Local Search #1 Rule
- Advertise on sites that a person would logically use when actively seeking to purchase from a business like yours.
A couple of examples… could you picture someone going to Google or Superpages.com and typing in your business category plus a geographic indicator? Yes.
But how about a blog like this one… would you go to the search box of this blog and do a local business search. No.
So, the conclusion is that small businesses should not advertise on Google’s content network… agreed?
This is certainly a debatable point, but my opinion is that small businesses should follow rule #1 closely. What surprises me is that a yellow page company doesn’t agree. After all, a yellow page ad is the purest form of this rule.
But look at this:
This is a page from a forum that is providing advice on aligning text with an image in XHTML. The ad placed by dex media is for a dentist promoting invisalign braces. It’s easy to assume that the Dentist is not likely to secure a patient from this ad.
Wonky Search Results Go With The Territory
Anyone who has done a search campaign has had their ad shown in wonky searches. I’m not beating up Dex for that. We will all do that at one time or another. But I am questioning whether or not they should put their advertisers on the content network.
I think the biggest reason advertisers trust yellow page companies with their search campaigns is because they believe intuitively that yellow page companies will naturally follow local search’s #1 rule.
I also think that search marketers who charge a percentage of spend need to hold themselves to a higher standard. A result like this could make it look like the person who set up the campaign was trying to increase spend. After all, on the content network this ad may only need to be shown, not even clicked, to drive revenue. As CPM is an option on the content network.
Confusion and difficulty is often cited as a big reason local businesses don’t participate more in search marketing. It does not need to be this complicated. Just don’t use the content network in local search.
For a list of the sites that I would recommend a small business consider see the image on this local search post.