Most potential customers find their local businesses by sitting down to search online. They often do so by searching for their city and the type of business they’re interested in. For example, if they live in San Francisco and need the help of a contractor, they are likely to search for “San Francisco contractors”.
More than anything else, this is how users are currently finding their service providers. As a result, it’s very important to make sure your business is well positioned to rank highly in the search engines for these specific keyword phrases.
When discussing search engine optimization, many companies focus on Google to the exclusion of all other search engines. Still, traffic to your website is important, no matter what the referral source is. That’s why making sure you optimize all your profiles – including your Bing Local profile – is so important.
So if you haven’t already, sit down and take the time to optimize your Bing Local profile in order to drive traffic to your website using the following tips:
Claim Your Business Listing
It’s very easy for businesses to set up listings that they never visit again. This can make it difficult for search engines and customers alike to determine which businesses are still in operation – or whether the information on the page is even accurate. Claiming your business listing is an easy way for you to verify that the information on your page is correct and that you’re an active participant in your business.
While you’re doing this, make sure to add a branded image to your profile and to verify that your business information is indeed correct. Check that your address, website URL and phone number are all accurate so that you can really get the most out of your Bing Local listing.
Set Your Hours of Operation
Bing Local has a great feature that allows businesses to set their hours of operation. When you’re open, an icon appears on your listing indicating you’re open. This lets customers know that they can call or visit you right away and receive an instant response. Especially if you’re open for more hours than your competitors, this is a great way to get an edge in the marketplace.
Strategically Add Categories and Specialties
Adding categories to your Bing Local business profile can help you to rank higher in search engine searches. Be sure your listing includes what category your business falls into. From there, be creative in adding all the possible descriptions for your business. For instance, if you’re a lawyer, you’d want to add the individual categories for lawyer, attorney, legal, legal services and more.
From there, look at your firm and any additional services you offer. If you have a paralegal, add that to your categories as well. This ensures that, however potential customers search for what you’re offering; you have a great shot at showing up in the search results.
In order to rank well in Bing searches, it’s important to have citations and inlinks incorporated into your profile. These citations can include links to sites like YP.com, Superpages.com, Yahoo! Local, Manta, Judy’s Book and more. Sites known as vertical directories – like Restaurants.com, Dentists.com, Contractors.com, etc. –can also help add to your citations and inlinks.
These sites are great ways to drive traffic, but they also add power to your Bing Local profile. In essence, every link your business has adds to its credibility with the search engines, earning you higher rankings. It’s worth noting, however, that in order for these citations to truly help your business profile, they should be filled out fully and accurately.
Incorporate Deals into Your Profile
Bing appears to have integrated with Groupon so that adding information on any deals you’re currently running can add oomph to your profile. You can also directly add deals into your profile through the Bing Business Profile. This lets any deals you’re running be offered directly to those who have found your profile through search. This is a great way to help convert leads into sales directly through your Bing Local profile.
Optimizing your Bing Local profile is a great way to rank higher in Bing searches. This is important when it comes to driving traffic to your website and – ultimately – cornering more of your target market. As search continues to become more important for local businesses, knowing how to and taking the time to optimize your Bing Local profile can make a major difference for your company’s success.
Are you currently using your Bing Local profile? If so, how has it helped your business?