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12 years Ago By / AJ Ross Staff

Search Engines – The New Yellow Pages?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a Website. When SEO is done properly, it will place you high on search engine result pages for certain key phrases and terms ( i.e. Real Estate, law firms, doctor, etc. ).

In today’s online driven world the names Google, Yahoo, MSN are rapidly becoming more of a household name than the Yellow Pages. Most of us now have access to the Internet via work, home, and mobile phone. According to research by Jupiter Media way back in 2004, over 64% of people who are looking for information online, use search engines. The number is closer to 80% today.

In these tough economic times business owners are becoming increasingly challenged and conservative with their marketing budgets. Most of us are seeking low-risk, high-impact marketing options in a down economy. When it comes to meeting these needs, search engines like Google provide a viable and cost effective solution.

So where should your advertising dollars be spent in today’s market?

Consider the traditional advertising option of the yellow pages. For a prominent ad, your costs could be thousands of dollars per month Also, yellow page ads have limited flexibility and you are usually locked in to a one-year commitment.

How many times have you used the paper yellow pages this month?

How many times have you searched for a business or service on Google or Yahoo this month?

Now consider your Website. You can further your business leads by making sure that more people are viewing it. You can optimize your Website to rank in the main listings without any media spending at all. You can test multiple ads and list under multiple words or phrases all at the same time and get instant tracking on which ads are working for you.

The major search engines also can determine where the search is coming from. This means you can target ads all the way down to a city, or zip code.

If you are not currently utilizing this marketing channel, I recommend you take half of your local marketing this year and invest in search optimization or paid search ads. Work with a search analytics professional to track the new program for 90 days. You will likely be surprised to see who’s been Searching… for you, and see an immediate impact for your business.

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