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Who needs Yellow? Do Directory listings provide value?

Posted by Stickyweb in SEO | 0 comments

I was astounded today to learn that a client had found us via Yellow Pages … it seems ages since that last happened. Yet it’s not long ago that not having a listing in the phone directory was business suicide. So do you Yellow or not?

Obselete Yellow Pages

Personally, I don’t remember the last time I opened a phone book or directory – it’s far easier & quicker to search online. Online listings are more likely to be up-to-date, offer better information and, for me anyway, are far more convenient – I can search Google from my phone, whereas I wouldn’t know where to begin to look for a phonebook. But are all of your potential customers as technologically savvy?  Or, as pointed out to me by the manager of a virus removal service, might their internet browsing capabilities be compromised?

My strategy is to reduce offline listings gradually … so go from a 1/4 page listing to a 1/8 – and devote more of your resources to advertising online.  Many listing opportunities are free … so it’s only your time & creativity that are required. Google Places allows you to add a listing that can be found in local business results – for free. (The local results are usually 3-4 displayed on the first page, so it’s a valuable place to appear) Take the time to craft a great listing and be sure to provide as much detail as possible. Do a search for ‘business directory’ and see examine the results for listing opportunities – be wary of any that require fees for listing … be sure that they get the traffic to warrant the fees charged.

More than anything else, keep your listings up-to-date – Nothing is more off-putting than a business that can’t be bothered ensuring that they have current contact details – it takes a few minutes and shows your prospective customers that you care enough to make it easy to find you!

Search Engine Optimization is dead!?

Posted by Stickyweb in SEO | 0 comments

Have you heard the news?  Search Engine Optimisation is dead and Content is King!
I agree in part, Content is King, but SEO is the creepy-looking guy that whispers in the King’s ear and is very much alive.  The anti-SEO lobby believe that good content should stand alone and not need the hassles of optimising this and that for mere search engines.
I disagree …

Search Engine Optimization

You have to have great content – that’s a given. But people have to find that content.

Say you wanted to open a Cut-Price Ming Vase Emporium.
If you open up in the backwoods of a slum, chances are you’re not going to prosper!
Why?
You have a great product and a great price – but nobody with the wherewithal to make a purchase is going to find you.

Same with your valuable prose – people have to be able to find it – and that means setting it out in the right way, so that it’s palatable to the Search Engines and making sure that they’ll return to sup on your literary feast. That doesn’t just happen  …
You have to lead the way.
Search Engines don’t wander around peeking under rugs hoping they’ll find something – They index known sites.
When Search Engines index sites they don’t read through, make notes and then settle back to ponder what it all means – they check set criteria, determine some keywords and head off to the next site.
So optimisation is primarily about presenting your information in a manner that’s most likely to result in Search Engine rankings.