Optimizing Your Business’ Bing Local Listing
This week on the Blue Corona blog, we’re going to be talking about the web’s second largest search engine, Bing. More specifically – let’s talk about getting your Bing Local listing in order as part of your local SEO strategy. If you haven’t had a chance yet, go take a look at our Definitive Guide to Local SEO (with the handy checklist).
The guide contains just about all that you need to get a barebones Local SEO plan in place and spanning nearly 2,000 words, it’s pretty comprehensive on getting started. Today’s article is focused on drilling down and optimizing Bing to it’s best to help you win online.
Yes – not nearly as many people search on Bing, but, it is one of the fifteen key directories that influence how well your NAP citations are, online. The process is pretty simple, but we have a few key tricks along the way. Let’s get started.
Claiming/Optimizing Your Listing
Step one in this whole process is claiming a listing on Bing. Head on over to: https://www.bingplaces.com/DashBoard/Home and we’ll get this whole process started. If you’ve never claimed a Bing listing before, this is the best first step. If you have, skip down to the section, Optimizing your Profile to learn more about that. If you have ten or more locations, be patient – we’ll have another guide just for you.
As of early 2016, this is what the search feature to claim your listing looks like:
You really have two options to search for an existing business with Bing Places, by phone number or by name and location. We prefer using Name & Location since a few times we’ve seen it pull the wrong phone number. Usually Name and Zip are enough to get the process started.
Here’s a quick look at our search results:
If your business comes up – just click “Claim this business”. If yours doesn’t show, click on “Create new Business” and skip to that section below.
Now Microsoft, in all of their infinite wisdom, is going to make you either login with the inexistent Microsoft account you have, or make you create one. I had to go create one, and I work at an internet marketing company! Sheesh. If you’re getting the runaround by the login process, you can just go here: https://signup.live.com/signup to sign up for a new account.
Once you’ve logged in – you’re going to go through five steps:
- Basic Profile Information
- Categories & Description
- Contact Information
- Business Hours
For the most – part, this should be all about double checking all of your listing information to make sure it matches what your other listing information.
[su_note]BEFORE YOU MOVE ON – READ THIS:
As we mentioned in our Definitive Guide to Local SEO, getting the Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) right is rule #1 of Local SEO. If you are unsure of the exact business spelling that you have in other directories, I recommend Googling your company name and copying that information – EXACTLY The same.[/su_note]
When you’re entering the Basic Profile information, pay special attention to the business name and address. Those are going to need to match up with the other NAP citations that you have.
Here’s a quick look at what all of ours looks like. Since we have an office as part of several, it’s important to make sure the line 2 is just right.
Next up is selecting your category.
Trick #1 here is to select multiple categories for your business. Then, make sure to choose one of those categories as your “Primary” category. In the description field – make sure to add in a professionally written description of your website. A good, quick, recommendation would be to add a piece of your “about us” page here.
Now –it’s time for all of your contact details:
Make sure that your phone number here matches the NAP of your other citations. Add in as much information to this page as you cal. If you have a website, email address, Facebook, Twitter, additional phone number, be sure to add ALL of them to this page. That’s how you’ll get your completeness score to go up!
It’s time to add photos of your business, in this next step.
We recommend putting AT LEAST 3 photos of your business in here. You can always put up one of your logo, one of your trucks, and one of a completed job. More photos = more complete profile. Most small business owners skip out on this and it’s up to you to make sure that you’re ahead of the pack.
Also – don’t forget to set a primary photo. We like logos that highlight your company. If you don’t have that, the clearest photo of a person is a great second bet.
Last step, it’s time to set your business hours:
It’s important to set the correct and appropriate business hours here. If you offer after hours service, you can certainly extend hours, but don’t trick customers to believing you’re open, when you’re not.
Now it’s time to submit!
Create New Business
If you’ve optimized your existing listing, you can skip down to “VERIFY”.
To create a new business, Bing is going to start you off by signing in first. If you don’t have an account, go here: https://signup.live.com/signup to sign up for a new account.
Once you’re in – then Bing’s setup process is pretty easy:
Start off by adding in as much of your basic information as you can:
[su_note]BEFORE YOU MOVE ON – READ THIS: As we mentioned in our Definitive Guide to Local SEO, getting the Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) right is rule #1 of Local SEO. If you are unsure of the exact business spelling that you have in other directories, I recommend Googling your company name and copying that information – EXACTLY The same.[/su_note]
As you’ll see in the example below – The suite # is different between the Google Listing and the Bing listing. This is a BIG no-no. You want them to be IDENTICAL.
Next – Add in your categories, we recommend choosing at least one, if not three categories that describe your business. For Blue Corona, we really only have two that fit for us, but for our contractor clients (especially HVAC) we see several different categories that are applicable. In the description, I’d recommend taking your professionally written about us page (you have one of those, right?) and use a paragraph or two from that into the description.
In the contact details section – make sure to add in your phone number that is the one that is in your Google Listing too. I’d actually also recommend to add your Facebook page link to the profile to connect all of your NAPs together.
Now – it’s time to add in photos of your business. I just uploaded one of my ugly mug (it isn’t nice and square, either) for an example. Our first trick here is to upload at LEAST three photos of your business. Ten being optimal. Put up at least one photo of one of your trucks, one of your logo, and one of a sign or an installed/fixed product. That way you’re describing what your company is, visually, to Bing.
Last, but certainly not least, is adding in the business hours to your profile. If you have 24×7 service, definitely put that one in there. If you “offer” 24×7 service, but keep 9-5 business hours, we recommend you put in your actual business hours as well. These are important for customers to know. Yes – putting in 24×7 is going to probably get you the call at 9PM on a Saturday night since it will tell the customer that you’re “open”. But if you’re not going to service that call – or only if it’s going to be a replacement call, then we don’t recommend you put it in there.
Then – it’s time to submit!
Verifying your Listing
Bing has several different ways of verifying your listing, but we recommend the phone verification feature as it’s almost instantaneous. You can do the old fashioned post-card method, but you know how that stuff gets lost in the mail.
Be ready – once you hit Verify by phone it’s going to call, immediately. Listen to the automate message that will tell you your six-digit verification pin. Once you do that, you’ll get this:
Now – keep in mind, once you have it verified, it doesn’t mean that it’s published. Bing will give you a notification as to when they expect it to be published. I recommend that you put a meeting on your calendar for that date and check back in when you’re to expect it, in case something goes wrong.
Summary and etc.
Bing Local optimization follows the same process as most of the other directory sites out there. You want to make sure that you’re using the EXACT SAME NAP (Name, Address, Phone) on that one as your other ones.
When in doubt, Google yourself. Our big tricks with Bing are to select multiple categories, make sure your description is well written, and publish at least three photos of your company.
Following all of the steps should get you a verified listing and within two weeks, you’ll have yet another directory ready. If you’re interested in learning more about Local SEO, check out our Definitive Guide to Local SEO, where we cover more on Bing Local, as well as Google, Facebook, and the 12 other major directory sites.
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