What if you were missing loads of potential customers and you didn’t even know it?
When it comes to SEO, most businesses understandably focus on Google. And Google offers a number of convenient local SEO options, including the awesome Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business).
However, plenty of customers also search the web with Bing. And this platform offers services such as Bing Places for Business that can help you reach more customers than ever before.
But what is Bing Places for Business? What can it do for your business, and how can you get started? Keep reading to discover the answers!
What Is Bing Places For Business?
Our guide is going to walk you through using Bing to expand your brand and boost your profits. Before we can walk you through the steps, though, we need to answer a fundamental question: just what is Bing Places For Business?
The short answer is that Bing Places is Microsoft’s answer to Google Business Profile. And as with GMB, Bing Places allows a business to enter important information to help customers discover your business, such as:
- phone number
- products and services
- business category
When Bing users are searching for local businesses, products, and services, Bing Places helps to more prominently display what they are looking for. And with the press of a button on their smartphone, prospective customers can instantly call your business or get directions to your business via Bing Maps.
The Need For Local SEO
Services like Google My Business and Bing Places have only gotten more popular in recent years. But what is causing this rising popularity?
While consumers may be accustomed to ordering certain things online, some businesses will always be local businesses at heart. Such businesses include restaurants, local newspapers, and services for things like plumbing and electrical repairs — to name a few.
While it’s still important to focus on organic SEO, using Bing Places gives you an advantage when it comes to local SEO. In fact, it’s designed to bring customers directly through the front door of your business!
If you’re still on the fence, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of Bing.
What Are the Benefits of Bing Places For Business?
Perhaps the biggest benefit of Bing Places for Business is that it is free. There is literally no cost to using this service, so your business has nothing to lose by trying it out and boosting local SEO.
Bing Places is also simple, convenient, and easy to set up. Even if you struggle with technology and software, you will find Bing Places surprisingly intuitive to use. In fact, if you already have a verified Google Business Places profile, you can easily sync your business information into Bing Places for Business at the first setup phase.
Once you set everything up, there is basically zero maintenance unless you need to change information about your company. And as customers begin using Bing Places to discover your business, they will provide you with invaluable data that helps you to tweak your products, services, and marketing.
Finally, while Google is still the world’s number one search engine, Bing is the default search engine for millions upon millions of devices throughout the world. If you don’t use Bing Places to reach these customers, you’re effectively leaving money on the table.
Are There Any Disadvantages To Using Bing Places?
Obviously, there are plenty of great advantages to using Bing Places. But are there any disadvantages you should be aware of?
The only real downsides to Bing Places are the downsides that come with Bing itself. For example, the fact that fewer people use it means that you won’t get as many customers from Bing Places as you will from Google My Business.
And Bing’s algorithm is also less advanced than Google’s. So you may need to tweak certain things (like your keyword density) to get better Bing results that don’t necessarily get you better Google results.
Ultimately, though, these are small headaches to pay in exchange for potentially reaching thousands or even millions more customers than you otherwise would… for free.
You Don’t Have To « Pick A Team »
It’s almost impossible to talk about Bing Places without talking about Google Business Profile. And here’s an open secret: Google is almost always a better option, both in terms of helping customers find your business and helping your business reach more customers.
But here’s the thing: you are under no obligation to “pick a team.” If you set up a Bing Places For Business account, it doesn’t mean that you can’t set up a Google Business Profile account (or vice versa).
While it may take some time to tweak everything until it is “just right,” it generally only takes about 30 minutes to set both of these things up. That means if you have an hour to spare, you can establish a presence on both Google My Business and Bing Places For Business.
Now that you know a bit more about how all of this works and the benefits of using Bing Places, let’s take a closer look at the steps you’ll need to follow to set everything up.
With Direction Local, you can easily set up and optimize business profiles on Bing Places for Business, Google Business Profile, and 125+ additional directories used by 97% of U.S. Consumers in less than an hour.
Interested in learning more? Contact our team to schedule your 15-minute demo!
How to Set Up Your Profile on Bing Places for Business
They say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And in this case, your Bing Places journey begins with you simply creating your account!
Step 1: Create Your Account
To get started, you simply visit the Bing Places website and then click on “New User.” This will walk you through the brief steps you need to take to create an account.
Once you have established an account, you can go to the Business Search Page. And depending on what you find there, setting up your Bing Places may be easier than you imagined.
Step 2: Claiming Your Business
Here’s some good news: establishing your Bing Places may be even easier than you thought. That is because when you search for your business on Bing, it may already have been added. In that case, all you need to do is claim it.
Just click on the option to claim the business and verify that you own the business. After that, you can begin editing what is there and adding all of the important information.
Below, we’re going to walk you through some of the important information to include. And we’re also going to guide you through different strategies to optimize Bing Places for maximum results.
Step 3: Adding Basic Info (Name, Address, Phone Number)
Next up, you need to add the basic details to your listing. This includes things like your business name, address, phone number, and your website.
Of course, you can always choose to withhold certain information. If you own a business and work from home, chances are that you should be wary of giving other people your home address. In that situation, you might also be wary of giving people your phone number, preferring instead to direct prospective customers to your website.
Keep in mind, though, that the more information you provide to customers, the likelier they are to make a purchase.
Step 4: Get the Location Just Right
One of the biggest reasons to add your business information to Bing Places is that it helps customers to find your brick-and-mortar store location (assuming that you have one). Because of this, it may be worth your time to move your pin on the Bing Maps if the location is inaccurate.
Based on the address info you provided earlier, the system will place a pin on the map to represent your location. But you may want to adjust this slightly. For example, you might wish to direct customers to a nearby parking lot instead of directly to the center of your business.
Just click on “move map pin” and make any adjustments that you need to. Click “submit” and you are good to go!
Step 5: Adding a Business Category
One bit of information Bing Places will ask you about is your business category. It’s important to add this category because this is how many customers will discover your business.
Here’s how it works: Bing Places has preset categories you must choose from. In most cases, these are simple categories such as “barbeque restaurant” or “plumbers.” It’s a fairly long list of categories, so you should be able to find the one that best reflects your business.
How do customers use these categories? Basically, Bing tries to detect when a customer wants local search results, like when they search for “local plumbers.” If your business is in the “plumbers” category, it may appear when the customer completes a search.
At this point, the customer must choose which local plumber they wish to hire. And this is where your business description comes in.
Step 6: Writing a Business Description
In the same section that you add a business category, you can add a description for the business. This is one of the most important things to fill out for Bing Places, but it’s also hard to get it right.
On one hand, this is the first and only area where you might convince someone on the fence to give your business a chance. So you may be tempted to write down quite a bit of info in order to be more persuasive.
On the other hand, people using Bing to search for solutions probably want quick solutions to their problems. If they see a really long description, they may think “I don’t have time to read all of that” and check out your competition instead.
The solution? Treat this description like an elevator pitch where you tell customers what your business can do for them. It’s also a good place to tell customers what your major services and products are like and any specializations you have or awards you have one.
But just as a good elevator pitch is 60 seconds or less, a good description will provide key information very quickly and in few sentences. All you can do is strike a good impression and hope the customers are impressed. And make sure all details are accurate!
Step 7: Adding Photos and Rich Data
By now, you’re probably ready to verify your business. But there is some other info you need to provide before we can do so.
For example, you can add your email address and social media info. This can send customers to your different social media accounts on top of giving them your email address. We call this type of information, “Rich Data.”
You also need to add photos to get customers’ attention. The sky is the limit here, so you may want photos that show off different products and services you offer. For example, a restaurant may want to have pictures of menus, pictures of food, and pictures of the staff hard at work. More importantly, however, you want to include exterior and interior photos of your place of business. This sends trustworthy signals to users, and greatly assist wayfinding when a customer requests directions.
Keep in mind, though, that the first photo you upload in this process will be the main image for the company listing on Bing Places. For this reason, we recommend you use a company logo or other imagery that will be instantly recognizable.
Finally, if you haven’t already done so, make sure to add contact hours to your listing.
Step 8: Verifying Your Bing Places for Business Profile
Now it’s all over but the waiting! You need to choose how to verify your info with Bing Places and then wait up 5-6 business days (give or take) for verification to complete.
Verification will take longest if you choose to have Bing send you a verification postcard. If you want quicker verification, tell Bing you wish to verify through website, email, or phone.
Once you are verified, it may take up to 14 days for all of the information to show up in Bing searches. After that, you’re good to go.
Our guide above should help you craft an optimized Bing Places for customers. But there are a few more strategies you can use to make your listing even better.
For example, make sure your business hours include opening hours and any special holiday hours. Bing will go out of its way to tell users which businesses are “open” when they search, so accurate hours are very important.
If you use Facebook, it’s worth it to integrate your Bing Places with your Facebook. This will send important Bing Places info (including things affecting your listing) to you via Facebook.
Finally, you should add any special deals or discounts to your listing. You can use this to offer free trials, special discounts for online users, and even special deals (like the classes “buy 10, get 1 free” deal).
Bing Places For Business: Your Next Move
Now you know what you can do with Bing Places for Business. But do you know who can help you master local SEO?
Here at Direction, we specialize in helping businesses just like yours reach their full potential. To see what we can do for your business, simply contact us today!
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