It may harken back to the days of flipping though the tissue-thin pages of your old crumpled phone book, but a business listing on sites like Angie’s List, Yellow Pages and White Pages is an easy (albeit limited) way to become visible to potential customers in your area. Whether you’re an Indian restaurant in Shrewsbury or a refrigerator repairman in Freehold, having a listing with “phone book” style sites is a simple way to make your business or service visible to locals who stumble onto them while looking for “Spicy Appliances in Monmouth County” (or whatever it is people search that results in Indian restaurants and fridge repair!). Of course nothing beats a great website that registers high on Google results, but that usually requires a bit of patience and SEO suaveness (Search Engine Optimization, for the uninitiated). So for 101 web visibility, many businesses first turn to these more traditionally oriented sites (*in New Jersey, we have a good resource in NJ.com’s business listings- businessfinder.nj.com, which we suggest registering with… support your local scene!). These sites usually offer a free listing with an option to become a “Featured Business” for a small monthly fee.
We can only assume these sites are looking to add as much value to their service as possible, as they fight for their share of the search engine market against more modern platforms like Google+ Business. That’s why YP.com adding video profiles to listings on their site is strong move! Now, when you search their site for Comic Book Shops near Point Pleasant, you can (theoretically) watch a short video for each listing showing the store and it’s merchandise… that way you don’t have to drive all the way to the Wizard’s Cavern, just to find out they don’t carry Guardians of the Galaxy! It’s a move we’ll be seeing a whole lot more of across the web as video marketing inevitably becomes more prominent and necessary for businesses.
Still, it’s not quite the move that puts YP.com’s service at the top of the charts just yet… as of now, the only way to have a video profile next to your listing on YP.com is to pay for premium advertising and have their team produce the video for you- which is then exclusive to the YP.com site. Premium advertising with YP.com may be reasonable (we assume), but its effectiveness at the moment is marginal at best… and if businesses can’t use their video profile with other, more prominent, sites, then it’s mostly going unseen and is basically useless.
So take note YP.com… the video support is a major plus… but if businesses are forced to pay for it and it’s use is exclusive to your site, well then they’re just going to pass and continue to use Google+. We think allowing free video support and freedom of choice will result in a more valuable offer for businesses.