Some of the links below are affiliate links to products that will allow me to earn a commission. I never endorse anything that I do not use myself and you will find that they are very helpful in maximizing your local search results. I include these because they are good companies and software packages that I use, not because I may earn from you by using their services.
Service Industry Websites: This is one of my companies where I use a static WordPress platform to build you a website – not a blog. You can have a blogging componenet if you would like. Currently it states it is for Appraiser Websites, you can use my platform for any Service Related business. Highly targeted and optimized for local search results.
Online Payments & Shopping Carts
Paypal.com: If you want to accept online payments with credit cards, I suggest using a paypal merchant account. Easy to set up and integrate a shopping cart, 1 click purchasing and it also has an online virtual terminal so you can process credit card payments.
Market Samurai: This is the best tool for keyword research. You can find a ton of profitable keywords related to your business. You will find out which keywords to trarget and have access to a bunch of their online tutorials. Discover how to beat the competition and get front-page rankings in all the top search engines. You have to check this one out, I use it almost daily!
WordTracker Free Keywords Tool: This is a good free tool you can use to find out the number of searches for a primary keyword and will also give you results for similar related search terms and phrases. They also have some training.
Google External Keyword Tool: Another great resource that will tell you the number of global and local search results. You can also see the popularity which will let you know how fierce the competition in your area is for a searched keyword or phrase.
Google Adsense: You can make money off your website by allowing them to place relevant ads on your website. You will want to put this on pages related to your business, but not in direct competition.
Google Adwords: This is a great resource that will get your website displayed instantly for the search terms and phrases you wish to target. You can target only those customers in your geographical area if you are focusing only on local search results. Make sure to read the tutorials before you start showing ads to make sure you are optimizing your advertisement to avoid excessive costs. You pay per click – so each time someone clicks on your advertisement you are charged the amount you bid. A good idea is to include the phone number in the advertisement for local companies if you are looking for customers to call.
Newsletter / Email Subscriptions & Marketing
Aweber: This is the best opt-in email service. You can use this software to capture your customers information and provide product updates, newsletters, specials, etc. There are a bunch of video seminars to help you succeed with your customer email list. This is what I use on all my blogs to keep in contact with my customers.
Website Analytics / Statistics / Tools
Google Analytics: This is the best and FREE website tracking and analytics tool. You can get a WordPress Plugin that will allow you to easily integrate this into your website. You can also set up goals for customers that have signed up to a newsletter or made a purchase online so you can see exactly where your sign ups and sales are coming from. Track anything! If you have a website on the internet, you must have a good analytics program to track marketing and goals.
Google Webmaster Tools: This is a whole host of website services that Google offers for free to website owners. You can use their optimizer to find test different webpages, use their crawl records to find out if there are any problems on your website, primary keywords and more.
Outsourcing Work / Programming / Graphics
Elance: This is a great service when you want to get something done quickly. Covers any service you can think of. Videos, Brochures, Business Cards, Website changes, etc… Anything you can’t do yourself, it is much cheaper to outsource it.
99Designs: This is great website if you are looking for Logo design, Web design, Business cards, WordPress themes, Stationery design, Brochure design, Print design, T-shirt design, Banner ads. It is set up like a contest so you submit the description of what you are looking for and designers compete against to win the fee. Amazing service that I highly recommend.
LegalZoom: Business services that will help you complete an Incorporation, LLC, DBA/Business Names, Trademarks, Corporate Dissolution, Forms and Agreements.
Local Search Training / Educational
Expand2Web Local Search Expert Training: this is a great forum to quickly learn local and social marketing techniques. You get the Small Business WordPress Theme for free when you join. Click here to view more details