The other day Erick Schonfeld posted The Problem with Local Search and Greg Sterling posted his comments What’s The Problem with Local Search? in his blog. Now Greg has commented before about “the problems”, as he mentions in his post. Anyone who works within the local search marketing field has heard of these “problems” before, they are not new.
To summarize, the “problems” with local search are:
1. Volume or amount of local searches currently occurring is lacking
2. Folks are still using offline YellowPages or printed directories
3. Local listings are not growing because small business owners are not doing their own local search promoting and on-line companies do not have the sales force to sell it to them.
Ok, as a small business owner, what should you be thinking? How should you react to this? Should you even get involved with local search?
I am very excited about local search because of what it is doing now and the huge potential it has; this is why I am in it. I think every small business can profit from participating in local search marketing but the small business owner needs to understand what he can or should expect from his investment.
Local search is still growing and developing. When you participate in local search marketing, you can not expect millions of hits to your website or to your offline business. What you are doing is increasing your visibility, putting you name out in more places, making it easier for folks to find you. Yes the local engines do not get the same traffic numbers as the normal search engines, but again you are dealing with a specific type of searches. This number will be increasing over time. It is because local search is in its early states, that makes it the perfect time to get involved…so when this takes off even more you are already entered and enjoying the benefits.
Finally the “problems” that are listed I think, are not really problems, simply characteristics of its current state. From what I have seen and read, local search will grow and develop and the small business owner should view it as a long term marketing program, it is not a quick fix.