All Business is Local SearchSeptember 11, 2006
If you watched Monday Night Football last night (I know, Monday Night is now Sunday Night – just another reason the world has become way too confusing) you watched one of the foremost actors in the world pitch a web site called yellowbook.com. Take a second to guess how much those spots cost… and you’ll only need a second, because they cost a bundle. It’s just another example of why two words – “local search” – are sweeping the world of online commerce and search engine optimization – and should be sweeping yours, too.
Local search is hotter than hot, and not just in the search engine blogs and online discussion groups – it’s a hot topic for all kinds of local businesses.
Here’s why. If you sell guitars and someone searches Google, Yahoo, TrueLocal, or (thank you, David Carradine) yellowbook.com, and your business is not listed – you are losing oodles of money (oh, and that other guy who sells guitars a few miles down the pike is making oodles of money).
Name me a business that is not local. Go ahead, I’m waiting. Do you know an international speaker who would turn down a local gig? Do you know an actor who would say ‘no’ to a TV series filmed in his own city? Sam Waterston does Law and Order because he can commute to work. OK, by now you’ve probably thought of one, but if you think “all politics is local,” just think about how much business is local.
And yet, even though the first thing on everyone’s mind these days is getting their web site to come up first on Google, tons of these same businesses are ignoring the power of “local search.” Big mistake.
Enid Burns tells us about the skyrocking growth of local search in a recent Clickz News article, “global online local search market, which includes Internet Yellow Pages, local search and wireless, is set to grow from the $3.4 billion it brought in last year to nearly $13 billion by 2010.” Hmmm…
So, for all of you who are continuing to sell your soul to the search-optimizing devils (see our previous two posts), it might be a wiser investment of your time and money to attend one of the premier search events in the world, Search Engine Strategies Local. It happens to be coming up right here in Denver on September 28 at the Adam’s Mark hotel.
SES is hosted by Chris Sherman, the guy who invented the “invisible web” (no, he really did – look it up on Google if you don’t believe me) and is also the author of the best book about Google, Google Power . This conference is part of a series of international search engine strategy conferences started by Chris’ friend and search god Danny Sullivan – and now it’s sponsored by Incisive Media, whoever they are. (I went to Incisive’s site and used their search box, typed in “Denver” and got nothing. Don’t you love huge companies?!).
It’s a one-day conference and it costs some small coin – $595 if you register by September 15 – but many of you have already shelled out a lot more than that to various “shell-game” web site optimizers. This might actually deliver value for you – and much of it you won’t need a guru with you to understand.
If you want to know more, take a look at the Agenda Page for specifics on the conference topics and presenters. You have a choice of two tracks to follow (or mix-and-match) – the “tactics track” and the “issues track.”
Oh, and if you just did a local search for your own company and came up empty – here’s a great article for you. It’s by Patricia Hursh and is called “Four Steps Every Business Can Take to Improve Local Search Results.” She tells you practical things, like this first tip, “Visit the Amacai, infoUSA, and Acxiom Web sites. There you can find your business listing and verify or update it as needed.” Nice job, Patricia – must reading.
See you at SES – or, if you absolutely can’t go – we’ll report the conference back to you because we’re there and we plan to take notes!
Here’s the Search Engine Strategies Local home page one more time – Search Engine Strategies Local, Sept 28, Adam’s Mark in Denver