Bing has decided to give Google a run for its money in the local space with the introduction of the Bing Business Portal.
The new portal (to replace the Local Listing Centre) will allow business owners to reach out to their customers more effectively. They can not only create and control their online listings but also create offers & deals and promote them to Bing users on desktop & mobile for free.
The portal promises to provide detailed information about a business with better matches between a customers search and Bing’s listing – ultimately resulting in potentially more traffic to any local business.
If you’re already a Bing Local Listing Centre user, you will be automatically shifted to the Bing Business Portal.
Here is how Bing’s Andy Chu explains the new features of the portal:
Claim Your Listings
To help you control the information that shows up about your business in a Bing local search result, just quickly and easily claim your business listing on Bing. All you need to do is use the link on your local listing page or visit www.bing.com/businessportal. You can either claim your listing by phone or PIN (sent through postal mail).
Enhance and Manage Your Listings
Once you’ve confirmed your identity as the owner of the business listing, you can add more details such as: photos, a logo, parking availability, languages spoken, holiday hours, payment types accepted, and select categories for your business to appear in. You can even add links to your Website, Facebook page, and Twitter URL.
Create Deals and Offers
Consumers love a good deal, and promotions are a great way to help boost sales. With Bing Business Portal you can easily create a discount coupon, promotion or rebate. Using the Deal Editor, you can specify an offer category, a type (dollar amount, dollars off, percentage off, etc.), add information describing the offer (photos, expiration, disclaimer, etc.), and then promote the offer on Bing search results, your business listing page and Facebook page – all for free.
There are more details on the Bing Business Portal here.
So what do you think – does this announcement make Bing more of a local player or will Google continue to take this title?