This was supplied to us through our friend, Steve Anderson, a savvy marketing consultant based in San Antonio. Steve wrote this through material he gathered from USA Today.
Think you're seeing a lot more sponsored text ads popping up next to your search results? Just wait: More are coming.
Search engine giants Google and Yahoo are wooing local advertisers to what has been primarily a national medium. Both are quietly testing local search marketing programs, while smaller websites such as Citysearch have switched to Google-like pay-performance billing, effectively increasing their ad base.
This market has huge potential, because most people do their shopping locally according to market tracker Forrester Research.
Forrester Research projects that spending on search marketing-paying for small text links to Web sites that cost advertisers only when the ad is clicked-will grow 47% this year to $2.8 billion.
Google's advertisers pay as little as 5 cents every time the ad is clicked. Its ads also appear on America Online and Ask Jeeves, while ads on Yahoo and MSN come from Yahoo-owned Overture.
One happy customer is Brett Finkelstein. He handles marketing for Table for Six, a San Francisco-area dating service that is dependent on local customers. He began advertising on Google's local program late last year. The results: He is now getting 12 new leads a month. "The power is amazing," he says. "We're getting twice as many clicks now."
Larry Tamkin, a partner with Next Level Realty in Boston, gets 10 leads a day from Google's local program. He's cut back on his newspaper advertising, saying he believes the Internet is the future.
Beyond the search engines that can look up everything from rice to chicken, there are also the local directories, smaller Web sites that want to be a combination Yellow Pages/community newspaper.
Some, such as Switchboard.com and InfoSpace, try to replicate white and Yellow Pages experience. Others, such as Citysearch, offer listings, reviews, and menu offerings on local city-specific sites.
Lawrence Moore, who does the marketing for the Chaya restaurants in Los Angeles and San Francisco, started advertising with Citysearch last year and states that business is up 20%.
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