If you’ve been reading up to this point, you’ve seen my ongoing bartering with Yellow Page Reps thus far. One can debate the merits of yellow pages in the year 2010 as a quick measure of a solid business except that Local Business Centers take pains to authorize physical businesses. One of their products is the online version of their book which is suppose to be an online authority in finding what you want.
Wait one moment.
Lets be real for a second about these online directories. One of the biggest things about creating a pleasant user experience on a computer is the number of clicks it takes to get information. If we count how many clicks it takes on a typical computer, we come up with a problem for online directories.
Lets say someone is wanting to find a plumber in Lawrence, Ks. As they sit on their couch with a laptop nearby, lets see what happens:
- Person launches a web browser which defaults to a search engine (Click 1)
- Person enters “Plumbing Lawrence, KS” and clicks “search” (Click 2)
- Person finds a map displaying phone numbers, locations and reviews organized by algorithms that rank the most relevant information first.
From here the person can call or click further for more info. That was a total of two clicks. If the person was on a smart phone, the process would have been just one click since the phone would be keeping track of your location.
Now let’s take a look at the situation but going for a yellow page online directory.
- Person launches a web browser that defaults to a search engine (click 1)
- Person searches or types in the url for a yellow page online directory (click 2)
- Person types in the location and the service that they want (click 3)
- Person finds a list of businesses organized by who paid the most money.
From here the person can call or click for more info. 1 extra click may not be a big deal to some, but the difference between an online directory and local search results is that online directory results are organized by who ever pays the most money. One could argue that Adwords is the same thing, but they’d be wrong. Adwords listings are at the top and to the right leaving Google Map Results and natural results left to peruse.
Keep in mind that that Internet and Mobile Moguls are trying to make everything easier and more accessible with as little effort as possible. Where do extra directories fit in? How long can they survive?
If you have a budget for yellow page advertising, look to see what you can do to promote your business through organic search.