“That seminar was one of the most eye-opening I’ve ever been too. I am so excited about these new tools and how I can apply them to my business. This is going to be a busy year for me as I hope to make a bunch of improvements to my business model.” Steve Barkley (my accountant…who I introduced to David Mihm, Getlisted co-founder.)
The day prior to SearchFest, I attended David Mihm’s “Local University”, a seminar that David developed to introduce local business owners to some necessary online marketing concepts and ideas. I didn’t go because I expected to learn something new, but rather to see how some of the basic concepts that I live and breathe on a daily basis might be repackaged into easy-to-understand ideas that business owners with little or no background in search marketing could easily act upon. I was extremely impressed with the program…and hope it could be expanded so that can reach and educate many more people who desperate need this teaching.
There is a certain area of knowledge that all business owners need to be well-versed in (or be able to outsource to someone who is). Clearly, bookkeeping, taxes, government regulations / licensing & insurance are all important items from which a business owner needs to keep abreast. However, once someone gets past the items allowing a business to run legally and financially prudently, I would argue that the knowledge that can be learned at David’s seminars is some of the most important learning that business owners can possess.
There is no level playing field when competing for customers. Businesses that have the biggest budgets and have a clue how to use them have a tremendous advantage in the marketplace. Prior to Google Local, undercapitalized local businesses had little chance of being found in the SERPS, since they didn’t have budget for high-level SEO/PPC/Social Media. However, Google Local allows these folks a fighting chance to compete for customers in their marketplace.
Small businesses need to be able to do a relatively few simple tasks in order to be competitive in Local:
- Claim their Google Places Page
- Optimize the heck out of it (without spamming)
- Get people to leave reviews at their page (and on Yelp/Citysearch/etc.)
These tasks aren’t too difficult for businesspeople to facilitate effectively themselves without consultant help…and the benefits for mastering these easy concepts can be immensely positive.
It’s a shame that David’s information can’t be easily disseminated to everyone who runs a small enterprise. For businesses without a website (not recommending this), a Places Page can be the online web presence focal point and it’s functional enough to hold a great deal of information and different forms of content. It’s likely that a page exists for the business anyway…why not put it to good use?
And, with locally focused searches, it just might be found by potential customers…