At last check, roughly 66% of search is conducted through Google. Understandably, search engine optimization has come to mean Google optimization for many business owners. But if a third of your prospective customers are not using Google, it’s worth taking a serious look at the number two search engine – Bing.
Local businesses should first become acquainted with Bing Local. For most, Bing Local will look pretty familiar. Just as local businesses that index in Google Maps have Google+ Local Pages – formerly known as Google Place Pages – Bing has its equivalent. Most businesses with a physical address will find that they already have a Bing Local listing, which can be claimed through the Bing Business Portal.
Upon claiming your listing, the action steps for search optimization are, again, very similar to Google+ Local. Recommended steps include filling out the profile to completion; adding photos; ensuring name, address, and phone number are accurate; and building citations. For a more comprehensive breakdown of these action steps, check out this helpful introduction to Bing Local Optimization.
The first thing you need to know about Bing reviews is that there is no such thing. Instead of hosting their own reviews like Google+ Local, Bing Local listings display review snippets and ratings pulled from third-party review sites. While Bing’s partnership with Yelp! has been widely publicized, Bing Local listings also draw reviews content from Citysearch.
Local Search is increasingly being conducted on mobile devices. Fresh from last week’s Local Social Summit, BrightLocal.com CEO Myles Anderson had two interesting pieces of data to share on the subject:
While it is anyone’s guess what the shift toward mobile search means for Google’s dominance in the long run, Apple’s latest iteration of their iphone operating system, ios6, does not support the Google Maps app. In its place, Apple trotted out its own competing maps app, to which the response has been resoundingly negative. With no Google Maps app and Apple’s own product struggling, Bing’s iphone app presents a compelling alternative.
In recognition of the void left by Apple and Google, tech experts have taken a closer look at the Bing iphone app as a viable alternative. Geeksugar.com, for example, published an article detailing six features that make Bing standout in the maps race. In fact, Apple themselves endorsed the Bing app as an alternative in their public apology letter. A move that is credited with precipitating an uptick in interest in the Bing iphone app.
Aside from optimizing for search in the second most popular search engine, Bing Local optimization also bears the potential to leverage mobile search. As you can see below, reviews make Bing Local listings more competitive in app searches as well.