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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 37 - May 05, 2001 - ISSN 1528-6703     4 of 0

Promote Your Business through Local Web Portals

By Jim Crawford

May 05, 2001

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Depending on where you live, you probably have lots of Web sites that want to be your "local portal." Where I live, here in the Mecca of Omaha, Nebraska, there is tremendous competition. Advertising on a local portal is less expensive than paying for a listing in one of the major search engines, and you'll get a lot more attention being a big fish in a small pond.

All four of my local news-television channels have Web sites, and they all mention their Web address as often as possible. The newspaper lists their Web addresses on every page. Don't forget the radio - our local stations mention their Web sites whenever they aren't playing music.

Get listed in their antiques or collecting section. If they don't have one, ask them to create one. Create a site about your specialty and submit your site to their local search features. Showing up as one of five local antique shops is much better than one of 1,000 worldwide on one of the major search engines.

Who else is generating traffic locally? Seek out others looking for mutually beneficial relationships and exchange links with them. Maybe you can create a linking deal with your favorite upscale restaurant across town. Maybe where you get your hair cut. Maybe the people who walk your dog.

Create a "local link" page on your site and fill it with quality content. If a business doesn't have a Web site but has good local exposure, give them an entire page on your site. The way of the Web is to give, then receive. Be generous.

Don't be afraid to offer links to other sites because you want your site to be "sticky." I have always been of the mind that if your Web site is worthy, people are going to remember you. If not, they're going to leave anyway and won't come back.

Now maybe you won't get a ton of traffic from your local market. Don't think in the short term, but consider the lifetime value of each new customer. Was it worth the cost of 5 minutes of your time to paste in a link?

About the author:

Jim Crawford is a stay-at-home father, entrepreneur and Internet Marketing Consultant. He likes to think of himself as a "creative resource." Jim spends a considerable amount of time reading publications and researching Web sites in both the collecting and marketing industries, and enjoys networking with leaders in both. His Web site, The Collector's Marketing Resource Center, provides information about Web site design and marketing for the highly competitive antiques and collecting industry. Stop in for a free consultation http://www.CrawfordDirect.com. If you have a question about marketing your Web site, email him at jim @ crawforddirect.com

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