Lately, I've been incredibly frustrated with search results - and it's NOT the search engines' fault (this time). No, this time, I have to blame business owners. Why? Because they don't have websites! How is it, in this day and age, that local businesses can't even have a one-page brochure website? It costs, what...maybe $15/year for a domain name and cheap hosting for a tiny site?
I'm not asking for much here. I just want to be able to find services in my local area. You see, I'm moving soon. To a bare-naked piece of land. That land needs things done to it. I need a septic tank installed. I need water lines run out to wherever they connect to at the street. (At least, I think that's where they'd connect to). I need a fence. I need a deck built. I need a driveway laid down. I need lots of things done before I can even begin to start the moving process.
So, naturally, I turn to the internet for help. No, I don't turn to the phone book because I don't have the phone book for that area. I'm moving to a different part of the state. I suppose I could call the phone company and order a phone book, but I shouldn't have to. I should be able to search for businesses in the area and find websites! Any kind of site would do - even ugly ones! I mean, c'mon people, just fire up Microsoft Word, write down the essentials of your business, and save as an HTML page. It would be better than what you have now, which is nothing.
Instead, all I can seem to find are these weird bogus phone book type sites that apparently are just spam sites. Sometimes, local search such as Google's local results will give me names, addresses, and phone numbers, but no urls. Why? Because no urls exist for all these businesses.
Times like these, I wish I was in the web design business, or at least had some real web design skills. (My graphics ability isn't all that). I'd be targeting local businesses like crazy. And how hard would it be to get those sites to rank well? Piece of cake, because there is no competition!
If you are an SEO with web design skills, you should consider expanding. Do some searches for local businesses. Find the ones that essentially return no real results. There are tons of customers out there waiting for you! And I'm sure there are tons of searchers waiting as well.
Local search could be so much better. But first things first - there need to be websites for local businesses before local search will be useful at all.