Traveling to Whitefish to Ski or Glacier National Park this summer, Take Along the Flathead Guide

New Flathead Valley Business Directory provides local search solution to residents and the millions of visitors to northwest Montana via a smartphone-optimized website.
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Flathead Valley Business Directory
Flathead Valley Business Directory
March 5, 2013 - PRLog -- The Flathead Guide is a new smartphone-optimized web service launched in January of 2013 to serve as a local business directory for the entire Flathead Valley of NW Montana.  Due to the popularity of this area’s many tourist attractions, Glacier National Park, Whitefish Resort, Flathead Lake and the Bob Marshall Wilderness to name just a few, millions of people travel to the Flathead Valley year round.

The Flathead Guide aims to make this resource a one-stop travel companion for visitors to the valley and local residents by providing listings of businesses, local events and tourist related information accessible from a smartphone.  Users can search the directory listings by name, category, city or keyword tags and unlike other websites like Yelp or FourSquare, the guide is hyper-local to the Flathead Valley.

“Local Search” has been the buzz term of online marketing ever since Google declared that it was one of the search giant’s top priorities going forward.  It is a logical progression of search science as the vast majority of companies do business on a local level. The Flathead Guide maximizes local search by offering only precise local results.

Listing owners have access to a private control panel where they can login and edit their information at any time. This means that they can add coupons and daily specials or feature new products or services at their convenience.  A basic listing effectively functions as a stand-alone “mini website” permitting owners to add text, images, videos, a slideshow, links to all their social sites, a Google map and all the functionality of a mobile app such as “Tap to Call’.  Unlike a mobile app that must be downloaded, the website is accessed via any browser.

Tom Heatherington, the owner of the Flathead Guide is a twenty-year Internet entrepreneur veteran, author and online marketing consultant.  According to him, “Smartphones are becoming the primary Internet access device worldwide and the Flathead Guide maximizes this trend by providing the local information one needs at your fingertips.  Local search is a game changer and a business website must be optimized for local onsite and offsite.  The Flathead Guide helps them accomplish this by providing a valuable local link to the businesses primary website from a content-related authority site.”

Visitors to NW Montana want to find restaurants, hotels, auto and RV facilities, Realtors, medical resources, local information and virtually every imaginable product and service found in the Flathead Valley. Businesses want to connect with the people performing those searches and the Flathead Guide brings them all together. Smartphones have become an essential part of our lives and capitalizing on this opportunity is the objective of the Flathead Guide.

Heatherington says, “My hope is to list every conceivable business in the Flathead Valley Business Directory and make this a valuable resource for all concerned; that is why the price is a no-brainer.  At only $4 per month, nobody has to think about participating or shift advertising dollars in order to afford it. I am an experienced search engine optimization expert and I believe that a rising tide lifts all ships, so the more I improve our search results the more everyone benefits.”

About the Flathead Guide:
Tom Heatherington, owner/editor of the Flathead Guide, is a recognized Internet business author and online marketing consultant to small business.  His books include the "SEO & Social Media Marketing Guide" and "The Complete Small Business Internet Guide" (published by Macmillan/QUE).  Tom is the former President (co-founder) and COO of Opinioneering Corporation and President of Netcom Interactive. In 1993 Tom co-founded PICnet, one of the first ISPs in the nation. Tom worked 13 years for NEC America where he served the last five years as Vice President of Wireless Products Sales.

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