Last month, Perry Evans of Local Matters announced and launched Localguides.com. On his blog, Perry said “The site was created to “begin to lay the foundation to tackle two vexing problems in local search how to place consumer participation into the center of the experience and, how to connect search and commentary into useful real-life planning and sharing tools.”

Last week I went over to Localguides and took it for a spin. At first I was “another local directory?” but I was really surprise at what I found.  Living in Augusta GA, I decided to do some searching for local directories that focused on Augusta.  There were quite a few, most I have never heard of,  let alone used.  Localguides is in “beta” but it worked great for me and is one I will continue to use and build.

Basically the site is set up so that folks sign up as a “local guide” for any particular location.  Once they become a guide, they can then create lists of local businesses, events,  points of interest, etc, whatever they want.  To create an entry in their guide,  one can search the database or add their own info.  Things that can be added are photos, url, video, map.  You can make your guide private or public, allowing everyone to see it. You can even email it to folks.

I have created two guides for Augusta GA: Sports in Augusta and Business Help in Augusta Take a look and see what a guide can look like. It only took me a few minutes to get used to the system; overall it is very easy to use and one can have a guide up within minutes. Perry and the folks at Localguides have really come up with an unique and very useful directory.

I think Localguides can be a great tool for local businesses.

To be successful as a small business owner,  you need to be knowledgeable of your city and surrounding area but also of your specific field. Localguides makes it easy for you to “show off” that knowledge.  At Localguides, you can create any kind of guide for your city: business resources, non-profit organizations, civil groups, dry cleaners, you name it.  My idea is this: create numerous guides,  one for your field (with your  link in it of course) but then other guides to relates products or services to your field.  Then when a customer is looking for information,  you can refer them to your list of guides to help them find what they are looking for.

It is all about customer service!  As a consumer, I am much more apt to support those businesses which are knowledgable and geniunely want to help me find what I need, even if it means referring me to their competition.  What do you think? Localguides is an easy local directory to use and one which puts you in control of the content. Why not use it to help promote your city, your business, and help your customer out at the same time?Â