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?
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!