Local.com has dramatically upgraded its destination site, with soft colors, an excellent user interface and renewed focus on three core categories — “business,” “coupons” and “events.” The categories are clearly aimed at driving organic traffic from its intended audience of women and mothers.
The site is geotargeted to automatically provide local listings and features. Listings can also be easily featured on users’ Facebook pages. Business Listings, meanwhile, include dropdown subcategories on top of core sections (restaurants, health & wellness, home services, pro services, activities, pets).
“It is a 180-degree turn around” from the prior site, says CEO Heath Clarke. He noted that the effort was very resource intensive in terms of people and money.
The destination site accounts for half of Local.com’s revenues. It is strategic to the company for a number of reasons. The new version is intended to bring in more advertising based on its “abundant fresh content to enrich your life” commissioned via Octane Expert, a division within Octane 360, Local.com’s recently acquired SMB services company.
Octane, setting off on a similar path as Demand Media and MerchantCircle Content Studios, can develop articles (i.e., “How to Prepare Italian Food”) for $8 to $15, and sell an array of advertising related to it.
Local.com’s new coupons section comes from The Dealmap on the local level, as well as (largely) retail ads from ShopLocal and national ads from Savings.com and Coupons.com. Events come from a partnership with Eventful.