And Now for SwiftLocal . . .

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Another (formerly unknown to me) local search marketing firm: SwiftLocal. Soon it will be roll-up time for these firms.

8 Responses to “And Now for SwiftLocal . . .”

  1. Chris Silver Smith Says:

    Do you mean that it’s time for some of them to merge, or are you going to do a roll-call article listing them all, along with some of their differentiators?

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    I mean there will be inevitable consolidation to get to scale. Either some will join voluntarily or someone outside will recognize an opportunity and try and “roll up” a number of these firms into a larger one with scale and try and build a local brand.

  3. earlpearl Says:

    Hm….my business is identified in many of the 49 sources they reference and gets almost no leads from the sum total of all of them

    Ever hear of things that are a mile wide and an inch deep?

  4. Robert Says:

    Hi. Wow, You said you’re on 49 different directories and not getting any business from them. Does that include Yahoo, Google and MSN? I find it hard to believe that you can be listed in so many places and not get any customers or traffic. Maybe your listings or products are basic and don’t stand out. Try optimizing your web site. also if you don’t have a brick and mortar business then you’re posting in the wrong directories.


  5. earlpearl Says:

    Robert: The main business site, which is a local business, and theoretically a candidate for those services gets plenty of traffic. It is primarily from search engines and direct. Typically I’ll see something between 1-2,000 visits/month directly off search engine phrases that specifically represent long tail phrases that combine two things; 1. business terms 2. relevant geographic phrases.

    2ndly and fortunately, the site has high rankings for just the business terms. As Greg referenced from research way earlier in a post here, approximately 1/2 of searchers looking for a local business may start with a business phrase that doesn’t represent the relevant geography. For instance “orthodontist” rather than “long island orthodontist”

    I fortunately have very high rankings in the some of the engines for the basic business terms.

    But what is more telling on those efforts is a ppc ad. So for instance for search phrases for orthodontist….I’d have an ad running for “Long Island Orthodontist” and I run those ads geographically in my region.

    That turns up a lot of traffic and similarly conversions, as do the long tail phrases.

    Compared to those two efforts all those directories scarcely have impact.


  6. Robert Says:

    I strongly disagree. from my experience, many people search by typing a city, town, village or state followed by a specific word or phrase. Ever heard of Craigs List? I was performing local searches way before the term even became popular. Looking up and researching “Hartford Used Furniture”, “Hartford Dentist”, “Hartford Pediatrician”, “Hartford office supplies” and even “Hartford Divorce Attorney” until I came to my senses and looked up “Harford marriage counselor” 🙂 . So I just disagree. I think it all depends on the user.

    Also some of the directories listed on Swift Local are verticals focused on specific topics and I know for example that Marchex alone uses directory info to feed thousands of sites. So while the big three deliver a lot of traffic I think it would be foolish to say that Internet yellow pages don’t deliver results. In fact, I’d venture to say that online yellow pages deliver very targeted buyers since that’s what people use Yellow pages for… To shop and to look for what they need in their areas. i.e. if I wanted “PC repair” I’d use my iPhone to find a shop close to wherever I am. There were times when I’ve used Internet yellow pages like Big Book to find local gyms. I didn’t type “gym” I typed “Hartford Gym” so that’s the nature of local search. By the way, FYI… the big three get some of their default local search results from Internet Yellow Page and business directory databases. That’s how they seed their own results. So getting listed is very important for exposure. My being able to stay in business is proof enough. People who find my business do so in many ways and not just Google. 🙂


    Just like with anything else on the web. If your ads or listings are not optimized with the right keywords and descriptions then getting listed in all the directories in the world won’t help.

    I’ve used yellow page and vertical sites and guides to promote my business in the past and they have all delivered results, some barely and some enough to bring in some major business.

  7. Shoma Says:

    Local Directories and guides deliver buyers to restaurants, offices, alternative services, shops and other businesses that can benefit from it. Some of these businesses might not have a web site, but they have good old fashioned phone numbers that are displayed when users click on their listings.

    If you’re looking to drive traffic to a web site, that’s not the main purpose of local search directories and engines.

    We use some of the directories listed on SwiftLocal’s site (mostly Google Local, Yahoo Local and the yellow pages ones) to keep our clients in front of buyers looking for the services they provide. Not all buyers use the big three search engines to find what they want, many use local guides, city guides, their ISP’s directories, online Yellow pages, as evident from more and more TV commercials for sites like, and other means. Some use comparison sites to find the best deals and will search by zip code to go get what they want. Marchex, as mentioned above, has sites like that use local search data to give end users more buying choices that they can travel to.

    Services like SwiftLocal can be worthwhile and what makes them worthy of consideration is that they give business owners great exposure for one price that can be edited from one location. I’ve used a similar service with great results. The key is to enhance your directory listings with the right keywords and phrases derived from the products and services you sell. Search engines use this information and will return relevant directory results. So while it may have been Google that found the listing it might have been a local directory that was indexed and served the result.

    Local search directories work if you know how to work them and if services like SwiftLocal allow you to do this better then that’s what small business owners want.

    I agree that eventually these sites will probably consolidate their efforts and roll-up to deliver better overall services, but until then nothing beats having choices.

  8. earlpearl Says:


    Let me back up a little. Within various categories there is fierce competition for rankings often dominated by a variety of verticals and/or the yellow pages. That in its own right can dominate and establish a competitive framework for certain businesses. Auto dealers and apartments are 2 examples.

    Other industries face less competition from directories, IYP, or verticals.

    Even with competition a well developed site that has also optimized for the unique algos that dominate in Google maps inserts or Yahool Local inserts can dominate.

    It does take work.

    2ndly, even in the competitive industries the wealth of secondary terms for a combo phrase that would use a geographic phrase like Hartford and, say auto dealers there are opportunities for the individual site to generate an enormous amount of direct traffic.

    If often involves optimizing for a wealth of secondary, or long tail phrases that the big money competitors are missing.

    It does work. I’m not suggesting the directories, Verticals are not worthwhile but there is a strong place for independantly optimized sites that can generate direct traffic.

    Doing that, lessons the dependance on verticals and lists of other such businesses within the directories, and lessons or reduces the costs and dependance on these verticals.

    I’m still seeing that traffic directly, of roughly 1-2,000/month that independantly reach the site through combinations of appropriate geographical terms and appropriate business terms.


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