Google has search engine competitors that also offer local search platforms. Bing, a newcomer to the search engine game, was recently developed by Microsoft. Bing’s Business Portal also known as BBP allows companies to easily create searchable business profiles. Similar to other local search engines, BBP listings appear on a map near the top of Bing’s Search listings. Listings on Bing Local are free, and they can be updated at any time. You can also add multiple locations if you have several different stores or branches.
It’s a good idea to get your business listed in Bing Local now, while people are still focused on Google. Currently, Bing does not have the large market share Google enjoys (15% versus 65%), but its innovative algorithms and technologies are causing steady growth. Bing’s slowly increasing share of overall searches, will still deliver a solid number of online customer leads. As Bing Local grows its market, your business will be positioned to explode, while many of your competitors struggle to keep up.
Microsoft’s Bing Local Business Portal is easy to setup and optimize to start generating online leads. By following simple tips, businesses can gain an edge over competition. In internet marketing, the “early bird” that grabs market share first, will often develop an advantage that can extend well into the future. These tips are pretty obvious to experienced marketers, but many local businesses fail to check their listings for consistency, correctness, and areas that can be extended or enhanced.
To take advantage of Bing Local, start by claiming your listing. This allows a business owner to validate the accuracy of information, and to establish trust ranking with the search engine. Make sure basic business contact information is consistent across all online citation sites. Provide as many details as possible including business name, contact number, website and physical address.
It is important to add days & hours of operation as Bing Local business profiles include a “Business Open Sign” icon, which helps to provide even more differentiation. Bing search queries are also more likely to return results of business that have images associated with the listing. Completing this basic information, allows the search engine to be confident that the results they return are accurate.
Make sure to include categories that match your business and its associated keywords. When local search keywords match the assigned categories, the listing has a much higher ability to rank. Additionally, Bing specialties act as subcategories that help to further signify relevance of your business.
One of the most difficult issues for local search engines is identifying which businesses have expired and should be removed from the database. Businesses that provide signals indicating they’re active are more likely to appear prominently for searchers. Possible signals a business is active include making sure information is current, offering deals or special offers, and having customers provide reviews.
Reviews not only let potential customers learn about your company, but also show Bing Local that customers are currently interacting with your company. Since customer reviews can be tracked, Bing Local is able to recognize that customers are actively using the listing to find the goods and services they want.
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