Back in the day there was a time when the old yellow books were still worth keeping on the shelf. These books of old, known as local directories or the phone book, were a big part of our annual advertising budget at The Tiny Store. You see the phone companies controlled the big phone books and believe it or not we spent tens of thousands of dollars year after year with these big conglomerates.
Yes there were other smaller yellow books and one company even published a book that was black. But they weren’t very effective and my surveys and tracking proved this over a period of time.
We really didn’t know any different but I worked my proverbial tail off to bring in business through guerilla marketing and alternative channels. Channels like direct mail, radio, trade shows, good ole’ networking and eventually the web.
Today, as a small business, you no longer have to rely on the physical yellow dinosaur but can utilize the online directories that focus on local markets. Directories like Yahoo Local and Local.com. These Local directories are a great way to achieve the visibility for a small business that desires more visibility in a local or regional marketplace.
Driving traffic with these local directories is easier than you think, if you will take the time and the necessary steps to get the work done.
1. The First Step you need to do is register your business with as many local directories as possible. This will take some time but it’s well worth it. Or you can go to UBL.org and list your business with almost all of the local directory resources.
2. The Second Step you need to take is make sure your business is visible on Google Places, Google Plus Local and Bing Local. If it’s not, then register your business with each of these engines and then see what other options they have available to drive traffic to your business.
3. Lastly- Step Three is to monitor the local directories to make sure that your listings are being properly displayed and that you have visibility for the categories that you signed up for. This monitoring will show you where your business shows up plus who is showing up around you. In other words you can see which competitors are also aware of local directories and how they are marketing their businesses.
Remember, it’s all about results and ROI. So all the visibility in the world isn’t worth anything unless you can convert the searcher/visitor to a paying customer.
With all this said- even though you have the local web to further promote and market your business, the landscape is constantly changing and you will need to stay on top of the changes or you might get left behind and become invisible.
Now if you are like many small business owners and the web just seems toooo overwhelming, maybe you need a little guidance? If this is the case – contact The SmallBiz Mechanic and ask about the Local Web Marketing Tuneup.