How to make great bookmarks with Microsoft Search in Bing (Part 1)June 10, 2019
One of the easiest and most useful things an administrator can set up in Microsoft Search in Bing is a collection of bookmarks to your organization’s most-visited internal or external resources. This is especially useful when the URL is long or may be confusing to type directly. Bookmarks help people quickly find important sites and tools with just a web search. Each bookmark includes a title, URL, and a set of user-friendly keywords to trigger the bookmark. This article isn’t primarily focused on how to create a Bookmark—that information is readily available on the Microsoft Search documentation site (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftsearch/manage-bookmarks). Instead, let’s talk about what makes a great bookmark.
What makes a great bookmark?
A great bookmark has three key elements:
- A strong, informative headline. Aim for no more than 8 words, 60 characters maximum. You want the reader to click on the headline and view the content, but we recommend avoiding obvious clickbait headlines.
Good: Try this week’s tasty favorites from the cafeteria menu. (Clear, concise and interesting. But don’t over-promise if it’s macaroni and meatloaf again.)
Better: This week’s cafeteria menu (This is a better bookmark headline than the example above, in that it isn’t over-promising and doesn’t sound like an advertisement.)
Bad: You won’t believe what’s coming to the cafeteria menu this week. (Avoid clickbait clichés and remember: people don’t like to be told what they will or won’t believe.)
- A succinct description (300 characters max) that summarizes the purpose or functionality of the linked resource.
- A collection of keywords that will help people find this page among their search results. You should have at least five keywords—and there could be many more—perhaps as many as 100.
In addition to the most obvious search terms a user might type in, a good list of keywords should include:
- various ways to say things like “cafeteria menu” (dining menu, lunch menus, café menu, etc.)
Microsoft Search in Bing will return results for most plurals, but if you find some that are missing, you can add them manually. In addition to common synonyms and misspellings, you might also include foreign language variants. Put yourself in the user's mind and think about what they'd type in to find this info.
Use the provided default bookmarks as a reference to understand how to name bookmarks and create good keywords. You can also create “reserved” keywords. A reserved keyword is a unique term or phrase that triggers a specific result. A reserved keyword can be associated with one result only. Thus, you should use reserved keywords sparingly.
For more information, see Making content easy to find.
Where do I get ideas for bookmarks?
- Look at the most popular queries for your Microsoft Search in Bing users. To do this, sign in with your Search admin or Search editor credentials, then visit the Microsoft Search Admin Center at admin.microsoft.com. (Public preview customers that enabled prior to April 30, 2019, can continue to use https://www.bingforbusiness.com/admin/.) There, you’ll find a list of Top Queries.
Tip: Another good way to understand what terms people use is to look at the query logs that SharePoint search has. This shows top search queries, unsuccessful searches and abandoned queries. Microsoft Search in Bing does not show queries where a work result was expected but users did not see it. For this the admin needs to look at SharePoint reports.
- Your organization’s collection of Microsoft Search in Bing bookmarks might begin with an established list of links to key company resources such as benefits, policies, tools and services, etc. These links (which you can bulk import, by the way) can point to documents or spreadsheets like price lists, customer lists, metrics, or pretty much anything else that lives on your org’s SharePoint, (internal) intranet, or the (external) Internet—not to mention Teams, Yammer, Office 365, email, OneDrive, or any of the other resources supported by Microsoft Search in Bing.
- Use the default bookmarks we've provided in the Default Published Bookmarks section of Microsoft Search admin portal and upload these and the Default Suggested Bookmarks to your site as a starting point. You’ll find import, export, and filter options (and, of course, the ability to add, edit, publish, or delete bookmarks) on the Bookmarks page.
- Tell your users about the “I want to suggest a link” option found in the Feedback menu of every search results page—it’s a great way to “crowd source” bookmarks. Have a contest—invite users to contribute their most useful bookmarks!
Another way of identifying information your users need is to import SharePoint promoted results and top queries as bookmarks. The promoted result query rules (previously known as “Best Bets” in Microsoft parlance) are imported as suggested Bookmarks.