As my new Marketing Consulting Business gets off the ground (I'm about 70% of my maximum client base), I have discovered that the local business Search Engine Optimization business is where the future is for most of my clients. As discussed elsewhere on this blog and on my SEO blog, the hard copy yellow pages are dead. No one uses them to find the wedding planner, the bike shop, or the computer consultant anymore.
Most shoppers who are unclear about where to purchase their next bicycle or garbage disposal go straight to the web. They may just need to see where there is a close supplier, in which case google maps is right at the top of the page. They may want to review quality and pricing for the product or service, and there are dozens of websites doing that. Now, in Los Angeles, there are at least 10 local search engines like Yelp, City Search, and City Voter who not only give you a snapshot of the business, but invite folks to write reviews.
All of these local search engines are competing for top page or top 25 ranking on a key word or key phrase ranking with the websites of the companies themselves. So if I have a website design company and pay $2500 for a nice website, then pay a SEO consultant a bunch more money to try and get me in the top 10, the power of all these other websites might keep me down in the third or 4th page.
For my personal searches, I now have my preferences set at 50 responses instead of the 10 that is the default. This allows me to quickly find actual businesses instead of local search engines.
For my clients, it means they need to be sure they are represented on all those local search engines. It took me two hours yesterday to get one client up on all of them. But that $250 for that client will be paying dividends for years to come.
Then I need to find other methods for getting high positions, not merely the website. Blogs, YouTube, Flickr.com, Forum posts, and a dozen other tricks of the trade create a full frontal assault that usually results in something being on page 1. That's why the name of my new website is http://www.searchPage1.com.