In this day and age of the internet, information is literally at the fingertips of each and every consumer with access to a keyboard. Whether you’re looking for a garage to get some work done on your car, hire a landscaping service, or add a second floor onto your home so mom can move in, there’s no better why to get the low-down on who’s reputable and who will swindle you than with a quick trip to the online Yellow Pages.
Notice that I didn’t just say “Yellow Pages,” but “online Yellow Pages.” There’s a big, big difference between the two, especially these days. Print Yellow Page directories are quickly becoming obsolete in the age that has been ushered in by the digital revolution…when coupled with an economy that often sees businesses closing as often as they open their doors, a print directory – which is typically issued either annually every six months as best – can often be out-of-date the moment it hits your doorstep. Meanwhile, online Yellow Pages are usually updated daily, if not hourly, ensuring that your search results for any given business or business type are the very most accurate possible. So, for the same of this article and ensuring that you know what you need, when you need it, when you read “Yellow Pages,” you’ll know we’re talking about the online version and nothing but.
With that out of the way, we can get to the true meat of this article, namely using the Yellow Pages to research any given business that you are considering giving your hard-earned money over to. Given the state of the aforementioned shaky economy in our great nation, getting the most for your dollar is vital to helping make ends meet for you and your family, and anyone on a strict budget – meaning most of us – can ill afford to waste cold hard cash on a business that will not come through on their promises.
Any decent Yellow Pages site will allow users to find out base info about any business in their area – the category, name, hours of operation, address, and other basic facts are vital just to ensure that you’re going in the right direction. However, any Yellow Pages site worth your time also allow users to leave comprehensive reviews reflecting their experiences with the businesses and companies listed in their directory, enabling a prospective client to see what real people have to say about the quality they represent. Reviews typically are comprised of a star rating – say, a scale of one to five – as well as an actual written review reflecting the user’s thoughts on the transaction. As a Yellow Pages user, you should really give thought to leaving a review of your own whenever you deal with a business you encountered via the Yellow Pages. Just remember, if you want your review to be legitimately useful to others, remember to avoid leaving simple, one-sentence critiques; go into detail about your experience. Do you feel as though you got good value for your money? Was work carried out to your satisfaction? Were you treated with respect and honesty? Your well-written, candid, and detailed review will be a boon to others conducting Yellow Page research and will help them save time and money.
Of course, another reason the online Yellow Pages are so effective these days is because of the mass exodus from print to digital; the focus of most businesses is online, and they’re where most of their advertising dollars go in an effort to be as visible as possible. Any business hoping to be viable already has a presence on multiple Yellow Page sites, or will have one soon.
That brings us to a fairly new and very hot new marketing technique that benefits not only businesses, but consumers as well- SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Based on search terms and numerous other factors – some widely known, others a closely-guarded secret that only internet giant Google holds the key to – businesses can vie for the top spot on any relevant internet search having to do with their company’s niche in the market. There are whole advertising organizations these days that specialize in deciphering exactly what people are looking for when they enter specific queries into Google and ensuring that their customers come out on tops of search results pertaining to said specific queries. Numerous experts cite having visible Yellow Page listings online as a paramount factor in helping with a businesses’ Google ranking, so if a company wants to be seen on Google and are serious about what they do, they have to have a serious presence in the Yellow Pages. In other words, if the company you’re looking for isn’t on the online Yellow Pages, you might want to consider taking your money elsewhere.
Online Yellow Pages can serve a vast array of purposes, but the main thrust of it revolves around getting consumers in touch with the goods and services they’re looking for with a minimum of muss and fuss, and putting them in contact with the very best their money can buy…even if they’re on a tight budget. So, if you’re in the market for something – a new dress, a used car, a professional photographer, or anything else – the best place to start researching as close as your laptop- the Yellow Pages.