Last week my post about zip code SEO generated some minor controversy so I thought this week I would continue with obscure local search engine optimization tactics by talking about optimizing for phone number search.
While I am not going to argue that phone number searches will generate a huge amount of traffic for you, it’s a pretty easy, inexpensive tactic that could add a % or two to your numbers. There also may be some good strategic reasons to do this:
1. Local search engines (IYPs, verticals, etc.) can intercept traffic from the SERPs if they display the phone number in the title tag or meta description tag. Users looking for the phone number of a specific business may click on the result that displays the actual number (or part of the number) in the SERPs. I have seen cases where the business’ website was the #1 result but the IYP listing got more clicks because it displayed the phone number in the meta description.
2. Businesses can use the same strategy to intercept clicks to IYPs, etc that have a clear message that the phone number is available.
3. Possibly one of the best uses of this tactic is for sites that are looking to sell services to businesses to show up in the SERPs when the business is doing a vanity search such as looking for their phone number. This could be a very cheap way to get potential advertisers to find out about your service. Merchant Circle appears to be using this tactic – see the above graphic.
It’s been a beautiful summer so far. Was listening to Yo La Tengo’s “Summer Sun” album while writing this and thought I would share with you this strangely beautiful song of their’s: Winter A Go-Go