Use Your Yellow Page Savings to Finance Your Internet Local Search Visibility

Written by admin on December 5th, 2010

Copyright 2005 Off the Page

A Yellow Page Ad Says You’re “Open for Business”

Most small businesses that have a storefront or provide a
service are committed to a Yellow Page directory ad. It was a
safe bet, since buyers went to the directory when they were
ready to buy.

Every year owners renew their ad. And steadily the costs go up.
Many advertisers “beefed up” their ad, hoping to stand out –
making it even more expensive. For too many, their directory ad
is their most expensive (or only) promotional activity. While
the expense increased, directory use has gone down. Since last
year’s advent of Local Search, many more people go online than
to their Yellow Pages before they make buying decisions.

The Walking Fingers are Walking on the Keyboard

“Let your fingers do the walking” means calling a business to
get desired answers before visiting the store. Nowadays, instead
of opening the directory, 70% of buyers head to the Internet to
conduct searches. Already, 36% of such searches are looking for
local vendors. Of those, 45% have a buying intention. Yet 54% of
the qualified small businesses don’t appear in those results. So
customers select from those who do – a major handicap for those
left out.

Older businesses depend on the directory more than newer ones.
78% of enterprises open over 20 years rely on the directory,
compared to 52% of firms under 10 years. Younger operations are
more willing to incorporate online exposure, and thereby
out-pace their well-established competition. Ouch!

Of course, every Yellow Page category is different. Some get a
lot more use than others. Maybe it’s true for you. But the only
way to know is to track where your new customers come from. And
if you’re bothering to track, how much is coming to you via the
Web? Local Search Appeals to Computer-Savvy Buyers in your Town
A Local Search occurs when a person adds a geographic term
(city, state, region, zip code) to a search engine query. The
results only show enterprises in that area – florists in
Cheyenne – displayed on a map.

Who searches for local businesses? The locals, certainly. But so
do travelers, people intending to move there (or just arrived),
and those who want to do business with an enterprise in that
town (flowers for Aunt Mildred). Most have no prior contact (or
preference) with your competitors.

Yellow Page directory listings were added to search engine data
bases. So even the cheapest ad gets a business listed. And
there’s no evidence that a more expensive directory ad can
accomplish any more than that. That’s why your savings from
cutting the size or options of your directory ad could cover the
costs for your initial online exposure.

Your directory ad gets you into the search data bases, but won’t
make you stand out there. And just being listed isn’t
sufficient. Where are you listed? In an obscure section that
doesn’t get searched? Under what keywords? Is your information
accurate or complete? Probably not.

Take an Active Role to Assure Plentiful Search Engine Results To
get the steady flow of customers search engines can deliver, you
need to get involved. Make sure information about your
enterprise is accurate, complete and consistent – everywhere it

Look for yourself online. Conduct various Local Searches from
the buyer’s mindset – what terms do they look for? How hard are
you to find? And who does appear in such results? What are they
doing that you’re not? Enough said.

Search engine optimization (SEO) involves methods to boost one’s
search engine rankings. Be wary of most SEO advice. It can be
expensive and time consuming – and unlikely to work for you
anyway. As a small or mid-sized enterprise, you’re not competing
for a front position related to the entire Internet. You only
need to appear at the front of search results geared to your
community, and ahead of your local competitors.

Get listed in the various Internet Yellow Pages (IYP). Some are
free, some aren’t. Some are national, others regional. But the
few dollars spent for enhanced listings or links to your site,
can pay real dividends. Shop around and compare what works best
for your region and type of business. Start by checking where
you’re already listed: Businesses with
Websites Benefit Most from Local Search

Even a small website provides more complete and useful
information than any directory ad. And you’ll appear in many
more categories of search results. When asked where to get an
inexpensive website that’s optimized for Local Search, I
recommend Geo Target Search If
you mention my name they’ll give you third month of hosting free.

Look for resources designed for brick-and-mortar enterprises
that bring effective search engine results – without it being
expensive or overly complicated. They’re out there.

For those who already have a website and want to make sure it
appears in Local Search results, I recommend Sharon Fling’s set
of videos, “Get listed on local search for free” She has spent
years showing small businesses how to develop their Internet
presence and earnings at

Yellow Page Smarts, explains how to combine your Yellow Page ad
with your website for maximum profits. Capture ready buyers
wherever they’re looking for information – online and offline.

Local Search lets small businesses show up before buyers when
they’re ready to spend. And it needn’t cost you more than you
already pay. Shave some of your Yellow Page directory expense
and put those dollars to work on your website and IYP. You’ll
multiply your exposure and traffic.

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