Announcing, Free Service for Local Businesses

I’m excited to announce a new free service I developed for local businesses, Local Search is one of the newest verticals in the search industry bringing with it the convergence of offline (local) businesses and online search. has a real solution to one of the biggest problems facing local businesses: online customer reviews.

Problem: Local businesses have difficulties getting online reviews from offline customers.

Solution: helps local businesses to get authentic, online reviews from their customers by giving a coupon for leaving feedback at a review site, and pointing the customer directly to one of the review sites.

Benefits: This service not only helps local businesses to increase online customer reviews, but it also gives motivation to local businesses to create business listings at popular local search sites and helps local businesses rank better on sites that use customer ratings as a part of their local search rankings algorithm (like Yahoo! Local).

Businesses with multiple locations or Local Search Marketers can manage multiple businesses from one account.

How works:

1) Local business fills out sign-up form

2) Local business finds or creates their business listings at local review sites (Yahoo! Local, Google Maps,, etc.)

3) Local business creates a coupon with a code for customer to enter

4) Local business gives customer the coupon (or sends in an email)

5) Customer enters code at and is directed to one of the review sites of the local business

6) Customer prints off the “thank you page” or actual review and redeems coupon

As a result, local businesses will see an increase in customer reviews, ratings, and local search rankings. And ultimately, more customers!

Some other features of you’ll find helpful and interesting, but not shouted from the rooftops:

– Print off an actual coupon (4 per page) from an auto-generated PDF
– Create a direct link to a randomly selected local review site for your business
– Keeps track of how many times the coupon was entered and customer went to review site
– Quick links to search for or add your local business to popular local search sites and directories

Some links about Local Search that may help you learn more about it:

10 Likely Factors in Google’s Local Search Algorithm
Mike Blumenthal interview about Local Search
Local Search Marketing Tactics (SES San Jose 2007 Session)
Why Local is Different (SMX West 2008 Session)
Extreme Local Search Optimization Tactics

Thanks for the feedback and testing by Mike Blumenthal at Understanding Google Maps & Yahoo! Local, Matt McGee at Small Business SEM, Andy Beal at, David Mihm, Miriam at SEO Igloo and Solas Web Design, William Scott at, and Tim Coleman at


  • Nice idea Michael, but I see an issue already. You are not providing any error handling page for incorrect zip codes or zip codes with no reviews. Serving a page with just a message saying what happened would be much more helpful that simply refreshing to the same Zip code search box.

  • Jaan, that’s not a field for a zip code, it’s for a coupon code. Read through the materials and you’ll catch on. Thanks!

  • Well duh, either way I would still handle improper entries with a proper error message. If i would have received some sort of message telling me what I did wrong I would not have posted above.

  • Jason says:

    Great tool for streamlining the review process. I look forward to the site growing. Thanks.

  • Fisk Gawsen says:

    Great tool Michael.

    I create information products based on what I’ve learned from the course, could I use to promote those products or is the system for brick and mortar businesses only?

    Fisk Gawsen

  • The system is for local businesses that have a physical location. Thanks for checking it out though!

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