SEO vs. Directory Listings: Which is Best For Your Business?
Written By : RICHARD FONG
Published on January 21, 2014
For decades, the best advertising option available for local businesses was found in the Yellow Pages. Today, the situation is different – with few people using the Yellow Pages for shopping advice and information, businesses are taking their advertising budgets elsewhere.
Over the last few years, local magazines and directories have also started to feel the squeeze. With dwindling offline readerships and a surge in the number of prospects using Google to search for local information, businesses are reducing their local ad budgets and replacing magazines with display advertising campaign.
In this mini-guide, we’ll help your business make the transition from the old world of offline local marketing into the new world of action-driven online marketing via PPC and SEO.
Why make the switch to online-only local marketing?
From the Yellow Pages to your favourite local magazine, people are putting down printed publications and going online for their news and information. This doesn’t mean that local publications are finished, from a business perspective, but that it’s often easier to connect with their readers online, rather than offline.
As well as giving you a larger audience to advertise to, online marketing gives your business a level of control that offline marketing simply can’t offer. Instead of being one of many advertisers sharing a magazine or Yellow Pages index, you can pick the exact websites or search keywords that you’d like to target.
Replacing the Yellow Pages with Google Search Advertising
Google Search is one of the best replacements for the Yellow Pages. Not only is the search engine built around keywords in the same way that the Yellow Pages is built around topics, but it’s an easy, straightforward platform to port your campaigns to.
As a side note, if your business is unfamiliar with online advertising or uninterested in running its own campaigns, we offer a full pay per click advertising service.
Think about the type of pages that your business would advertise on in the Yellow Pages – these are your search keywords. By building campaigns around the pages that you’d previously advertise on in the Yellow Pages, you can reach an identical audience at a far lower cost.
Eventually, you can port your campaigns over to Google’s organic search results – the websites that appear below your paid search advertisements. This requires a long-term commitment to search engine optimization, which is why it’s best to let your PPC ads generate useful sales data first.
Replacing Local Magazines with Online Display Advertising
Display advertising may not be as targeted or focused as PPC and SEO, but it’s still an important part of a complete online advertising campaign. With the right mix of advertising copy and placement targeting, your local business can achieve a great result from even the smallest display advertising budget.
While SEO and search-based PPC are a replacement for the Yellow Pages, a display campaign is a replacement for an advertising campaign in a magazine or your local newspaper. Think about the type of publication that your business receives a good result from offline – this is your ideal online target.
Again, if your business is uninterested in running its own online display campaigns, we offer a full PPC consulting service that can help you achieve your desired results.
Scaling Your Campaigns to Reach a Large, Responsive Audience
As an online advertiser, you have a great deal of control over where your campaigns are run and who they reach. This means that you can expand or contract your target audience on a rapid schedule – a far faster schedule than you can achieve with more traditional offline advertising.
After your campaigns have amassed a certain amount of data, you can adjust many of your placements (websites and blogs) and bids to increase your return or reach a larger audience. This makes it exceptionally easy to fine-tune your campaigns – far easier than it is to do so with an offline advertising campaign.
Over time, online advertising will become second nature to your business, replacing offline advertising in both results and ease. With tracking and measurement options that far exceed even the most targeted offline campaign, online advertising and Los Angeles SEO is the ultimate marketing strategy for small and large local businesses alike.