Four Steps Every Business Can Take to Improve Local Search Results

We’ve all gotten The Call.

Whether you work in an agency or are an in-house marketer, you’ve likely received the dreaded “I can’t find my Web site” phone call.

Let’s say the caller’s a small-business owner who has just conducted a search directly related to his local business. Maybe he owns a dog-and-cat bakery in Berkley, or runs an auto glass store in Peoria, or is a divorce lawyer in Atlanta.

He’s frustrated and confused, to say the least, because his business is nowhere to be found in the search results. Maybe the caller’s a personal friend asking for advice because he knows you know something about “search.”

Have you made the same mistake I’ve made, launching into an explanation of organic search versus PPC (define), summarizing the basic premise of search algorithms, or covering how keyword ad auctions work?

You can almost hear their eyes glazing over!

Plenty’s been written recently on the challenges of bringing the inherent complexities of search marketing to local businesses. No doubt, the local search market opportunity will be huge. Search engines and Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) are developing local solutions to grab their share of this burgeoning marketplace. Intermediaries are bridging the gap between businesses and ad networks with simplified solutions. And the chicken-and-egg dilemma is starting to improve, meaning more people are conducting local searches and more local business data are showing up in search results.