If you’re of a particular age, you may remember a thick and heavy phone book or two sitting in your home’s kitchen. It was often the only reference you would use to find local businesses and their phone numbers, as well as other information they might have included about their hours, location, and even daily specials.
Today, however, business owners would do well to realize that Google is the new phonebook! Very few people use an actual physical phone book to find phone numbers and other info about businesses; for one thing, many people use cell phones and make their calls when on the road, so they can’t actually access a phone book very easily. It’s also noteworthy that numbers can change before a new phone book is issued, and websites allow a business owner to add much more information than they ever could in a physical phone book, even with a full-page ad.
You may not think your business needs a website if you don’t actually sell products online; owners of hair salons, restaurants, auto repair shops, and other such businesses may not think a website is important for their customers and clients. However, unless you cater exclusively to long-standing customers and clients who know where you are, your hours, and your pricing, how will new customers and clients find you? Even if they want to call on the phone to ask for directions or to make an appointment, they’ll typically still search online for that phone number itself!
Not having a good website, even if it’s a basic one, can mean losing out on this potential business. If new visitors to your business location can’t find directions or your hours, they may easily visit a competitor whom they can find online.
Another consideration about Google versus the phone book is that your website can act as an effective means of advertising your business, even if you don’t use that site to sell product. Consider a few ways this might work; someone trying to decide on where to have dinner may search online for “restaurants Tampa Bay,” and then browse through the listings for ideas; if they see your colorful website design and beautiful menu, their decision is made. Someone thinking about getting a massage may search for local spas to see about pricing, and if your site advertises a certain sale or special, this might impel them to make an appointment.
Your website can also include photos of your staff, testimonials from satisfied clients, and other such information. Even for a basic website and a business that doesn’t rely on the site for selling, this new “phone book” can easily translate into more visitors, more customers, and more profits overall. Avoid the Risks Businesses Face When Advertising With Yellow Pages.