Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software

Where In The World Is Local Search?

Look, I’m not going to waste too much time trying to convince you that people are searching for every kind of business, right there in you hometown, using the Internet. Every major search engine is rushing to become the next local phone book and you need to get your business listed now, while it’s still free.

Here are the major plays you need to make today. (Of course, this will change by next week but, it’s a start.)

Register your web site and business listing with each of these local versions of search engines.
Google Local
Yahoo Local
Super Pages (provides listings for many search engines and part of Verizon)
City Search (said to feed AOL)
MSN Local

Let’s say you were looking for a marketing coach and you typed in “Marketing Coach Kansas City, MO” in Google Local. This is what people do and they need to be able to find you when they do!

Free Local Keyword Tool

Creating localized keywords, internal links and Google Adwords campaigns is a great strategy if you are trying to win local searchers.

You know, the person that is looking for just the right remodeling contractor in their upscale suburb.

One strategy that I’ve employed is to sprinkle targeted suburb names in a visually pleasing, contextual way throughout your web copy. In other words, don’t just list all of the suburbs in your community and expect it to make a difference.

If you write a blog, occasionally mention a local neighborhood, in your internal links, add city names [kansas city pet food] as opposed to [pet food].

Lastly, if you use pay-per-click advertising, (and since you can choose local options for advertising you should!) create keyword lists to bid on that contain all of the zip codes, neighborhoods, suburbs and communities you want to attract visitors from.

Anyone who has created this type of list can tell you that the work is tedious, to say the least. Your eventual list may be 400-500 entries long. Here’s a free tool I stumbled across that automates a fair amount of the work of creating localized keyword lists. You just put in a zip code and determine how far out you want the search to go [how many mile radius], select some other features and presto you get a big fat list of keywords containing all of the localized info you could dream of (I found suburbs I didn’t even know existed.)

Now, many of these very specific keyword terms won’t get much traffic but, when they do, you will own the work and the traffic will be very targeted.

Check out the Free Local Keyword Tool

Blogs, Web Sites and Email – Together At Last

Blogs are hot and with reason. They help you tell your story, generate tremendous search engine attention and create content that can be syndicated and read by a growing number of people.

Having said that, let me state that blogs are only a tool and not THE tool that so many “Internet Marketing Gurus” would have you believe. Blogs can and should be on every marketers list as a powerful way to integrate and supplement the primary marketing messages. If you look at blogs that way, then you can begin to understand the true value of adding a blog to your marketing mix.

    Every small business should have in the marketing and communication toolbox:

  • A Blog
  • A Content Rich Web Site
  • An Email Based Newsletter
  • Educational Based Printed Materials
  • White Papers Housed On Their Web Site
  • A Referral Strategy
  • A PR Strategy

. . . and a couple hundred other things!

The point is, let your marketing tools work together and you will find the greatest audience for your marketing message.

Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Podcast

One of the latest Internet crazes is this thing called Podcasting

I must admit that on the surface it sounds pretty cool, but then the hype started. . .and I got suspicious.

The Internet marketing folks want you to believe that this is the next great way to make a bundle but nobody seems to notice that podcasting isn’t some new form of content it is just another way to distribute content. Upon further study you will notice that most podcasts are little more than mp3 files.

But here’s the real problem I have from a business use. The people who have time to listen to audio files all day long already do so. True, now they can listen on their iPod and so maybe there is value in packaging up some information that can be accessed this way but stick to your blog to really tell your story and develop your market.

Yahoo Offering Free Web Sites

I don’t know if it’s just me but it sure seems like Yahoo is working overtime these days.

Today Yahoo announced a major enhancement to their local offering – free websites.

Now, any business with a physical address can create a very simple 5 page web site using a templated wizard type form. These sites are not works of art but they may get the job done for a business that currently has no web presence.

The sites are actually part of Yahoo’s free and enhanced local listing offerings.

“This is a no-brainer opportunity for any business to sign up and get a web site for free,” said Paul Levine, General Manager, Yahoo Local.

You can find more info and even build your site here (If your business is already listed in the Yahoo directory you are on your way)

Okay, but here is what I am wondering. If a business already has a web site, perhaps this free site with Yahoo is a good way to get even more exposure within the Yahoo search engine. There is plenty of data to suggest that search engines play favorites with their own offerings. This play might make sense on some level for every business. Here’s an example of one I created in about 5 minutes for a Kansas City Remodeling Contractor. – Note the URL Yahoo creates – http://mo.local.yahoo.biz/remodel

The Ins and Outs of PPC with Andrew Goodman

Join me for yet another small business marketing teleseminar. This week I tackle – The Ins and Outs of Local Pay Per Click Advertising – or How to generate instant web site traffic and targeted local leads – Make Your Reservation

Session #7 – Wednesday, Apr 13th – Noon Central Time
10am Pacific / 11am Mountain / 1pm Eastern / GMT -6

The Ins and Outs of Local Pay Per Click Advertising – or How to generate instant web site traffic and targeted local leads – Apr 13th – Noon Central – Special Guest Expert – Andrew Goodman, author of Google AdWords Handbook: 21 Ways to Maximize Results and creator of page zero media.

Local prospects are turning more and more to the Internet to find goods and services in their town. With a local pay per click campaign you can begin to generate local, targeted prospects in a matter of hours. And the best part is you only pay for the prospects that visit your web site. This local secret weapon is having dramatic impact on the lead generation efforts of small businesses in every community. Andrew Goodman is a leading promoter of a service that provides a turn-key local pay per click strategy that just may change the way you think about advertising period.

It’s the New Phone Book

Like you needed any more reasons for figuring out this whole “using the Internet to get found in your town” thing. But hey, here’s another reminder.

A telephone survey has found that 70 percent of US households now use the internet — and in particular search engines — for information when shopping locally for products and services. It makes the internet tied with newspapers as the leading medium used to seek products and services locally. Conducted by the Kelsey Group and ConStat, it involved 500 respondents across the US.

Blogging Under Contract

Quite often people want to know if they can make any money with this blog thing. To this I currently have two answers: yes and maybe so. There are many ways to measure the success of one’s blogging efforts and an announcement by AllBusiness.com demonstrates a growing trend in the "mainstreamness" of blogs. A number of bloggers (Okay, including me) have entered into an agreement to blog for All Busineess, a small business portal. Look for this type of business writing and opportunity to grow.

AllBusiness.com, an online media and e-commerce company that operates one of the leading business Web sites, today announced the launch of its new AllBusiness Blog Center at http://www.allbusiness.com/blog/.

Blogs in the AllBusiness.com Blog Center include:  “Bizz Bang Buzz,” a legal blog by Anthony Cerminaro; “Duct Tape Marketing” covering marketing issues by John Jantsch; “Just For Small Business,” a running a business blog by Denise O’Berry; “Management Craft,” a management blog by Lisa Haneberg;  “Only Once,” a blog about day-to-day activities of running a business by Matt Blumberg; “Sales Diva” by Lori Richardson, which covers the sales process; “The Small Business Blog” by Doug Kersten, covering business news; and Denise Wakeman’s “Your Project Partner” blog, focused on internet marketing.