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In Challenge To Google Places, Microsoft Launches “Bing Business Portal” For SMBs
This morning Microsoft is launching the “Bing Business Portal” (BBP). It replaces the the Bing Local Listing Center, and all listings already there have already been migrated over.
The BBP allows local business owners or their agents or designated representatives to claim and enhance listings with additional content including deals. Business owners can also add links to Facebook and Twitter.
Here’s what you can do in the Bing Business Portal:
- Claim, create, verify, and manage local business listings
- Identify key search categories where you want your listing to appear
- Customize listings with enhanced details such as logos, photos, and more
- Create a mobile Web site (and free QR Code) so customers can learn about your business on their mobile devices
- Create a custom menu (restaurants and bars) for inclusion on a mobile menu
- Create Deals (coupons) and promote them for free on Bing (both PC and Mobile) and Facebook
- Authorize other users to manage your listings
Business owners claim listings by phone or using a PIN that’s sent through conventional mail. The content should then go live in 48 to 72 hours. Microsoft is working on speeding up that process however.
Mobile website creation and the ability to generate deals and offers are standout features of the new BBP. Bing offers a deal editor that guides business owners through the deal-creation process but gives them control over terms.
Deals then receive PC and mobile distribution. As you recall Bing just added deals to its HTML mobile website (m.bing.com) and soon will to its various mobile apps. Deals can also be automatically published to Facebook.
Microsoft is considering a range of additional features and enhancements that would roll out over the next several months. One question is: how much human support will Microsoft provide to local business owners and their agencies? Many local marketers have been frustrated by Google’s very mixed track record on Google Places support and customer service.
Here are more BBP FAQs.