Bing Adds Appointments

Bing Local Search has added an appointment booking system to its local search results panel that allows search users to book appointments or make reservations directly from their search results.  The results are currently appearing in the USA only, and are provided by the third-party site Pingup.  Two types of appointments are available, one taking place at the business and one taking place at the clients home.

A similar feature was unveiled last year by Google, however, as yet both services do not appear to have made their way out of their native US base.


Great Potential for Lead Generation

The options are great for lead generation, as searchers are more likely to trust the search engines to make appointments, treating the presence of a button to make a booking in a similar manner to a personal recommendation`

The new system is able to take bookings for different types of services, as well as offer a choice of appointment times and dates. Whilst there is some amount of automation in place, it does require that staff taking bookings manually either use the web-based system or keep the two systems in line with each other.


Bing Local Booking Service Follows Google Launch

The Google equivalent of this service launched in 2015.  The company has partnered with Mindbody to manage the booking systems.  In Google’s case, the booking system is tied to your Google ID, allowing booking to be made without entering additional information. There is also an opportunity for Android users to have the information added automatically to their phone calendar an Google Maps directions.

It remains to be seen if these systems will launch outside of the USA, but the potential for businesses from hairdressers to restaurants is enormous internationally and could bring online booking to a number of new and appreciative local businesses

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