Yes I know ILM 09 was last month, but over the holiday I took some time to look over the presentations and what was covered.  A lot of good info. If you have the chance to go to ILM10, would highly recommend it.  This post does not cover everything but these 3 points I thought provided a nice sampling of info and material the small business owner should consider.

1. Reputation Management is not a new topic online. I have not discussed it much but it is something small business need to be aware of. What folks say about you online is important.  Matthew Berk of Marchex provided a nice presentation on a new program they are putting together. Below are the key points smbs should be aware of (in general).

• Local Search is a solved problem for consumers… but not small businesses (SMBs)
• SMBs are time starved and lack marketing expertise
• SMB digital footprints are fragmented, disparate, and growing without their knowledge
• Consumer reviews can dramatically affect their business

Reputation Management:
• Gives SMBs visibility into their online presence to inform marketing and operations
• Provides businesses with an information advantage
• Saves SMBs time (money) by staying on top of their digital footprint
• Identifies opportunities to take action

2. Local Content

Jeff Ferguson of Local.com spoke on website content. The key phrase or point that I walked away with was:

“As mentioned previously, be the product and service expert in the form of great content on your site, however, do it locally, not nationally. Target your content via locally relevant articles. Don’t just write about “radon”, the EPA has that covered Write about “radon in Phoenix, AZ” because that’s what your customers are looking for when they are shopping for a product or service.”

3. Social -Local Mix

Mike Boland has a nice presenation on how social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, etc is getting integrated into local search. This topic is big and probably every site or directory you go to now has the option of tweeting your info or linking your tweets to your account etc.  Like or not social media is very important and the small business should try to embrace it.