Patricia Hursh's Clickz Article a Must Read

Patricia Hursh writes a great article today on ClickZ titled "Four Steps Every Business Can Take to Improve Local Search Results" . The article covers the local search subject and provides some very valuable links.


Social Media, You Must Appreciate It

Rohit Bhargava provides some very useful tips for optimizing for social media (SMO).
Today Danny Sullivan co-signs on the idea of getting a MySpace profile -now- before someone claims your name or niche.
We have been taking about this for months ;-)


ChefMoz Reviews Showing On Yahoo! Local

Chef MOZ "reviews" are showing up in Yahoo! Local under Yahoo!'s own user recommendations. Insider Pages have been showing off and on for the last month or so from my vantage point.
If you own a restaurant or have clients in the industry I would submit my links!.


Honda, Others Marketing Via MySpace

Honda Motor Company has a Myspace profile and is pointing people to it using Google AdWords. ThreeMinds expands on an article from ClickZ on who else uses MySpace to get in front of those 103,000,000 warm bodies.


Hard Evidence Local Business Not "Getting" It Yet

This article by Jim Bonfield of EyeballFarm.com illustrates how local business, in this case furniture stores in Sacramento are not finding their way to the front pages of the major search engines. His supporting evidence tells us this is exactly where the furniture buyer is looking for furniture.

"- 75 percent of shoppers who researched home furnishings online said they had made a local shopping trip within the week following their online research.

- 80 percent of women cited major search sites as being nearly tied for first-place with actual local furniture store websites for their most preferred furniture-shopping destination online.

Local furniture companies are smart and many have deep marketing budgets and employ some really great marketing folks (I know a few). So why are internet users drawing a blank trying to find them? My guess is, they are just too busy being furniture store retailers and have not kept up with the way local consumers are using search engines..."


Internet Limbo Exists

...and I'm in it for now. Some call this state of limbo "Sandboxed" when referring to Google. What it means is your site or blog is not yet indexed, not found in any results pages. This blog currently lives in a naked state, unclothed, not ready to walk the red carpet. So anything I write A.T.M. is for my own amusement. Of course what I have written is intended to be read some day and this post in particular will look kind of silly, like catching someone talking to himself.
If any point is to be made of this it is the search engines must find you. Content is what they search for and eventually if you have followed the rules you get listed.

We offer local business quick ways to bypass this waiting period. We plug you into directories like Yahoo Local, Google Local/Maps, SuperPages and many others that do not require traditional spidering before indexing.
We can have your business visible to your customers on no less than a dozen local oriented websites in one business day.
Yahoo Local and Google Local/maps requires a reviewing process and it could take anywhere from a week to 4 weeks to be seen.
For now I'll keep writing here trying to feed the spiders. Our main site has found the immediate success we expect for you. Because we listed the site as a local business we gained the attention of the search engine spiders quickly.
Just type us into Yahoo and Google and see for yourself.


What Some Charge

Pricing of search marketing (and related) services is known to be secretive at best. It's actually refreshing to find a service that posts their prices for all to see in advance. The site I linked to obviously courts a different client than we do and I do believe you do get your $$$s worth if you dial them up.

Since we cater to smaller, local businesses and services our prices are far less.
A one hour phone call to us is FREE! If you like what we offer then we talk about a fee. If you decide to 'go it alone' and DIY that's OK with us. We expect if you go it alone you will use some of what you learned from us.
Our message is this; if you have a small business in a competitive sector you MUST be represented on the internet. We help you get there. Our satisfaction is when you call or email us to tell us that your campaigns are working.
When you take a business from zero to sixty in a (relative) split second it's a great feeling!


The New Alphabet Soup Of Online Marketing

Andy Beal of Marketing Pilgrim talks about CGM, (consumer generated media) and CCC, (consumer-created content) quoting from Jupiter Research.
I like the term User Generated Content, (UGC).

Yahoo is leading the way with integrating UGC, CGM and CCC. Ignoring the issue puts your business at a disadvantage. You want to encourage positive buzz and positive recommendations. Our ground-up marketing system focuses on variations of this premise.

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Local Search Discussion from SES San Jose

Seroundtable's summary from a session at SES San Jose last month.

"So who are the local internet advertisers? Typically small and medium sized enterprises with over 10 million SMEÂ’s in the US. SMEÂ’s spend 22 billion on local advertising annually. 46% of their advertising budgets on Yellowpages / 70% are service based. Only spend about 5-6K on average per year. They are very busy and confused about how to take advantage of this opportunity. Where do I start and how do I begin?"

This is the basis of our service at Sierra Web Marketing, where do you begin? I invite everyone interested in beginning an online marketing campaign to read the articles linked above. If you want your local business advertised smartly on the web please call oemailal us and let's discuss our inexpensive solutions!


Inexpensive, Simple Website Solution

We have 'teamed' with a company that provides an inexpensive web page builder.
We are primarily a marketing service, not web designers. Many of the options we offer local business does not require a website however having a website is much better than not!

If you do decide to purchase a domain name and purchase the hosting and website package do not hesitate to ring us up or email us for assistance. As mentioned we are not designers but we can help you get a decent site into operation.

Once your site is live we'll let her rip on all the platforms we utilize!

Online Reputation Monitoring Service

Andy Beal's online reputation monitoring guide is a must read for any and all who are concerned about how their brand is being viewed.


Angie's List Gaining Speed

Angie's List is a lot like Judy's List or Yelp however Angie's List seems to take a more serious approach to the validity of the reviews submitted.
Also I'm seeing Angie's List on a sponsored listing buying spree on various sites including Topix.net and other popular local oriented platforms. I am advising clients and friends or relatives to have their preferred clients pop into Angie's List to offer a good word or two!


Naymz Is Worth A Look

I can't find a downside to Naymz. The basic profile is free and profiles are finding their way into Google's main index.
Here is my initial (free) profile.


New Local Platform, MyZip.com

MyZip.com is yet another IYP just brought to the market by the people at Marchex. MyZip is another directory that includes reviews. I cannot repeat this enough, your local business or service MUST be included in every local search database that offers reviews. Call or email us and we will explain why this is so important!


The Spotlight Is On Local Search

Search Engine Strategies is dedicating a conference to local search. Industry expert Chris Sherman will host the event to be held Denver September 28, 2006.

From the event website;

"Despite the furious competition between Google, Yahoo!, MSN and directories in local (and maps), no one yet owns the category, and there are literally dozens of smaller players that offer compelling alternatives for search marketers."

This is the message we tell clients. It is important to be listed in every available local advertising platform. No one knows which player in the space will emerge as the go-to site. Even if one or two do it can only benefit the local business or service to be represented in the peripheral or alternative sites.

We cannot attend this SES Local event however we will be attending future SES Local events. The local space is moving so quickly now these meet-ups are the best place to network and stay up to speed.


Tagging Tips

U.S.A. Today offers up an interesting read on search guru Danny Sullivan. Oddly (somewhat out of context) on the left column was this tip for adding tags to social bookmarking sites. It is odd tagging would be mentioned anywhere on the page as Danny Sullivan is not a fan of tagging at all!

"Descriptive title "tags." Instead of calling a Web page, "Law offices of Mike Smith," write something more likely to be found, such as: "Seattle patent attorney Mike Smith," says Rand Fishkin, CEO of consultant SEOmoz.org.

Clean URLs. Instead of gibberish such as "www.patentlawyer.com/%20=30.html," use words that are likely to be understood, such as www.patentlawyer.com/mikesmith.html.

Lots of links. When people talk about your site or link to it you will be rewarded, Fishkin says. Links are easier to get than most people realize. The hypothetical lawyer could join groups such as attorney associations or the Better Business Bureau all of which offer links."

Well done! I am an absolute advocate of using tags smartly. The major engines are weighting tagged sites more often. We push tagging and show our clients how to push their site using them.