For years now companies like Yext and Moz have served as a kind of online central hub for businesses as they look to make products more easily accessible to local customers. With so many social networks, online directories and search engines out there, it can be extremely hard for an entrepreneur to update vital business information (such as addresses or websites) on every one of them. Companies servicing your "local search" needs essentially act as a kind of "Yellow Pages" that let you update all your info all at once, across thousands of sites.
A Dallas-based startup called Local Site Submit is attempting to battle the bigger competitors in the space and just announced a funding A round of $1.6 million, with Cypress Capital and Silicon Valley Bank participating. The company is not only taking on New York City-based Yext and Seattle-based Moz in creating a Yellow Pages-type service, but is also the local SEO aspect of this service. Whether or not the startup gives the big boys a run for their money remains to be seen, but its presence could potentially make the space more competitive in the meantime, which could help your business.
Taking on Moz in Local SEO
If you have a business that relies heavily on local customers, then you've probably heard of local SEO. Bernadette Coleman calls it "a process by which you adapt your content and your search engine marketing campaign in order to appear in relevant local search results."
In other words, you are targeting an audience in a specific geographic area. And, while this concept shouldn't be as difficult as SEO campaigns that attempt to draw in national or international visitors, there are considerations that make local search unique--such as becoming visible and enticing to customers both online and offline.
Local Site Submit, like Moz, offers multiple services related to Local SEO. They offer keyword research and analysis to help your search rankings or PPC campaigns, "structured website markup" to make your site load more easily, and web development that will make sure your page has clean and clear code so search engines can easily crawl your site. They also offer responsive design work, so that your site loads properly on desktop as well as mobile devices--quickly.
Local Directory Submission
Now let's get back to the Yellow Pages-type service mentioned before. By submitting your business to local directories and citation sources, you're improving the chances of gaining more online visibility and attracting new customers. These companies help you submit your business to local directories in order to maximize local search and help you with lead generation. They sync your location and business data so that your business address remains the same across all those platforms and sites (Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, YouTube, Bing Local, GPS, Foursquare, Flickr, and on and on). This is absolutely vital so that customers don't go to the wrong place, your Google rankings aren't harmed and people don't call your old number.
The space has received extensive venture capital attention. Moz raised $18 million in 2012 and Yext raised a $50 million Series F in June.