In 1990 Mitch Goldstone, president and CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based ScanMyPhotos.com and 30 Minute Photos Etc., began purchasing the largest-sized display ads for their photo finishing category with several of the larger phone companies’ Yellow Pages services.
In August 2007, Goldstone noticed his usual ad which had run for 17 years, was not in one of the newly published directories. He alerted the company to the mistake and months later he received a letter of apology; but since Goldstone had signed a contract that absolved the company of publishing errors, he had no recourse for action.
This error created other problems for him: “Not only was I going to have to wait until next August to see my ad since the directory was already published, but without it, I looked like I was out of business. This is detrimental not only to potential customers, but to the industry and my competitors.”
In October 2007, Goldstone decided to look into online local search advertising. He had been hearing about how local search providers can geographically target a business’s message to local customers conducting online searches. Local search providers use keywords and search phrases to attract local customers to a company’s website by delivering results that are relevant to the company’s geographic region. They also provide free or paid listings that can be quickly updated unlike traditional Yellow Pages directories which are updated annually.
“My business continues to grow and change and we are always adding new products and specials,” said Goldstone. “Having the ability to quickly update my information when it changes, and reach customers in my area with my message, got me very excited about trying local search.” According to global Internet information provider, comScore, Inc., 47 percent of local searchers visited a local merchant as a result of their online search.
“Having the ability to quickly update my information when it changes, and reach customers in my area with my message, got me very excited about trying local search.”
“Within just a couple of weeks after placing my ad with Local.com, the phone started ringing and hasn’t stopped since. I’m getting at least 10 calls per day from customers who have found me on Local.com. I can’t believe how easy it was to get started!”
In early November, Goldstone placed his first ad on Local.com: “Within just a couple of weeks after placing my ad with Local.com, the phone started ringing and hasn’t stopped since. I’m getting at least 10 calls per day from customers who have found me on Local.com. I can’t believe how easy it was to get started!”
Goldstone is utilizing Local.com’s Local Promote™ advertising program for his advertising needs. Local Promote provides an easy and cost effective way for businesses to guarantee that their listing will appear at the top of the search results page in a specified category and region. The annual subscription service allows businesses to reach targeted consumers already searching for their products and services online.
“Local Promote offers businesses an affordable, alternative advertising solution that guarantees their listing will appear at the top of Local.com search results.”
“Local Promote offers businesses an affordable, alternative advertising solution that guarantees their listing will appear at the top of Local.com search results,” said Jennifer Black, Local.com vice president of marketing. “Local Promote businesses are screened to confirm that they are in good standing with the Better Business Bureau to ensure an exceptional experience for Local.com users. Local Promote is also considerably less expensive than competitive ad programs and offers great value for businesses wishing to target local consumers.”
For 17 years Goldstone placed ads in traditional Yellow Pages directories, but never got the response or the results he is getting with his Local.com local search ads. “I should have been doing this years’ ago. When I look back now, I realize that I just advertised in the Yellow Pages’ directories more out of habit and not results. I was just like any other small business out there looking for a way to get my business noticed and didn’t know of another way.”
Goldstone continues to track his local customer leads, which are growing as a result of his relationship with Local.com. “Not only is Local.com connecting my business with new customers, they’re helping me build my business. The return on investment is incredible. I’m getting the exposure I never received with my traditional Yellow Pages ad and it’s costing me half the money.”
For over 17 years, Goldstone’s two businesses, ScanMyPhotos.com and 30 Minute Photos have attracted nationwide customers. But he says attracting local customers requires a different strategy. “To survive as a small business, you need to reach local customers in your neighborhood. And to do this, you need a geographically focused strategy. Local.com helped me develop my strategy by reaching out to potential customers using local search. I’m really excited about the future and feel at peace knowing that Local.com will be right along side me as I grow my business into the future.”