DiscoverOurTown.com Embraces Small Business and Entrepreneurs

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DiscoverOurTown.com provides comprehensive city guides that feature 1000's of locally owned businesses. The business directory features wedding planners, plumbers, HVAC repairmen, real estate agents and much more. DiscoverOurTown.com can be an integral piece to the internet marketing plan for local business owners. The site also includes travel information for 2,500+ locations across the United States. Its partner site DiscoverOurFestival.com provides information on 4000+ festivals, local events, and major tourists’ attractions.

DiscoverOurTown was doing local, before local was cool.

DiscoverOurTown was an idea that founder, Jo Wilson, had in 1998 while she was looking for information about her hometown on the internet. Information about shopping and lodging in Jo’s hometown, Vicksburg, MS, could not be found without clicking through multiple pages, several pop up ads, and then the results were disappointing. As a former Director for the Vicksburg Main Street USA program, Jo saw this as an opportunity to market her town and to use her creative talents in an entrepreneurial way. DiscoverOurTown (DOT) was created so that business owners located in small and middle market towns and cities could be included in internet search. Over the years the company’s growth has naturally led it into covering all markets regardless of size. The focus has remained though on featuring local business and the "best of the city" versus trying to replicate an all inclusive yellow pages type directory. In a play off the old country song, “DiscoverOurTown was doing local, before local was cool.”

With 2500+ active local city guides available, one can search information about dining in Chicago, finding a hotel in Manhattan, or shopping in Amarillo. Thousands of local business owners sign up each month. Its free, and its a great way to join a group of highly successful businesses owners listed on a family friendly site.

Today, DiscoverOurTown.com continues to embrace the small business owner (SBO). “The legacy of starting a business at the kitchen table is that you know how the small business owner feels. You know their hopes and dreams”, says Jo. DiscoverOurTown is always looking to promote small businesses by offering free tools for SBO’s to promote their business. The easiest way to promote your business on the internet is to get your business listed onto the major search engines: Google, Bing, Ask, and Yahoo. Because DiscoverOurTown has been online for nearly a decade, the site has a high Google site rank and good long tail search visibility for businesses. The search engines may not know your site but they do know ours and that enables companies to use DOT as a tool to implement their Search Engine Optimization or local SEO strategy.” Enhancing the basic free internet business listing can also improve the search results for featured businesses. Updating your listings on a quarterly basis, adding searchable video, and including your Facebook and Twitter account usernames in your company profile keeps you at the top of the search engines.

Reputation Management is also important for the local business. Software available to DiscoverOurTown’s enhanced listing clients allows owners to track what is being said about them on the social media platforms, blogs, news, and review sites. Without the software, it would be too time consuming for the business owner to search the internet on a consistent basis to be certain that others are not damaging your business with malicious and misleading information. People have always said that "you are who you know", now in the digital age, “you are who Google says you are”.

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Tad Hunter

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