Local Splash has recently started utilizing the Bing Local listing in our continuing mission to produce top placement for our customers across every major search engine. Bing Local is a web listing that shares many traits with other online listings, but Bing Local offers several unique options for customization and the inclusion of additional information.

For starters, Bing Local provides listings to mobile devices that use Bing as a default search engine. This will allow any listing on Bing Local to be found on a smartphone as easily as it could be found on a tablet or a computer. The user can also see how their listing will be formatted on every available medium, allowing them to tailor their listing in order to put forth the most effective presentation.

When a user selects a listing, they are treated to a rather familiar sight—a detailed description of a business or service, their contact information, reviews, and so on. The real difference between Bing Local and other search engines lies in how the user arrived at the listing itself.

While setting up a Bing Local listing in the Bing Business Portal, the incredible attention to detail is immediately apparent. A wide variety of pre-made categories (as well as an even greater number of sub-categories) is available when classifying a service or business, many more than either Yahoo or Google. Each profile can also hold up to nine photos uploaded by the user, further customizing their listing to the needs of the client and illustrating their business.

The true jewel of the listing service, however, is in the keyword functions. The client can select as many as five keywords and rank them based on their business description. For example, if a plumbing contractor would like to be found for their sewer and drain cleaning services over their water heater installation services, they can assign a higher value percentage to “sewer and drain cleaning” in order to advertise that service to a higher degree. This allows the user to effectively control what he is found for rather than just attempting to be found, adding a refining element to search engine optimization. Of course, this function can be changed at any time in order to accommodate seasonal services and specials.

Bing Business Portal seems to be the palette on which the most complete local listings are created at the moment. There’s no stone left unturned in the creation process, and proving it is the last, and perhaps the most convenient feature of Bing Business Portal: instant verification. Unlike Google and Yahoo, which both feature lengthy verification procedures, Bing Business Portal immediately verifies the listing or, if there’s a problem, notifies you of inconsistent or missing information.