Local SEO Investment a No-Brainer

Local SEO investment is a no-brainer – and it’s one that will ultimately benefit everyone trying to provide marketing services to local businesses.

David Mihm has a great post in which he describes the basics (among many other things worth your time):

Do your keyword research, figure out which phrases you want to target, claim your Google and Yahoo local listings with proper categories, submit to infoUSA, Localeze, and Acxiom (via Universal Business Listing).  That covers 90% of your bases.   This basic process for one location shouldn’t take more than a few hours.  Obviously ongoing optimization, particularly in competitive niches, requires expertise and more diligence, but think of the ‘claiming your listing’ and submission process as an analog for researching keywords and writing your ads.

Every local business should be doing this.  Today.  There is probaby nothing else they can do that will provide the same level of return on investment.  As a point of reference David points to two recent studies by Conductor and Enquisite showing that SEO has a much higher return than many Pay Per Click campaigns for larger advertisers.  And given that the state of local SEO is much less evolved today, the returns in local SEO are likely even higher.

So, why isn’t every local business not doing this already?  Because they don’t know any better.  And since there isn’t a lot of money to be made in telling them how to do this, people aren’t exactly banging down the door to bring them this information.  And those who are banging down their doors to sell them marketing and advertising services aren’t that interested in telling them about something that is nominally competitive.

This sort of thinking is seriously counter-productive.  First of all, all of the local merchants advertising efforts – both online and offline are going to work better if they are taking care of the basics.  And this applies to those attempting to sell them additional services as well.

But more importantly, by shrouding the whole process in mystery we are undermining the confidence of local advertisers.  And when they eventually discover ‘the truth’ they are going to be very dis-appointed with those who didn’t help them earlier.


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