Today we are happy to have Julia Dalton Manager, Marketplace & Directory Services from ThinkLocal.com

Q.Tell us a little about yourself.
A. I began my experience in the internet industry working for MonsterCommerce, an Ecommerce company that is now part of Network Solutions. My background is focused mainly in online marketing and product development, particularly with search engine and directory related properties. Search and online marketing fascinate me because they are constantly evolving and changing, making this industry a challenging but exciting space to be in.

Q. What is ThinkLocal?
A. ThinkLocal is a local search engine that has over 17 million business listings in addition to local weather, maps and directions, local events, city spotlights, and business reviews.

We introduced the site in April 2006 with the goal of providing a good launching pad to getting online for many small businesses that do not yet have an online presence, which is a large percentage of the business population. It can also be an option for businesses that are already online to come, sign up for one of our listings, and enhance their online visibility.

Q. What costs are involved? (Standard vs. Enhanced listing?)
A. There is no cost to obtain a Standard listing on ThinkLocal, it is completely free. With a Standard listing you have the ability to manage your business information, including adding captions and a long description of your business and services. Additionally, your listing will show up among the regular search results for relevant searches to your business and category.

We offer an option for businesses to increase their visibility in our search results by purchasing an Enhanced listing. With an Enhanced listing, you have all of the same benefits as a Standard listing; however, your listing will show up in our featured sections of our search results. Business owners can select their package based off of the geo targeting and category options they choose to advertise within. For example, a plumber in Saint Louis who only services Saint Louis City may only want his enhanced listing to display for plumbing related searches in Saint Louis City to maximize the effectiveness of his ad. We give businesses those options to choose what target audience they want to impact with their ads. You can find more information about our Advertising options by going here.

Q. Do you submit info the business data anywhere?
A. At this time we do not submit our business information to any additional search engines or directories. Our goal is to get our small business clients as much traffic and visibility as possible, so working with other local directories or search engines is something we may look at in the future. However right now, our focus is providing the best experience for users we can on ThinkLocal.com.

Q. Reverse Yellow Pages -what is that?
A. Reverse Yellow Pages is basically a search that provides the ability to find business information, essentially in the opposite way in which people tend to think of finding businesses. Say, for example, you only have the phone number of a business but not the address, or you have the address but cannot remember the name of the business. A Reverse Yellow Page lookup will enable you to put in the phone number or address of a business and find the listing you were looking for with all of the information you need. It is simply another tool for us to offer to assist our users in locating the business information they are looking for.

to be continued….