Table of Contents
- Bing? Seriously?
- What is Bing Places for Business?
- Find and Claim Your Shop’s Listing
- Enter Your Facility’s Details
- Verify Your Details
- Invite Staff Members or Your Marketing Partner to Manage Your Account
- Final Thoughts
While Google is the dominant search engine that most people use, some of your collision repair prospects are using Bing to find body shops. If you want people to be able to find your shop on those Bing searches, then it pays to add your shop to Bing Places for Business.
Bing is the second largest search engine worldwide, and in 2021 it had a 5.97% share of the US search engine market.
Who are these people using Bing to search the internet? It’s hard to say precisely, but it seems to be people who get a computer and never change the default settings.
For example, let’s say you get a new Dell computer. It’s likely going to come with Windows and the default browser will be set to Microsoft Edge. Furthermore, the default search engine will be set to Bing. If you use the Cortana voice assistant to search… Bing.
Microsoft Office products have Bing search integrated into them, like Word or Teams, and so do Xbox game consoles.
So even if you don’t consciously choose to use Bing, chances are you’ve used it anyway.
What is Bing Places for Business?
Bing Places is Microsoft’’s free business directory platform. It’s similar to your Google Business Profile, though not as popular.
You can use the lack of popularity to your advantage. There’s a decent chance your competitors aren’t listed there, or they haven’t claimed and completed their listings, so by claiming your listing, your shop can stand out.
When someone searches for a body shop your listing can appear in the Bing Search results page in the “map pack”, and on Bing Maps itself.
Find and Claim Your Shop’s Listing
To add or claim your business, visit Bing Places at https://www.bingplaces.com/
Press the “New User” button. Microsoft makes this pretty easy to get started - if you’ve already claimed your Google Business Profile, you can tell Bing to simply copy that listing over to Bing Local as a starting point.
If you haven’t done that, you can add your business manually, but make sure to create a Google Business Profile for your body shop soon.
To add it manually, you’ll first need to search for your shop to see if Bing has the listing in their system. Chances are they do have some info already, pulled from public sources. If you are listed, then press the “Claim Business” button. Otherwise, you’ll press “My business is not listed in the search results.”
Enter Your Facility’s Details
After you add or claim your listing, you can start adding or editing your business info. Update every bit of information that you can, as this will help surface your listing if it’s thoroughly completed.
If you were able to copy this over from your Google listing it should go quickly, but even adding info manually isn’t too time consuming.
Add Contact Info
Bing Places has 6 steps to add your basic business info. The first step includes making sure your business name is spelled correctly and capitalized correctly. Then add your phone, address, and website URL.
Add Category Info
Next you’ll choose which categories you want to be listed under, and choose a primary category. Most likely this will be “Auto Body Shops” but you can also add “Auto Dent Removal Service” or “Auto Detailing Service”, among others.
Then you’ll add a good description of your business. Prospects are going to see this, so use proper grammar and give them a reason to choose your shop. This should be friendly and professional.
Add Additional Business Details
The next step is asking whether you are a business that people can visit, or if you only visit customers. This dictates whether or not your business is shown on the map in a specific location. For Body Shops this is always going to be “Yes, this is a business address. Show full address in search results.”
Then you’ll choose “Business” rather than “Professional”.
Add Contact Details
Now you can enter an optional contact email address if you want customers to see one, along with your social media accounts.
Upload Your Logo and Some Photos
You’ll want to upload your logo since it will be visible on Bing Maps and Bing Search, on both desktop and mobile devices. All images must be at least 480x360 pixels, and for best results must match that width to height ratio.
Bing recommends adding the following at a minimum:
- Two photos of your business as seen from outside.
- One or more photos of your business interior - ideally showing what your customers are likely to see, such as your service desk or reception area.
- Photos of specific services, such as dent pulling, frame straightening, body work, glass repair, and so on.
- Photos of awards or events - this is a perfect place to add photos of your shop’s certification plaques.
Additionally you can add some images showing before and after images of your repairs, or shots of your team at work in the shop.
Bing also asks that you categorize the images you upload, as follows:
Enter Your Business Hours
The last step of adding your info is to simply add your business hours. This is as simple as entering Monday through Friday 7:30-5:30, or whatever hours you are open.
Verify Your Details
Before your listing can go live, you have to prove to Bing that you own or represent the business you claimed or created.
Bing offers a numbers of verification methods:
- Bing Webmaster Tools
Email, Phone, or SMS are the quickest options if you can use those. Bing Webmaster Tools is something your website developer will likely need to do for you, and a postcard is going to be the slowest method.
Invite Staff Members or Your Marketing Partner to Manage Your Account
You don’t have to manage all of this yourself. If you have office staff that you can delegate this to, there’s an option to invite them to access and manage your profile.
This is better than giving them your username and password, so if they leave the business you can just remove their access.
Also, if you work with a marketing partner like Conspicuous Digital, you can add us to manage all this on your behalf.
This option is somewhat hidden. To find it, go to the Bing Places Dashboard, and look in the scrolling banner at the top. There you’ll see a “Manage Users” button. Also, at the bottom left column of that page is another link to Manage Users.
Click that, and add the email address of anyone you want to be able to manage your listing.
While a Bing Places for Business listing isn’t the most important component of your body shop’s digital footprint, it’s still worth creating.
If you’d like help claiming or creating your Bing Places listing, get in touch today!
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