Serious About Local:

Need to get your small business better ranked on the search engines and don't know how? Well there is a tool out there now that will give you help - and it's free.

Pat Sexton and David Mihm have joined forces to help small businesses get better listed locally in the search engines with the launch of

The tool checks how well your site is optimized for local placement in the search engines. It runs a placement test in Yahoo, Google and Microsoft Local as well as the Best of the Web Local Directory. They concentrated on these as they did not want to swamp people with unknown sites, Pat Sexton told me. "We have been approached by others but are staying with the ones we have for the moment," he added.

The system allows you to see any errors in your listings which is handy, as well as any reviews that exist out there.positive or negative.

The site has been well received since its launch - small business blogs have helped push the information out, Sexton noted. "We got out to a lot of real small business people already so we are happy."

While only connected for the US - at the moment - they will be launching in Canada, the UK and Australia in the near future. Other countries and languages are slated for later integration.

"There was a lot of small businesses getting screwed by services that cost way too much," Sexton said. Not anymore Pat - great job - am sure this one becomes an overnight hit.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.