Local Advertising In Business Directories

For decades, local mom and pop businesses could rely on word of mouth and
traditional print services to garner customers. If the local businesses had
a good or service that they wanted to promote, they could just call up the
local newspaper and ask for an advertisement. However, as media has evolved
towards more sophisticated routes such as the Internet, it has become
increasingly more difficult (and oftentimes prohibitively expensive) for
local businesses to stand-out against the crowd by advertising in both newer
and older types of media.

Yet, local businesses continually find themselves facing a problem. As
potential customers become more Internet savvy, local companies could be
doing themselves a great disservice by not having some sort of exposure on
the Internet.

According to Kelsey Research, 70% of US households now use the internet when
searching for local products and services. In fact, it is projected that
over 20 billion searches for local information will be made in 2007. 75% of
Internet users have looked for services and products within an area close to
their home or business. Moreover, recent Internet studies have found that
some of the most searched queries in search engines such as Google or Yahoo
are words such as local business, free, discount, cheap, and other terms
bearing the connotation that the searcher is looking for something to

Although many may be trying to look for cheap electronics that can be
shipped to their homes, it is also extremely apparent that consumers are
searching for businesses in their local area that they can patronize. Most
consumption on a day to day basis is not on items such as electronics that
can be purchased online. People need automotive services, tutors, daycare,
lawn care, restaurants, grocery stores, salons, plumbers, and much, much
more within a few miles of their house. These daily rituals that we all
engage in are all predicated on knowing where to find business. And as
mentioned above, with an abundance of people turning to the Internet to find
out where well priced, convenient goods and services are located, even a
small Internet presence can skyrocket a business.

Unfortunately, the typical local business doesn\’t have a lot of money to
spend on Internet exposure. Even if they do have the finances to build a
website, the process can be cumbersome and somewhat daunting for the
generations of small business that aren?t well-read in the ways of
cyberspace. If the typical website can run anywhere from hundreds to
thousands of dollars, is it still worth creating? Even if you get the
website up and running, how will people find you? How high will you be
ranked on search engines? If you are like me, all the worry involved takes
away time from all the daily customer service issues that come with the
territory of owning a business. Why should you spend an inordinate amount of
money when there is no guarantee of getting more customers for your trouble?
Many are pushed away because the return on investment just doesn\’t seem
worth it.

If this is what you think, perhaps you can consider many other low cost
options for your small business to get attention and some exposure on the
web. Something as simple as a Facebook or Myspace account can be used to
garner advertisement for your business. The Internet is all about content
and link popularity, and having even a little bit can help. However, there
are services that are beginning to expand the range of possibilities for
local businesses and cater explicitly to them. Websites such as
www.Cityslick.net and www.Merchantcircle.com allow companies to create local
listings whereby customers can put basic contact information, slogans,
product descriptions and photos, customizable coupons, appointment
generators, documents, social bookmarking, and much more. The terrific part
about websites like these is that they are not static; companies do not
simply post a listing and hope for customers to show up. Consumers can
browse, request deals, request appointments, chat with other consumers and
businesses in the forums, and leave reviews.

If you decide to list on a business directory website, make sure that they
are doing their best to get you the most exposure possible. According to
www.webworkshop.net, Link text (the text that is clicked on when clicking on
a link) is singly the most important factor when Google determines the
rankings for any given search-term. To help a small local business website
grow in this fashion, it is critical that business owners submit to local
directories that can provide custom back links.

www.Cityslick.net in particular is proactive in its approach to ensure that
these sorts of interactions occur. By using the latest search engine
optimization (SEO) techniques, they are drawing customers to the website not
only by promoting it as a way to find cheap, local deals, but they are also
making it so that listings, just by themselves, have the same sort of
visibility as traditional websites.

Local and small business owners have a multitude of things to worry about
including how to best promote their venture. By using the internet to post
to sophisticated business directories, companies can get all the benefits of
having a website without having to pay a lot of money for their own website.
Take a look. Your customers and business will thank you for it.