Microsoft’s Answer to Google Places: Bing Business Portal

The Bing Business Portal offers local businesses a new, improved space to promote online.

The local search game just got a little hotter as of earlier this week. On Monday, Bing announced the launch of the Bing Business Portal (BBP), a revamped version of its old local listing service, the Bing Local Listing Center. Offering a wealth of new features, the BBP puts Bing in a better position to compete with Google Places, Google's local listing service.

With The BBP, local business owners (or their designated representatives) can claim and enhance their listings with additional content such as special offers and links to Facebook and Twitter. Here's a rundown of what you can do with your Bing Business Portal listing:

· Claim, create, verify and manage local business listings

· Add search categories to listings

· Enhance listings with logos, photos and more

· Create a mobile website for easy mobile access

· Create a scan-able QR Code for your listing

· Create coupons using a deal editor and promote them on Bing (PC and mobile) and Facebook

Although many of these features are standard on Google Places, the deal editor and the mobile listings are innovations that can help business owners get a leg up on the local competition as online coupons and mobile search are both very hot right now.

To claim listings, business owners (or their authorized reps) can do so by phone or using a PIN sent through the mail. The verification process usually takes about 48 to 72 hours.

If you're concerned about your Bing Local listing, there's no need to worry; all listings have been transferred over to the new BBP format. However, now, of course, there are plenty of new features to take advantage of.

With Bing searches now comprising 30 percent of all Internet searches in the U.S., it's becoming more and more important for local businesses to list on this growing network. CyberMark can help create or enhance Bing listings that highlight your local business in SERPs. Contact us to find out more.

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