I’ve been seeing more and more local campaigns set up on search engines with no local phone number. The only number on these sites is a 1-800#… I assume this is done for analytics… and it is a bad idea in my opinion. Let me show you why.
Open up your Yellow Pages and flip through it… c’mon, I know you have one… and look for ads that have 800#’s. I’ll bet you find very few.
Do you know why?
Applying this YP concept to your Website should crank up
conversion, while providing ‘local seo’ benefit. (addt’l locations)
All the studies shows that people prefer calling local numbers and that having only an 800 number in an ad will significantly reduce call volume. If 800#’s worked better, the Yellow Pages would be loaded with them, after all, at one time both products were sold by the same company.
Want to take it one step further; check this out from YP Commando:
Research on over 77,000 Yellow Pages ads using metered telephone lines found that ads with multiple local phone numbers received many more calls than ads with only one local number.
Ads with only a single toll-free number received the fewest calls. Having both local and toll free tends to increase call counts slightly.
So, if you believe that you can apply lessons learned in local advertising from yellow pages to the web… and I firmly do – STOP using 800#’s in your local website for the sake of analytics. Use local numbers instead, and use many.