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How to market local search
Any hints, tips, pitfalls to avoid
jenkers




msg:1573159
 9:41 am on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi,
I'm new to this forum so hello to all first.
I and an ex-work colleague have started up a local business directory.

There is no current directory offering for our area other than some various national spam directories that have sprung up in the UK over the last few years.

We have been live for 3 months (basically just quietly adding content, testing, and propogating through the search engines) - we have lots of backlinks - DMOZ listing and are getting some organic results in the SERPS for the directory pages.

We have so far got a small number of local businesses interested and paying up:

as part of the paid listing we offer an extra page which they can update whenever they want (very easily)and which can link to their own website if they have one.

They also get a listing in our own search engine - this is a full-blown spidering search engine which contains spidered results from local councils, non-profit orgs, community websites etc. The idea being that we can provide full search engine functionality and flexibility but with a spam-free locally biased results set. We manually control which site get added and indexed.

The site is doing very well in the search engines considering it is so young.

I am just about to launch a press release and have prepared a direct mailshot to local businesses. I also have an appointment with a PR person to see if we can get the local paper to write an article about us.

But, I am not an offline marketer and have not done this before.

For those that have - what should I be doing to get people to use the directory -its ok me going to businesses and maybe selling a little space but I really want this thing to work. I want it to be the first place people think to look when they think about our area.

Any hints / ideas would be most gratefully received.

 

webdev




msg:1573160
 3:25 pm on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have advertised a local portal in the UK a number of times and one thing you should always do with the UK local papers is ask for a discount - never pay the going ratecard you can always knock them down...I have paid less than 70% on some occasions...

May I ask how you went about getting businesses to sign up for paid listings in a business directory before any were actually in there - did you add a number first from local yell etc then approach other local businesses for paid additions.

I'd be interested in regular contact with users like yourslelf to compare notes so to speak so long as your not in my town :), feel free to PM me

jenkers




msg:1573161
 4:03 pm on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

thanks for that.

We give basic listings to all local businesses free of charge.

i.e business name, address, postcode, phone etc.

The paid listing includes premium features.

As we are local we were able to approach small businesses that we know and we've had a very good success rate.

But, internet traffic for particular locales is not necessarily that strong yet in the UK and we need to support it with offline marketing efforts to create a buzz/brand.

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