How To Improve Local Search? Turn It Upside Down

If you live in a small to medium-sized city, online search results for things you can buy or do in your downtown business district tend to get swamped by the results for big box stores and national chains appearing more prominently in Google.

So why not turn local search on its head? Instead of making the shopper do all the search work–hopping from result to result, etc–invite them to tell motivated local merchants what they’re looking for (aka enter it into a “local” search bar), then sit back and wait for outreach and offers? In other words, motivate local merchants to join Main&Me by giving them access to an ever-evolving, categorized list of exactly what local shoppers say they are looking for. Then they can reach out directly to those shoppers with an introduction, or even an offer (both parties would, of course, have to opt in).

It’s a similar idea–on a less-invasive, local level–to the way that Amazon and “cookies” in general follow online shoppers who so much as glance at an ad for sneakers, but with one big difference: with local “upside down” search, deals are offered by local businesses that give back genuine service and convenience in return…not faceless national chains ready to exploit that data. With the added bonus that shoppers who receive the benefits of Main&Me search are also helping their local economy.

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