Q. Where do you get your listings from, what database/sources?
A. We obtain our listings from several different sources. The bulk of our listings have come from Acxiom, but we do have several other sources from which we obtain listing information. The fact that we are powered by Network Solutions also provides us access to a significant small business client base that can benefit from getting listed on ThinkLocal.com. We have key platform integrations with the Network Solutions account manager and the Search Engine Visibility product which includes a ThinkLocal Enhanced listing as part of the package.

Q. When I searched for my business, could not find it, why?
A. In order to be found within our listings you would have to either be included in the Acxiom database or opted into a ThinkLocal listing directly from our site or through some of our other submission channels with Network Solutions. Right now we provide two primary methods of finding business listings. We have a keyword search for users to enter in phrases like pizzaâ or lawyers and get a set of results back based off of our algorithm. Our second type of search is the business name search that allows you to search for specific businesses if you are already familiar with their name.

We have some exciting new developments that will be released in the next month. We are focusing on the presentation of all of the local information that we have and putting it together in a much more user friendly manner. Our homepage, search results, and business profile pages will all have new designs and layouts that are geared towards usability and ensuring we are highlighting the information people come to look for from our site. The search results page in particular will have a cleaner look while at the same time offering users more functionality for finding the business information they are looking for. It will be easier than it ever was before to find local business information using our website. So stay tuned to the site over the next month, we will be rolling out some exciting changes in April.

Q. Why should a small business use ThinkLocal?
A. A small business should use ThinkLocal as piece of their overall, online marketing puzzle. Getting listed on our website isn’t  going to be the end all marketing solution for your small business, but it does play an important role in increasing your online visibility. Driving traffic and getting more eyes to your business information is essential in helping your business to succeed. The level of targeting that you can achieve through local search and local business listings, such as the options we have on ThinkLocal, provides small businesses with a captive audience who is more likely to convert into a phone call, a store visit, or even a sale. Moreover, our clients have access to statistic reports that show how many times their business listing is being viewed by our users. Plus, for those with Enhanced listings, we give them additional reports on how many clicks their listing received as well as what keywords brought up their listing. That type of information can help any business determine what phrases they should target to drive the most relevant visitors to their business.

In addition, a business listing on our site is a great way for brick and mortar businesses to take that first step to having an online presence. The majority of small businesses do not have a significant online presence, if one at all. Signing up for one of our Standard or Enhanced listings and customizing your business profile page is a simple way for these businesses to start exploring the online space and hopefully get leads to grow their business. Being powered by Network Solutions also sets us apart from nearly ever other local search because we have all of the end to end solutions to help small businesses get online. Getting a business listing on ThinkLocal is an important step, but our small business clients can also benefit from the online solutions we offer whether it is a domain name, website hosting, design, or online marketing.

Q. Where do you see local search going?
A. Local search is an exciting space right now and will continue to be in the forefront of where search is heading. When the internet started, it was thought of as a means to access and communicate information all over the world. While we still have that ability, people now are using the power of the internet to see what is going on in their environment, where they live. More and more people will want instant access to the businesses, events, weather, and other happenings in their local area. And with the increasing mobile device capabilities, that instant access is becoming more widespread than ever. As a result, the importance of quality local search will only continue to grow and play a role in the way our society and business behaves.

Thanks for your time Julia.