Bing is a search engine that had over 20% share of all searches in USA in 2015. If you want to better reach the people that search on Bing and have more control of what information is shown to them about your company, especially to people searching for things around your area, you can create a Bing Places profile.
This article will explain what it means to have a Bing Places profile and how to set it up.
Let’s start with an example: if I search for “Chicago Dentist”, here’s what I would find:
The first few links are from paid advertisers – these companies/people want to have the most prominent place at the top of the page and they pay for each visitor that clicks on their link.
The next section is normally a map, prompting me to zoom in on the map of area around me:
If I click on the map, I will see a list of the different Chicago dentists on the map along with their basic contact information.
If I find one that interested me, I click on the listing additional relevant information on that dentist appears, like their working hours, website, photos, and other.
To make your business appear on this map, or to have some control of what is shown on the business listing, you would need to register the business listing as your own. It will then make it easier for you to monitor the reviews that people leave you, add useful information that can make potential customers to decide to call or visit your business simply from looking at your Google Places profile, and so on.
Creating a Bing Places profile
The first requirement to be able to setup a Bing Places account is for you to already have a free Microsoft Account. If you already have it, you’ll need to login, if you don’t, you’ll need to create one. You can create one by going here: https://signup.live.com
Once the Microsoft Account is active, let’s move back to Bing Places:
- In Bing Search, type in “Bing Places” and click search. You’ll then need to find a result that says Bing Places. Or simply follow this link: https://www.bingplaces.com
- Once you are on the Bing Places website homepage, click on the large “Get Started” button.
- The next step is to “search” for your business. You can search by business name and address or by the telephone number. It might be good to try both approaches to see if Bing already has a listing for your business – so you don’t end up creating a duplicate, which may be confusing to people who will see the two.
- If you will find that your business is already listed, click on “Claim Business” link and follow the prompts to “claim” your business listing.
- If your business will not be found by Bing, you will need to create the listing. Click on “Create new business” button that shows up after your search for your business and it does not show up. The button will be available even if business with similar names are shown.
- Once you click “Create new business”, you will be taken to screen prompting you to login using your Microsoft Account. Enter your login information and click “Sign In”
- Now you are finally at a place where you enter your business information. The first step here is to enter your company’s name and contact information. You might need to adjust where the “dot” on the map appears in case if it automatically locates your business in a wrong place (it might not know the exact location of the address on the map). Click “Next” when done here.
Enter the different “categories” that your business applies to. You’ll have to search for different key words related to your business here and select the ones the apply. Take the time to search or browse through the available options. You will be able to change or add more categories at any time. Once done, click “Next”.
Next step asks for contact information. Phone number is required, but all the other fields are options. Click “Next” when done.
- Now you can publish your working hours. Click on the drop down menu item to select the most appropriate option, and enter the required information. This is important if you have a store front where people can visit, especially if you accept walk-ins. Click “Next” when done here.
- The last step is to add some photographs of your business. You can show what your building or sign looks like from the outside and add photos from inside. The idea is to show people what they may want to see in their evaluation of your company. I suggest that you post the best photos that you have – make sure they are high-resolution and show your company in a good way. Once you are done, you can still go back to other information sections by clicking the icons at the top of page, or click “Submit” to submit your information.
- Once you submit the business information, you will be asked to “verify” – this will be done via mailing you a postcard. This way Bing checks whether you really are the owner of the business and if you are at the address that you specify, helping prevent false listings and people trying to take control of listings that are not their own.
- Confirm that the address is correct and add your name to the address line. Once you click “verify now”, Bing will mail you a card with a pin number and a web address where you will need to go to enter the pin number to finalize your business listings. You can expect to receive the card within approximately a week, and at that time don’t forget to complete the Bing Places registration.
While it seems like a ton of steps, this whole process really shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes. It will provide a great advantage over your competition if they haven’t similarly registered yet. You will be able to better control your company’s online brand.
Once you will be done with the Bing Places listing, you can look into further possibilities of improving your online presence, some next steps may be:
Create a Website
There are many, many options, but if you’re looking to keep costs down, you should be able to create everything you need through Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy, or Squarespace. Even if you’ve waited this long to make a website, it’s not too late!
Setup Bing Ads
If you’ve setup your account & have a good looking website, another thing you can do is test out some “Bing Ads”. This will allow you to be one of the first results that people see when they would bing something like “Chicago Dentist”, and Bing normally gives you a free $100 worth of credit, so it’s worth it just to test!
Setup Google Places
To read about this, check out another article I wrote on setting up your business with Google Places.