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Picture Yourself in Local Search Results

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on April 7, 2008

Consumers are increasingly searching for information about local small businesses online, so it makes sense for you to think about your search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. At the same time, small businesses must compete with large national brands in highly competitive local business categories for optimum position in search results. Getting creative and understanding how to use technologies to your advantage is essential to tapping into the local search opportunity.

Among the latest SEO techniques that small businesses can benefit from is what’s called "universal" or "blended" search, in which search engines give weight to blended content—text plus images or video. Not only do search engines favor blended results, but research has shown that searchers’ eyes are drawn to blended results. That means if your business is generating blended search results, you do not have to be the first result on the search page to gain a searcher’s attention. The thumbnail photo of your image or video in your search result will draw the searcher past all the text-only results to your position on the search page.

As with many SEO tactics, the benefits of blended search are likely to diminish over time as video and imagery proliferate online. To capitalize on this opportunity now, look closely at how you can integrate video and images on your company Web site with aggregator sites like YouTube or in directory listings where your company appears (search engines scour these sites for results). Be sure to tag images and videos with file names and captions that include your keywords. If you are not able to take on this task yourself, look for service providers that are focused on helping small businesses take advantage of these tactics.

Josh Walker
Cambridge, Mass.

Reader Comments


April 9, 2008 1:29 PM

maybe this will help!

Paula Volio

April 15, 2008 1:47 PM

Those seeking information on small businesses can go to and access 45 million company profiles free. Also, by keeping your company record updated in you can take advantage of the open web, professional SEO andproviding updated information for your customers to see. Typically,'s links small business company profiles will come up as one of the top 10 listed in a Google search on a specific company. Once on you can access revenue ranges, location, industry, category profiles, phone numbers, addresses, and build pipelines, share contacts, add notes and set alerts on companies of interest. An alert is sent when someone updates company profiles with validated information. By leveling the playing field, users compete smarter, and identify revenue opportuities faster. It's is powerful, free site that is the way we work everyday.

May 6, 2009 9:30 PM

BuzzFile is new start-up that provides detailed business profiles on virtually all businesses in the U.S. Currently BuzzFile covers in excess of 16 million businesses, so you are likely to find virtually any business you are looking for. Additionally BuzzFile provides users numerous personalization and convenience tools including the ability to:

- Save any business to your Outlook or Mac Address book
- Filter and sort search results
- Share with friends
- Add to your favorites
- Promote favorite businesses on Facebook
- See similar businesses nearby
- Perform advanced search to find exactly what you want and more.

Try it out and if you like it please tell friends who may also find it useful.

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