The New Yellow Pages? Where are they?

Written by admin on December 6th, 2010

Way back then, there were these people called Webmasters. Webmasters were incredibly powerful people from another planet called the Internet. They had total control of everything that had to do with the Internet; some people thought that they were “Computer People” oh no, not so, they are from the planet “Internet” not from the land of “I.T.”, I digress.

The Webmaster had mysterious and magic powers, he could make you have a website, he may have tried to explain it to you, but it was too complex. “How come we can’t just move this picture over there?” you may have asked, or “It’s not the same color as my brochure” or “It looks different on my friends computer” or a host of other bothersome questions about the website you just paid thousands of dollars for.

Fast forward about 8 years, everyone has a website and the all-powerful Webmasters have all but vanished. Sure, they still exist, but because of evil things like Content Management Solutions, Joomla, WordPress, Blogger, etc. they don’t have the powers they used to. IT people still do. Ouch. Regular humans are now building their own websites. What hurts is that some of them look good and actually function.

Today, I have my website, but where are all the visitors? I thought if I put up a website that millions and millions of people would see it and a flood of new business would come my way, more importantly, I would become famous because I was on the Internet!

Well, let’s take a small detour off our road for a minute to a little, scarcely visited village called “Reality”. You and everyone else wants to be on the top spot for Google. Literally. Maybe you have spent money on Google Ad Words, Banner Ads, traditional advertising, maybe no advertising.

Maybe you have done what many savvy small business owners do when prompted on how they are going to drive traffic to their site: hand out their business cards; that should do the trick. Let’s see 10 to 20 business cards per week, about 5 or 10 people actually visit your site, so that’s a whopping 20 to 40 unique visits. Wow. And if your homepage looks the same as it did last week, why on earth would they come back? Hmmmmm.

At the core of all these efforts to drive traffic to a website, many have worked very well, but one thing has risen out of the fray: a small, local business who doesn’t need or care about thousands of visits to their site, they don’t care that they are getting hits from India. They are an Auto Body repair shop in Fontana, Ca., or a restaurant in Riverside, Ca., or a Sushi Bar in Ontario, Ca. (not Canada). There are thousands of these kinds of businesses, all one locations, privately owned, they all have been displaced.

You know where all of these great small businesses, the backbone of our great country used to live? They used to live in a very large village, all of the houses were yellow, the streets were yellow, the sky was yellow…big village. And if you were one of these small businesses, you had to live there. If you didn’t, no one knew you. You really weren’t a small business. If you had enough money to pay more for a business line than a residential phone line you got a free tent. A yellow tent. The village was The Yellow Pages.

Well, what now? That village is gone, at least on it’s way out. What now for all of the small businesses.

There are a number of solutions and I am going to compare and contrast as many as I can. The funny thing is, many of them are free and very effective. There is no “New Yellow Pages”, at least not in one solution, not from my perspective. So, in Part II of this series, I will share with you all of the solutions (things on the Internet) that, in my opinion, constitute “The New Yellow Pages”. Hopefully, after reading Part II, your business can live happily ever after.

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