In one of the first posts here on SBS, I said that I thought local search would be an important theme as we go along. And I still feel that way. I’ve written that local searchers are often ready to buy, and how the local search market could grow almost 400% by 2010. Want another number? According to Borrell Associates, local search advertising in the U.S. is predicted to grow more than 80% year over year between 2005 and 2009.
Just as many small business owners want to stop spending so much money on the yellow pages and move their marketing dollars to the web, I also believe shoppers and information seekers will choose the web over the yellow pages in greater frequency in coming years. With that in mind, I believe local search offers a great opportunity for small businesses (especially) to reach customers on the web. And those of you who take advantage of this opportunity sooner, rather than later, have the best chance to win in the end.
The purpose of this guide is to introduce small business owners to the different Local Search products and marketing opportunities offered by each of thee main search engines. I’ll do my best to keep the material up-to-date, and I invite you to help me stay informed by emailing matt [at] smallbusinesssem.com with any new discoveries or corrections you find appropriate. You can also use that email for questions you may have!