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Business in Your Backyard?

Today I found a new client, in my backyard … our pool guy. I noticed on his invoices that he has a Yahoo! email address and no website. He takes payments by check only.

I did some preliminary research, found the perfect domain for him, one that contains his business name AND includes a related phrase that gets 800 local searches a month.

Sent him an email with that info and mentioned that I can help him get setup to take credit card payments online. That’s all it took. I picked up the domain name for him, and he’s coming by tomorrow to finalize the deal.

There’s business all around you, just open your eyes to see, and your mouth to ask, especially if you’re already doing business with them. You’d be surprised how many small business owners have been thinking about getting online and would be happy to hear from you!

Get busy. Take action.

3 (No Cost) Local Search Tools

I know it’s been a minute since you heard from me. Things have been crazy busy for the last few months, but it’s all good. The triplets are ALMOST 14 now, which is truly mind boggling. A few weeks ago they signed up for their HIGH SCHOOL courses. Unbelievable!

What have I been up to? Mostly offline consulting and SEO, plus a complete rewrite of my book “How to Promote Your Local Business on the Internet“, which is almost done, WOO! Things certainly have changed since the 1st edition was published (in 2002), most notably how many people have jumped on the local internet marketing bandwagon — OMG! There are some good products and services out there, but also a lot of crap.

In typical reporter fashion, I’ll investigate and report back.

To kick it off, here are a couple of good ones that I found that don’t cost a cent:

http://niftymarketing.com/maptracker — tracks Google Map rankings up to 70 positions deep.  You can track generic keywords based on a location, or location + keywords. The tool is built for search marketers who want to be able to get quick email reports of ranking movement daily, weekly, or monthly and the dashboard gives a quick overview of your average ranking position and how many keywords are in the top 7 listings. Enabled me to see at a glance where clients rank in Google Places for their main keywords. Thanks to Mike Ramsey at Nifty Marketing.

http://myreviewspage.com — monitors the reviews being left about your client/company on the major review engines. Email updates, an easy user interface, and a wordpress plug in. Doesn’t get much better for SMB reputation management thanks to Don Campbell.

http://www.getlisted.org — you probably know about this one already but just in case … David Mihm‘s Getlisted.org is the biggest tool in local search. Getlisted.org’s tool tells you at a glance whether a business listing has been claimed on the major search engines, how complete their profile is, and will walk you through the entire listing process. A great resource for local business owners and marketers.

More cool tools coming soon!