Local Business Listings: There Is More Than Google Maps

Have you thought that Local Business Listings are limited to Google Maps? If so, you’re probably not the only one. The Google marketing machine is certainly doing a good job of keeping everyone focused on Google Maps and Google Local Business Listing. Let’s take a different perspective on Local Listings and see what effect the mobile marketing and mobile device industry will have to the local business.

Local Business Listings have two distinct benefits to any business dependent upon local consumer revenue.

1. The first is that the information can, if properly prepared; show up for search results at the search engines and non-search engines.

2. The information will show up within mobile devices when local consumers are about town looking for a business, product or service based on their current geographic location.

A few months ago we had identified almost10 local listing websites that were pertinent to being found on search engines and non-search engines. Not too long after that the number was closer to 20. As of this writing we are close to 30. One would certainly ask, why be listed on multiple local listing websites?

Let us focus our attention about the mobile device industry to answer this question.

In 2010 there are significant changes underway in the mobile device industry. They include the following:

1. iPhone apparently is not going to be 100% with AT & T and will be available with other cell phone carriers (e.g. Verizon and Sprint)
2. iPhone’s success has been tremendous not only for the hardware, but also because it has allowed for software developers to create programs (called mobile applications) that make the iPhone very functional to the user.
3. Depending upon whose prognosis you read, iPhone will have about 20% of the cell phone hardware market at the end of 2009 with almost 50 million devices sold.
4. This has made Blackberry, Palm, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericson, LG very nervous. They have their own device similar to the iPhone and will also allow software developers to create programs for their devices too.
5. If the gaming industry provides any insight, where you have Nintendo, X-Box, and Playstation, then the mobile industry will have software developers developing for each hardware platform.
6. Software developers will decide what database of local business listings they will use for their mobile application and for which mobile device.

Since the mobile application developers will make the decision which local listing database they will program, it is fair to say that a business dependent upon local consumers for revenue should be in as many of these local business listings as possible.

While the mobile device war will start raging in 2010, the cell phone service providers will continue their war amongst AT & T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Each is looking for the best mobile device and mobile applications in order to sell their mobile phone connection service.

Of course we cannot discount Microsoft in this process as they have Windows CE which helps to operate Smartphone’s. As with many Microsoft related platforms, most individual software developers are less likely to develop for Smart Phones. Microsoft does everything based on licenses which limit the number of people willing to create programs for Microsoft platforms, including Smartphone’s. Why Microsoft doesn’t learn from the success of the Internet and the iPhone certainly requires some questioning.

Although, the mobile device and mobile service providers can align themselves with contracts and agreements, they will have a very difficult time aligning themselves to mobile application developers. There are many more developers than there are mobile device manufacturers or mobile service providers. Attempting to control the developers is almost impossible and certainly can only occur if there are non-fee based incentives.

For the local business seeking local consumers for revenue, the current answer lies with making sure your business information is with as many local listing company as possible. While it may be easy to do the initial setup, there is the ongoing maintenance if you have updates that may include photos, videos, coupons, offers, discounts or promotions.

This is where a professional firm will become valuable to support the local business with the correct keywords and the experience to properly update these listings from the most important to the ever changing list of local listing providers. Do you have your local business listing up to date?

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