Woman ScreamingI am a big fan of figuring out how to get potential customers cost-effectively via search engines and other kinds of sites with a lot of users. I should be – that’s what I do for a living. But what about my friend Sandy who has a small “brief therapy” business and spent a bunch of money getting her website built by someone who doesn’t understand search (or effective web design for businesses btw) and now is wondering why no one is showing up?

I spent an hour on the phone with Sandy the other night going over all of the things she could do to “optimize” her site and I could hear the agida in her voice growing, her arteries constricting, and the general anguish that comes with realizing that there just ain’t no way it’s going to happen.

I was going to put together a long post on all of the things Sandy could do over the next few months but realized that it would be total info overload for her. So I think it’s time to take all of the fancy local search engine optimization/search engine marketing talk down a notch or two.

Sandy, if you want to get found in Google, or Yahoo or wherever and potentially get new customers, the easiest thing you can do is use a service that takes care of most of your web marketing for you.

The benefits of using these services:

1. You can give them a fixed budget and desired amount of leads and they do the rest

2. You can buy performance-based ads (pay every time they drive a click to your site or a call to your phone or an email to your inbox).

3. They can set up a simple web page for you that is designed to rank well in Google and Yahoo when people search for services like yours in your city.

4. They can get you marketed on the online yellow pages sites which usually have very high quality potential customers (referrals from these sites generally are more likely to convert into sales then from general search sites).

5. They can track everything that happens and report it back to you.

Here are a few that I recommend:





For all of you marketers out there who have the time, energy, resources and desire there are many more options for you, but for a large number of people like Sandy this really is the best option.

And if you know anyone who has a really happening blog make sure you ask them to link to your site with your main keywords in the “anchor text” of the link, like this hypnotherapy in Irvine, CA.

P.S. If you liked this article how about posting the link to Sandy’s site with her keywords in it? Thanks and good luck Sandy!

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7 Response Comments

  • Boris  October 12, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    It happens all the time. I personally enjoy helping these folks. My little SEO Service, Tucson SEO Solutions, at http://www.tucsonseosolutions.com only focuses on the small business. It provides much pleasure to assist these folks.

  • Geoff  October 15, 2007 at 5:35 am

    I like how your “one thing” actually involves five things. Clever way to title. It got me here. And I agree with all of your points. Good post.

  • Andrew Shotland  October 15, 2007 at 7:18 am

    Thanks Geoff. Here at Local SEO Guide it’s all about under promising and over delivering – and any other business cliche you can think of.

  • David Rodecker  November 19, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    The above list of companies focus on paid-only campaigns and ignore ignore the organic components of local search and web search results.

    Having multiple placements, both in organic and sponsored placement provides a compounded benefit of return. http://relevantads.com/results/search-trifecta.aspx

    We recommend a course of action that is long-term sustainable starting with the basics; enhanced business location nailed down on the map, web page placement, then sponsored listings.

  • Local Business Internet Marketing  January 30, 2008 at 12:20 am

    Andrew, would you also consider the benefits of affordable SEO, social media marketing, internet PR, conversion optimization, Yahoo Local and Google Maps as important elements of a campaign that is the best option for Sandy?

    While they are large players, it appears that your recommendations are all outsourced service firms that focus on PPC.

    A quick visit to Sandy’s site reveals that basic SEO best practices are not being used including the use a Flash splash homepage with little value to her and her prospective clients.

    As you know, while there is some value to being found on the front page of the search engines (the referral), the real value to Sandy is when the site visitor takes a desirable action (the conversion).

    Go! Sandy! Go! 🙂

    Local Business Will Prevail

  • Andrew Shotland  January 30, 2008 at 12:28 am


    I think you might want to reread the post. Your first paragraph wouldn’t do Sandy any good because she’d have no idea what you are talking about and she doesn’t trust new stuff like this.

  • Aurora Mesner  June 6, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I guess it would also depend on how the business owner to take her marketing level. Some owners would just be happy to be online and have her page in Google, others would scream for #1 spot in SERPs. I believe the marketing service should still be tailored fit as to what the client wants.

    Aurora Mesner
    Quakertown Accountant