Optimizing for Bing Places: Is it worth it?

Despite its limitations compared to Google Business Profile, Bing Places can be a solid source of local organic traffic for some industries. 

Chat with SearchBot

While Microsoft Bing sees nice market share gains after releasing their new Bing Chatbot feature, it still has a long way to go before it can catch up with Google’s market dominance. 

That said, we can start taking advantage of Bing’s increasing user volume. On the local SEO side, this means turning to Bing Places to test if optimizing on that platform can help generate more local traffic. 

The question is: Is spending time optimizing for Bing Places worth it? If it is worth it, what optimizations will have the biggest impact on rankings?

To find out, my team and I tested optimizing some client listings on Bing and measuring the impact.

Should you claim and optimize a Bing Places listing?

Every business should claim and set up their Bing Places listing

Single-location businesses can easily import their Google Business Profile (GBP) information to Bing. Just ensure all fields are correctly filled out. 

Bing only syncs GBP accounts with less than 10 listings, so multi-location businesses with 10+ listings must use a bulk upload file instead. 

Claiming and optimizing a multi-location business’ Bing Places listings

We started our test with a client with multiple physical locations. After claiming and optimizing their Bing Places listings (including adding keywords to the name), we saw website traffic and conversions increase almost immediately. 

Bing in GA

How did we do it? We identified all the client’s listings on Bing Places, claimed and fully optimized them to match the GBP listings. We added UTM tags to the website URLs to track all the traffic in Google Analytics. 

Some edits we made took a few attempts to stick, but ultimately, they worked. We then kicked it up a notch and tested two more advanced SEO tactics – incorporating keywords and fighting spam.

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Keywords in the business name

We wanted to test if adding keywords to the business name on Bing Places impacts rankings like adding keywords in the business name help on Google Business Profile. 

The short answer is yes. Keywords in the business name have a positive impact on rankings on Bing, too. A few days after the keywords went live, rankings increased and stabilized over time.

Bing Keyword Tracking

However, how you add those keywords matters.

We encountered instances where the name we entered in the dashboard didn’t appear on the listing.

It seems Bing has some prevention for keyword stuffing. Rather than giving you an error (the dashboard lists the keyword stuffing), it simply doesn’t display what you entered.

When we contacted Bing support about this, they told us: 

“Bing would standardize the name of the listing if the name is being spammed. Spamming includes the following examples:

  • Adding Location to the Business Name – for example, Miami Pizza London Bridge.
  • Adding former Business Names – for example, Miami Pizza, formerly Pizza Mario.
  • Keyword Stuffing in Business Name – for example, Miami Pizza – pasta, calzone, burgers, chips.
  • [Hours of operation] (HOOP) addition to Business Name – for example, Miami Pizza – open 4 PM to late.
  • Descriptive Text added to Business Name – for example, Miami Pizza – Great quality food by Chef Luigi.”

Spam fighting on Bing Maps

Anyone who uses Bing can probably tell the map search results are filled with spam listings.

It can be frustrating for business owners to see, but is the effort it takes to remove a listing from Bing Maps worth it?

First, it’s important to note there is no option to report a listing as spam on Bing Maps. The only way to take action is to suggest an edit to change certain details on a listing. 

Bing Places spam

So we tested changing a business name that was clearly keyword stuffing and found Bing doesn’t seem to take action when you edit a business name. 

We then identified some fake listings, but the only option is to report “Permanently Closed.” This only seems to work in a small number of edits.

Spending time spam fighting within Bing Maps is not worth the effort. 

Locksmith spam

If the maps related to your industry are littered with spam (i.e., locksmiths or garage door repair), it’s imperative that your Bing Places listing is correct, filled out, and has a few reviews so your business can stand out.

Optimizing for Bing Places

Despite its management limitations compared to GBP, Bing Places can be a solid source of local organic traffic for some – but not all – industries. 

If your business or client is currently getting traffic and conversions from Bing, then consider giving Bing Places a try and adding it to your local SEO strategy.


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About the author

Elizabeth Rule
Contributor
Elizabeth Rule is an expert local SEO analyst who has been working in the industry since 2015. She has a passion for content creation and loves working with local businesses to develop their website’s authority and expertise through well written, helpful content As a Google Business Profile Product Expert she is also in the unique position to help businesses crack the code to gain valuable visibility in local search maps and help solve complex GBP issues. She was nominated as one of BrightLocal's Rising Stars of Local SEO 2023. She currently works as a Local SEO Analyst at Sterling Sky, a Local SEO Agency in Canada and the USA. She is also a faculty member and speaker at Local U SEO Conference.

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