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 Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouDirectories
Las Vegas with YouDirectories   Imagine, the ultimate bet.  Everything you have on either black or red.  You either lose everything or win it all.  They say you cannot beat the odds and you cannot beat the casinos, but there is one way.  Roulette.  The bet to end all bets, a straight simple bet either the ball lands on red or it lands on black.  Minimal skill required, just luck and in casino parlance, a lot of balls.     Ashley Revell's bet it all Idea   For one man it all started in the pub. Mr Revell was drinking with friends after work when one of them said “wouldn’t it be great if we went to Las Vegas and bet everything on one spin?”   Then the next day Ashley Revell couldn’t get the idea out of his mind.  At the time he wasn’t married, he didn’t have any kids, he realised if he was going to do it, he had to decide now.   Everyone he knew said it was a stupid thing to do. His mother naturally said it was a silly idea and he should be thinking of his future.  His father’s advice was the same.   But unable to stop thinking about it and unable to make the decision, he began the process of selling everything he owned.  Ashley didn’t own a house but he had about £10,000 in savings towards his first mortgage.  He had indulged in a Rolex watch and a BMW during his early work years plus a set of golf clubs.  All the things that were the trappings of a single life.  He sold them all.   Ashley sold the more expensive items and set up a car boot stall for the smaller things.  He sold sentimental things like his first XI school cricket jumper and two football ties.  He instantly regretted losing them, but he knew he had to have nothing remaining otherwise it wouldn’t feel like gambling everything.   After six months he was ready to go.  At this stage, the story had become widely known and Sky began filming his experience.  He flew out to Vegas owning absolutely nothing, even his tuxedo was rented.   Reflecting on the experience afterwards, Ashley says it was crazy but he felt totally convinced he was going to win. He felt he was just going to Vegas to collect his winnings.   When he woke the morning of the big bet, Ashley went down to the Plaza Casino and Hotel.  He had transferred £76,860 from his UK bank and the Vegas casino gave him a large stack of chips.   At the Roulette table in Vegas   At that point he didn’t know whether he was going to go for red or black.  He still hadn’t decided.   When he arrived at the Roulette table, the croupier explained: “It’s simple, when I spin the ball, if it goes round more than three times before you say red or black, you can’t place a bet”.   Suddenly the croupier began to spin the ball.  The crowd had gathered behind Ashley.  The atmosphere was electric.  Everyone had heard about this crazy man from Europe who had sold everything he owned to bet on one spin of the wheel.   As people pressed closer, Ashley in his black tuxedo watched the ball spinning round once, twice and then the first thing that came into his head was red.  So he pushed all of his chips forward on red.   That spin was the most amazing moment of Ashley’s life.   He is quoted as saying time stood still.  He felt calm.  He had no possessions, he either returned a winner or with nothing, not even the (rented) shirt on his back.   The ball began to slow.  It wobbled around and then landed in what he thought was red but it disappeared slightly from view.   Later that year, Ashley met a girl in Holland and is now married with two children.  As to what happened that night, remember Sky was there and you can watch the moment live: https://youtu.be/zGCdBsOIKYA (requires sound).     Gambling is like any industry, there are many casinos, online gambling sites and betting shops.  Business directories are perfect for advertising a brand or company to a large amount of potential customers.  YouDirectories understands directory advertising isn’t just about Yell.com, pagesjaunes.fr or Detelefoongids.nl.  There are many geo-location friendly sites.  Which is why YouDirectories has a diverse range of clients across many industries offering pay-per-call or pay-per-lead advertising, in many instances exclusive to our agency.   The Directory Critic is a gambling directory ranked 6,000 by Alexa with a PR 5 and often number one for keyword searches.  It takes a lot of time to search and select good gambling directories to submit a branch details to.  The company also needs to go through each directory, find relevant categories, enter the titles, the descriptions, handle the administration etc.  YouDirectories offer directory advertising management for local search to take care of the work for you.  Our advertising delivers more calls with a higher call to lead conversion rate and lower CPA.   Dedication: This story is dedicated to Mr and Mrs Lecrinier of Belgium who were married in Vegas this year (hopefully with less media attention and less stress than Mr Revell).   Disclaimer: YouDirectories and our parent agency YouCom Media does not condone the actions of Mr Revell nor promotes irresponsible gambling.  Gambling can be addictive and users should only gamble what they can afford to lose.   Follow the YouDirectories news posts to see the next developments.   Glossary: CPA – Cost per Acquisition   Required reference: YouDirectories News Article, Jan 2016, London, ‘Bet it all in Vegas?’  
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“What would the world look like if the location pins from Google maps were real? One social analyst finds out raising questions about Google’s accuracy”. YouDirectories-Are-geolocation-services-changing-our-perception-of-reality? How do we perceive the world around us? This is an existential question continually asked by mankind but has never been more relevant than today. Aram Bartholl looked to address that question by conducting a social experiment of geolocation services. He began in 2006 and has only recently finished. A year before, in 2005, Jens Eilstrup Rasmussen first designed the now iconic red circle map symbol for a small start-up company called ‘Where 2’. Naturally this was acquired by Google and rebranded as the behemoth Google Maps. The pin symbol showed letters of the alphabet. Starting with an ‘A’ through to ‘J’ the red pins on the map showed the first 10 search results. As Aram points out, the symbol seems to be derived from a physical map needle. Yet unlike a physical map, we are all reliant on this digital world being accurately mapped. YouDirectories manage Google Places and Google My Business listings for clients, ensuring each clients’ store locations are accurately found in Google maps by potential customers. Aram Bartholl’s ‘project map’ is therefore a worthwhile study, because it questions just how accurately does Google portray a geolocation? YouDirectories-Are-geolocation-services-changing-our-perception-of-reality?-2 ‘Project map’ involved the building and erection of a six meter tall by 3.5 meter wide real-life Google map symbol positioned in different places around the World. In Google maps, the map pin is a 20px graphic and remains at the same size on the screen. Aram found in relation to the physical world, 6 meters was the height required to represent Google maps. In his ‘city centre’ series he set up his six meter high map pin at the exact spot where Google Maps assumes the city centre to be. The perception of towns and cities is influenced by geolocation services like Google Maps, but as shown below with the city centre of Taiwan, just how accurate this is, remains open to debate. YouDirectories-Are-geolocation-services-changing-our-perception-of-reality?-3 Footnote: In spring 2014 Google changed the design of the Google Maps page. The red map marker still exists but it only shows a black dot. The lettering A – J is gone. An era of almost 10 years of the Google Maps ‘A’ marker seems to be over. However the importance of listing your business data on geolocation sites is only just beginning. Required reference:

‘YouDirectories News Article, Apr 2015, London, ‘Geo-location in 3D’.

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YouDirectories-The-Changing-Face-of-Local-Search-HP Where will consumers be most receptive to advertising? The face of local search engines has changed a lot over the last 18 years. The above infographic (see bottom of article for the full 18 year analysis) shows interesting patterns of websites that have come and gone, but also patterns of the future. Twitter is now in the top ten and widely expected to supersede Facebook in the future. AskJeeves which became Ask.com is still in the top twenty.   In 2014, more consumers engaged with brands on social media and our own Twitter feed serves as an example with many re-tweets and favourites for posts; https://twitter.com/YouDirectories. YouDirectories-The-Changing-Face-of-Local-Search-Twitter We also advise companies to create a managed YouTube page whose videos can be used to drive calls from directory listings.  YouTube which can be seen was ranked fourth in 2014, has reached its highest popularity to date.   YouDirectories-The-Changing-Face-of-Local-Search-1996-to-today   Required reference: ‘YouDirectories News Article, Jan 2015, London, ‘Local Search Changes’
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YouDirectories-The-impact-of-photos-on-directory-listings-HP

“You’re more likely to survive a plane crash than click a banner ad” says a CTR study. Photographs have a much better chance of attracting local search consumers.   Many professionals now believe that banner ads just don’t work. 60% of consumers do not remember the last display ad they saw, according to Online Media Daily. YouDirectories-The-impact-of-photos-on-directory-listings-Yahoo-Ads We’ve become used to ignoring display ads. We have altered our behaviour to look down a webpage and not even register they are there. It’s true isn’t it? Mobile banner ads also no longer work but for another reason. According to GoldSpot Media, up to 50% of clicks on mobile ads are by accident, effectively increasing the cost per sale as the conversion rate of click to lead falls substantially. This is where Photography is now more crucial to the promotion of a business. For directory listings, a photo of a store can represent the brand in a powerful way using store signage to convey brand strengths. In-store images can also demonstrate staff service and convey key elements such as trust and reliability. If the business sells other brand products, images of those brands products or brand logos can also persuade the customer to call your business listing rather than a competitor.   Spot the difference -which would you call? YouDirectories-The-impact-of-photos-on-directory-listings-Yell

 

Brand engagement

More consumers now also engage with brands on social media if they post photographs and our own Twitter feed serves as an example; https://twitter.com/YouDirectories YouDirectories-The-impact-of-photos-on-directory-listings-Twitter In the case of business directory listings, you must display your products and services professionally. A good quality photo will enhance your business’ PR regardless if you end up using it for online or for printed directory adverts… DM fliers delivered door-to-door or given out at an exhibition or event are much more likely to be read rather than thrown away if there is a photo that grabs the attention.  

Where can you get photographs /images from?

YouDirectories recommend either: • Use your own photographs • Buy stock images, • Pay for a professional photographer YouDirectories see so many companies using their own photographs and it is instantly noticeable. If they don’t look professional then they make your company appear unprofessional. For example most images of store signage have been taken without using a light diffuser. Buildings appear dark or show the wrong shadows. Worse, the brand appears inconsistent (the pet hate of every public relations department) with some stores photographed head-on, some from the side, some in poor lighting, others over exposed etc. Stock photos can look perfect, but they can look ‘too-perfect’ (airbrushing or digital enhancements may not be noticeable to you or your agency but your consumers will notice). With stock images you will also need the correct license to avoid legal problems. Plus don’t forget if you can buy them, so can your competitors. Paying a good photographer will cost more, but the images are likely to be unique to your company with exclusive owners’ rights to use them. Most people mistakenly think that if an image has been copied from a search engine, it is unlikely the owner will ever find out they are being used… Sadly, this is not true. Many photos are digital rights managed and we can assure you their use is easily detectable. There are many free images available, however you will often find it difficult to obtain a good quality image plus of course everyone wants to use free images right? Many agencies such as YouDirectories will have a much larger image library than your PR department and can provide you with royalty-free images for whatever keywords you wish to show in the image. Often clients think they will have to pay if they ask their agency for images, but that depends on the agency. A good agency, will be able to help with your presentation or report, by supplying a great photo within the current agency service fee (i.e. no cost). In summary; you’re paying for business directory listings because the people who use those sites are more likely to be looking for a business to buy from. So make the advertising work better for you. Invest in the right photographs of quality and you will be using them for many years to come.   Required reference:

‘YouDirectories News Article, Nov 2014, London, ‘The impact of photographs on business directory listings’

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YouDirectories-Social-Media-Shift-among-teen-market-HP In a twice yearly survey of teenage consumer spend patterns, Investment bank and asset management firm Piper Jaffray examines a research pool of 7,200 consumers, average age 16 years. Their findings help their account service teams to advise major clients of likely future trends.   YouDirectories-Social-Media-Shift-among-teen-market-2 This October, the key socia media finding has been a shift away from Facebook towards Instagram and Twitter. In just 6 months since the spring, Facebook fell by 27%. Twitter usage also fell but only by 4%. Instagram was the biggest beneficiary of 7%.   For marketers of products aimed at an older audience, these findings of course represent delayed action. They are the adults of tomorrow. Facebook will represent a viable social media tool to communicate with consumers, manage customer sentiment and generate good SEO for a brand, but Twitter per this survey, represents a more stable communication platform for both today and tomorrow.   67% of those surveyed own iPhones and 73% of those expect their next mobile to be an iPhone.     Data sources:

Piper Jaffray, Investment Bank and Asset Management, Taking Stock with Teens Survey, Oct 2014.

Required reference:

‘YouDirectories News Article, Oct 2014, London, ‘Social media shift among teen market’

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YouDirectories-Local-Search-Behaviour-Survey-HP Local search behaviour survey of 3,000 people reveals how consumers search for and buy from businesses online.   Purpose This was a study into how people search for local businesses and how that search is conducted when using various computer devices. The purpose is to determine whether YouDirectories are advertising for clients in the most efficient way that would deliver the highest ROI (client sales etc).   Study Sample This was a study of 3,000 people (3,000 responses collected) via an email survey. Respondents have been categorised by the local search site they last used to find a business online.   Definitions; Search: A results page displayed in response to user-defined search parameters. YouDirectories-Local-Search-Behaviour-Survey-1   Local Business Search: A search that returns data including a local business name, phone number, address, hours of operation, products, promotions, etc.   IYP (Internet Yellow Pages) / Local Search: Business directory searches on IYP and local search sites (traditionally a two-box search). YouDirectories-Local-Search-Behaviour-Survey-2-Yell   Portal Search with geo-local targeting: Search with local intent on a portal site such as Google Places, Bing Maps (below) etc. (traditionally a one-box search).YouDirectories-Local-Search-Behaviour-Survey-3-Bing   Industry facts The total number of US mobile phone visitors to search or navigation sites / apps grew last year from 90.1m to 113.1m (26% increase).* YouDirectories-Local-Search-Behaviour-Survey-4-Graph Tablet searches also grew to 38.7 million in the US (19% growth in 2012). More than half of users surveyed say they use mobile phones to search because they are away from home/office. At the same time PC and laptop searches fell declining by 17% for local business searches and 5% for non-local searches.* YouDirectories-Local-Search-Behaviour-Survey-5-Graph It is apparent that it becomes increasingly important for advertisers to ensure the sites where they advertise their businesses have good mobile site versions (and firstly whether the advertising is replicated on a mobile site or if that is additional cost).   Survey Overview
  • The study revealed that consumers’ search behaviour has changed as the methods of searching for a local business have changed. The results show that the primary activity for consumers on mobile devices is search (56% for Search; 40% for Social Networking; 39% for News; 31% Weather; Entertainment news 30%)
  •  The study also found tablet owners becoming less mobile and less concerned with ease of use. Map based applications have become increasingly important in local search with significant changes in the look and feel of sites such as Bing Maps over the last 12 months.
  • For businesses targeting online traffic, the results show local business searches via mobile phones were more likely to end with an in-store visit than PC or tablet searches. Those using a mobile phone or tablet were also more likely to make a purchase as a result of their search.
  • As the mobile market continues to grow, these findings show businesses need to re-think how they engage with local customers. Consumers now expect accurate, easy-to-access information on local businesses via a variety of computing platforms
  • PC and laptop searches have decreased over the past year.
  • Portal sites (Google, Yahoo, MSN, Bing) have seen an increase as the primary source of searching for local business information (rising from 30% to 36% in the last five years).*
  Search behaviour of PC or laptop, tablet and mobile users is different Tablet sales are outpacing smartphone sales. In just two years, tablet owners have reached 40 million (it took smartphones 10 years to reach that figure). The survey found that the frequency of local business searches on smartphones remained constant, but interestingly local searches conducted on tablets has decreased in frequency in the last year. It is presumed tablets are being used more in a fixed location such as the home or office. PC or laptops were shown to be used more towards the beginning of the search whereas mobile phones and tablets were used more towards the end of the search. YouDirectories-Local-Search-Behaviour-Survey-6-Graph Smart phone, tablet and PC or laptop users all rated accurate information as more important than depth of content.   Local search using apps is increasing YouDirectories-Local-Search-Behaviour-Survey-7-Graph Map based applications are playing an important role in local search, especially from smartphone users. Application based (app) local search has almost doubled in the last two years (significantly more growth than SMS and web browser channels). Interestingly, while Google dominates, the other applications drive noticeable volume of consumers searching for a local business. YouDirectories-Local-Search-Behaviour-Survey-8-Yelp The growth in consumer use of map based applications is evident in “traditional” online directories such as Yelp and ThomsonLocal.com who are altering the display of business listing searches to become more map focused.   Detail required from a local search advertiser The survey found consumers required their search to yield a correct address as the most important thing in a local business search. YouDirectories-Local-Search-Behaviour-Survey-9-Graph Those using smartphones placed high importance on the telephone number (as expected) but also business hours and distance to the business from where they are (geo-location). These features can be seen in online directories who have clearly undertaken their own studies to make their sites more appealing to advertisers. Yell.com example of distance YouDirectories-Local-Search-Behaviour-Survey-10-Yell ThomsonLocal.com example of Business hours YouDirectories-Local-Search-Behaviour-Survey-12-ThomsonLocal 60% of all respondents rated consumer reviews as important in their local search choice. However, only 26% actually found helpful reviews in their search for a local business. This indicates that whilst some advertisers might have good reviews or a successful online review marketing program, the industry as a whole is behind in this area. It could be concluded that were one company to significantly increase their reviews and manage the message of these reviews, they would have a significant edge over whether consumers chose them or their competitors.   Use of Social Networking sites for local business searches YouDirectories-Local-Search-Behaviour-Survey-12-Graph In the above graph, ‘active’ is a consumer who has actively used a social network to search for a local business. ‘Passive’ are the consumers who have connected to the business as a follower and are now susceptible to messaging. From this we conclude that whilst for a company’s developed markets, social network sites might not be a priority because the sales uplift is harder to trace; for markets with low market share or low sales, it is a vital channel to have a presence. Below is an example of a storage company in the Netherlands who has created separate Twitter accounts for each store, encouraging store managers to gain followers that would later form a captive data set of dormant or active customers. YouDirectories-Local-Search-Behaviour-Survey-13-CityBox The graph revealed a slight decline in active searches for local businesses on social networks (15% to 13%), however the overall reach of the media remains high (58% of respondents using social networks say they are more likely to use a local business that a connection has recommended.   Mobile searches are more likely to result in a sale Of the respondents last local business search, those conducted by a smartphone were more likely to result in a visit to store than PC or laptop searches. Significantly, those using a smartphone to search were more likely to buy as a result of that search (78% of smartphone searches and 77% of tablet searches resulted in a purchase. The 15 mile study was conducted via comscore as an email survey collecting 3,000 completed responses. *Neustar Localeze Data   Glossary:

IYP (Internet Yellow Pages)

ROI (Return On Investment)

Required reference:

‘YouDirectories News Article, Nov 2013, London, ‘Local search behaviour survey’

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YouDirectories-How-online-directory-listings-affect-the-bottom-line-HP   When consumers are looking specifically for a local business or service, they will run a geo-specific search.   They will either turn to their PYP which is by nature already geographically localised, or search via the web, mobile sites and apps with parameters that contain a city name or zip code.   The search engine results contain business information from IYP style sites like yell.com comprised of business name, address and contact number. The IMMR Local Search Study on ‘how consumers use local search’ Oct 2012 states that 40% of people use local search once a day, while 66% use local search 3-4 times a week. Quite simply, with such logical consumer search patterns and search frequencies, if a business isn’t focusing on their local search listings they will miss out on sales. There are two objectives for an advertiser. Firstly to ensure their business locations are advertised in all the places that might pop up in a consumers’ local search. Secondly to ensure all current online listings show correct business details because sending consumers to a wrong location can affect their lifetime value to that brand. There are many publishers providing a local search service which vary by country and there are many sources these publishers use to populate their business listings data. Understanding where consumers are searching (which varies by consumer type, county, country), the type of results they find and how to manage the sources of these results is the key to local SEM success. High usage sites like Yell.com will produce a CTR and call volumes to yield a low CPC, justifying paid for listings that rank higher in local searches (yell.com for example has 10m monthly visits). Often because of such advertiser investment, their services improve with mobile apps and other ways to connect to consumers. Other sites have less usage and these are where the listings already present need to be managed to ensure their details are correct. Frequently the sites trying to establish themselves as an IYP alternative will offer pay by results programs where the CPC is guaranteed. Mastering local search in a local market is the key to effective SEM   Glossary:

PYP (Print Yellow Pages);

IYP (Internet Yellow Pages);

CTR (click through rate);

CPC (cost per call).

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

Data source:

YouDirectories Jun 2013; IMMR Local Search Study Oct 2012

Required Reference:

‘YouDirectories News Article, Jun 2013, London, ‘How online directories affect the bottom line.’

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YouDirectories-Print-directories-in-a-multi-platform-world-IMAGE-2 Emil Morales, senior vice president at TNS and panel moderator, kicked off a local search discussion by showcasing the independent TNS study results indicating print Yellow Pages extends the reach of other local media. The data shows consumers use print Yellow Pages in conjunction with all other types of local media prior to and following the decision to buy. The discussion can be viewed here: http://goo.gl/8eKjeZ   YouDirectories-Print-directories-in-a-multi-platform-world-HP The director of national marketing at YP also discussed the strong volume of call counts and the high return on investment advertisers receive from print directories. He said ROI for print ads is 13:1 and that call volumes are up 8% year-over-year, generating 35% more calls for existing customers, according to CRM Associates’ latest study. The YP national marketing director also talked about the significance of knowing your ideal customer, stressing that for many traditional Yellow Pages categories with desirable demographics like baby boomers and seniors, print Yellow Pages is still driving leads.   Eric Webb, president of Marquette Group, focused on the importance of “a print and” strategy, noting that advertisers should consider print with other media.   Dave Wolf, managing partner at Link media 360, said “the challenge facing print is the fragmented media environment with numerous competing products and platforms available for advertisers to reach consumers. Print Yellow Pages should no longer be the primary medium but a necessary addition to ‘ground’ online traffic that might not reach certain [older] consumer groups.”   Data source:

2013 Local Search Association Conference, Las Vegas, NV, USA. Ref: Article from the Local Search Insider, April 18, 2013.

Required reference:

‘YouDirectories News Article, Apr 2013, London, ‘Print directories in a multi-platform world.’

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YouDirectories-Yahoo!-joins-forces-with-PagesJaunes-IMAGE-HP When Yahoo! And PagesJaunes announced their partnership at the end of January 2013; it signalled a rise in performance for the French directory’s IYP listings. PagesJaunes is a major innovator in the French local search space online and this partnership means Yahoo! will have access to the millions of local business listings in the PagesJaunes database.   YouDirectories-Yahoo!-joins-forces-with-PagesJaunes-IMAGE-2Equally all business listings in the French directory site will benefit from the increased visibility of Yahoo! search parameters. As of February 2013, France’s PYP and IYP reach more than 90% of French consumers. Quite simply the local search scene varies significantly by country and France has fewer competitors to the local search space than the UK or US, in addition to SEM operating in different ways to its Anglo-American counterparts. YouDirectories-Yahoo!-joins-forces-with-PagesJaunes-IMAGE-3 There are growing alternative IYP directories which can complement a program but this is still a strong partnership. YouDirectories-Yahoo!-joins-forces-with-PagesJaunes-IMAGE-4 Required reference:

‘YouDirectories News Article, Feb 2013, London, ‘Yahoo! joins forces with PagesJaunes’

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YouDirectories-Urban-Yellow-Pages-usage-remains-strong-IMAGE-HP   New research from analyst firm Market Authority shows that print Yellow Pages usage not only remains strong in rural areas, but is also a key player in the local search experience in urban locations too.   Market Authority conducted more than 39,000 live interviews across the country with both urban and rural consumers. Their research found that perceptions of low print Yellow Pages usage among urbanites are “highly exaggerated.” The firm found that 67% of consumers in urban households report using the print directory at least occasionally when searching for local businesses. YouDirectories-Urban-Yellow-Pages-usage-remains-strong-IMAGE-1 Results from rural markets were even stronger, with nearly 90% of consumers interviewed reporting they use print directories at least occasionally when searching for local businesses. Across both urban and rural markets, Market Authority found that print usage skews much higher with baby boomers and seniors. YouDirectories-Urban-Yellow-Pages-usage-remains-strong-IMAGE-2   The annual Local Media Tracking Survey, which was conducted by independent research firm Burke, released data in July 2012 showing that; print and Internet Yellow Pages are highly consulted sources of local business information. It details that 74% of consumers in urban areas say they searched a print or Internet Yellow Pages in the past year.  Market Authority research also shows reach among consumers living in rural areas is stronger with 83% using print or Internet Yellow Pages in the past year.  
“Our research suggests that print Yellow Pages should still be a key part of an SMB’s budget in urban areas and should still dominate the budget in a rural areas.” said Steve Sitton, president of Market Authority.
  The research continues to demonstrate that a balanced, integrated and multi-platform approach to local advertising is essential to any local business market plan and SEM professional.   Data source:

Market Authority Inc. Ref: Article from the Local Search Insider, December 05, 2012.

Required reference:

‘YouDirectories News Article, Dec 2012, London, Urban YP usage remains strong’.

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