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Local Search Still In Its Infancy

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There’s still plenty of room to grow for local search marketers, according to panelists at the Yellow Pages Association (YPA) Annual Conferences. Though small businesses that have invested in local search advertising report good results overall, many of them still aren’t exploring the medium.

“The local search industry — including Internet Yellow Pages and search engines — is fragmented and is really still in its infancy,” said Robyn Rose, vice president of Internet marketing for Verizon SuperPages.com.

Rose joined a panel of experts in a session entitled “Unleashing the Magic of Local Search” that included SEMPO president Dana Todd, Yahoo! Local general manager Paul Levine, and Google’s director of local search and third-party partnerships Shailesh Rao.

Reports that small businesses aren’t exploiting locally targeted ads to their full potential jives with analyst sentiments from the Kelsey Group, also presenting at the conference. According to DM News, online marketing tends to skew young, but neither firms under 10-year-old nor firms over 10 are “embracing local paid search with any real vigor.”

Some speculate that the cost and complexity of search marketing can be a barrier. This is an admonition to advertising companies to make it less prohibitive.

Yahoo! has taken steps toward this recently by introducing Featured Listings, sponsored links that appear on local searches that include phone numbers, addresses, and directions. These Featured Listings can be purchased on a first come first served basis for about $30 per month.

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Local Search Still In Its Infancy
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