The Yellow Pages Are Dead

Warning: This post may cause despair at how far behind you are in Local Internet marketing
Local Internet searches for products and services are growing at a very fast pace and if your company does not have a local search strategy, you are going to miss this opportunity to grow your revenues and may be out of business by the end of the year.

The phone book is dead.  We\’ve been hearing about this for years.  Well now it is true, Verizon has started requesting permission from the FTC not to print white pages in some states and recent studies have shown that  use of the Internet to find needed info outstrips every other media.  Check out these Intermedia Shopping study results which show online services as the most used method of getting information about buying information.

Are you familiar with local search tools?

Have you heard of Facebook Local, Yelp, Foursquare or Google Places.  These sites have combined the mobile information search with personal recommendations from actual customers.  By using sites like these potential customers are able to avoid weak businesses and buy with confidence from recommended businesses as never before and even get special offers and coupons delivered to their mobile device.

Even if you have never heard of these Internet services, your customers and clients have and they are using them.  Your company is likely already mentioned with reviews, even if you did not sign up for it.That means that right now you are not in control of your brand, image or how your business appears on Internet.

Start with keywords

Keywords are the ground floor of your local search building.  Find out which keywords your customers are searching for and integrate them into your keyword strategy.  Update copy, social media posts, HTML tags and local search services with your keywords in mind.

Your Web Site
If you don’t have a web site, hire a professional web site designer to develop one for you.  If you have a site that has not been updated in the last 12 months, update it.  Content should be your current product descriptions, customer feedback integrating your keywords.  Identify the persona\’s of your most important customers and develop content like blog posts, photos and videos that are interesting to those types of customers.

Optimize your info in local search sites

Next, gather pictures of your customers, business and products along with video and TV commercials.  Go to each site below and claim, optimize and illustrate your listing.  Complete them to 100% and make sure you include links to your website. These are the current must-have review sites, but there will be new ones, so pay attention to what your kids and their friends are using.

  • Google Places
  • Facebook Local
  • Bing Local
  • Yahoo Local
  • Google Hotpot
  • Yelp
  • Foursquare

These are the first steps in maximizing the value of local search for your business and you need to keep your information current, that means checking these services at least monthly..  As you develop a more sophisticated strategy, you will generate more revenue from this channel.  Get started today to avoid being left behind with buggy whips, whale harpoons and the yellow pages.