Using any of the major search portals you can find a business in your zip code. But can you find a business within 5 miles or a few blocks?
Many businesses don’t thrive by those buying from them in their zip code, but thrive from those who are in their nearby block or within a much smaller radius.
Business Week writes Karl Murphy, president and co-owner of Carolina Auto Spa, a car wash and automotive detailer with two locations outside Raleigh, N.C., says his business depends on impulse decisionsóno one makes an appointment to wash a car. “Car washes live or die within a five-mile radius. If you put a [compass] and draw around my site, that’s where I advertise,” says Murphy. “My best friends 24 miles away won’t wash at my car washóand I’d let them do it for free.”
BW writes that a new service from Skyhook Wireless, a small technology company in Boston, is working with search engines to narrow local search to a smaller radius than zip code only.
With this kind of service smaller retailers that rely on foot traffic can use online advertising to get more foot traffic to their door. I’m not sure of the size for the use of phones as web tools but or finding information online – the PC is still king. However, as the use of the phone increases then localized search will be even more important as the phone’s GPS can quickly put someone looking for something in touch with the nearest retailer.
Read the full business week article here.
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