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Don't Overlook Bing Local

By Expert Author: Henry S Williams

When talking about the search engine landscape the conversation is normally dominated by Google to the point that Bing is almost overlooked entirely. Aside from gimmicky online tests (Bing It On anyone?) and gotcha-style commercials, any mention of Bing is often met with derision and even laughter. This is not very surprising, though, as Google has been on the cutting edge of search technology for years, constantly expanding its products’ reach and value. However, it is not sensible to overlook Bing Local. Let us discuss why.

Given Google’s dominance, it may be no wonder that many marketers often ignore Bing when offering local search services. However, they do so at their own peril. While Google is the search engine of choice for many, as of October 2013, Bing’s search engine market share was 18.1%. Of course, Google’s market share had been holding steady at 66.9% for the past three months, and most of Bing’s gains were at Yahoo’s expense as the company's merged search results, but 18.1% is nothing to sneeze at. People are still using Bing as a local search engine, and these people may be your customers. Therefore, advertising your business on Bing is just as important as advertising your business on Google. This is especially true when considering that Bing Local profiles appear alongside search results, just like Google+ profiles.

Many do not know that Bing is also the default search engine for devices such as Apple's Siri, the Amazon Kindle Fire, and Xbox. This means that not optimizing your listings through Bing Local means you could be potentially losing out on 18.1% of incoming traffic. Do your potential customers use apple technology, amazon kindle products or Xbox's gaming systems? If so, taking a look at Bing would be a smart idea.

We have been running a pilot program to see the effect that Bing Local listings have on phone call traffic for some of our clients. Thirty days after optimizing – this means claiming, editing, adding social media and URLs to these listings for 26 clients, we saw traffic increase by seven percent, on average, per client. Who wouldn't want a seven percent increase in traffic to their site?

So while we all know the importance of Google+ and how important G+Local is a must have for any small business or brand, Bing Local listings can also drive significant traffic to your business. If they are left unoptimized, you could be losing out on potential clients.

Search Optics Inc. is a leader in digital marketing solutions for the automotive industry. Search Optics' automotive SEO services include custom websites, search engine optimization, paid search and mobile solutions that generate leads which result in sales opportunities. Search Optics specializes in car dealer marketing and automotive SEO services.

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