Local Search Marketing Part III:
Many Web Services firms offer two types of Local Search Marketing services, so I wanted to explain the difference between these services.
This is a quick blog that assumes you know what Local Search is. For information about Local Search, read our previous blog.
One-time Setup - 'Set it and forget it':
One-time setups have been a good option for small markets or areas with little to no competition, but things are changing.
Traditionally, you could get set up local pages in a few places like Siri, Google, MapQuest and Yahoo; then other directories would populate their pages using information from these major 'players'. IE: A one-time setup would get you on the major maps pretty quickly, and you'd be on dozens of other directories soon after that.
There are three problems with the set-it-and-forget-it strategy: First; the pages have to be managed on a regular basis - Local Search pages are fairly easy to 'hack', so pages have to be corrected regularly. In addition, it's always a good idea to update information on your pages, just to keep things fresh, this is an effective Search Engine Marketing technique. Secondly; Local Search Directories are not rewarding one-time setups like they used to. One-time setup programs have virtually disappeared, and have been replaced by subscription-type programs. In addition, Local Search Directories aren't sharing information as readily as before, unless they are prompted to do so. Thirdly; Sites that used to be free have begun charging to get on their directory. For example; Yahoo partnered with a Local Search Program, so it's very difficult to become listed on their site without buying the monthly service.
Monthly Local Search Services:
The monthly service includes a more systematic one-time setup. Some directories are added manually, and others are done thru an online system. The system also provides an easier way to broadcast regular updates and make corrections as necessary. In addition, new directories are added regularly.
As mentioned above, most of the available online tools are switching to monthly pricing and services. Also; new directories are not populated organically anymore. They have to be prompted by the software used by Extend and other Web Service Providers.
Extend Web Services will continue offering One-time Set-ups, but we don't recommend them as often as we used to. If your Center has even the smallest amount of competition, or if you're in an area with a population in the 10s of thousands, or more, we recommend using a monthly Local Search service.
Extend is happy to provide this blog full of SEM tips and best practices. Whether you use us or a competitor, we are happy to provide general insights to help you formulate a winning online marketing strategy.
Thanks to those who have provided feedback and asked questions via email. Please also feel free to leave comments and ask questions on the blog.
Stay tuned for more!