Local economy project will help Google find rural

Patty Cantrell
April 10, 2019

St. Clair and Cedar counties take action with LocalAnyDay mobile marketing platform

If you want to buy local, you first have to find local. But finding local is especially difficult in the smartphone era. Most rural businesses do not have the marketing power to show up well in Google searches.

A new local economy project will change that. Making Rural Visible will get the region’s small businesses and communities seen on the Internet using the search engine optimization (SEO) power of the LocalAnyDay platform.

LocalAnyDay increases the chances of smaller rural businesses showing up in search engine results, even those without a current Internet presence, said Patty Cantrell. She is community wealth building director with New Growth, a regional community development corporation affiliated with the West Central Missouri Community Action Agency.

Reach Customers. LocalAnyDay does this by packing basic, useful information about local businesses in one convenient Internet spot, Cantrell said. “It’s like TripAdvisor or Yelp but with more local businesses than those platforms typically find and display.”

The project kicks off this spring in two counties: St. Clair and Cedar. Neighboring west central Missouri counties have the option to join in also.

New Growth coordinates the project. Local partners are St. Clair County Economic Development, the El Dorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, and the Stockton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Teresa Heckenlively, St. Clair County economic developer, said, “LocalAnyDay is a big deal for our locally owned businesses. It will help them pull people off the highway and into their businesses. It will give them greater reach.”

Bill Crabtree, director of the Stockton Area Chamber of Commerce, said “This is one of those opportunities that not only serves individual businesses but also helps the whole community grow.”

Next Steps. The Making Rural Visible project gets underway in April for St. Clair and Cedar counties. Listings go live as they are set up. A special page per county on the LocalAnyDay app will launch in June. More detail here:

  1. Food and drink. LocalAnyDay will call food and drink businesses in each county through May and prepare free listings for those interested in participating. Food and drink businesses get one listing every day of the week and can feature different items or offers each day of the week. Sign up is easy and ongoing here.
  2. Other businesses. Other local businesses can also sign up for free. Their listing is the same every day of the week. Sign up is easy and ongoing here.
  3. Prize drawings. Cedar and St. Clair County businesses that list on LocalAnyDay during April and May will automatically qualify for a prize drawing. Drawings will award professional photography or graphic design services to improve local businesses’ online presence; up to 20 winners per county.
  4. County page on app. LocalAnyDay will also build St. Clair and Cedar County landing pages into its optional nationwide app. The pages will promote local events and attractions as well as local businesses.

“The Making Rural Visible project is vital because the smartphone has replaced the Yellow Pages,” said Chris Thompson, president and CEO of New Growth and West Central Missouri Community Action Agency. “We need a new digital directory of all the good stuff going on here.”

Jackson Tough, CEO/Executive Director of the El Dorado Springs Chamber of Commerce knows that consumers turn to search engines on their mobile devices every day.

“Having a local online presence is almost essential for attracting new customers,” he said. “It’s crucial to be one of the options in search results.”

To learn more or get help signing up, contact:
Patty Cantrell, New Growth, 417-646-6900, pcantrell @newgrowthmo.org
Teresa Heckenlively, St. Clair County Economic Development, 417-309-1786, theckenlively @kaysinger.com

You can also check out LocalAnyDay at https://localanyday.com/ — The Lincoln, NE-based small business helps people find places to eat, drink, shop, and save money – locally! Currently located in 65 communities and counting.