If you run a local business, then there is absolutely no reason at all why you can’t take advantage of the enormous potential that internet marketing has to offer. Search engine results are a lot more locally orientated than they used to be, particularly since the rise of mobile internet usage.
Currently, about twenty percent of desktop searches are local ones, whereas more than half of all mobile searches are local. In fact Google even recently made a change to it’s algorithm, getting preference to websites that are mobile friendly. For this reason, no small local business should ignore local internet marketing tools.
Bing Places is Microsoft’s Web search engine, and although it is still nothing like as popular as Google, it is the default browser for all computers running Windows 8 and mobile device running Windows 8 Mobile. Although listing your business with Google Places is essential, you should not neglect Bing either.
Which Businesses Are Suitable for Bing Places?
While Bing Places is nothing like as widely available as Google Places (which is available in almost every country in the world), it is growing in popularity in the countries where the service works. This includes the USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Spain, Australia, Brazil, Italy and India, although more countries are likely to be added to this list in the near future.
In order to claim your business listing on Bing, you will need to have a local business with a physical location on the map. As is the case with Google Places, Bing Places is not designed for shops and services which are exclusively online.
Advantages of Bing Places for Local Businesses
Though still not nearly as popular as Google, Bing is the second-most popular search engine in the world, and using the various free services which it has to offer provides a number of benefits. Following are some of the reasons why you should have a listing on Bing Places:
- Bing is the default search engine on smartphones which run on the Windows Phone operating system. Windows Mobile recently overtook Blackberry to become the third most popular mobile operating system after Google Android and Apple iOS, and in Europe, it has just over a ten percent share of the market. Listing your business on Bing Places means that it will show up in the Windows Mobile mapping app, as well as in the Web browser search engine.
- Bing is the default search engine for desktop and tablet versions of Windows 8, and though many people continue to use Google instead, many tablet owners, as well as some desktop and laptop owners, stick to using Bing. Since the launch of Windows 8.1, Bing has become more popular due to it now being part of the Windows 8.1 integrated search feature.
- Bing provides features which allow you to create things like coupons and group discounts. You can then associate these with your business listing or even publish them on your other online marketing resources, such as social media pages.
Listing Your Business on Bing Places
Before you can list your business on Bing Places, you will need to have a Microsoft account. If you use Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8, then you probably already have one. However, you should not use a personal account for your business. Instead, create a new Microsoft account for your business. You can then set this up so that your employees can access it should they need to.
Once you have set up your account, complete the following steps to list your business. The process is very similar to listing your business on Google Places:
Step 1 – Sign into your Microsoft account and visit bingplaces.com. Click “Get started” to begin the wizard.
Step 2 – Choose your country and enter the details of your business before clicking “Search.” If your business appears, you should claim ownership of it rather than creating a new listing.
Step 3 – Complete the form in the next step to add details about your business, such as your Web address and contact information.
Step 4 – Once you have submitted the above information, you will need to wait for three to five working days to receive a PIN code. This will be sent by post to the business address you specified. This is required to verify that your business exists. The listing will then be able to go live.
So many small business owners are consumed with showing up on Google for both natural SEO and Google local that Bing often gets neglected. There is a lot of traffic to be had if you take the time to get your business set up properly on their places service.
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