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How to Create and Optimize Your Bing Local Business Listing-Setup a Bing Local Business Listing

Tue, Jan 25, 2011

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By Bonnie Worthington

Getting a Bing Local business listing is much like going through the process of creating a Google Places Page or Yahoo Local business listing. You must first have a Windows Live account and also, you must create your business listing account.

To create your Bing Local Business Account, go to http://ssl.bing.com/listings/BusinessSearch.aspx. From there, Bing needs to know if there is already a listing created for you, so you are required to fill out a form to name your business. The space available for you to name your business is 100 characters, which is quite a bit of room, so here you can use a few keywords. My suggestion for all of the fields that have character allowances within a text box is to type your information into a word processing program first so you can use the character count tool, before you copy and paste it into each text box. In this way, you can use the optimal number of characters.

After the business name, fill out the required address fields. You will be given the option later to hide your business address. For right now, they need the address information in order to search their records for a current listing. When the address information is filled out, click the “Check your listing” button.

The next screen will tell you if your business is listed with them or not. If it is not, you will begin creation of your listing shortly. If it is, you will claim your listing. At this point, if you do not have a Windows Live account, you will be asked to create one. (Having a Windows Live account in order to use Bing products is like having a Google account in order to use Google Products). It’s a basic form and this information is not used on our local business listing. This process requires an email validation in order to activate your account.

If you lose the page for creating your listing during this process, you can get there again by using the link listed above and then click “Continue” to add your listing.

Once you click the continue button, you will be taken to the form to be filled out for your local business listing. This is a detailed form with some great opportunities for optimization. The form starts with basic information at the end of which you can choose to hide your business address. Look for the little check box that says, “Don’t display my listings address.”

Below the basic information section is supplemental information fields that you can optimize. You can put a supplemental phone number if you have more than one, but the real gem here is the ability to add links to your website or other places on the web that contain information about you. I like the idea of adding inbound links to your internal website pages. Your listing automatically contains your homepage address if you supplied it earlier, so here is your chance to add other url’s to deeper pages within your website. For instance on my SEO-Search Engine Optimization by Bonnie Worthington listing, I added a link to my “rates,” “services,” “blog,” and “contact” pages within my website.

Next, add your contact email address, hours of operation and also you can upload up to ten photos. These photos have to be uploaded from your computer, so make sure the images are named well with keywords if possible (In other words, don’t upload a photo named Img04985737393, but one named using keywords if possible).

In the section below your photographs, you will add your year established if you want that on your business listing, and below that there are some fields that have great optimization opportunity. You can leave any field blank and it won’t show up on your listing.

The first field with a text box under additional information is the “Company Tagline” field. This field is akin to your business name and allows 150 additional characters.

The Business Description field is one of the most valuable fields on your listing. It allows 1,000 characters for you to add any description of your business you wish. Remember to open a word processing program and create your description first, using as many characters and possible prior to copying and pasting it into the description box. Use important and relative keywords applicable to your business for these fields. If you are at a loss, you can always copy and paste from descriptions from your social media or your website.

The Brands and Specialties fields are areas you can use to fine-tune your listing. If you carry specific brands, list them. If you have specialties in your field, list them in the specialties box, using as many relative keywords as possible without keyword stuffing. Don’t be spammy. Each of these two fields allows 200 characters.

Below Brands and Specialties is Professional Affiliations where you would list any associations to which you belong.

Next, choose the languages that apply to your business and parking options. You can also name key people in your organization and the pertinent contact information for each person. Just click the add buttons.

Toward the end of your listing, choose the categories that apply to your business. To do this search within the “keywords search box” and click search to come up with categories that are close to your business. You can choose up to six categories and move them around your list in order of importance.

After your categories are chosen, you get to preview your listing, accept the terms of service agreement, and then submit your listing. Often, Bing will send you a letter to the address on your Bing Local Business Listing. When you receive the letter, follow the directions given in the letter to verify your listing. You can check and make changes in your listing within the listing center.

Having your business listed in the local listings on the major search engines is a free way to market your business and help you connect with customers searching for you.

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