Yellow Pages vs. White Pages
For the few that can even find a phone book today, there is little use for it outside of a cheap booster seat for the little ones. But, back in the day it was THE solution to marketing your business and making sure someone could Find Your Spot. It was a big decision, too, as to what size ad you wanted to place in the yellow pages which could cost a couple of thousand bucks. If you are XYZ Patent Attorney, for instance, it was the only way you could “advertise” without embarrassingly going to market to advertise. So, making sure you had a good presence under “A” for attorney helped you stand out from your competitors. But what if they already knew your name? If you did advertise and people remembered your name, they would never visit the yellow pages and see your competitors at all. A potential customer would instead go to the white pages and look under “X” for XYZ Patent Attorney – right next to Xavier Printing Press, no competition there. Today, of course, we use online directories of all kinds that allow us to search for the service we want, select from a list of options, and click to call – all in about 10 seconds without moving from our seat…or having to lift 10 pounds!
Yet, many companies forget that the process of finding a service hasn’t changed at all. A potential customer opens a search bar and either chooses to type the name of the service you provide, or they type your business name. I regularly see professionals not only making the mistake of not buying the search terms in their respective field of service, but they often don’t even buy their own name when someone is specifically searching for them. The business owner is often overwhelmed by online behavior and opts out of participation all-together. Even worse, they continue to spend money on the actual yellow pages because it’s what they’ve always done. It would be like Nike only putting their logo on the bottom of their shoes. Sure, the people in your home may eventually see the logo, but out in the real world, no one can. Why brand to four people when you could brand to everyone who sees you walking around?
So, here are 3 important and inexpensive steps you should take so that people who are searching for you can find you: buy your business name, use social media, and SEO (search engine optimization) maintenance.
- Buy your own name. For goodness sake, if someone does think to search for XYZ Patent Attorney, you don’t want to miss them. Many businesses don’t buy their own name on Google, Yahoo!, or Bing, yet competitors are buying words in their industry like, “Patent Attorney” “Business Attorney”, etc. Even worse, THEY may be buying YOUR name. So, even though your website may appear as a result somewhere on the page, it may not appear in the first few options, and now you’ve opened up the “yellow pages” of competition even though someone started in the “white pages.” Make sense? I have bought the same business name up to 300 different ways because you might be surprised to learn how close (yet so far away) someone can be to remembering your name but get it wrong. It could even just be a typo, but people might search for “ZYX Attorney” “YXZ Patent” “Lawyer XYZ” – all kinds of crazy things, but they want to find YOU!
- Use social media. Your website should remain current, but most professionals don’t edit it very often. Searchable content for your brand name can be found in more places than just your site if you’re using social media. So, instead of the list of results only being your website and then your competition, the results could be your website, your Twitter page, Facebook page, then LinkedIn page, and THEN your competitors. You could potentially take up to half of the first page results…who could compete with that?
- SEO maintenance. The services of attorneys, for instance, don’t change. So, once the site is done, they feel there is nothing to add. Doing regular SEO (search engine optimization) maintenance on your website is important if you want people to Find Your Spot. Not only is there regular improvement that can be made on the development side that no one can see, but regularly creating content adds to your search scope for people to find you. One such form of content would be to blog. All you have to do is type about what you already know, and viola! People may be searching for just such a thing. (Ahem…for example, you’re reading this blog now.)
As always, we at Leopard Digital recognize you have a real job to do. Making you successful online is ours. Let us #FindYourSpot.
Thank you for your time,