Local Search takes a seat at the grownups' table in 2009 with GetListed.org, the brainchild of gadget wizard, Pat Sexton and Local Search expert, David Mihm. In a Local climate where failure to claim your business listings can result in competitive hijacking, loss of income and damaging misrepresentation, there is no time to lose in getting listed and getting listed right. Sexton and Mihm have just made this vital task incredibly elegant and oh-so-easy with what I believe is the most noteworthy tool yet created for the Local Search industry.
What Does GetListed.org Do?
Just type in a business name and zip code and GetListed.org quickly returns you a set of results that detail the status of your local business listing in Google, Yahoo, BOTW and MSN. In seconds, you can see what data has been published about your business, whether you have claimed that data as belonging to you, how many external sites are citing your business, how many reviews you have and whether there are photos and videos embellishing your listings in these 4 major local directories.
Your business is given a percentage score by the tool, telling you how complete or incomplete your local efforts currently are. And, if the tool shows you holes in your efforts, simply click the links provided to perform critical tasks like claiming your listing.
This is the basic function the tool provides, but there's more to love at GetListed.org.
The 3 Groups Who Need This Tool
Local Business Owners
Any business with a local focus will benefit for the rapidity with which this tool will show them how they are currently listed and what to do to claim or improve their data. Though some of the major local databases do make it relatively easy to get listed in their indexes, the king of them all has made it more like a scavenger hunt than a straightforward process. I had to get Mike Blumenthal to teach me how to tell whether or not a business listing had been claimed in Google's local application and it was by no means intuitive. Lack of marketing of Google's Local Business Center has left countless business owners in the dark about the existence and importance of claiming their listings, leaving them open to competitive hijacking and loss of income.
Sexton and Mihm's tool will make it simple for struggling local business owners to find their way around the most crucial aspects of their online reputation and marketing. The layout of the tool's results is extremely sensible and clear.
GetListed.org lets you create a custom dashboard. Simply plug in all of your clients' businesses and you now have a very charming tool for keeping track of where you are at with all of your efforts for them. Additionally, I can see exactly how awesome this tool will be for those phone calls I answer wherein a local business owner tells me his company name and I want to get some immediate information about where he's at in the local arena. Even as my conversation is rolling merrily along, I will now be pulling up key stats about the business in question. GetListed.org will paint a bold, broad picture for me with a couple of keystrokes.
SEOs In General
Anyone who is doing competitive research will appreciate the quick data this tool calls up regarding clients' competitors. The next time you are working with a business that has a local element, all you have to do is start plugging in the names and zip codes of similar companies in a given region and you will see not only where the holes are in competitors' strategies but also exactly where they are getting their reviews and those all-important citations from.
If you're an SEO whose main focus has been devoted to SM rather than Local over the past few years and you're feeling a bit confused by all of this talk of citations, 10-packs and One Boxes, GetListed.org will jumpstart your confidence as to what some of the key concerns of Local Search are. This tool has the power to help you find the competitive local edge many of your clients will be needing.
Mihm & Sexton Go The Extra Mile
Remember those old Ginsu knife commercials where you didn't just get a set of knives, but you also got the potato curler and the cabbage chopper? Mihm and Sexton have taken their efforts beyond simply providing this powerful tool. The website offers a top notch Local Search article resource, advice on increasing local visibility with paid programs like Adwords and BOTW Premium Listings and a small directory of handpicked Local Search firms you can turn to for professional services. There's a blog going on there and tutorials for anyone who is feeling lost. You might say that GetListed.org slices and dices and I found it so useful, I must have opened it up a dozen times while it was still in beta.
My enthusiasm for the launch of the tool is 100% genuine. Sometimes, Local Search feels to me like it's only gained a sort of cult following, and while I actually enjoy that about the niche, a classy tool like GetListed treats this field of SEO with the dignity and importance I believe it merits. David and Pat have just made my job more enjoyable and they've developed an aide that I think will be of tremendous use to the Local public.
Miriam Ellis is the co-owner of Solas Web Design and CopyLocal, providing SEO-based website design, Local SEO and professional copywriting for small-to-medium North American businesses. She is the Local SEO Associate in the Q&A Forum at SEOmoz, a moderator at Cre8asite Forums and an annual participant in David Mihm's Local Search Ranking Factors report. When she and her husband are not working on the web, they're farming organically and working on increased sustainability or roaming about in nature having the time of their lives.
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