Ok, deceptive and cheezy title. My bad. This post is actually about moving companies and local search marketing… but I couldn’t think of a cool title.
I came across an Adage article a few hours ago titled Marketers, Web Bigs Rush to Crack Local-Search Code (subscription may be required). It certainly doesn’t crack any code (they don’t exist – really), but it’s an interesting article regarding an Eden Prairie-based moving company and their balance between print Yellow Pages and local search.
It made me think of what I’d look for if needing a moving company. I’d definitely like to see a Web site, especially one that has some form of online shipment tracking. I’d also like to see exactly where they’re located, business info, hours of operations, and if online consumers say nice things about them.
So… might as well Google up a search for Minneapolis movers.
The now prevalent one-box results were decent enough from a proximity standpoint, but I was left a little lost. One site really wasn’t local, and the other results didn’t have much more information than their address and phone number. The first result did have a nice 3rd party “Yahoo Local” testimonial though.
What can these businesses do? Aside from adding your business info to Google and Yahoo local, if you’re in Minneapolis, Dex Online is the default local Internet Yellow Pages provider. Having a free updated profile can help. Search engines like Google pull this data for their local search results. There are paid options as well.
This is just a start, but one nice thing for these is that businesses themselves can go in and enter their own information at low or no cost – no Internet marketing experience required.
Something else to note is that some businesses are savvy enough to also incorporate localized SEO and geo-targeted PPC campaigns. The natural, paid, and local algorithms are completely separate from each other. This can allow a business to own a lot of real estate in search result pages.