Phone books have become a nuisance to many consumers as they pile up on the driveway or by the front door. They fill the trash can (oops, I mean recycling bin), they waste paper, ink or toner, gas(from delivery), and time…yet some businesses continue to advertise.
Local Marketing Online is now more important than ever but the place to do it has changed.
Some phone books added an online version which may be more beneficial than the printed versions. However, in 2011 Google decided to place more relevance on local searches and they did a big push for Google Places.
Google Places was formerly known as Google Local. I personally do not know why the name change but a good reason would be, people searching for a local business are searching for a place, not just information.
This makes appearing high in the search rankings even more important because someone looking for a Place instead of basic information, is ready to spend. The decision to spend has already been made and now they are looking for a place to spend it!
Local listings attract people with high buyer intent.
Think about it…
If someone types Italian Food Recipes into Google they are probably looking for free online recipes, Youtube videos, or cookbooks. The search results will show traditional websites, videos, and maybe a Facebook Fan Page of Italian Food Recipes.
If someone types Italian Restaurant into Google they are looking for a Place to eat Italian food…tonight or soon.
If someone types in 2004 Ford Explorer they may be looking at a vehicle they already found, they are researching, or even looking for pictures.
If someone types in Ford Dealership they are looking for a Place to visit because they may be ready to buy a car. They already researched vehicles and now it is time to test drive or buy.
When typing the local types of searches you are not likely to see any yellow pages listings. The online version of the phone book may be of some use because they do get some visitors but nowhere near what Google gets.
Google owns the #1 and #2 search engines in the world, Google and Youtube.
If you are tracking your phone book ads and they are making a profit you should continue using them.
If you want the most local exposure you can get learn about or hire someone to do your Google Places Marketing.