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Commentary & Analysis

From the Yellow Pages to Google

When local businesses moved from “getting found” via the yellow pages to internet search so much changed.

By Jennifer Matt
Published: February 4, 2015

When local businesses moved from “getting found” via the yellow pages to internet search so much changed.

1. You now have to compete to be found. There’s a for-profit company playing referee, making up and changing the rules constantly, and sharing just enough about its methods to spawn a whole mess of people who call themselves search engine optimization (SEO) experts. When you get frustrated enough you’ll simply resort to paying Google for traffic via AdWords (represents 90%+ of their revenues) don’t be distracted by the self-driving cars.

2. The language of the customer rules. Because search reacts to what the customer enters, getting found – the foundation of online marketing is in the language of the customer. Your job as a marketer is to learn your potential customer’s language so that your products and services are a “match” for what they type into search. Big hint here, think twice about everything you do with marketing content – it should all feed the search engine beast.

3. The profession of marketing has moved from fluff to science. Have your heard the adage, “half of my marketing budget is a complete waste; I just don’t know which half.” Those days are over – marketing can be measured and the data nerds have invaded the space. My prediction marketing will become more like sales; marketers will have a quota for traffic and qualified leads; if you don’t make the numbers you don’t keep your job.

Jennifer Matt is the managing editor of WhatTheyThink’s Print Software section as well as President of Web2Print Experts, Inc. a technology-independent print software consulting firm helping printers with web-to-print and print MIS solutions. You can reach her at jen@whattheythink.com.


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