Brian Wool from Localeze wrote a really good article on ClickZ titled Why Local Search is Direct Marketing’s Mirror Image. It gives very good insight on how local search (in my opinion) is tied closer to marketing than search engine optimization.
Since local search is the mirror image of direct marketing, merchants must feed consumers’ proactivity in local search by giving these consumers the information they need to do their own smart targeting.
This data starts with the basics, such as the firm’s physical location and line of business. It continues with other information that may separate the merchant from its competition: brands carried, hours of operation, payment methods accepted, special accreditations, and any special services, such as valet parking, delivery, and emergency service.
This makes total sense. A business is able to provide information like this to local search engines, Internet Yellow Pages, local verticals, etc.
Consumers are waiting. Local merchants should be willing participants in the local search business.
Like the first highlighted quote, how many businesses are actually going into different local search properties and providing information for consumers who are proactively searching for them? A start is Google’s Local Business Center. Most local businesses haven’t even done that. It’s not their fault, most of them simply haven’t heard of it.