Small Business Marketing Unleashed: Local Search

    April 22, 2008

I’ve written about it before, and I’ll write about it again: the only phonebooks around my work desk are the ones raising it and the monitor a few inches higher than they’d otherwise sit.  Local search functions well from a consumer standpoint, and a session detailed how businesses can benefit from it, too.

SEO Manager At Marchex
 Matt McGee

(Coverage of the Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference continues at WebProNews Videos.  Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)

Matt McGee, the SEO manager at Marchex, pointed out that the main search engines tend to dominate local search, with Google being the winner.  Since you’re presumably already trying to make friends with Google, SEO factors should resolve themselves nicely.

Other local search issues to consider are your business’s name, its address, the categorization of your business, listings in local and yellow pages directories, and reviews, ratings, and other user-generated content.

Some of these will be hard to change, but for something that’s easier, McGee suggests, "It’s not just good enough to put your address on every page of your site, put local phone number also."  Create a directions page, as well, and use geographic locators like zip codes or area codes in titles and anchor text.

Finally, consider actually seeking customers, as opposed to waiting for them to come to you.  McGee gave a long list of places (including Flickr, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Yahoo Answers,, Placeblogger, Yahoo Groups, Google Groups, and where local groups exist and your business should be visible.

WebProNews Video anchor Abby Prince contributed to this report.