitter, solid engagement on Facebook helps, etc,” he writes.

Third is content, which he says is “the number one place to invest time, money and effort”.

And fourth on the very short list is usability, fixing problems on your website itself, and investing time and money in making continual incremental improvements.

Mr Forrester explains that “people don’t wake up on Saturday morning and say, ‘I think I’ll go type words into a search engine and see what happens.'”

By focusing SEO and usability on users’ real-world actions, rather than on rhetoric and theory relating to hypothetical rankings, even a simple four-stage approach could have significant benefits for webmasters and their sites’ performance on a broad range of key performance indicators.

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