Local search popularity will lead to greater local advertising opportunities

According to BusinessWeek, 55% of consumers used a search engine to find out about a local business in 2005. That number is expected to increase significantly this year and next.

I’m not a bit surprised. I’ve been saying for a while that local search will grow. And I’m serious. The writing is on the bulletin board.

As local search grows, so will local advertising opportunities online. The opportunities are already countless and continue to grow.

These are your current options:

  • yahoo
  • Google
  • msn
  • Ask
  • yellowpages.com
  • superpages.com
  • city ​​search
  • Or one of several other similar brands

Do you see any common ground? Yeah.

First of all, the top four are all search engines. They all offer local search as a subset of a larger product on which the Web is built, in its current form.

The other options, however, are online versions of an older product, namely the business directory. Unlike print directories, these online directories do not specialize in any particular geographic region. They exist to meet the needs of local advertisers no matter where they are. The downside is that these services cannot optimize your websites for local search like search engines do.

I think the next wave of local advertising will be using local business directories for advertising purposes. Such directories, if done correctly, can offer a more affordable alternative to search engine advertising and offer more successful geotargeting than larger directories like Superpages and Yellowpages.com. That is how:

Since local business directories are local, they can optimize their pages using search engines for geographic keywords and zip codes. For example, if you go online to search for a florist near you, you’ll likely get a search engine results page that consists primarily of florists located near you. But for you to receive a single web page listing multiple flower shops in the same geographic region, it would have to be through a directory optimized for local geographic keywords, an unlikely prospect for a domain name listing businesses from anywhere. And everywhere. .

So while local search may be growing on search engines, small businesses may not be able to afford the high price of securing a prominent position with paid search listings and considering that most search engines they visit a particular website through organic searches. , that makes business directories that specialize in local markets even more attractive.

Just remember, you heard it from me first.

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