SCORE Small Business Blog

Online Marketing: 46 Links to Promote Your Local Business Online
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Graphic created with Wordle.net by Jonathan Feinberg

Graphic created with Wordle.net by Jonathan Feinberg

My theme today is local online marketing, with the emphasis on local. I’m covering local directories, local review sites, local ads, local social media strategies (i.e., how to use Twitter to promote locally), local blogs, and local search engine optimization.

Think of these links as a crash course in local target marketing on the internet. If the list overwhelms you, read only the contents of the first link in each section for key points.

But first, look at the table in this post, which document the shift from print to the web:

Relying On Print Yellow Pages? Most Local Customers Turn To The Web! - One takeaway: “Local business needs to ensure they’re measuring the web’s impact in their real-life activities. When people call by phone or visit a store — the top two actions after an online local search — is someone in the store asking about this? Asking about whether particular online sites were used may help local businesses better understand the potentially “invisible” drivers of traffic that they’re not aware of.”  Credit:Search Engine Land, Greg Sterling.

Local Directories

Check your business listing for free at GetListed.org. See how your firm is listed right now on Google, Yahoo, Best of the Web and LiveSearch. If it isn’t, I suggest you use the links to those directories to add a listing now.

Google Autofills Photos & Videos in Local Business Profiles - As of April 2009, “Google is auto-filling local business profiles with photos and videos pulled in from other web sites.” He concludes, “If you don’t optimize your profiles, Google’s gonna do it for you.”  Credit: Small Business Search Marketing. Matt McGee.

The Definitive List of Local Search Directories You Need To List With. – Links to 38 local search engines, directories, providers and 5 data suppliers. Discussion of the importance of online local listings. Instructions on how to write for search engine directories. Credit:eMarketing Matador.

Online Directories And Review Sites: Intro, Video and Links – My earlier blog post on the topic, with many how-to links and examples. Credit:Web 2.0 for Small Business, Peg Corwin.

Twibs A website that “gives Twitter users a place to find businesses on Twitter.”

Local Review Sites

“Your Pizza Sucks, and…” Getting Positive Reviews in Local Search Directories -  Go on the offensive: get listed on major review sites, promote positive reviews, publicize positive reviews, and add reviews of other businesses, especially your strategic partners. Credit: Duct Tape Marketing.

Leveraging Small Business Customer Reviews and Testimonials Online - Why reviews and testimonials are effective, how to use them in ads, 5 steps to get testimonials, how to make it easy for clients to provide them, and SEO benefits. Credit: Search Engine Journal, Steven Brier.

Yelp Will Let Businesses Respond to Web Reviews – Yelp’s recent change in policy allows businesses to comment on negative reviews.  Credit:New York Times, Claire Cain Miller.

The Masses on Yelp.com Eat and Tell -  How customers are using review sites like Yelp, CitySearch, Insider Page, Zagat, OpenTable and ChowHound sites.  Credit: New York Times, Donald McNeil.

Local Pay Per Click Ads

How local ads can help you survive the recession -  “The key to marketing success in the economic downturn is to get in front of the right-sized audience, from the right demographic, when they’re willing to buy.” Balance targeting, traffic and intent to hit the sweet spot, he advises.  Credit: iMediaConnection, Jean Eric Penicaud.

Search Advertising Geo Targeting Options - Comparison of geo ad targeting options of Google, Yahoo and Ask. “Google’s advertising product and its geo-targeting capabilities have one distinct yet obvious feature the other’s lack: An actual map for geo-targeting the location of your ads and where they will be shown.”  Credit: Search Marketing Communications, Tim Cohn.

Google Adwords details for local business - Click “For Local Business,” lower left to see local and regional targeting, how local Google Ads work, including ads on Google Maps.

Yahoo Small Business Paid ads for targeting potential customers in various ways.

Microsoft Ad Solutions “Entry-level” ad solutions, social media ads, shopping ads and more.

Extinction Threatens Yellow-Pages Publishers - Discusses niche local search websites like ReachLocal, Yodle, Spotrunner and Marchex. Further, she reports, “Local business is chopping ad spending amid the recession.”  Credit: Wall Street Journal, Emily Steel.

Local Web-Ad Market Cools Down - In February of 2009, she reports “”As small businesses cut outlays, ReachLocal refines ad-targeting methods.”  Credit: Wall Street Journal, Emily Steel.

Local Social Media Strategies

8 Social Media Sites for Local Networking -  Discusses how to use the websites Flickr, Facebook, Stumbleupon, Twitter, Yahoo Answers, Outside.in, PlaceBlogger, and Linkedin in local networking. Credit:  Small Business Search Marketing, Matt McGee.

Harness The Power Of Twitter For Local Marketing – 7 Tips on how to use Twitter locally. Real world examples of Twitter use by a group of 4 local authors, taxi company, hotel chain, casino, excursion business, theater, church, grocery store, and attorney.  Credit: Search Engine Land, Chris Smith.

Twitter Local – Find Out Who’s Tweeting Near You – Twitterlocal.net “takes a location, postal code or a state, together with a mile radius, and spits out an RSS or XML feed with tweets from that area.”  Credit: Mashable, Stan Schroeder.

Twitter and Local Search About using Twitter locally, including Summarize.com. Key point for us promoters: He recommends only 10% of your Tweets be about your business.  Credit: Loc@l SEO Guide.

Facebook — Can Local Business Flourish in Social Networking? - The answer is yes. Examples of Social Flowers and a yoga teacher using Facebook to market locally.  Credit: Darby Sieben – Internet Marketing.

MySpace Goes Local — Announces Partnership with CitySearch – “Users on MySpace can now review, rate, and share content about businesses on MySpace Local, and reviews and ratings will appear in users’ activity stream. MySpace will launch this service with support for restaurants and bars first, though it plans to include a wider range of businesses in the near future.”  Credit: Read Write Web, Frederic Lardinois.

TwtQpon A website to create Twitter coupons for your followers.

Going Local in Stumbleupon Look for Groups related to your community or your state. Get to know some of the people there to network directly: “If you have trouble finding a state (sometimes SU’s search features are cumbersome) you can just use the (.com/state/new_york/) at the end of the URL to get where you need to go; similar action can work with city (.com/city/brooklyn/.) ” Like by state, if you are signed in to your account.  Credit: 10e20, Jake.

Local Blogs

How to Start a Hyperlocal Business Blog A five part series: planning, setting up, content development, marketing, and successes and failures.  Credit: HyperlocalBlogger.

How to Promote a Local Blog -Talks about TOPIX, YourStreet, Twitter, CraigsList and getting the community involved.  Credit: Koka Sexton.Com.

‘Hyperlocal’ Web Sites Deliver News Without Newspapers - Opportunities for local coverage at local sites Everyblock, Outside.in, PlaceBlogger, and Patch?  Credit: New York Times, Claire Cain Miller and Brad Stone.

Why Hyperlocal Blogging Works -  The answers are: growing interest in local “stuff” online, decline of the traditional media, local websites are often lacking, and search engines love a good blog.  Credit: Hyperlocalblogger.

5 Ways to Grow a Local Blog – In essence: Twitter, CraigsList, letting readers know you care, local content and local ads.  Credit: Hyperlocalblogger.

Hyperlocal Blog Posts You May Have Missed – Links to 5 posts from HyperlocalBlogger, on what makes a great local blogger, TOPIX, local content, EveryBlock, and Outside.in.  Credit: Small Business Search Marketing.

Local Search Engine Optimization (for those technically inclined)

Local Search Tactics for Tough Economic Times -Checklist of 5 tactics in order of priority: local listing management, internet yellow pages, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, mobile/directory assistance.  Credit: Search Engine Watch, Gregg Stewart.

Local Search Marketing Tips for B2B Marketers - Four recommendations are: test local PPC ads, submit and manage your business profile, capitalize on local directories and search sites, and consider mobile search programs.  Credit: Search Engine Land, Julie Shumaker.

Local Search Engine Optimization: SEO Geographical Targeting. Effects of domain and hosting decisions, importance of contact info, need for sensitivity to language and cultural phrasing, power of local links, advantage of Google maps and selection of target in Google Webmaster tools.  Credit: SEO-Wizz, Tim Grice.

Local SEO: The Single Most Overlooked Strategy -  “For many local businesses, suburb targeting will provide higher quality traffic, and above all, there is usually no competition…It is much better to be on the first position for a specific suburb phrase that will bring very few, but very targeted visitors, rather than be on the 3rd page for a more general city phrase.”  Credit: Search Engine Marketing Perth – Aussie SEO.

Small Business SEO: How To Launch That Web site Her three-pronged strategy is to localize your content, create and claim your business listings, and build local mentions.  Credit: Outspoken Media, Lisa Barone.

Tracking Local Search Traffic with Analytics How to use Google Analytics URL builder tool, track 301 redirects, monitor traffic on Google Maps, as well as local search.  Credit: Understanding Google Maps & Yahoo Local Search, Mike.

50 SEO Tips for Online Retailers “SEO for online retailers is the process of improving a website potential in order to gain more organic non-paid traffic from the major search engines. Normally, SEO uplift doesn’t happen overnight and it can take a long while to rank well for non-brand key terms.” Gives 50 tips to facilitate this.  Credit: Econsultancy, Ran Nir.

How-To: Optimizing Business Listings in Local Search - Takeaways from SMX West, intended to help small and mid-sized businesses optimize their business listings across local search.  Credit: MarketingVOX.

YouTube – [Online Branding] Video discusses online branding including Yelp, Yahoo Local, CitySearch and MerchantCircle as a strategy to getting excellent search engine visibility.  Credit: YouTube video, Patrick Schwerdtfeger.

The Local Search Ranking Factors: Ranking High in Google Maps and Yahoo Local - Results of a survey in which “Participants were asked to rate the importance of 47 criteria with respect to their influence on rankings in the Google and Yahoo Local ‘Universal’ search algorithm.” Includes ranking of positive and negative factors.  Credit: DavidMihm.

How To Create Effective Local Business Landing Pages Why a landing page for each location? 10 “Landing Page Best Practices.”  Credit: Search Marketing Insights, Dev Basu.

Local Search at SES San Jose - Summary of 4 presentations at the Search Engine Strategies 2008 session entitled “Local 2.0: Evolution of Local Search.”  Credit: Small Business Search Marketing, Matt McGee.

It’s No Secret…Link Building in Local Search is Different - “The best links for a local service business are those that provide help with conversions…they would come from organizations that have huge barriers to entry and are topically related to the service provided by the business.”  Credit: Convert Offline

Series of short posts on local mobile search - Local Mobile Search

Loci Series: Signficant Articles in Local Search - Various experts choose best articles on local search in 2008.  Credit: Understanding Google Maps and Yahoo Local Search.

The List: Local Search Industry on Twitter - 38 people and 27 companies with close ties to local search who are using Twitter, or at least have registered accounts on Twitter.  Credit: Small Business Search Marketing, Matt McGee.

And One Last Link

The Rise Of Hyperlocal Information – A 2007 post broadly covering the rise of local content, self-organizing local information, hyperlocal classifieds, hyperlocal social networking, aggregating hyperlocal data, monetizing hyperlocal data and conclusions.  Credit: ReadWriteWeb, Alex Iskold.

Updates: This is a link to my Delicious group (bundle) on Local Online Marketing. As I surf the web, I tag new articles on this topic, so check back.

What informative local marketing links have I missed? Please suggest them in a comment. And if you liked this post, please Digg, Stumble, Tweet and share it.

Peg Corwin, SCORE Chicago
View more posts by Peg

See also all posts in my Local Online Marketing series.

And the original Online Marketing Series, which has 20 link-rich posts on 18 online marketing techniques.

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Discussion (29) Comment


  1. Pregnancy Miracle BookVisitor

    Hi, very helpful website. Awesome clean and simple design. I created a link to your site on my favorite sites page. I’ll tell my visitors to come here too.

    All the best,
    Maria


  2. Dale BaltazarVisitor

    I like the first post you put up. As more and more consumers turn to the web over directory listings like the yellow pages, Online Marketing becomes more and more crucial. Thanks for putting all these tools and tips out there.

  3. I am SO glad I bumped into this site. This post alone will be extremely valuable to me as I learn the internet marketing ropes.

    I’m looking forward to the journey of discovery as I explore all the important links you’ve provided us.

    Thanks!

    Natalie Hill


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  5. This is wonderful site to promote your local business in online.This is a theme in local online marketing, with the emphasis on local. Nice way dood!

  6. Awesome! I really need this list of links where I can promote my online business in the local scene. Thanks a lot.

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  7. WOW – I am totally amazed with the quality content and great information here!! These are great links to use to promote your local business. Thanks for sharing these. I will be adding these to my local search marketing strategies for sure!


  8. CristinoVisitor

    It’s really nice blog about online advertising and good to share this marketing Knowledge. Online marketing is really gaining rapid popularity. To promote our site or product we have to do advertising so that people should know about it. Even i used to promote my site and sell my product online through fullservicead and my business is really growing. Marketing tools are helpful to promote our business. Your article contains nice information and i find it very helpful.


  9. Paul DumasVisitor

    This is easily the best resource I have found for local search marketing. Thanks for your comprehensive approach. I’ll definitely share your site with the small business owners I work with.


  10. SEOVisitor

    That is an engrossing article.I really appreciate the effort you have put in this article.i think the list you have made up is really perfect and so useful for every new blogger like me.Thanks for all the great work!


  11. Local ListingVisitor

    Great list of places for links. Def took a while going thru the entire article but well worth it.

    I just wrote an article on how to get local listings in yahoo and google.

  12. Link building is a great way to improve your ranking on google search engines. but don’t out source your backlinging. its better to do it yourself. 5 a day that all it takes. Also read the info . great way to pick up lots of tips.

    Jerome Nickerson


  13. RickVisitor

    Thank u for sharing!

  14. i think you are doing a good job by providing your experience to others and that is always helpful for us.

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  16. teinbyVisitor

    thank you! I really liked this post!


  17. machomanVisitor

    thank you! I really liked this post!

  18. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge about the links to web site marketing. For a small business owner without a lot of time and money you have given me access to links I may not have otherwise been aware of to market and analyze my marketing on the net. This is the absolute best resource I have come across to help me with internet marketing, thank you again…

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  20. johnnyVisitor

    Hello. Thank you for this great info! Keep up the good job!


  21. SehVisitor

    What a thorough list. I almost feel bad for reading that for Free. Okay, not really…lol My favorite right now is the viral effectiveness of online video. Plus you can create amazing search engine results. I post to several video sites.

  22. Peg: So much depth and rich links. Thanks so much.

  23. [...] SCORE, the Women’s Success Blog gives 46 Links to Promote Your Local Business Online. [...]


  24. OscarDVisitor

    Great set of resources. Just bookmarked it. Will definitely be breaking it down for those sites that fit with my approach. Thanks!


  25. Tom TroughtonVisitor

    Thank you, thank you! I have been feeling that starting to market locally was the next step for me to focus on. Just when I needed this information your post appeared!
    Tom Troughton


  26. Matt McGeeVisitor

    Wow, Peg – I’m honored to see my name mentioned a few times up in this great list of local resources. And even moreso on a SCORE blog! I just referred a friend to her local SCORE branch for help getting started with her new consulting business.

    I should try to connect with my local SCORE branch and see if I can help local businesses in my area…

    Thx again!

  27. [...] Online Marketing: 46 Links on Local Online Marketing: Techniques … [...]

  28. Miriam,

    Thank you very much for this substantive and helpful comment. I now know who to turn to when I have questions.

    And I did just stop by your blog. I recommend it to others interested in the topic. Great local information.

    Peg


  29. MiriamEllisVisitor

    Dear Peg,
    Mike Blumenthal (mentioned in your article) passed this great post along to me. I’m a Local SEO and copywriter…and a woman! 2 for 2. Pretty good.

    It’s great to see you linking to such quality pieces, and I especially applaud the inclusion of articles from Matt, Dev, Mike, David, Greg, etc. If your readers could read just one post on your list, I’d suggest David Mihm’s Local Search Ranking Factors, as I believe the first step to achieving good local business visibility is gaining an understanding of what the factors are that Google is looking at in order to determine those rankings.

    For ongoing, in-depth coverage of local search issues, I recommend that your readers put Mike Blumenthal’s blog in their feedreaders. His blog is updated a couple of times a week and he is tops at covering some of the problems currently affecting local business owners in Google Maps. This is probably the most important coverage of local going on right now as most business owners will run into trouble at one point or another with their profiles.

    I’d love to have you visit my blog, Peg, as I also write about local search both for my own company and for Search Engine Guide. Local, to me, is the most exciting thing going on in Search right now. You might like a 5 part series I wrote in 2008 about hyperlocal blogging. It was nominated for a SEMMY award:

    solaswebdesign.net/wordpress/?p=266

    It’s basically a set of 10 actionable copywriting tips I placed within the context of individual regions of California. My aim was to get people thinking creatively about how hyperlocal blogging could work for them where they live.

    I think you’ve done a great job assembling some important resources to help people dig into Local. It’s one of the best things small business owners can be doing right now!

 

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