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Small Businesses without Web Sites

October 1, 2006

What’s a poor to do if it doesn’t have a web site? The power of what is termed “local search” is that small businesses don’t have to have a web site to be found by Internet search engines. It’s hard to get firm statistics on this, but it’s generally agreed that over half of all small businesses don’t have a web site. Local search is the answer for these businesses, but they rarely maximize their “online marketing” through this powerful medium.

In our last post we wrote about the ways a small business owners can assure that people searching the Internet will find them. When an online searcher looks for guitars Denver will they see your guitar shop listed? Most of the readers who e-mailed me interpreted this to mean guitar shops that have a web site. My bad. I should have emphasized that the real power of local search is also for the guitar shop that doesn’t have a web presence.

Step one is to read our previous post – Waiting for the Wrong Search Engine – because there are ways to list yourself for FREE on many of the local search engines.

Step two is to begin to research the pay options on many of the best local search sites – everything from Google Local to Yahoo Local to SuperPages to TrueLocal. We’ll write about several of these options in upcoming posts. In fact, print Yellow Page vendors are often offering packages that include being listed in SuperPages, Yahoo and other local search portals.

Later on, we’ll write about the more inventive local search options, such as the new partnership between Google Maps and Quickbooks – where companies that use Quickbooks, even if they don’t have a web site, can maximize their connection to online buyers. Google Maps gives Quickbooks companies the ability to list their company info, phone, description, driving directions, hours of operation, credit cards accepted, yada, yada.

And, you don’t have to be a Quickbooks user to take advantage of listing on Google Maps – and now Google Coupons. We’ll tell you all about all of these options in upcoming posts.

The point of this article is to remind everyone from business coaches to small businesses to, yes, even large businesses – start the process by assuring your FREE presence is listed and accurate. That’s our previous post. Even if you don’t have a web site – go read it.

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