Local online marketing (local search) isn't only for businesses looking for local resident customers. It has also been a great way to market to needy out-of-town visitors. This can help attract online consumers who are further along in the buying cycle.

These types of businesses could be popular destinations like hotels, night clubs, restaurants, and health clubs. These can also be highly specific spots or professional services whether it's an upscale sushi bar, professional print shop, or in my case, a chiropractor in San Jose, California.

In a recent blog post, I mentioned a lucky experience finding a San Jose chiropractor. A long story short, I've been visiting a chiropractor in Minneapolis for about 6 months. Due to cancelling a couple appointments, and slacking on my stretching and exercises, a pinched nerve decided to revisit and say "hello" just a couple days before I headed to San Jose for the Search Engine Strategies conference.

For any business traveler, it's not easy to take time away from a highly booked day to find, schedule, and then go to an appointment of any kind without missing a beat. So, the Friday night prior, I decided to do a quick local online search. I was basically looking for a chiropractor close to the hotel I was going to stay at, and had a testimonial or two written about them.

I thought of the different localized search engines and products such as Yahoo! Local, local.com, TrueLocal, and a few others. But why not just go with the masses and see what comes up in Google? I did a search for a San Jose chiropractor and clicked on the local results. The first page had some relevant businesses, but unfortunately (as of this writing) none of them were within quick walking distance from the hotel. That was a bit frustrating, but after a few pages I did see this listing for Family Life Chiropractic. They were close to the hotel, and the first web reference provided was a Citysearch profile along with a small, but nice testimonial. The rest was history.

That was just one search, but I wanted to give some user input. Even though it was a bit frustrating not to see Family Life right away, if I would have typed in the hotel address + San Jose, CA, the results might have been more relevant. Overall, I was happy with the ease of finding my desired result.

In the local search industry, Yahoo Local listings are generally considered the most reliable and superior in presenting user-generated content, such as ratings and reviews. As a matter of fact, the chiropractor's name came up in the second result (as of this writing) for a Yahoo Local search for San Jose chiropractor. I didn't see a review though, which may have made me skip over it, so I just now decided to write an honest review for them.

Upon checking, their Web site does have a tiny bit of optimization, at least enough for the phrase "San Jose chiropractor" to show their site on the first couple of SERP pages. However, I wasn't too curious to know everything about their site. I wanted to know where they were, and if anyone recommended them. If I was a San Jose resident looking for a long-term chiropractor, it would definitely be a different story.

During one of my appointments, they did mention that they get a lot of out-of-town conference business, although I did not inquire how people found them. They don't do any local search marketing, but they are at least visible enough to earn one satisfied consumer last week.

When I decided to do an initial search, I admittedly decided right away to use this experience as a possible case study. It's safe to say they exceded any predictions, so I just wanted to give thanks again to the entire staff of Family Life Chiropractic!

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.

August 17, 2006

Paul Jahn is the owner of Localmn Interactive Marketing, a Minnesota-based Internet marketing company. Localmn focuses on helping local companies large and small leverage the most out of their search marketing campaigns depending on their respective needs, including SEO, PPC, local search, and social media campaigns. Paul also runs and contributes to the Localmn local search blog.

With over ten years of Internet marketing experience, Paul has particular expertise in search marketing, with extensive knowledge of local search.

Search Engine Guide > Paul Jahn > In San Jose and Need a Chiropractor?