Search Engines Going Loco for Local… but When will Small Business Get Real?

Local search has generated lots of interest lately. Let’s review:

Google Goes Local
The search engine giant recently released Google Local, which it had been beta testing since Oct. 2003. Users enter geographic search terms, such as zip code or city name, and get results with physical street address and phone number, along with a MapQuest map and related links. You can also vary the radius of the search, from 1 to 45 miles.

Right now it’s free, but you can expect to see paid AdWords in the future. The company plans to include international markets in the coming months.

Yahoo! Launches SmartView
Yahoo! launched SmartView in March, which is integrated with Yahoo! Maps and provides information on nearby businesses such as restaurants, hotels, discount stores. It does this by SmartView looking at your destination, then offering what it thinks you might be interested in once you get there.

Other categories are available in case SmartView guesses wrong, so if you’d rather shop than eat, click on “Shopping & Services” for a list of options. Choose “Malls” and you get a map with icons that represent nearby shopping areas. Pass your cursor over the icon and information pops up. It’s a great user interface, but not entirely intuitive. Instead of the map being the end point for a search, it’s the beginning.

SmartView already displays sponsored links by Overture, which of course is owned by Yahoo! Industry experts say that SmartView is only one piece of Yahoo!’s local search strategy, which it will try to aggregate in a number of different ways.

a href=””>Verizon’s
Verizon recently overhauled and re-launched its and became the first online directory to offer PPC advertising to national and local businesses. This allows small businesses to target consumers in a geographic region, and pay only when visitors click through to their site. Verizon will continue to offer fixed price ad placements for advertisers who don’t want to manage PPC campaigns. Search results are provided through an agreement with

CitySearch is a local search veteran, having provided information about U.S. cities since 1996. The site primarily focuses on area attractions, restaurants, shopping, event listings, and recreation, though you can find any type of local business overall. Material is gathered through partnerships with other companies, such as yellow pages. Citysearch crawls the web for additional information and adds in events data. In June 2003, they launched their Cost-Per-Lead program, which allows their 25,000 advertisers to decide how many leads they want and how much they want to spend.

AOL & MapQuest Embrace Local Search
AOL’s “In Your Area” local search function lets members search for business listings, entertainment and events near their location indicated by zip code. Almost half of AOL members who logon every month search for local content. AOL owned recently started beta testing their local search engine, MQSearch. MapQuest’s 26 million monthly users can search for local businesses by name or category, plus city/state or ZIP.

Results are returned with business name, address and phone, each linked to a MapQuest map and estimated driving distance. MQSearch results can be sorted alphabetically or by distance, and the search radius can be expanded from 25 to 50 miles.——–

These are just the big ones, there are others, and they are all jockeying for position in the local search race. In addition to search engines, there are specialty local oriented sites such as,, and

All the interest in local search is in direct response to a very real demand for local information online. People like to find and buy things in their neighborhood, and more consumers are turning to the Net rather than lift the 20-pound Yellow Pages. According to The Kelsey Group, the local search-based advertising market is expected to be worth $2.5 billion by 2008.

Of course the only question remains: when will small local businesses join the party? Attempts to crack open the local market over the last few years have been less than successful. Apparently small business owners remember all too well the lessons learned a few years ago, when all the hype over getting online left them with lighter pockets and little benefits. Most seem to be taking a wait and see attitude.

In the meantime, savvy business owners who have embraced the Internet are finding little competition for local keywords. These early adopters will be ahead of the pack, and it will be that much harder for the competition to catch up.

Get Thee to Thy Local Portal

Are you listed on your local portal? If you’re a local business or have local business clients, what are you waiting for? But first of all, what the heck IS a local portal and how is it different from every other portal we’ve heard about?

“Portal” is one of those buzz words that gets bandied about a lot online. It’s simply a website that acts as a doorway or guide to a world of information, such as Yahoo! or

The problem with these kinds of portals is, the “world” of information about any one topic can be overwhelming. Who wants to sort through thousands of results to find the few gems you’re looking for?

That’s where the specialty or niche portal comes in—specialized portals about a specific topic. These are also called vertical portals, or “vortals”. Don’t laugh, it’s true, look it up in Google.

So, a local portal provides information and website links of interest to residents of a specific region or area. In other words, it’s a virtual gateway to community members—just the kind of people the local business owner wants to reach.

There are several types of local portals:

Broad network portals such as Yahoo! Local, CitySearch, MyCity, and AreaGuides; these well-funded sites are slick, but are often viewed as “outsiders” and face increasing competition from local portals designed and run by local organizations.

Vertical portals (vortals) such as (local services), (outdoor sports enthusiast), (gardening), and (ahem), (bringing “brick-and-mortar” business online)

Community portals such as,, etc. Also included in this group are country portal sites, which provide links to local portals. Examples: and You can see how the portal business is exploding.

While the broad network portals are rather expensive—as much as $200/month or more—vertical portals for your business niche will probably be more reasonable. As for community portals, there are plenty of reasons to get your business listed on every one you can find.

It’s much easier to be found on a local portal than a regular search engine or directory. Better to be 1 of 5 listings returned for a keyword search than 1 of 50,000.

Many local portals are just getting started or still trying to reach critical mass so they can start charging for listings. Get in first and you may be able to get listed for cheap, or even free.

Many newspapers, broadcast stations, and Chambers of Commerce maintain local portals or city business guides. To find a chamber of commerce anywhere in the world, go to:

Also, do a search on your city, state/province and country name, plus one of these terms: business guide, city directory, or local portal. You’re bound to find more than one for your region. Get into as many as possible—you can never be listed on too many portals.

The people most likely to visit local portals are… locals. You can’t get much more targeted than that. Many analysts think that local portals are the future of the web, and will eventually turn out to be the most profitable sites of all. The unique content, personalization, and interactivity typically offered by local portals make them the perfect starting place for local consumers.

And the next step for local portals may be to offer even more useful content and services: high school and Little League scores, church bulletins, local government services, etc. When the web makes it easier for people to accomplish day-to-day activities, it will become an integrated part of daily life. If you want to be there when that happens, get thee to thy local portal… pronto.

Local Search Is Coming— Is Your Site Ready?

Google Local has arrived, which allows users to enter geographic search terms, and get results with physical street address and phone number, along with a MapQuest map and related links.

Yahoo! launched SmartView in March, which is integrated with Yahoo! Maps and provides information on nearby businesses such as restaurants, hotels, discount stores. Verizon’s now allows small businesses to target consumers in a geographic region, and pay only when visitors click through to their site.

AOL’s “In Your Area” local search function allows users to look for business listings, entertainment and events nearby.

Notice a trend?
Almost 40% of Internet searches are for local goods and services. If yours is a local business with mostly local clientele, you need to make sure your web site is optimized for your local market.

Although local search technology is still evolving, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of being found by local consumers:

  1. List the physical address of your business on your web pages, preferably near the top
  2. Include city and state/province location in your meta description and title tags, i.e. < meta name=“title” content=“Coffee News Fort Bend: Affordable Local Advertising”
  3. Use location information in the site’s content, both within the body of the text and in links to other local businesses or places of interest. Keyword rich content should now include geo-location information
  4. Use location info in your heading tags, i.e. <h1>Coffee News Fort Bend: Affordable Local Advertising for Small Business</h1>
  5. recommends adding geosensitive meta tags, i.e.
        meta name=“zipcode” content=“77459,77479,77478”
        meta name=“city” content=“Sugar Land, Missouri City, Stafford”
        meta name=“state” content=“Texas”
        meta name=“county” content=“Fort Bend”
        meta name=“country” content=“United States, USA, United States
          of America”

Visit and learn how to add a GeoURL tag to your site.
This is a tag that gives the longitude and latitude of your location.

Sure, it’s a long shot, but what the heck… As local search evolves, we’ll find out more about how search engines determine location. In the meantime, local businesses that can be easily found via the search engines will be ahead of the pack, and it will be that much harder for the competition to catch up.

Sharon Fling is the author of “How to Promote Your Local Business on the Internet,” and creator of, the web’s largest resource for using the Internet to promote small local business online. Subscribe to GeoLocal’s free Tip of the Week.

Has the Web Gone Local?

Jim Daniels

I live in the snow belt of Rhode Island, USA. No, it’s not Siberia but so far this year we’ve received our share of heavy snow. Which leads me to today’s marketing tip…

When the last storm arrived I decided I would have a snow removal service handle my long driveway instead of plowing it with my small tractor. So I looked in my telephone directory under “snow removal” and “snow plowing”. Unfortunately, there were none listed who serviced my particular town. So off to my computer I went, in hopes there would be just ONE company wise enough to be gathering local customers via the web. After an hour of surfing all my favorite search engines, and local business directories, I gave up. Not a one. Zero. Zilch.

So, what’s the story here? Hasn’t the web reached the level where local businesses can benefit? After all, some 80% of homes in my area have Internet access. This got me thinking…I decided to try a little experiment in hopes of proving that it IS time for local businesses to start promoting via the web.

A client of mine has a local day spa that just opened a few months ago. As with most new businesses, she has very few customers so far. And since it is a “local” business with a physical location to visit, I thought it would be perfect for this experiment. If I could use the web to bring new customers to her day spa, then it would prove that web marketing CAN work for businesses with a localized service or store.

Brainstorming time…
First I considered how potential customers might try to find spa services in her area. I assumed they would search on “day spa Rhode Island”, “Rhode Island spas” and the like. I verified the presence of these web searches and found other related keywords at Once I had a list of verifiable searches being performed online, I strategically filled her website with these keywords and phrases. Then I submitted her site to all the major search engines.

Next, while I was waiting for her site to get indexed I opened an account. This would allow her to could bid on some of those targeted keywords that were being search on. Upon doing so I quickly learned that her site could be positioned within the top three results of many of those keyword phrases, and it could be done very cheaply. This was not really a surprise since only local day spas would be interested in such narrowly focused keyword phrases as “Rhode Island Day Spas”. (Localized businesses ANYWHERE in the world may find this to be the case with their keywords as well!) Now we’re cookin’…

Securing a few keyword phrases in the top 3 of came with another added bonus. Since the high-traffic Yahoo! directory was partnering with Overture, it was showing Overture’s top 3 search terms at the very top of their site. This meant my client’s site zoomed right to the top of Yahoo immediately. Needless to say, this resulted in an instant traffic boost.

To make a long story short, this “local business” really started to click. Not only were local customers finding her website easily and frequently, she quickly learned that people all over the country were searching for holiday gifts for relatives in Rhode Island. So next we popped up some gift certificates at the site and bingo, $3000 worth were sold over the holidays at my client’s website, 🙂Let’s sum this up…
Have I proven to you that the web can be used for marketing local businesses? Now I know many of you are thinking, “Hey my business is not local, it is web based only. How does this help me?”

Well for starters, if you have a web marketing related business, you’ll certainly have clients with localized businesses. You just learned a great new way to get them some superb traffic. And believe me, they will be willing to pay you for it.

Are you a web designer? Now you can offer your localized businesses an optional traffic package and generate additional income. The possibilities are endless if you use your imagination.

And remember, I’ve just touched on the surface of marketing a local business via the web. In addition to the strategy above, businesses can use email to stay in touch with customers, send special sale announcements and more. Again, he possibilities are limited only by a business owners imagination. I hope you’ve learned some valuable marketing lessons today. Now you can do me a favor…
If any of your clients plow snow, tell them to drop me a line. 😉

Yellow Page Smarts—Make More Money from Your Directory Ad in Tandem with Your Web Site

Develop Common Links as a Business Priority
One of the reasons people have taken so enthusiastically to the Internet, is the way it permits them to establish affinities with others with similar interests, wherever they may live. Its ability for people to find each other, and connect, is satisfying many of the needs that used to be met by close-knit communities. So, the scope of the whole world, and the power of electronics, combine to bring together a new-fangled form of community.

Businesses thrive and survive because of those bonds. And, the smart ones know it and work hard to protect those intangible links. The foolish ones take such intangible connections with customers for granted, and only discover too late how hard they are to rekindle. Significant repeat customers and referrals are evidence of a relationship—maybe even a sense of community.

Community cannot be established by a single contact or a phone call. There has to be more to it, like repetition, a feeling that someone sincerely cares, and a developing trust. Yet, valuable qualities like loyalty won’t develop without forging those links—customer by customer. It’s a driving force behind organizations and marketing methods attuned to those relationships, and the needs they serve. Businesses need to find ways to communicate that through their ads and activities, whether that’s the Yellow Pages, local promotions, or their Web site.

Online Yellow Pages
Print Directories are great for local markets that won’t be losing their place soon. However, online Yellow Pages have some advantages, as well. And they’re gaining every year. In 2003, the online Directory market was approximately $450 million. The number of online Yellow Page searches is projected to grow 25 percent annually, and to account for more than 30 percent of total Yellow Pages searches by 2006, according to The Kelsey Group.

It’s a mixed bag on how well directory publishers are making the transition. Data is data. But, as long as they consider themselves “phone books,” rather than searchable data bases, they’ll hang onto practices that are hemmed in by old assumptions, which applied more appropriately to a time of ink and paper.

Consumers Like the Added Convenience
Online Yellow Page Directories have been especially useful for connecting with a business in a distant town. It’s a boon for travelers, who want to locate hotels or vacation attractions. And, if you want to arrange to send a gift to Aunt Mildred in Buffalo, finding a place that delivers is no trick at all. For customers, finding a business in the Internet Yellow Pages is faster than looking through directories and cheaper than calling directory assistance.

Business owners recognize Internet Yellow Page Directories (IYP) as an effective way to reach customers outside of their area. Moreover, they’re even more useful for businesses to be in touch with locals who are Internet savvy and who prefer them to a paper directory.Reasons People Use Online Directories

  • Do not have access to printed directories
  • It’s more convenient
  • Can do research before talking to a salesperson
  • To avoid the phone message trees to systems
  • Not enough information about the products in the print directory
  • Can search with relevant search terms
  • It’s faster
  • Can print off results
  • More options or demographic criteria
  • International reach (globalization)

However, if a business Web site can be used to support and expand the face-to-face and traditional methods, it now positions a business to a broader market. Business owners either have to be resold in a way that’s realistic, or incorporate new methods, if the Internet is to be relevant for them. Several trends of portals and local search may build some of those bridges, which bring more small business owners into the arena. Since you’re reading this, it’s an indication that you’re Internet savvy, and open to integrating the strengths of both media.

Looking for Increased Exposure
Internet Yellow Page providers provide listings for millions of businesses and individual listings. They also offer an array of other Internet services that compliment its site, like Internet access. They have developed their listings largely from print directories. But, they don’t have the disadvantage of paper directories which are only updated once a year, and therefore, can be kept more up to date. And new businesses can be added any time. It also means a non-performing ad can be changed (another argument for tracking your results.)

As more customers go to the Internet to search for businesses, it’s time to consider having an on-line Yellow Page Directory listing as well. That raises the question—which one? Your local print directories are obvious. There are only one or two. But which of the dozens of online Yellow Pages should you choose? It’s hard to say, since accurate figures to compare them are hard to find.

Start by checking whether you’re already listed in the major ones, and whether that information is accurate and shows up in the right categories. Then, consider whether you’re permitted to add a free link to your Web site. The type of business you operate and whether it serves tourists or travelers, may dictate whether you’ll want to pay for an enhanced listing.

Building Bridges
The printed Directory is taking a beating from search engines as more business owners discover the benefits of search engine marketing. A recent survey by the Kelsey Group and OneStat of business marketers show 43% use Web site marketing, and 17% use search engine marketing. While most (77%) small businesses still use the printed directory, they indicate they will shift more of their marketing dollars to the Internet. Search engines and are also driving the visibility of local businesses, as discussed in Chapter 14, on Local Search.

Advantages of an Internet Yellow Page Ad

  • Is in full color (for no additional charge)
  • Has the option of printable coupons
  • Can show links to the advertiser’s Web site
  • Convenient to tell email address or fax numbers
  • Can show links to other specific products or information
  • Lets a reader redeem a coupon online and place an order without leaving home
  • Can be searched by category, business name, person or location (by city, state, or zip code)

Since you can reach a national, or even international market, you can broaden your visibility beyond local limitations. Also, since these buyers won’t visit your location, they can’t tell the business size or value easily. Access to non-local buyers can give a competitive advantage, which the business didn’t have before. It would be unwise to simply reproduce the same ad used in the print Yellow Page Directory for an Internet Directory and on your Web site. Although you’ll employ some common elements, space and color work very differently online than in a paper directory. Take advantage of the benefits that each media offers.

The Online World is Here to Stay
The Internet is a sign of the times. The United States has 141,389,993 active Internet users. And that figure is growing by 2.13%, or over 3 million a month! (Source: Nielsen//Net Ratings, May, 2004) According to the Pew Internet Project, 63% of American adults now go online. 88% of those with Internet access use a search engine to find information. That translates into about 111 million in the US. Young people have never been aware of a world without it, so they use it as effortlessly as we’d pick up the phone.

Having a Web Site Is Only One Way of Having an Internet Presence

  • Email address for sending and receiving messages – for personal use
  • Email address for sending and receiving messages – for business use
  • Web site of your own, with your own unique domain name
  • Be a sub-domain (after the forward slash) of a site where you have an affiliation, such as geographic area ( or as a product distributor (
  • Have a “store” or way to sell on other sites, such as a mall, or auction sites like e-bay
  • Provide products or services that are sold by others online
  • As an affiliate of a business which markets on the Internet

By not having a Web site, that doesn’t mean you don’t have an Internet strategy. You do. You’re saying, “I do not have a Web site.” You’re saying a variety of other things as well, some of which will suggest you’re small potatoes or not “with it.”

People now notice whether you display your e-mail address or web address, even if they never have a reason to use either. It says, “I’m making myself available for customers, online and off.” You go up a notch with those who think the Internet is important. (Which is most people world-wide, anymore.)

Your Web site can be used in many ways besides sales. It can describe what you offer and how you’re distinct. It could be selling your uniqueness instead of a specific product or service. In fact, it does that the best. One mistake often made is to think Web site can make the sale or close the deal. It’s not well suited for that. Although it can do very well with lead generation or supplying support information to customers. (See Chapter 14.)

Furthermore, having a Web site doesn’t mean you’re going to change the way you operate. If you provide a service, like carpet cleaning, you need to show up at the house, and you won’t be serving your customers without the face-to-face contact. But, you will be able to serve them in a variety of other ways as well, ways that value their time, preferences, and range of choice, such as providing additional useful information on you Web site.

Even without a Web site, there are some good habits you can start now. These habits communicate savvy on your part to the customers, who are online and who are email oriented. Collect email addresses. It’s like the fishbowl that’s used to collect business cards at the front of the restaurant. Articles and links at show clever and easy ways to use such information.

Start with a Long-term Marketing Strategy
People are bombarded with advertising—magazines, direct mail, newspapers, billboards, radio, television, and where they shop and work. How in the world can any promotional materials break through of the clutter and get read—let alone acted upon. It won’t happen unless what people see is interesting—and that means interesting from their point of view.

The pace of modern life compels each of us to react to between 5,000 and 40,000 (depending on the source) impressions a day, many more than anyone could ever really deal with. People save their attention for the things they really care about. Promotional materials need to communicate instantly and with total clarity. If your point isn’t obvious, people aren’t going to waste their time figuring it out. If it takes too long, they will quickly abandon it.

In planning for the long term, you want to develop a marketing plan that can get you there. No single activity can be relied on to do all your marketing. Try a variety of strategies on a small scale and find what combination works for you. Then keep refining it. It’s unrealistic to expect a “magic bullet” that can do all your marketing for you.

However, every printed piece and every connection with the public can be prepared so it builds on your long-term marketing strategy. When it comes to marketing, familiarity breeds credibility. That’s how people start getting the idea that you’re well established. Market even when business is not good, so it continues to be good.

What you want to build is name recognition. Consistent repetition builds toward recognition. Studies show that when people go to the Yellow Pages without having already made up their mind, the business most likely to be picked is the one whose name they recognize. That beats out any ad on the page.

Relying on Home-grown Customers
About 60 percent of small businesses report that at least 75 percent of their customers come from within a 50-mile radius. And, local ad spending is worth approximately $22 billion annually.Small local businesses have not embraced the Internet. They know their customers come from their local communities. And, they’re accustomed to using traditional methods like the newspaper, flyers and Yellow Pages to be in touch with their buyers. Technology doesn’t seem to be an important part of that equation. Yet, even if the owners aren’t on the “Net,” a high percentage of their local buyers are. And many of them would prefer to spend their money close to home—even if they locate its availability online.

So Main Street America businesses are missing out unless they find a way to at least shake hands with online activity that could serve them well. That doesn’t require them to become Internet-based, but at least be open to developing trends that build a bridge between traditional and on-line marketing methods.

It could be true that your customers don’t care about whether you have a Web site. But, the reality of changing expectations shouldn’t be underestimated. They might not know they’d like the flexibility it could provide for them. It’s amazing that when something new is offered, how quickly it becomes embraced as a new right or standard. People can’t imagine how they got by before.

Ignoring Progress is a Losing Strategy
What has to be different is a less linear approach to the data delivered in the Directory. It is being used by people in different ways, and they’re accustomed to having a variety of options. So, the ability to find a particular pizza shop in a particular community that’s open the hours that you want puts the directory shopper in control in a way that wasn’t possible in the fat books that are updated only once a year.

As the contact information and ad features are repackaged in a wider variety of ways, it serves a new form of integration. But, it also is re-building communities, where a consumer doesn’t have to choose between print and online directories.

To read the rest, get the whole book, Yellow Page Smarts
Through the secure server and electronic technology, you can have your copy in minutes, any time of the day.

Yellow Page Advertising Glossary

Alphabetical Section    White Pages Every business is entitled to a free listing in the alphabetical section (the White Pages)

Anchor Listing    A reference line that directs the reader to a display ad

Bold Listing    The company name is printed in bold, capital letters

Business-to-Business Directory    Provide information to assist business purchases

Cooperative Advertising    Advertisements that are funded jointly by the manufacturer and the retailer

Core Directory    Has the largest reach and greatest usage; includes information for the entire market

Directional Media    Point consumers in a direction where their purchases can be made, include telephone directories, newspaper classifieds grocery store

Display Ad    A quarter-page or larger Yellow Pages ad which may include graphics and logo, color or special design options

Foreign Advertising    Yellow Pages advertising that’s place in directories other than the one that Represents the area where the advertiser’s business is physically located

Four Color Printing    See Process Color

Gutter Ad    Display ad that falls along the fold; easier to overlook than other ads on the page

In-column Ad (in yellow section)    Ads that are place alphabetically within the column, regardless of size, under the appropriate classified heading

Independent    Non-utility Publisher; directory companies that aren’t affiliated with telephone service providers

Internet Yellow Pages (IYP)    Online version of the Yellow Pages; is accessed online by computer; national in scope

Local Search    Service provided by some Internet Search Engines (Google, Yahoo) to provide information about local businesses, even those without a Web site

Local Yellow Page Sales Rep    Work one-to-one with businesses in placing their ads in the local directory

Lone Display Ad    Ad that falls before or after the section it belongs in, so isn’t seen by visitors to that section; such ads are essentially worthless

Niche Directory    Targeted to special demographic groups, like foreign language, universities, or women

Process Color    Four-color printing; used for four-color color printing process, composed of percentages of cyan, magenta, yellow and black, which creates a full-color look

Spot Color    Using two or more non-contiguous colors in an ad

Suburban Directory    Neighborhood directory; covers a small localized area

Trademark    A legally registered symbol or mark, representing a particular brand, product or service

Traditional Media    Magazines and TV, compared to directional media, like the Yellow Page directory

Utility Publishers Produce directories for telephone service providers, like the Baby Bells, which make up 87% of the Yellow Page revenue; compared to the Independents

White Knock-Out    A printing technique that gives display ads a white background

White Pages Directory    The white section of the phone directory that lists businesses alphabetically; every business receives a listing at no charge

Most Used Yellow Page Directory Categories

Top Yellow Page Headings (in this order)
Heading References in Millions
2.Physicians & Surgeons1149
3.Automobile Parts – new & used600
4.Automobile Repairing & Services522
6.Automobile dealers – new & used297
8.Beauty Salons268
12.Department Stores217
13.Plumbing Contractors215
17.Florists – retail166
18.Airline Companies151
20.Hardware – retail131
21.Lumber – retail120
22.Tire Dealers114
23.Real Estate112
24.Atomobile Renting & Leasing110
25.Pharmacies or Drugstores99
27.Furniture – retail & non-specific87
28.Grocers – retail83
29.Rental Service – Stores & Yards78
30.Carpet & Rug Cleaners74
31.Appliances – HH – Major Dealers70
32.Glass – auto, plate, window69
33.Electric Contractors67
34.Schools – academic, secondary, elementary65
35.Contractors – General64
36.Government Offices – US63
37.Travel Agencies62
39.Sporting Goods – retail60
40.Roofing Contractors58
41.Dry Cleaners58
42.Book Dealers – retail56
43.Optometrists O.D.56
44.Heating Contractors56
45.Pet Grooming56
46.Computers – dealer55
48.Automobile Wrecking4
49.Building Materials54
50.Government Offices – city, village, township54
51.Appliances – HH – Major – Service & Repair54
52.Golf Courses – Public52
53.Landscape Contractors52
54.Home Improvements50
55.Pet Shops48
56.Pest Control Service/Exterminators48
57.Automobile Body Repairing & Painting48
58.Government Offices – state48
59.Photographers – portrait47
60.Electronic Equipment & Supplies – Dealers46
62.Carpet & Rug – dealer44
63.Motorcycles & Motor Scooters – Dealers42
64.Office Supplies41
65.Videotapes & Discs – Renting & Leasing40
67.Chiropractors, DC39
68.Lawn Maintenance39
69.Child Day Care Centers38
70.Service Stations – gasoline & oil38
71.Television – cable, CATV & Satellite37
72.Locks & Locksmiths37
74.Air Conditioning Contractors & Systems36
75.Nursing Homes35
76.Transmissions – automobile35
77.Air Conditioning Equipment & Systems – repair34
78.Television & Radio – service & repair34
80.Paint – Retail33
81.Nurseries – plants, trees, etc.32
82.Schools – academic, colleges & universities32
84.Plumbing Fixtures & Supplies – new, retail32
85.Employment Agencies31
86.Bicycles – dealer31
87.Government Offices – county30
88.Jewelers – retail30
89.Painting Contractors30
90.Towing – automobile29
93.Bus Lines28
94.Truck Renting & Leasing28
95.Shoes – retail28
96.Mufflers & Exhaust Systems – engine27
97.Tree Service27
98.Bakers – retail27
99.Computers – Service & Repair27

Source: Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association (YPIMA)

Consider which Headings are Growing Fastest

Changes in consumer interest is reflected by the fact that growth in some headings outpaces the growth in others. These two tables are based on the percentage of growth between 1999 and 2001 (the latest year available).

The information is provided courtesy of Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association (YPIMA)

Fastest-Growing Headings by the Amount of Revenue

Fastest-Growing Headings – by Amount of Revenue
          (in this order)                       % of Growth
1.Garden and Lawn Equipment29%
3.Plumbing Contractor26%
5.Carpet/Rug Cleaning20%
8.Cellular Telephones20%
10.Cable TV18%

Fastest-growing Headings by the Number of References

Fastest-Growing Headings – by Amount of Revenue
          (in this order)                       (in millions)
1.Computers – Software84
2.Retirement Homes83
3.Internet Services80
4.Bail Bonds67
5.Siding Contractors60
6.Computer Service & Repair57
7.Mortgage & Real Estate Loans53
9.Real Estate35
10.Schools – Business & Vocational33

Sage Advice

Sage Advice will be provided in a Question & Answer format
This page is devoted to answering questions from site visitors. It will also contain advice and insights from Yellow Page advertisers—small business owners. Expect occasional input from Yellow Page experts.

The direction that this page takes will depend on what comes in the Sage’s email. We envision it as a resource for business owners looking for answers that work better than what they hear from their Yellow Page Sales Rep.

You get “bragging rights” here
Send your success stories, tricks, confusions, and feedback to us.
If it’s of general interest we’ll post it, or find the answer for you.

Make Your Yellow Page Ad and Web Site Work in Tandem

Yellow Page Sage is a resource site to arm small and mid-size business owners so they can make wise decisions that maximize their Yellow Page calls, without falling into the traps (and mis-information that abound in that topic). And it goes a step further, to show how to integrate your Yellow Page advertising with your Internet marketing and Web site. They’re related and should be developed in ways that maximize the benefits each medium can provide for the business. This Site will be up by May 12 Please come back then.