I was going through some old spam today and happened across an email from a woman who had been referred to me by a friend back on July 17th.
I immediately called her and apologized for not getting back to her before now. She understood the issues with spam and thanked me for calling, only after she explained she had signed a 1 year contract with DEX to build host and list in the Dex online yellow pages.
Just for giggles I went to her site and took a look at it. The site is clean and simple – 3 pages. Not a lot of text or anything but a good brochure site.
I checked the server to make sure that the spiders could read it and found nothing wrong. I then checked a whois file and found the site is hosted along with 24,000+ other sites. Not a great thing but unless someone is a real big spammer and gets the entire block of addresses banned, this should not hurt them.
The domain was originally set up in July of 2006. Being new and only registered for 1 year makes it harder to get into the mainstream search engines.
The owner of the site is concerned because they are not being found anywhere in Google. I ran a couple of reports and they are not being found anywhere.
I explained that Dex does not really promote the site in the search engines but just lists them in their own directory. The business caters to senior citizens and comes to them for hair cuts, and hair services.
When I search Dex for what I thought they should be found under “mobile hair cuts” I get one listing. It is for a competitor and it only lists their name and phone number. I moved on and searched for “mobile hair salon” and again got the same competitor.
When I searched Google for company name + phoenix, az they are listed. Unfortunately, the listing has a link to a directory areacodelocal.com where it lists all of their competitors.
In Yahoo local, the client does not exist. Same with AOL Local and MSN live.
So what does a business like this do to attract more customers?
First, they have to get found where their customers are looking for them, in the local search results of Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL. They do this by listing their address on every page of their site, exchanging links with other non-competing local merchants and by going in and correcting the listings with each of the major search engines.
It will be important that once the customers get to their site that they collect email addresses so that a relationship can be formed and to measure everything customers do on their site including asking every caller where they found out about them.
Additionally, I would spend $100.00 or so to test out a pay per click campaign that is just based on local search results.
Of course this company could also benefit by hiring Get Found Local to help them with all of their Local Search Marketing challenges.