Bing Releases New Local Listings Reporting Insights
With almost 8% of the search engine market share worldwide, Bing is a solid runner-up to Google. But because of the wide disparity between first and second place, the search industry often loses track of the intricacies and potential value of its services. But when it comes to Bing Maps, our ignorance could always be be chalked up to Bing’s lack of insight data.
For much of Bing’s existence, it hasn’t provided the information needed to analyze what users are doing when they use Bing Maps as well as what they’re doing once they reach your business profile. Sure, we can combine referring site traffic data from analytics reporting with general search engine volume data, but those methods of analysis still left major gaps in our understanding of the service. But with the release of the updated production environment for the Bing Places API, Bing hopes those gaps have been filled.
A Big Step In the Right Direction
As always, it’s natural and necessary to compare Bing’s developments with Google. Google provides valuable listings insights for their Google My Business (GMB) Pages, including page visits, driving directions and phone calls to your stores.
Prior to the development of a GMB API, Location3 was the first company to provide rollup GMB Insights for franchise systems. We have always prioritized validating every initiative in our local marketing model mix, and we believe that empowering decision making for franchise system marketing initiatives is what drives success across the brand. That’s why we are so excited about the reporting insights now available with the new Bing Places API.
What New Data Is Available?
Having completed preliminary testing in the sandbox environment of the Bing Places API for Businesses, we are now preparing to release the new Bing Business Listing Insights. The new insights are well aligned with what Google provides and will allow for a better comparison of the two search engines’ local user engagements. They also will help gain a better understanding of the overall volume of user engagement on search engines in general.
The new insights data include:
- Impressions breakouts by device type
- Business profile clicks
- Website clicks (which will be nice for comparing against tagged referring site traffic from Bing)
- Photo engagements
- Driving directions to your business
- Click-to-call phone calls to your business, and source breakouts. e.g. Search, Maps, Voice.
How Can You Use These New Insights?
To date, the only map listing insight that could be gleaned from Bing Places pages was business impression count (number of times your business appeared in Bing search results). That data was only available on a week-to-week basis for a maximum of 12 weeks prior. With those limitations, it has always been difficult to draw any correlations for maps engagement levels.
Drawing insights from map listings engagement can be extremely valuable for evaluating against a franchise system’s other online marketing efforts (social media promotions paid search campaigns) and offline marketing efforts (local or national TV video ad buys). Another application is simply for comparing local user engagement volume against other local search engines or mapping applications like Facebook Pages or Apple Maps.
Kudos to our partners on the Bing Places for Business team for moving Bing local listings to the next level. You can be on the lookout for Bing Place Insights to release in your LOCALACT reporting dashboard next month!