Developing a 'Local Search' Website
Local search has become a powerful tool that is revolutionizing the way people conduct business over the Internet. A number of businesses are now using local search on a consistent basis, and it can be useful for finding specific businesses or organizations within an area. At first glance, it may appear that local search is no more than an online phone book. However, there are a number of differences between the two, and websites which offer visitors the "local search" option are much more powerful than mere phone books. One of the reason for this is because local search websites can allow users to make comparisons with various businesses in their area.
In the past, this was difficult to accomplish. The only way to distinguish the quality of service between two companies was "word of mouth," and as you can imagine, this was not very accurate. Many people would have to go through what is called "trial and error." They would try out a company to see if it offered a high level of service, and if it did not, they would try another company. As you can imagine, this could be a tedious process that was costly and time consuming. The introduction of the Internet and local search has changed this forever. People are not able to get side by side comparisons of local businesses in their area, and they can make a decision based on reviews that are submitted by other users.
Perhaps one of the most impressive things about local search is the traffic that webmasters can gain from it. Local search websites are a niche industry that can become very profitable for the webmaster who understands it. There are a lot of similarities between local search websites and traditional phone books, but the biggest difference is online reviews. If you are the owner of a business, or you're a webmaster looking to build a website in a niche industry, it is important for you to realize that local search has become one of the most popular tools for finding this information. If you are not using local search, there is a good chance you are losing business. Local search has continued to grow in the last few years, and the companies primarily responsible for this growth are AOL, MSN, Yahoo, and Google.
The introduction of blogs and RSS has become extremely important. Statistics indicate that more customers are using local search websites to find the best stores for shopping or travel. This should be important to webmasters because it is a lucrative field where they can build a substantial amount of traffic to their websites. To develop a local search website, there are a number of things you will need to do. The first and most obvious is to build a website. This will be easy for veteran webmasters who already own numerous websites. If you have never built a website before, there are a number of methods you can use to create one.
The first option is to hire programmers and web designers who can build the website for you. This option is good because it will allow you to get a website that is fully customized for local search. It can be built with RSS or other features that will allow information to be rapidly updated within a short period of time. In addition to this, you can have a design which is impressive and suited to the needs of those who will be using the website. However, the biggest disadvantage to this option is cost. Having a website custom built and designed can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars. It may also take months for the project to be completed.
The next option is to use a site building software. Site building software are tools that will allow you to build a website without having a great deal of programming experience. Many of these software programs also come with web page templates, and this means you can build the website without having to be skilled a web design. The biggest advantage to this method is speed and cost. Once you have downloaded the site building software, you can have your site built within days. The disadvantage to this method is that you will be limited in the options you have. There are only so many web templates you'll be offered, and the website may not have the programming features that you will need.
No matter which option you choose, it is important to realize that you will need a hosting company. This is the company that will be responsible for hosting your website. There are a large number of hosting companies available, and you will want to choose a company that has a powerful reputation. The best place to get advice about hosting companies is webmaster forums. Veteran webmasters will give you their thoughts on which hosting they've tried, and they will likely steer you away from companies that are not reputable. When you build your local search website, there are a number of things you will want to include.
It should allow visitors to upload information about the address, phone number, fax, website, and email address of the businesses that will be listed. They should also be able to upload their own review of the company. To rank well with the search engines, you will want to create a link building campaign and add some articles to the website. The good news about allowing people to write reviews is that you will get unique content for free. Instead of focusing on multiple businesses, it may be best to focus on a niche within a specific industry. For example, you could build a local search website about antique furniture, jewelry, or vintage automobiles. You could also build a local search website about specific restaurants. As you can see, the possibilities are endless.
It may be helpful to put the address information at the footer of each web page. Many webmasters do this, and this is the place on the page where many visitors will look for the contact information. Once you build a high quality local search website, you will give the impression that you are an expert on the subject. You can also build a substantial amount of traffic to the site, and this can allow you to earn money through advertising.