Local Marketing Horror Story – This Could Happen To You!

Happy Friday the 13th everyone. It’s that time of year again here in Northern Michigan – trees are tinged with red and gold, leaves crackling underfoot, pumpkins and mums, goblins and ghouls, snow… Yes, it’s also snowing here today. Please don’t ask.

Anyway, last night I went online to search for some vintage clothing stores in the Ann Arbor area. Since I don’t live there, I needed some online directory assistance. Little did I know that I would find myself pitted against a sinister force of marketing ignorance that was truly bone chilling in the number of unsuspecting users affected.

To my utter horror, I found that there are millions of businesses missing out on a major online marketing opportunity – one that you don’t even need a web site to take advantage of.

I’m talking about local search – specifically, online local directories and yellow pages. If you have a brick and mortar store, then get thee to your local directory!

Don’t have a web site? That’s no excuse. You need to make sure that you are listed – in DETAIL – on online local directories. Many local search engines let you list information even if you don’t have a web site, such as:

  • In-Depth Description of Services
  • Customer Reviews
  • Store Hours
  • Address & Phone
  • And more

Of course, it really helps if you have a web site too, but if you don’t, the in-depth description and customer reviews of your services will be an absolute godsend to desperate web users such as myself.

Otherwise, the only thing that distinguishes you from your competitors is your name. A name isn’t really enough for me to go on. Google Local tells me, for example, that there’s a vintage clothing store named “Getup” in Ann Arbor. But since there’s no description or link to a web site for more information, the only thing I could possibly do is give the store a call.

How ghoulish! Who would ever call a store when you can research it online? Oh wait, I can’t. That’s precisely what is so annoying.

Anyway, here are just a few of the many free sites you should enhance your store descriptions on if you have a brick and mortar presence:

Free Directories:

Paid Directories:

I also recommend that you get listed on local and regional directories (for example, even though Apple Annie’s Vintage Clothing doesn’t appear to have a web site, their listing on Michigan.org goes a long way to enhancing their listing on Google Local).

Anyone else reading this – please respond if you have other favorite local search sites you’d like to recommend.

Until then, happy hunting…