Is Your Website Working Better Than Your Yellow Page Print Ad?
Really…you should no longer be paying for Yellow Page print ads.
The real question is: Is your website doing what it’s supposed to be doing?…Bringing in calls. And if it isn’t producing…you need to know why.
This article will help you find out…
- If your page is properly optimized…and if it isn’t
- You’ll learn how you, yourself, can fix the problem.
I started advertising in the Yellow Pages back in the early 90’s. And every year, when it came time to renew, my Sales Representative and I would sit down for a talk. Within that talk I would be presented with various statistics that presumed to show how my ads stacked up against the competition, and how well the Yellow Pages was doing for me. And after the Rep. was through tooting his horn and patting himself on the back, I was then prompted, pushed, and even goaded, into increasing my ad budget to higher and higher levels.
Even though I followed his suggestions and increased my budget, almost every time, it never seemed to make a difference.
And as the internet evolved and opportunities arose to take advantage of this “New Media” I became excited about the possibilities and wanted to move in that direction.
And Here’s What Happened…
Each time I spoke of diverting ad dollars from the Yellow Pages to the web, my Rep. would discount my suggestions, and say that spending money on the web was ineffectual and a waste.
After a short while, once I decided to do my own thing and spend more money online than on the Yellow Pages.
That’s when the Yellow Pages changed their minds. They came up with their own ad package that included online marketing.
But Here’s The Funny Part…
Now they were the experts in online marketing.
Yes…after years of spending money on what seemed to be ineffectual print ads, and my repeated attempts to convince the Yellow Pages that online marketing was the way to go…and being told that it was ineffectual and a waste of my money…they were now, not only on board…They were LEADING THE CHARGE.
Here’s The Deal
Looking back now I laugh at how naive I was, trusting a Sales Representative with my ad dollars. But..it’s human nature…we all do things for expediency. We accept that the guy wearing a uniform is a Police Officer, that the guy driving a garbage truck is a Sanitation Engineer, and that the person who’s selling us Yellow Page ads is a Marketing Expert.
Here’s the real story…
After making this mistake for far too long, I finally realized that, who I believed was an expert in marketing was really an experienced sales person in his field. He was highly skilled at getting advertisers to increase their budgets, but not so skilled at helping me properly market my business. To the buyer beware.
So too…should you…beware.
Beware that if you’re paying someone to optimize your web presence, in all its many forms, they might not be doing it properly. If the company you pay to optimize your website isn’t properly utilizing the many tools that exist, and they have no knowledge of your industry and what your customers are searching for, they may be doing you more harm than good.
So What Should You Do?
By now you should know that, for your website to show up when someone searches for your services, it must be optimized for the search terms used. But many times the so-called experts, even if they do use the right search terms, don’t go far enough. And because of this you’re not getting the results you’re looking for.
But don’t take my word for it.
Decide for yourself if you’re getting what you paid for. Use the instructions below to get a free SEO Tool called SenSEO to see how well your site is optimized.
Just Follow These 7 Easy Steps To Determine If You’re Website Is Put Together Right
- Download The Firefox Browser. If you don’t have it you will need to download it. Get it here, it’s free.
- Download SenSEO Add-on. Once you’ve downloaded Firefox, search for SenSEO. It’s what’s called an Add-on in Firefox. It’s free as well. Download SenSEO here.
- Open The Page You Want To Look At. In the Firefox browser open the page you want to optimize, (your home page on your website.)
- Find The SenSEO Magnifying Glass. When on your page, look in the upper right corner of the browser, as far to the right as possible and you’ll see a magnifying glass icon. Hover over it and it should say SenSEO.
- Click On The SenSEO magnifying glass. While on the page that you want to check for SEO optimization, click on the magnifying glass icon and a box will appear. SEO is the abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization…It’s how well your page ranks for the search terms you want.
- Type In Your Search Term. Within this box, in the upper left corner is an empty search term box, this is where you should type in the search term you want your page to rank for. (Tow Truck) or (Towing) or whatever you want, just not too long.
- Click The Components Button. After you’ve entered your search term then click the button to the right that says components. This will give you your SEO grade: A, B, C, D, F and a number like 85/100. It may be higher or lower depending on how well your page is SEO’d
So what should you look at when using this tool?
When optimizing your page there are many things to consider but I’ll give you 6 items that must be in congruence for your page to rank for the search terms you’re looking for.
- Title Tag. This is what’s seen on the tab of the page you are on, if it’s in line with your keyword search terms you’re fine.
- Meta Description. This doesn’t help your site to be better optimized but it’s what shows up under your URL when displayed as a Google search result. It’s what your customer sees.
- On Page Keywords and Keyword Phrases. These are the words on the page you are on. Does the body of the text contain your keyword and keyword phrases? It should.
- H1 Heading Tag. You should have only one of these per page and it should include your keywords. Heading tags are given more weight than regular text by search engines.
- Keyword In The URL. You want your keywords to be in the URL of your page. This does not mean you must get an entirely different domain. When editing the page, just add the appropriate keywords after the .com/
- Image Alt Tags. This is a tag that you assign to your images that will show up if, for some reason, your image fails to display.
So Why Does All Of This Matter?
I know this may sound confusing and these aren’t roadblocks placed in your way just to trip you up. Quite the contrary, what Google has done is provided you with a roadmap for success on the web. There are literally thousands of pages of information and free tools anyone can use. Unfortunately most of those last century print ad Yellow Page experts will tell you different. They’ll tell you that need to pay them thousands of dollars per month just to get properly SEO’d.
Just remember this…
Google is in the Search-Engine business. If what their customers are looking for isn’t easily found, or if what they do find is not relevant to the search terms entered, they’ll look elsewhere. Everything Google does is designed to constantly improve their users’ experience. When you understand that and align your site accordingly, you’ll be helping them out. And then they’ll be happy to display your site for the search terms you’re looking for.