How to set up your Google My Business and Bing Places accounts

Nivo Digital

10 June 2020

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The more information you can directly give to search engines, the better. So setting up your Google and Bing accounts should be top of your list when it comes to promoting your business. It doesn’t take long, and when someone searches for you specifically, Google will display the information you’ve provided in a Knowledge Panel:

Setting up Google My Business

You should set up your Google account first. Make sure you keep a note of exactly how you write your business name, address and phone number. When you start setting up local citations, you need to be consistent with this information.

Go to www.google.com/business and click on the Start Now button.

You’ll be asked for your business name – if there is an existing listing with this name, it will pop up. If not, you’ll be able to create a new business with the name.

  • Add your business address details. You’ll be taken to a map to verify the location, where you can move the pin to the exact location of your business.
  • You then need to choose a category for your business. If Google doesn’t have a category that you think is the right fit, take a look at what categories your competitors have selected and pick the most applicable on of those. While you can pick multiple categories, don’t add them just for the sake of it. Pick the most relevant to your business and only add extras if you genuinely fall into more than one business type.
  • Add your phone number and web address (if you don’t, people won’t be able to get hold of you).

When you have completed everything, you will have to verify the business. This can sometimes be through a phone call, but more often will involve Google sending a postcard to the address you registered. The postcard has a verification code that you’ll need to enter next time you log in. Do this as soon as you receive it, otherwise the code will expire and you’ll need to request a new one.

Once you have verified your account you can start to add more information to your account, including opening hours, photographs, and a description of your business.

  • Opening hours are in the knowledge panel, so make sure you include them accurately. When people conduct a local search, knowing that you’re open can make the difference between a conversion and a bounce.
  • Optimise your GMB page with compelling images (using image names related to your business and keywords), and keep checking back to make sure the information is always up to date. Sometimes people add suggestions for edits to your information. Google will usually email you to confirm the information, but it’s sensible to double check that nothing has been changed.
  • Google Posts is a micro blogging platform within GMB, where you can add mini status updates that will show up in the knowledge panel. This increases the volume of information you have on show and offers another opportunity to attract people’s interest, without taking much time or effort, so it’s worth playing with this feature.

Setting up Bing Places

Although Google is the bigger search engine, you shouldn’t forget about Bing. It’s estimated to cover around 20% of searches, and the more online optimisation you do, the better. Plus, with fewer businesses bothering to optimise for Bing, you’ve got more opportunities to rank higher.

If you set up your Google My Business page before your Bing page, you can import the information. You should wait until you’ve completed your Google verification, as this means you are automatically verified on Bing, saving time.

Visit https://www.bingplaces.com/ and click ‘Get Started’.

Choose to import from Google My Business, allow access to your Google account, and your