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How to Drive Traffic with Local Directories

Back in the day there was a time when the old yellow books were still worth keeping on the shelf. These books of old, known as local directories or the phone book, were a big part of our annual advertising budget at The Tiny Store. You see the phone companies controlled the big phone books and believe it or not we spent tens of thousands of dollars year after year with these big conglomerates.

Yes there were other smaller yellow books and one company even published a book that was black. But they weren’t very effective and my surveys and tracking proved this over a period of time.

We really didn’t know any different but I worked my proverbial tail off to bring in business through guerilla marketing and alternative channels. Channels like direct mail, radio, trade shows, good ole’ networking and eventually the web.

Today, as a small business, you no longer have to rely on the physical yellow dinosaur but can utilize the online directories that focus on local markets. Directories like Yahoo Local and Local.com. These Local directories are a great way to achieve the visibility for a small business that desires more visibility in a local or regional marketplace.

Driving traffic with these local directories is easier than you think, if you will take the time and the necessary steps to get the work done.

1. The First Step you need to do is register your business with as many local directories as possible. This will take some time but it’s well worth it. Or you can go to UBL.org and list your business with almost all of the local directory resources.

2. The Second Step you need to take is make sure your business is visible on Google Places, Google Plus Local and Bing Local. If it’s not, then register your business with each of these engines and then see what other options they have available to drive traffic to your business.

3. Lastly- Step Three is to monitor the local directories to make sure that your listings are being properly displayed and that you have visibility for the categories that you signed up for. This monitoring will show you where your business shows up plus who is showing up around you. In other words you can see which competitors are also aware of local directories and how they are marketing their businesses.

Remember, it’s all about results and ROI. So all the visibility in the world isn’t worth anything unless you can convert the searcher/visitor to a paying customer.

With all this said- even though you have the local web to further promote and market your business, the landscape is constantly changing and you will need to stay on top of the changes or you might get left behind and become invisible.

Now if you are like many small business owners and the web just seems toooo overwhelming, maybe you need a little guidance? If this is the case – contact The SmallBiz Mechanic and ask about the Local Web Marketing Tuneup.

Dave Krygier


Local Internet Marketing – 3 Tips You Can Use in Your Small Business

When it comes to Local Internet marketing is your business running on all eight cylinders or does it seem like you’re fighting an uphill battle with webmasters and specialists who promise the moon?

Whether you have a stand alone physical business that needs foot traffic, a remote office that requires in bound calls or a virtual office that handles emails, texts, calls and social interaction – Local Internet Marketing may be just what you need to increase sales and profits.

Notice in that last paragraph that I said May. Because in certain cases Local Internet Marketing may not be what your business needs. Like the one I was running out of a home office many years ago in the Wenatchee Valley (in Central Washington), where it’s a smaller community with a population hovering around 40,000 people.

When I lived there the local paper was just starting to market online but it was all so new and 56K dialup was very frustrating. Working out of this satellite office we helped run our Seattle based operations for The Tiny Store, plus I communicated, serviced and sold products to people all over the planet. This was in the late 1990’s before cable or DSL. A matter of fact, we had the first residential 115K ISDN line installed and it took three GTE techs to get it all working and operational.

What’s my point here?

It’s this – Local Internet Marketing would not have had the ROI for us had I implemented what I’m going to share below. Why you ask? Because this particular market was really small and our niche was too narrow.  Note: remember, it’s always about results and ROI.

Even though Local Internet Marketing is much easier today than it was 10 and 15 years ago, you still need to understand and be able to navigate through the landscape or hardscape. If you do, you can really help your business and maybe even your wallet.

With all the advancements in technology in the last 10 years, one can pinpoint and target market like never before. Let’s say you own a local service business in the Spokane area, Spokane Valley or Post Falls/ Coeur d’Alene and desire to connect with local and maybe even regional prospects. Marketing via the web using localized methods can make all the difference.

So let’s dig in and go over Three Local Internet Marketing Tips that you can use in your business right now to attract more prospects:

  1. The first tip is to Setup a Separate Mobile Website. This is different than just enabling your site to be visible on mobile devices like the iphone, Blackberry or Android. In most cases this mobile website will make it easier for searchers to view your business and connect immediately. This mobile website helps to eliminate long load times and having to scroll or crawl through menus and content to find the information he or she is seeking.
  2. The second tip is to Become Visible and Register your business with all the local online directories. This tactic can give you a broader reach than just your existing website and can create visibility through credible online sources.
  3. The third tip of the day is to Develop and Cultivate testimonials and positive reviews that you can use in all of your marketing. These testimonials can make the difference, so work to collect and gather as many as you can, making sure to abide by an laws and regulations.

No matter where your small business is located – Spokane, Wenatchee, Richland, or a big metropolitan area like Seattle, if you desire to reach the local community, then no better  time to do it than the present.

Get started now and do the work unless you need someone like The SmallBiz Mechanic to help along the way.

To your local internet marketing success,

Dave Krygier

Local Search Marketing & Your Small Business – Beyond Getting Listed

Have you been working hard to get your company listed in all the directories and search engines but the flood of new traffic & sales still seems to elude your small business?

Today I want to dig into the topic so you can use local search marketing in your small business and go beyond just getting listed.

Local search marketing has come alive in the last five years and with all the new web tools at your disposal it’s so much easier than what we went through during the first ten years of the Internet.

Back in the beginning at The Tiny Store we didn’t have the entire local channels that you have access to today. It was the old search engines and it was quite a different game.

Today you have lots of options and opportunities that allow your small business to be visible and accessible, but the real question is this; are you capturing, connecting and cultivating every possible prospect in your target market?

As a small business owner you want solutions and results with any thing you do with marketing. You need results and not some guessing game, right?

Well, the great thing about the web is that it has evolved to the point where you as small business owner can micro-target your market. This means that all the local listing work you’ve been doing can be put to good use if you setup and establish what I refer to as a Lead Capture Funnel.

So for the remainder of this post I want to share how you can go beyond getting listed in the directories and search engines and target market, so you can see some sales coming your way.

After all you are in business to make a profit and you need sales to see one.

So let me share just one way to go about doing this…

Send out a simple survey to your existing customers and offer a gift or incentive to increase their response rates. Ask your customers a series of short questions, like do they use their mobile phone for web access and how often do they do it?

Now you’ll have to get creative and come up with simple questions like these so you know what your customer is thinking and this will allow you to better target your market.

This information is so critical to have and can bring little gems and nuggets that will prove to be very valuable in the short and long-term.

On another note:

Having a solid grasp about direct response marketing will take ‘Getting Listed’ to making sales and developing a list of subscribers.


You can get listed everywhere and be visible like the tallest building in the city, but this doesn’t guarantee that you will make a nickel or see a prospect walking through your front door.

What you have to do is attract the searcher, have a way to capture him or her and this is where direct response marketing comes into play.

So my recommendation to you is to study and learn direct response marketing and implement as much as you can in your small business.

The web is one big direct response ocean, so get listed, start fishing and capture as many new customers as you can afford to sell and service. And by the way – if any of the above is making sense but you need help putting all the pieces together – connect with The SmallBiz Mechanic. It will be worth it.

Dave Krygier


Local Search Marketing

This post is focused on the search side of local Internet marketing and I want to start out making sure you understand the difference between the two. Local search marketing is really focused on the search side of the equation – both paid and organic. The key here is to be visible to your searcher when they come looking for you on their desktop pc, tablet or mobile device.

Local Internet Marketing is the entire package that includes paid advertising, PR (news and press releases), social media, organic search, email marketing, and anything else the web can do to help your business.

If you are like most business owners I’ve come across, all they want to do is sell their product or service and if the Internet can help them do that in some way, shape or form – then make it so!

For many small business owners the Internet (especially local search marketing) really seems to finally be catching on. This is especially the case for those enterprises that realize how important the web has become to people who are searching for local goods, services and information.

If you have chosen to market your product or service locally to people in Spokane, Spokane Valley or in Posts Falls and Coeur d’ Alene, then putting some time into local search marketing will increase your visibility and allow more searchers to find you.

If on the other hand you have a desire to make your gadget, widget or info available to anyone, anywhere, anytime – then you’ll need to take a different road and use a much more broad ‘SEO for business’ plan. More on this in a future post.

Ok – let’s get back to local search and how this can help your small business.

There are three different channels to market to and you need to determine which ones are most important to you and your business. I have listed them out by order of importance based on a retail/service operation that relies on foot and phone traffic to keep the doors open.

Channel#1 Is the Local Community (like Spokane or Spokane Valley), so focus on this channel first and work on driving as much traffic as you can handle to your location and phones. As of this writing this is primarily done through Google, Yahoo and Bing. So make sure your listings are current and all pertinent info is accurate with active links. Note: email and social media are important and I’ll dig into this later so you can see how these two interact with your local search marketing plan.

Channel #2 Is the Tourist and Visitor. If your business is more reliant on this channel then we bump it to the first slot and focus more on attracting people to your company through local, regional and targeted search. You can also use third party sites to gain more visibility so always consider what sites you can link to and which ones will link back to you. Note: Think like a tourist when developing this channel. How do you search when you travel?

Channel #3 Is the Regional Community which shops, visits family and may utilize medical facilities and other companies to service vehicles, electronics, appliances and more. This channel is one that you need to think out side the box and network as much as possible to gain additional links to the web pages and social media sites.

Remember, the search engines, directories and social media sites create the visibility so searchers can find you. So basically you have to list your business in directories that show up in the search engines and also optimize pages on your website, so these rank for certain keywords and key phrases. Add Google + Local, Maps, Phone Links and Video to the mix and your local search marketing will come together.

As always keep it simple, stay focused, be persistent and keep in touch with the SmallBiz Mechanic if you get stuck or need help.

Dave Krygier



How to do Local Search Marketing

                       Local Search Marketing for Small Business      

As of this writing, ‘how to do local search marketing’ is a pretty hot topic for small business owners who rely on local economies to fuel their enterprises. When it comes to the question ‘how to get listed in local search’, one needs to really peel back the layers and look at all the current options available.

Basically it’s a simple concept. Get your small business as visible as possible in the search engines and directories, so the when the searcher comes looking, you pop up and say we are here, we are here!

Years ago – during what I call the early Internet age(kind of like the 1960’s), we only had organic search and a few directories. It was the wild west Internet but not as fast paced as today. For the first 4 years we were on dial up even though much faster lines were available for commercial use. The slow connections prohibited video and audio was just getting it’s start.

Today you have to be tuned in to local search marketing if your small business relies on the local method of generating new prospects and being visible to existing customers.

So let’s look at the basic overview:

You list your business in the directories just like the ole’ physical yellow and white pages books, and then make yourself really visible to the searcher in the search engines.

1. Search Engines – first you have organic and then you have paid. Do it in this order and with paid search, always test first before building out a campaign.

2. Directories provide aggregate information about businesses. You need to be listed on as many as possible. In some cases the directories might rank really high and give you extra search juice. Go to UBL.org and check out their packages. It’s well worth the money.

3. Google Places (formerly Google Maps) is what we use to find locations and destinations. Google + Local is the most current version and Yahoo! also has their version, so make sure you optimize and that your small business is listed and that you’ve utilized all the tools currently available to you.

4. Videos can be a big benefit for testimonials, demonstrations, promotions and more, so be sure to sprinkle a video here and there to help your rankings. It’s also a good idea to use sites like Vimeo and Viddler along with You Tube.

Top it all off with adding Social Media sites, add a little bit of PPC and you have a recipe for local search marketing success.

In addition to the traffic that the search engines, directories, and social media sites can bring your business, you have what I call target market vehicles, plus mobile websites to make search much easier for the mobile surfer.

What it comes down to is making it easy for the searcher to find you. Which means that you should seriously consider a mobile website, since more and more people are using their mobile devices for searches. And they especially use them when looking for a destination or are in need of contact information.

We’ll dig more into this topic in a future post. In the mean time if your small business is stuck in the local search marketing mud – check in with the SmallBiz Mechanic and see if he can help you out.

Stay tuned…

Dave Krygier

Secrets of The Tiny Store

Local Search Marketing & What it Means to Your Small Business

Local Search Marketing is one of those topics that I don’t often write about but felt compelled to do so since I’ve been running into so many small businesses that are searching for ways to capture leads, create awareness and connect within their local communities.

In all my years of being involved in small business I’ve never seen a better time for new and existing small biz ventures to be able to reach out to their local communities through the web and local search.

For so many years all we had were the physical yellow pages and then the web came our way in 95′, but none of the directories were even tuned in yet. A matter of fact I can remember meeting with the USWest(now Qwest) folks in Seattle and they didn’t have a clue as to what was going on. Or at least they weren’t letting on if they did know.

I can also remember the first time that I heard about local search online from a business associate. This was way back in 2000 or 2001 and we had been looking and searching for ways to market to our region versus the rest of the planet.

By this time USWest and GTE(now Superpages) were charging $19.95 a month for each online listing and we needed a lot of listings because of all the product and services categories we were in.

We had tons of organic traffic and the phones and email were hot and sizzlin’, and the search engines really helped us, but locally it was still primarily traditional media and physical directories.

Enough about the past – let’s dig into the present and how you can take advantage of local search marketing for your small business.

Local search marketing is much easier now than it’s ever been before and you can develop a presence in your region or community within days and weeks versus months and years.

A big part of local search marketing is the local search directory. There are more than 30 places online to find and get access to local area businesses, so you need to know which directories are the best for local search. Do your research and you’ll quickly see who the players are including web-based directories like Yahoo! Local, Local.com, Superpages/ SuperMedia (originally operated by GTE), Yellowpages, Dex, Infospace and the list goes on and on. Also at the top of the pile is Google Maps so make sure to claim your listing there as well.

Getting Started with Local Search

To get started with local search you will want to get listed in the Universal Business Listing (UBL). This is the big daddy and they feed their listings to just about everyone else online. The annual cost is minimal and you will also receive listings with most of the other online directories.

Step Two is to go back and register with the top five online directories that are not included in the UBL. Most of the online directories are free for the basic listing so make sure to fill out all the information and provide complete descriptions whenever asked. And make sure to have a list of keywords and phrases that are targeted and directly relate to what you offer.

Step Three is to take the time and check your listings. This way you can monitor and see where you are coming up in the search engines and directories.

Lastly – if you have the capability, you might consider creating landing pages and/or dedicated URL’s for certain directories. This is a more advanced strategy and you need to make sure that you know what your doing before implementing it.

In closing – if your business revolves around and relies on the local community and region, then it is imperative that you get on the local search bandwagon now, and do what it takes to get listed in as many directories as possible along with optimizing your site for the search engines.

If you need more information about how to implement local search in your business, contact The Small Biz Mechanic.