How can I improve my performance in local search using Google My Business and Bing Places for Business?

When users search for local businesses using Google or Bing (eg using a search like "pizza Penrith" or "cafe Carlisle"), they are likely to be shown some Google or Bing local listings in addition to the usual search results. These listings are often displayed on a map near the top of the search results page.

Google has for several years had a service where local businesses can set up a listing to help them get more prominence in these local searches. This service has gone through various changes and is now called Google My Business.

Bing has a similar service called Bing Places for Business.

Getting a local listing on these services is likely to help your business appear in these local search results.

Being in control over the listing for your business will enable you to:

  • add more information to the listing
  • add photos to the listing
  • respond to any reviews left by users
  • add a link from your listings to your website - this can help drive traffic to your website

Some businesses, especially businesses that have been running for several years, may already have listings. These listings may have been set up by other people connected to the business or sometimes listings may have been created automatically from other directories. If your business has a listing but you don't have control over that listing, you may need to "claim" the listing.

Your business will fall into one of these categories:

  • the business has a listing, and you can control it ie you have the relevant login details
  • the business has a listing, but you do not currently control it
  • the business doesn't have a listing

1. Business has a listing, and you can control it:

If you set up the listing yourself, or still have the login details used to control the listing, you should be able to log in as follows:

for Google My Business:

for Bing Places for Business:

2. Business has a listing, but you do not currently control it

You can try to "claim" the existing listing.

for Google My Business:

  • go to https://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/business/
  • click "Manage now"
  • log in with a Google account (Google uses the same login details to control all their services eg Gmail, YouTube, Google Analytics, Google Search Console. So, if you have a Google account connected with your business, log in with the email address and password used for that account)
  • you are then prompted to "Find and manage your business"
  • search using your business name
  • once you've found the listing, you will be presented with your options for claiming and verifying the listing
  • this page gives more information: https://support.google.com/business/answer/2911778

for Bing Places for Business:

  • go to https://www.bingplaces.com/
  • click "New user - get started and claim your business"
  • you then have 2 options: "Import from Google My Business" or "Claim or add your business manually"
  • click "Claim or add your business manually"
  • you will then be prompted to search for the listing by selecting a business type (eg "Small or medium business") and then a business name and location
  • the existing listing should then be shown
  • and you can click "Claim and edit details"
  • you will then be prompted to log in (eg using an account you already use in connection with the business for other Microsoft services)
  • and you should then "verify" the business. You will be prompted to choose a verification method - this might be eg by telephone to the business's landline number, you'll receive an automated phone call providing a verification code which can be entered at the Bing website
  • this page has more information: https://www.bingplaces.com/Home/MoreFAQ

3. Business doesn't have a listing

for Google My Business:

  • go to https://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/business/
  • click "Manage now"
  • log in with a Google account (Google uses the same login details to control all their services eg Gmail, YouTube, Google Analytics, Google Search Console. So, if you have a Google account connected with your business, log in with the email address and password used for that account)
  • when prompted to "Find and manage your business", click the link below to "Add your business to Google"
  • you will then be prompted to supply the business name and more information
  • this page gives more information: https://support.google.com/business/answer/2911778

for Bing Places for Business:

  • go to https://www.bingplaces.com/
  • click "New user - get started and claim your business"
  • you then have 2 options: "Import from Google My Business" or "Claim or add your business manually"
  • choose one of those options and continue through the process to add and verify your business
  • this page has more information: https://www.bingplaces.com/Home/MoreFAQ

Search engine market share

Google has for many years been the market leader amongst search engines. According to StatCounter, Bing's share of search traffic in November 2020 was just 5% compared to 93% for Google. You can see the latest UK stats here:
https://gs.statcounter.com/sea...

Photo: Mark Melling

"My background is in marketing and I’m focused on building clear and effective websites."

Mark Melling

Interact Partners Ltd

01768 631001

info@interactpartners.com