There’s a new feature on Yahoo! Local that provides free web sites for small businesses. Small businesses can now quickly and easily establish an online presence—without knowing anything about the technical aspects of building an online presence. By establishing an online presence through the new Yahoo! Local, small businesses can “connect with the increasing number of consumers using the Internet to find comprehensive local products and services”, according to Yahoo!.

The new free business website feature at Yahoo! Local includes a free 5-page web site that is easily customized with a company logo, text and links to other sites. The business name, and contact information such as address, phone and fax, web site, and email address can also be included. Service information such as hours of operation, accepted payment methods, services offered, and brands or products available for sale are optional, although the template provided by Yahoo! Local encourages that it be included, as well. Business owners can add or update, for no charge, your business' name, contact information and the categories under which your business is listed.

"As more and more consumers rely on the Internet for information about their neighborhood -- from finding restaurants to plumbers to dry cleaners -- local businesses are realizing the value of reaching potential customers online," said Paul Levine, general manager, Yahoo! Local. "By providing small businesses with free Web sites, we are not only helping them leverage the Internet, but also adding depth and comprehensiveness to our local product for consumers."

The setup process is extremely easy and takes under 5 minutes. After going to to http://local.yahoo.com/freesite, you are asked for your current Yahoo! ID. (If you already have a Yahoo! ID then you can enter it-otherwise you’re required to get an ID before you continue.) After filling out a few forms that include the business name, contact information, and hours of operation, the site asks you to include other information, such as a company slogan, services offered, and brands or products available—there’s even a place where you can include such as the payment methods that are accepted at the business You can also have information such as the Year Established, Languages Spoken, Brand Names Carried, Products & Services Offered, and Professional Associations. One primary category and up to four secondary categories can be selected.

"By bringing together our leadership in essential small business services, our vast consumer reach, and our local and search expertise, Yahoo! is uniquely able to help small businesses get started and be successful online," said Rich Riley, vice president and general manager, Yahoo! Small Business. "This new service complements our industry leading suite of online services that help small businesses get online, sell online and market online."

Local businesses can sign up for the Free Local Business Web Site at http://local.yahoo.com/freesite.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.
April 15, 2005





Bill Hartzer currently runs a Strategic Online Marketing Consultancy that includes services such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, and online reputation management.

Bill Hartzer formerly managed the Search Engine Marketing division of Vizion Interactive and MarketNet, leading interactive marketing and website design firms in the Dallas, Texas area.

Hartzer is a successful writer, blogger, search engine marketing, and social media marketing expert. During the past fifteen years, some of his many accomplishments include: Search Engine Marketing Manager, Vizion Interactive, Search Engine Marketing Manager, MarketNet, Search Engine Optimization Strategist, Intec Telecom Systems PLC, Webmaster, Intec Telecom Systems PLC, Founder, Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association, Owner/Author, Corporate Web Site Marketing, Administrator, Search Engine Forums, Frequent Speaker, Search Engine Strategies Conferences, Frequent Speaker, WebmasterWorld's PubCon Search Engine and Internet Marketing Conference.








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