There are millions of small businesses that still, despite the obvious benefits it can provide, have not leveraged the Internet for its sales and marketing potential. The arguments against local Web marketing escape me. It certainly can't be cost, as all major search engines generously provide free listings. And it certainly can't be too complicated, because with just an Internet connection and an hour, a local small business owner can do a world of good for the business.
Patrick Sexton and David Mihm launched GetListed.org, and if you're new to the Web, this resource should be one of your first stops. GetListed.org's flagship product, the LocalDashboard™, shows business owners simply and clearly where their businesses exist on major search engines like Google Maps and Yahoo! Local. The tool displays information like business name, address, phone number, and website address as they are indexed by these major engines.
Small business owners see immediately whether their business is listed properly by the search engines, and whether they have claimed their listings. The LocalDashboard provides easy links for business owners to claim and update their information directly at each individual search engine. Additional details such as photos and videos, along with customer reviews, and mentions of their business are displayed as well. These factors combine to form a "Listing Score," a simple percentage that indicates how effectively a business is taking advantage of the tools. A checklist is provided for business owners interested in taking specific steps to improve their listings.
"We hope this tool will help small business owners become aware of the free opportunities to market their companies online, and alleviate some of the confusion many of them feel when it comes to the search engines," commented Sexton.